Facebook & Twitter Q&A Extravaganza

Airdate: 1/24/12

A special question and answer extravaganza of questions from Facebook and Twitter. Get expert advice from head to toe!

Desiree Stordahl: Hello and welcome to "Be Beautifully Informed with the Paula's Choice Research Team." That includes myself, Desiree Stordahl, and our oh-so-talented skincare guru Bryan Barron himself. He has been Paula's co-author on the "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" books. He also manages our website, Beautypedia. He intermingles with just about every department here at Paula's Choice.
00:00:29 And that brings me to a good question, Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Yes?
Desiree Stordahl: I know you are privy to some product development information that I don't even know about and certainly our fans don't.
Bryan Barron: Sshhh!
Desiree Stordahl: I know, I know. Sshhh!
Bryan Barron: You are going to put me on the spot, aren't you?
Desiree Stordahl: I'm going to get a slap on the wrist for this but what is one of the new products that we have in the works that we can provide some details on? What is your favorite, most exciting product that we are working on?
Bryan Barron: Oh gosh. You know, I go back and forth. The one that I am actually looking forward to the most this year is not launching until the fall, so it is a ways off.
00:01:07 But it is called Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment.
Desiree Stordahl: Ohh! Sounds nice.
Bryan Barron: And is an interesting product. And one of the things I personally like about it is it just makes your skin look better instantly. It has got a mineral pigment complex in it that gives just a little bit of a glow, but it is not -
00:01:35 It is something that just makes skin look healthy and fresh and naturally radiant as opposed to adding shimmer or sparkle, because I wouldn't wear something like that out and about every day. It just isn't me. But if I understand correctly from talking with Kate, our product development manager, this product is an alternative for people who cannot use hydroquinone.
00:02:04 Hydroquinone is the most well-known skin lightening active. Many researchers consider it the gold standard. However it has somewhat of a controversial reputation largely because its usage is banned in several countries and I'm not going to go into all the details as to why that is the case. You can come to and search for hydroquinone.
00:02:29 We do have an article on it. You can look in our ingredient dictionary. We explain it all there. But, as Paula's Choice expands into...basically we are a global company, we are sold in 20-something odd countries through our international distributorships, and because of the ban on hydroquinone those distributorships, several of them cannot carry our skin lighteners as effective as they are, so that was the impetus to create an alternative, a hydroquinone-free skin lightening product that is going to go into the Resist line.
00:03:04 So, a very cool product. It was one of those that I tested and when the sample ran out I was really sad to see it go and I talked to Kate and said is there any way I can get my hands on more of this? And she said, "No!"
Desiree Stordahl: And just to clarify, there is nothing wrong with hydroquinone. Just because it is banned somewhere else for some reasons like Bryan said that we explain on our website. It is actually completely safe and very effective product.
Bryan Barron: It is still an over-the-counter drug, regulated as such, in the United States.
00:03:36 It is approved by the FDA. And as long as you are using amounts that are available over-the-counter, you are using the product as directed, you shouldn't have a problem with it. That is not to say you may not have an irritant response, because just like some people's skin can't tolerate retinol or vitamin C or glycolic acid, some people just can't use hydroquinone.
00:03:59 But, yes, you are absolutely right, Desiree. It is not an issue of it being a bad or a harmful ingredient. It is just unfortunately - and it is sort of like parabens has developed a bit of a bad reputation over the years. So, that would be the product, the Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment that I think is pretty cool and it is launching this fall.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay! I'm sure customer service is going to kill us because they are going to get a million questions about that now. But, let's launch into our Facebook and Twitter Q&A Extravaganza.
00:04:31 This is a special show; we haven't done this in the past. We are purely taking questions from Facebook and Twitter and we want to allow you guys to keep posting and Tweeting throughout the show, so go ahead and keep doing that. If you don't already "like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, do that - Paula pops in for spontaneous Q&A sessions with fans, just to chat with people. We do exclusive pre-launches. It is a great community to share questions and get advice on skincare and makeup and beauty.
00:05:00 And we do contests and prizes all the time. So you can search for us on Facebook. We are under Paula's Choice, Inc. And at Twitter we are @PaulasChoice. There is no apostrophe, just all one word. So let's get to our first question. And if we promise anybody products - we are going to be giving away products throughout this whole show - we will be getting in touch with you via the way you posted the question, so we will message you on Facebook or direct message you on Twitter.
00:05:26 And our first question comes from [Dea] and she says, "My son has suffered horribly from keratosis pilaris since infancy. He is entering puberty and it has gotten even worse. Right now he uses AmLactin but it doesn't seem to be working. Suggestions?"
Bryan Barron: Hmm. Keratosis pilaris is more commonly known as "chicken skin." And you pretty much know you have it if you are struggling with red raised bumps that are appearing - the most common areas to see it are on the upper arms, from about the elbow area up to the shoulder.
00:06:02 And then it can also pop up on the thighs. And it is essentially a condition where skin cells that are trying to shed naturally as they come up through the follicle lining of each pore, they are getting stuck, a little bit of inflammation is happening. Those skin cells can't come to the surface and sloth off like they normally would, and so as a result from that inflammation and the clogging essentially you are getting that red bump.
00:06:30 A lot of dermatologists recommend alpha hydroxy acid products which AmLactin that Dea mentioned that her son has been using. I'm not 100% familiar with AmLactin in terms of whether or not - I know it contains lactic acid. But I'm not sure if it is within the proper pH range for exfoliation to occur and that is critical. For AHA or BHA exfoliants you want to make sure that the pH is between three or four and you might be thinking, "Well how the heck am I going to find that out standing there in the store?"
00:07:03 And unless you are shopping with pH strips or a pH meter and can somehow covertly open the package and test it, you can't. The one way you can know for sure is to check out if we have reviewed the product on We always test the pH. We will tell you if it is effective or not, so that is a great way to go.
00:07:25 But Dea for your son I think that he needs to try a beta hydroxy acid product for the keratosis pilaris. Some people have success with AHAs, but not everyone. I'm one of those people who I have KP on my arms and my skin responds beautifully to our Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA, that's Paula's Choice. However, because he has been using an AHA product and not seeing much result, we are going to send you our Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA.
00:07:59 I'm curious to see how his KP is going to respond to salicylic acid instead of the lactic acid in that AmLactin product. So, when you receive it in a week or so after he has started using it and he can put it on once daily, after showering; it is really easy and simple. And, this is the great part for guys; it dries to a really silky, almost imperceptible finish. So it is not going to feel greasy. It is not going to make him feel like he has gunked up his skin with product. I think he is really going to like it.
00:08:32 And you can post on Facebook, please do post, and let us know how he is doing.
Desiree Stordahl: Sounds great. Okay, Dea, so we will be in touch and get you the Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA. And next up is Rose G. on Facebook. She says, "I have brown spots, huge pores, and oily skin, but I am also getting wrinkles. Do I mattify, dry my skin, or moisturize? Are there any products that can do both?
Bryan Barron: Well, I think Rose you might be getting a little bit tripped up with thinking that because you have wrinkles that you need to moisturize.
00:09:05 And there really isn't a strong association between wrinkles and dry skin. If you have dry skin and you also have wrinkles, which all of us will at some point, wrinkles that is, the dry skin will make the wrinkles look worse, but the dry skin itself isn't what is causing the wrinkles. The wrinkles that people associate with dry skin are essentially when skin becomes cracked and as soon as you put a moisturizer over that area of skin, those cracks and little fine lines in the skin look much better.
00:09:38 That is not a wrinkle. That is a symptom of dryness. An actual wrinkle will soften in its appearance when a good moisturizer is placed over it, but it is not going to go away the way those fine dry lines do. So, for your situation, the brown spots, the large pores, you still have oily skin but you are also getting wrinkles.
00:10:00 Get away from the idea of needing to use a moisturizer on the wrinkles. You can use - let me rephrase that. With a moisturizer it is all about the texture. So moisturizer is kind of a blanket term for a bunch of different textures of products and for women with oily skin a liquid, gel or lightweight lotion or serum texture tends to be the kind that works best.
00:10:27 So what we are going to do, we have come up with some products we are going to send you. We are going to send you the Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Toner. That has several ingredients in it that help to normalize healthy pore functioning and over time should reduce the appearance of the pores. We are going to send you the Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. That is going to provide lightweight silky moisture. It is not going to feel greasy. It should not make your oily skin feel oilier.
00:10:55 It has ingredients in it that are definitely anti-aging including vitamin C and niacinamide. And both of those ingredients will help with brown spots. But to really kick things in gear in terms of fading those brown spots, we are also going to send the Resist Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel. That has the 2% hydroquinone in a silky gel base. You can use that once or twice daily. You can apply it apply it all over, it is fine to do that, or you can apply it just to the areas of discoloration.
00:11:27 A nice extra in that Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel is that it also includes 2% salicylic acid. So, you are getting an exfoliating benefit from the gel as well. If you are going to apply it all over you are going to get that exfoliating benefit all over. If you would rather just apply the gel to the areas where you have discoloration, I would also suggest using either one of our AHA or BHA exfoliants to really help improve skin tone and texture. And you can take a look on our website and figure out which one would be best for you.
00:12:00 And of course if you need assistance figuring out which one would be best our customer care team is ready and able to help you out with that. And I think with that combination of products you will be seeing a lot of nice improvement.
Desiree Stordahl: Let's go onto Susan W. She said, "I recently heard that AHA and BHA products should not be used with retinol because they would cancel each other's effects. They are both in step five of my Resist line that I started using. Is this accurate? And am I wasting my money?"
Bryan Barron: Susan, hello. No, it is not accurate. And so no you are not wasting your money.
00:12:36 This statement about AHA/BHA and not using them with retinol, it gets bandied about, it gets printed in fashion magazines from time to time. We have searched and searched and searched and talked to several chemists and other skincare professionals about why this might be true. Because we have noticed that every time it comes up, and sometimes the quote will be from a dermatologist and so you are thinking, "Well, there is some credence to that; this isn't just some random person off the street saying they are a skincare expert and not to do this."
00:13:12 But they never mention why. They never mention why it is a problem. We know from research that using benzoyl peroxide, an anti-acne ingredient, on top of a product that contains the prescription vitamin A ingredient tretinoin, such as Retin-A or Renova, we know that that combination renders the tretinoin ineffective.
00:13:34 There is research behind that. I can point to a study where they have actually looked at that. I can't find, and as I said we have looked hard, I can't find any study that proves why this is true or that bears it out. And I have actually seen in different dermatology books different dermatologists recommending the combination as being a brilliant way to help skin look and act younger.
00:14:02 That is one of the reasons that we include both of those ingredients in our Resist system. I can personally attest to using glycolic acid or beta hydroxy acid, because I go back and forth, along with a retinol product every night, or every other night at the very least, and I haven't seen any ill effects from it. I haven't seen one seemingly work less. Even on those nights when I am being a bit lazy and I only use one or the other, I'm not seeing any difference.
00:14:29 And so bottom line, Susan, no - you can keep doing what you are doing. Until we see research proving why this is actually a problem, we are not changing our stance on it. And really I don't think that research is going to come about because I can't imagine why these ingredients would be incompatible, how they would possibly cancel each other's effects. They work in very different ways. It is sort of like thinking, "Well, if I eat broccoli with my chicken, does the chicken cancel out the benefits I get from the broccoli?"
00:15:02 No, of course it doesn't. The body knows, the digestive system knows what to do with those different nutrients and they will be utilized effectively.
Desiree Stordahl: Perfect. Next up we have Valerie on Facebook asking, "Can I mix my sunscreen with my serum/vitamin C in the morning, or does this lessen the sunscreen's effectiveness?"
Bryan Barron: Okay. Valerie by cocktail...this is one of those questions where I kind of wish that you were on the line live with us. But, let's see if we can work through this. I am assuming that by cocktail you mean that you want to mix your sunscreen and vitamin C serum together, say in the palm of one hand, and then apply it to your skin as one mixture.
00:15:45 Don't do that. Not with sunscreen. It is okay to do that with your serum and moisturizer, or your serum and your eye cream if you wanted to save time, if you feel that that is going to help. But ideally anything that you mix with a sunscreen by definition if you are doing it in the palm of your hand, it is going to somewhat dilute the protection you get. It is not going to cancel out entirely, but the bad thing is we don't know, and there is no way really you can know on a day-to-day basis how much you are diluting that sun protection.
00:16:22 So the best thing to do - vitamin C is a brilliant antioxidant to use in the morning. There is a fairly good amount of research showing that it is one of the chief antioxidants that not only helps sunscreen actives work better, but it also helps to offset some of the oxidative damage that occurs when skin is exposed to daylight. Sunscreen does a lot but no sunscreen is 100% effective. No sunscreen can block 100% of the UV rays. Even the best ones that are rated SPF 30 and higher only block about 97%, which I say "only," and that is the majority.
00:17:00 But that still means that there is about 3% of UV radiation that is getting through and affecting your skin negatively which is one more reason why vitamin C and numerous other antioxidants applied in skincare products in the morning can be incredibly helpful. It is like an extra insurance policy for your skin. So what I would suggest, Valerie - apply the serum first. Give it maybe a minute or less to soak in, or if you are comfortable doing this you can apply your sunscreen right on top.
00:17:30 There is nothing wrong with applying it right afterwards, but depending on the texture of the serum you are using you may find the sunscreen blends better if you give it a moment to set. But that is something you will have to experiment with yourself and see what happens. But don't mix it in the palm of your hand. Put the serum on first. Follow with sunscreen. And you will be all set.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Next up we have Allie on Facebook. And Bryan this question is going to sound a little weird but it is not the first time I have heard of women using this. She says, "I have been using Monistat Chafing Relief Gel as a foundation primer and it seems to be doing the job very well. But is this actually good for my face? Are the ingredients going to catch up with me later?"
Bryan Barron: Oh my goodness.
00:18:11 I have seen this one before, too, and Allie thank you for posting this because it actually does come up fairly often. There is nothing wrong with doing this, first and foremost. The Monistat Chafing Relief Gel, we have looked up the ingredients, it is primarily silicones. They are harmless unless you happen to know that you are sensitive to silicones.
00:18:35 They are not sensitizing ingredients, although some women do have a problem with them. So if you are one of those women whose skin can't take silicones, don't use the Monistat because that is pretty much all it is. But it does have a nice silky texture. It can certainly work as a foundation primer to help smooth skin texture and help your makeup go on better. And it is cheap. I think it is around $7 or $8 at the drugstore.
00:19:01 The one drawback to it, and it has nothing to do with it not being safe, but it is a very basic formula. It is essentially meant to prevent chafing in key areas and silicones work beautifully for that, as do most oils and emollients except those ingredients aren't going to have the same powdery, soft, silky finish that silicones do, so understandable why Monistat uses silicones in this product.
00:19:34 But what you are missing by using this as a foundation primer are the kind of beneficial ingredients - antioxidants, repairing substances, cell-communicating ingredients, stuff like retinol that you can find in the serums that we recommend on Beautypedia, the serums from Paula's Choice. If you like that weightless, silky texture, and you are looking for something that is going to give your skin benefits along with also functioning as a foundation primer, let's send you our Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate as well as our Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish.
00:20:11 Both of those work wonderfully to help makeup go on better and last longer. We don't specifically position them. They are not called foundation primers, but there is no need to get hung up on that name because really all foundation primers if they are any good have the same types of core ingredients that you will find in serums.
00:20:33 So our approach, if you want to try a foundation primer, we do recommend those that we like on Beautypedia, but we really encourage you to look at various serums instead because you are always going to get more benefits than you would just using a regular foundation primer alone. And they all have that - well, not all of them - but the majority have that beautiful silicone-enhanced silky texture. So experiment with them, see if you like the two options we are going to send you Allie, and if you do definitely share your thoughts on Facebook.
00:21:07 You know, even if you don't like it share your thoughts on Facebook. We can take it. We like the criticism and we will respond to it.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, next up is Penney on Twitter and she says, "I'm using the Skin Recovery System but is that enough to combat the signs of aging. I want to try Resist but my skin is so dry."
Bryan Barron: Yes. Penney, you are getting oodles of anti-aging ingredients in the Skin Recovery System. That is one of our systems that is set up first and foremost to address the needs of skin type with anti-aging being a secondary concern, not secondary as in it is an afterthought or that it wasn't important, because as I mentioned there is absolutely anti-aging ingredients in all of the Skin Recovery products. So if your dry skin is your chief concern, then there is no reason to reconsider what you are doing as long as you are liking the results and switch over to Resist.
00:22:05 You can mix and match a little bit if you would like to and one of the things that you could try as a for instance is slopping the Skin Recovery Toner for our Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner. The Resist Toner has a slightly greater complement of barrier repair and soothing ingredients in it that you may find is even more helpful for your skin than Skin Recovery Toner.
00:22:31 And the Skin Perfecting 8% AHA gel, which is part of the Skin Recovery System, that is the exfoliant that we grouped with it, if you prefer an AHA exfoliant in the hydrating base you could consider the Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment and see if you like that layered with the other products in Skin Recovery. But bottom line, I wouldn't say that you are missing out on a great deal of anti-aging ingredients by not using all Resist.
00:23:00 So consider mixing and matching. There is nothing wrong with using some products from Skin Recovery and some products from Resist. Personally, I use products from almost all of our brands depending on what my skin's needs are. I have my core favorites, and even among those core favorites I use some of our Moisture Boost, I use some Skin Balancing, I use a few Resist products. So it is a bit all over the place but it just happens to be what works for me based on my skin's needs and my preferences.
00:23:31 We do have these routines setup on our website to make it easy for people to put together a system or to figure out what routine would be best for them, but you don't have to be married to that. I mean if you need to make some tweaks along the way that is fine. It is perfectly acceptable to mix and match between the systems and we can help you find the best products to do that once you tell us what your concerns and preferences are.
Desiree Stordahl: Perfect.
00:23:59 All right, next up is Rebecca K. and she wants to know which alcohols to avoid. She knows that there are different kinds, some are good, some are bad. So she wants the rundowns of which ones are good and which ones are bad.
Bryan Barron: Oh, Rebecca, this is a great question. And it absolutely can be confusing. If you don't know any better and you are looking at skincare ingredient lists and you are seeing the world "alcohol," and you are thinking, "Oh, alcohol is bad, alcohol is bad," you could be walking away from some products that actually contain benign or beneficial forms of alcohol.
00:24:34 So, the alcohols to be concerned about in skincare products are ethanol, denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, oh and really quick, let's backtrack to denatured alcohol. You will often see that listed on an ingredient list as "alcohol denat." They abbreviate the denatured. And alcohol denatured is simply alcohol made to taste bad.
00:25:01 It is a chemical process essentially so that a toner with alcohol, like maybe Sea Breeze, the classic example, it has alcohol in there and they literally don't want people to drink it.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh, I never knew that.
Bryan Barron: Yeah! It's actually...I remember years and years ago when Michael Dukakis was running against George Bush, Sr. for President, his wife Kitty Dukakis was an alcoholic. And she made headlines because she was so desperate for a drink one night that she drank rubbing alcohol.
00:25:41 And rubbing alcohol, just like the kind of alcohol in products, is also denatured so that it tastes terrible. I mean, I have never personally tasted it, but just based on how rubbing alcohol smells, I can't imagine that more than a sip of that would be - it just wouldn't be pleasant.
00:26:00 So, Rebecca, watch out for anything that starts with SD alcohol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol - that is pretty uncommon - benzoyl alcohol. Benzoyl alcohol is often used in mixtures with preservatives. And if you are seeing benzoyl alcohol or really any of these alcohols, if you are seeing them towards the end of the ingredient list, like they are in the last five to ten ingredients, I wouldn't be too concerned about it, especially if it is a moisturizer because all of those other emollient and beneficial ingredients are really going to outweigh the very, very small risk that a low amount of alcohol presents.
00:26:40 So those kinds are the ones to watch out for if they are towards the top of the ingredient list which denatured alcohol, you will often see it in maybe third or fourth place. And if you are seeing it in that position in a moisturizer, and if that moisturizer says it is for dry skin - not happening. It is may still feel hydrating and they use alcohol in that amount most often because it helps the product to set faster.
00:27:07 But it is not a hydrating ingredient. It is not a great ingredient for skin. Really quickly the kind of alcohols that you don't need to be worried about are the fatty alcohols. And the classic examples, there are three of them that show up repeatedly in products - cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol. Those are not the kind of alcohols to be concerned about.
00:27:30 They are fatty alcohols. They are not irritating. They are actually very helpful for dry skin. And they also help create the texture for a lot of moisturizers, especially the creamier type of moisturizers. So those are fine.
Desiree Stordahl: And a great resource for people to find out this information is our ingredient dictionary that we have on In fact, in the alcohol entry you can see all of these alcohols that are listed as being bad. So it is a very good reference whether you are looking at alcohol or any other ingredient. We have got it on there on our ingredient dictionary.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:28:05 And sometimes people - Desiree, real quick, just to close out the alcohol - sometimes people ask about alcohol in hair care products. Alcohol that is in a hairspray, as long as you are not blasting that right on your scalp, it is actually fine for the hair, especially for example in an aerosol hairspray. They use alcohol in higher amounts because it dries in a flash and when you are spraying on hairspray you want something that is going to, A, set quickly, and B, not put a bunch of water or moisture on your hair because what is that going to do?
00:28:40 It is going to cause your style to fall flat. It is not going to hold it in place. So, unless you are applying a hair care product directly to your scalp, which might be the case, or it is more likely you will have scalp contact with a gel or a mousse that contains alcohol, those you might want to leave on the shelf. But a hairspray, if you are just putting it on the hair itself, don't worry about the alcohol in those products.
Desiree Stordahl: Next up we have [D'Alana]. She says, "I will be traveling to Uganda for about two months and I don't want to have to bring all of my normal skincare products with me. What would you recommend? Is there a condensed version of my normal routine that I could do or even better is there a great recommendation for an all-in-one shampoo/face wash, etc?"
Bryan Barron: Oh gosh.
00:29:23 These are some good questions. Two months? First of all, that is a long time. That is not just a vacation where someone goes away for a week or two. When I go on vacation I definitely minimize my routine and I typically will take our All Over Hair and Body Shampoo and I use that as my face wash, my body wash, and my shampoo. I take one of our serums, usually the Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate. And I use that after washing my face at night.
00:30:00 And then that is it. I even leave my exfoliant at home if I am not going to be gone too long. And then I take Skin Balancing Moisture Gel and/or the Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion to wear as sunscreen during the day. And that is pretty much it. I am is actually kind of interesting how skincare-oriented I normally am and when I go on vacation I don't really want to have to bother with it beyond the absolute bare minimum that I need to do.
00:30:28 So for your situation, being gone two months, you can definitely save space by using a product like our All Over Hair and Body Shampoo to wash your hair, to wash your face, and to wash yourself from head to toe. It is gentle, it is fragrance-free. A lot of shampoos contain a higher level of surfactants or cleansing agents than what you find in facial cleansers. And with our particular product we really tried to balance that to make sure that you are still getting enough cleansing action on the skin and for the areas like under the arms that naturally can get a bit more funky without causing any excess dryness or, of course, irritation.
00:31:15 So that would great. I would take a sunscreen designed for the face and body which almost any classic sunscreen can be used on the face. It may not have the best feel. You may want to try one of the spray-on sunscreens, our Ultra-Light Weightless Finish SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray would be great. I mean Africa, wow. I don't know how much sun you are going to be exposed to, but I would imagine it is more than what you normally see, unless you live in a very sunny state here. Desiree, do we have any information on where D'Alana lives?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. She is in Ellensburg, Washington.
Bryan Barron: Oh, okay. Well she is hardly ever seeing the sun.
00:31:56 You are going to need sun protection, D'Alana. And I would suggest a mineral sunscreen. If cost is an issue and you want to stock up you could check out the options from the Blue Lizard brand. They have some excellent fragrance-free, great for sensitive skin sunscreens. Paula's Choice Pure Mineral Sunscreen would be great. So maybe think about that for your face and neck. And then use another type of sunscreen for the neck down. And if you are using a moisturizing sunscreen you can pretty much cut out the body lotion stuff as far as minimizing things when you are traveling. Those would the two essentials.
00:32:38 You are going to be long enough where if you are normally using some sort of an exfoliant...if I was going to be gone two months I wouldn't be okay not taking an AHA or BHA product. I think my skin can go a week or two without them, but after that I really start seeing the difference. So, personally I would miss that. And if you are using one of those types of products I am assuming that you would miss it, too.
00:33:00 So maybe take a full size of that or, gosh, Oy, with traveling and the size restrictions. That can be tricky as well. But if you put it in your suitcase, not your carry on, you should be fine. So, that would be the bare minimum that I would take in addition to any other smaller cosmetics, cosmetics as in makeup items that you want to wear. Maybe a lipstick with sunscreen like our sheer cream lipstick.
00:33:29 A pressed powder with sunscreen or foundation, if you are even going to bother with makeup when you are there. And then maybe a waterproof mascara which you can take a look at the ones that we recommend on Beautypedia.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. Moving onto Stephanie, she says, "If you are allergic to wheat, not Celiac disease but food allergy, is there any problem with using Paula's Choice Shampoo, Conditioner and other products that might contain wheat protein or other wheat ingredients? I currently use the shampoo and conditioner but saw someone on "Dr. Oz" the other day saying they avoided all skin and body care products containing wheat because it could be absorbed through the skin."
Bryan Barron: Aha. I checked this out, Stephanie, ahead of time because I wanted to say that this wouldn't be a problem.
00:34:14 But I thought, you know, let me do my homework really quick. And it turns out I was correct. In any event I am glad that I checked. I checked on two different medical sites where they have experts in Celiac disease and food allergies and the bottom line is that wheat ingredients can't be absorbed through the skin. Their molecular size is just too small. So the only danger - if you have a wheat allergy the only danger with using products that contain wheat is if you are somehow ingesting the product. Because the reaction occurs in your digestive system.
00:34:55 Most people, it is probably the rare person that would actually have a skin allergy to wheat. If you think that might be the case you can talk to your dermatologist or an allergist and ask them to do a patch test for that. But I would have to say that that would be incredibly unlikely. So, bottom line Stephanie, you can continue using our shampoo and conditioner or any other skincare or hair care products that have wheat, what protein, wheat amino acids, those types of ingredients.
00:35:30 They are going to stay on the surface of your skin and hair. They are not going to get inside your body. It is a common misconception that any ingredient that we put on our skin gets into the body itself, gets into the bloodstream. That is not true universally. There are certain ingredients that have a smaller molecular size that can get into the body, but if you think about it, our skin - the body's largest organ - is actually designed to keep ingredients out. It is protecting a lot.
00:36:00 Everything, your muscles, your bones, your heart, your liver, your digestive system, it is all protected by our skin and then the layer of subcutaneous fat that lies beneath the skin. And it is hard to get ingredients into the skin. For years and years one of the reasons that diabetics had to take insulin shots is because the insulin molecule is simply too big. You can't just slap insulin on the skin and expect it to get into the bloodstream and affect the body.
00:36:33 Now I believe they have an insulin patch that does that. Speaking of patches, just to close out this discussion on skin permeation, one of the ingredients that actually is small enough and molecular size to penetrate and get into the body is nicotine. That is one of the reasons that nicotine patches work - at least they may not work to help you quit smoking, but they do work to get nicotine into the bloodstream.
00:37:00 So, yes, it is a mistaken notion, our idea, that every cosmetic ingredient we put on our skin makes it into the body itself. It just isn't true. And it causes a lot of undue alarm and fear and it is...ugh...if there is one thing I could change about the cosmetics industry and the misinformation and all of that, that would be at the top of the list because it is a problem. It gets a lot of people needlessly concerned about their products.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay.
00:37:30 Next up we have Elizabeth. She says, "I'm pregnant and facing pregnancy pimples without being able to use my usual go-to medications. Help! What can I do to stop the breakouts without potentially harming the baby?"
Bryan Barron: Elizabeth, we have a really helpful article on called "Pregnancy and skincare - which products are safe?" We will see about posting a link to that article on our Facebook page. We can probably do that tomorrow.
Desiree Stordahl: I can do that right now. I will do it.
Bryan Barron: Oh, perfect Desiree.
00:38:02 Okay. But, Elizabeth, you will be happy to know that we have looked into this quite thoroughly and it turns out, now if your doctor says otherwise, let me preface this by saying you ultimately need to default to your doctor's advice. But, from what we have found out, classic over-the-counter anti-acne ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid at the strengths that they are used in these products are actually just fine to use during pregnancy.
00:38:35 If you are concerned about benzoyl peroxide you can either, A, not use it, or B, look for products that contain only 2.5% and then only apply it to your active breakouts rather than putting it all over your face. If you are nervous about using salicylic acid, you can, A, try a lower strength version, 1% salicylic acid instead of 2%, or some women find that alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid worked almost as well on their breakouts when they were pregnant.
00:39:10 And the concern about salicylic acid being used during pregnancy is due to its relationship to aspirin. Aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid and has a lot of similarities to salicylic acid. However, it is about penetration, it is about the amount, and if you are only using it on a small area, and let's face it, if you are applying from the neck up that is a small area, versus the rest of your body.
00:39:37 I wouldn't say to someone who is pregnant to slather a salicylic acid product from head to toe. But, that is just me playing it safe. I think it is fine to use on the face, on breakouts when you are pregnant. Again, it wouldn't be a bad idea to double check with your doctor and follow his or her advice. If it is contrary to what I am telling you, it is ultimately up to you.
00:40:03 But personally don't see a problem with it. When my sister was pregnant and dealing with breakouts she used those products. Her daughter is perfectly happy and healthy and actually quite a smart little kid.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Ready for the next question, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: Let's keep this question train going. As long as my voice is holding up!
Desiree Stordahl: Good job, by the way. We have got Maria. She is asking, "Hi, I listened to your radio show last week about at-home laser devices and never heard you speak about the PaloVia home laser resurfacing device. Does this work?
00:40:37 Is it worth buying?"
Bryan Barron: Maria, yes, this device does work. The wavelength and intensity of light that it puts out is on par with similar devices that you will find from a dermatologist. There is a big caveat though with that.
00:41:00 When you are using, when a dermatologist or a trained skincare professional under the supervision of a dermatologist or other medical professional is using a laser device in a medical office, a controlled setting, those machines have much more flexibility to be calibrated and changed through the procedure than anything that you can buy to use at home.
00:41:27 The person that is performing the procedure in the office can watch how your skin is responding and adjust the treatment accordingly. You may not see any issues with using the PaloVia until it is too late. Paula herself has tried this and she has talked to some other women that have tried it and all of them had the same experience. Upon first use they ended up with reddened, almost burned skin.
00:41:56 And this was after they looked at the directions and for all intents and purposes were using the product as intended. So, there is no reason to believe that it doesn't work but there is reason to be cautious if you do opt to buy this to take it slow, follow the instructions exactly and watch very closely to how your skin responds to this. If it were me I would pony up the extra money and get those treatments from a dermatologist, maybe even do that first to get a sense of what your skin can tolerate.
00:42:30 And ask the dermatologist what wavelength or what type of laser is this, what wavelength is it, and ask the doctor about this system as well. Get his or her take on it. They may not be incredibly enthusiastic about it because let's face it, the more at-home devices like this come out, the risk to their practice taking a blow from less and less laser work being done becomes more of a reality. I don't think that it is going to be that big of a blow because, again, the experience, the level of customization and calibration that a dermatologist can perform in a clinical setting far outweighs anything that the consumer could do themselves at home.
00:43:14 And there is a lot to be said for education and experience and most of us just don't have that when we are ordering something online that is normally a procedure that is done by a doctor. I mean it is sort of - and this is an extreme example - but if you needed open heart surgery would you go to Amazon and search for open heart surgery at-home kit?
00:43:33 Probably not. I mean, again, an extreme example, but I think that proves the point that I am trying to make.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Next we have Stacey on Facebook who asks, "I have a red mark on my neck from where a mole was removed. Will using a BHA help fade it?"
Bryan Barron: Oh, Stacey I feel your pain. I actually had a mole on my leg removed last fall and I still have a red mark.
00:44:02 My skin is not - it is taking awhile to heal from this. And sometimes that is the case. I don't know necessarily the rhyme or reason for it because I have had moles removed from a couple of other spots on my body like my upper arm and it healed beautifully and left not a trace of a mark or a scar, so sometimes you just never know.
00:44:26 Will a BHA product help fade that? Maybe. I have been using our Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA as my leg moisturizer in these winter months here. I find that it works great because my skin definitely gets dry and itchy on the legs during this time of year. So I have been putting it over that red mark as well. And it is fading. As to whether or not it is fading faster, I'm not sure. I would like to think it is because that product and any well formulated AHA or BHA exfoliant should also contain soothing beneficial antioxidant type ingredients.
00:45:05 So, it is definitely worth a try. What you really want to make sure that you are doing though, Stacey, every day to help that heal faster and get back to normal is to make sure that you are using sun protection. A lot of us are guilty of putting...we skip the sunscreen on our neck. We are making sure that our faces are covered and you can almost see this in certain people when you are out and about.
00:45:33 Their face looks really smooth and there is not much discoloration and what not. You are not seeing much in the way of wrinkles or crepiness, but their neck looks terrible. And that is often a sign of years of neglect of the neck. It doesn't mean you need to run out and buy a special product for the neck at all. You just need to use the same well formulated products on your neck that you apply to your face.
Desiree Stordahl: You know who is a good example of that is the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." And don't ask me how I know that show, but they are a perfect example of taking care of their face and their neck and chest area are completely leathery.
00:46:09 It is like they never put on sunscreen or took any care of those areas. So it is a good reminder for people.
Bryan Barron: Yes. And it just looks odd, doesn't it?
Desiree Stordahl: It does. It does. No matter how much work you have done on your face, if that area, if your neck and chest are super wrinkly because you didn't take care of them it is kind of a dead giveaway.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Desiree Stordahl: So we will send Stacey our Skin Perfecting 2% BHA lotion and the Moisture Boost SPF 20 Sunscreen.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:46:36 And Stacey I want you to put the BHA lotion on, start with once a day at night, and then make sure that you are applying that Moisture Boost SPF 20 Sunscreen to your neck every day. If you have a sunscreen that you already like for your face, put it on the neck, too. But I think you are really going to like the texture of the Moisture Boost SPF 20. It feels really nice on the neck.
00:47:00 And of course on the face as well, so give it a go there too if you like,
Desiree Stordahl: All right. Next up we have Chris. And Chris says, "Lately my lips are itchy and irritated beyond the usual winter dryness. Is it possible to be allergic to lip products with SPF or could it be an ingredient in my toothpaste for sensitive teeth? I have used Paula's Lip and Body Balm Treatment at night for years but I would love to wear something with a little bit of color during the day."
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:47:27 Chris, your first question, is it possible to be allergic to lip products with SPF - yes. It may not be the active ingredients in the lip product that is causing the allergy, but they could be, or they could be exaggerating or exacerbating the irritant potential of another ingredient in the lip product. Not knowing what lip product with sunscreen you are using, if it contains fragrance, if it contains flavor which would simply be on the ingredient list as flavor, or if it contains problematic plant extracts.
00:48:02 There are a lot of plant extracts in products that are known to cause allergies. Some of them are members of the ragweed family. Of course, I'm live on the air now and I can't think of any examples off the top of my head. But, I think we cover that in our ingredient dictionary where it is applicable. But anyway if you are someone who suffers hay fever, you know you have ragweed allergies, you are going to want to watch out for those plants that are in the ragweed family because they could cause skin problems as well.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay.
00:48:41 So we can send Chris the Sheer Cream Lipstick SPF 15 and another one of our Lip and Body Treatment Balms.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Chris, we are going to give you that. I don't think it is your toothpaste because it is fairly easy when you are brushing your teeth to keep the excess toothpaste off the lips itself. Or if it does come into contact with the lips it is fairly brief.
00:49:03 I would be more inclined to think it is whatever lip product with sunscreen that you are using. This Sheer Cream Lipstick that Desiree mentioned is fragrance-free. It contains Avobenzone for UVA protection and it gives you a nice sheer pop of color. Give that a try and see what you think. Keep using the Lip and Body Treatment Balm at night and let us know on Facebook if the Sheer Cream Lipstick is causing that same problem and we will do our best to help you find an alternative product.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay.
00:49:31 Next up we have Chris E. And Chris E. says, "I have normally oily, slightly blemish-prone skin. With my last Paula's Choice order I got a sample of her self-tanning gel. My question is if I wanted to use a self-tanner on my face should I refrain from using an exfoliating product? I use Paula's BHA liquid. I worry that the exfoliation would take away from the fake tan."
00:49:56 And I can attest to this, Chris, because I do use our self-tanner and I also use our BHA liquid. I refrain from exfoliating for the day before I am going to put on self-tanner. And I don't do it during the time that I am wearing self-tanner unless I am trying to get rid of the self-tanner. Because BHAs will definitely help those skin cells to turn over more quickly which means you are going to be using that top layer of skin that has that built-in self-tan to it. So, short answer is yes, a BHA liquid or any sort of exfoliant is going to take away from your tan.
00:50:29 But at the same time, I know that before you put on self-tanner you do want smooth as possible skin. So definitely exfoliate the areas like your knees, your elbows. Exfoliate your face a couple of days before, but I would say give it a break the day before and the days during your self-tan until you just can't take it anymore. I know at a certain point I just have to go back to my BHA or I know I am going to break out. Bryan, would you have anything to add to that?
Bryan Barron: Actually no.
00:50:59 That was great. It is a skincare combination where compromise is in order. You simply can't have it both ways because as Desiree said the exfoliant is going to quickly undo the results from the self-tanner. The self-tanner's active ingredient works to turn the skin's upper most layer, that tan color, and those are the first skin cells to come off which is why if you apply a self-tanner once, you get your color two to six hours later, and three, four days later that self-tan color is pretty much gone because those skin cells that had the color change are sloughing off.
00:51:44 Maybe not 100%, but you are definitely not seeing the same rich color that you did at your first application.
Desiree Stordahl: Right. So Chris we will send you our Almost the Real Thing Self Tanning Gel, so you don't have to just use your little sample. And let's move onto Carol H. She says, "I have a hard time finding skincare products that work well for oily sensitive skin with Rosacea and prone to breakouts. Usually products labeled sensitive are geared towards dry skin. Help!"
Bryan Barron: Oh, Carol, you are absolutely right.
00:52:14 Most products geared towards sensitive skin are inherently better for dry skin because somehow a lot of the issue of sensitive skin gets mixed in with the issue of dry skin. And the confusing thing to complicate matters more is that oftentimes dry skin is also sensitive. So, in your situation you want to make sure that you are using -
00:52:40 I would stay away from the majority of products that are marketed to those with oily skin because they almost always contain drying absorbent ingredients. There are some good ones that you can find on the Search All reviews page on Beautypedia. You can use that page to refine your search by skin type and product type. So you can kind of really hone in on those types of products, rather than just looking at the best products list and then kind of sorting them out from there.
00:53:10 What I want you to try can find a balance. Your skin type, combined with these concerns, is definitely tricky, especially because Rosacea-effected skin can be so finicky and it is maddening. I wish I could say that I feel your pain with that.
00:53:30 I don't have Rosacea. Who knows, I might someday. I definitely have the skin type and background for it, but, so far no. But what we want you to try is the Hydra Light Cleanser. That is a very gentle fragrance-free, colorant free, non-irritating gel cleanser that you can use twice a day. And then after you cleanse I want you to use our Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner.
00:54:00 We have actually run this formula by a couple of dermatologists who specialize in Rosacea treatment. They have done a lot of research in this area and they have both praised this toner up and down. This was unsolicited praise, too. It was just, "Take a look at these products, here is what we have to offer, what do you think?" And typically they are not that enthusiastic about stuff like that, but this time they were.
00:54:25 That particular toner contains an incredible amount of skin repairing ingredients that help rebuild the compromised barrier which is almost always an issue with sensitive skin. This toner should not make your oily areas feel slick or greasy. It shouldn't make your oilier areas look worse. I use this toner all over my face and I have combination skin with an oily T-zone and I have not noticed any problems in that regard with this. So I think, I am hoping, that this will work really well to address your sensitivity and not make the oily skin worse.
00:55:01 And also help calm the inflammation from Rosacea. And then lastly I want you to experiment, if you haven't already, with a beta hydroxy acid exfoliant. So we are going to send you our Skin Perfecting 1% Beta Hydroxy Acid Gel. It has a really light water-based texture. You only need a little bit, a pump, pump and a half for the whole face should suffice. Try using that once daily at night, after cleansing and toning, and see how your skin responds.
00:55:33 Between the Resist Toner and that exfoliant given your oily skin, most likely you are not going to need another moisturizer on top of that. If you feel that you do, get in touch with us and we will make some recommendations. We have some lightweight options you can consider. The exfoliating...the Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Gel is also going to address your breakouts. And because salicylic acid is such a great anti-inflammatory, many people with Rosacea find that it helps calm their redness.
00:56:05 And lastly, Desiree, let's send, let's wait. Carol, let's get you started on those and you can post on Facebook and let us know how you are doing.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. We have just a couple of minutes left. I think we can get one more. It is from Robin on Facebook and she asks, "Can dark under eye circles be treated without undergoing surgical procedures?"
Bryan Barron: Oh Robin! I hate the issue of dark circles.
00:56:37 I just hate it because it is one of the few things in terms of skincare where there just isn't an easy answer. Dark circles can't be treated without surgery and they can't be treated with surgery. So it is not a matter of going under the knife. The issue is dark circles can be incredibly stubborn. Depending on the cause of them, whether it is hereditary, whether it is from sun damage.
00:57:05 If it is from the latter, if it is from sun damage than keeping your entire face, including the eye area, protected from further sun damage will go a long way to helping that area look better as will getting into the habit of wearing sun glasses, particularly any time you are going to be out in bright sunlight.
00:57:27 But even when it is kind of that overcast and it looks - it is bright wouldn't say it is sunny but you go outside and you are kind of blinking and squinting back the light a bit. Keep the sunglasses on. They help protect your eyes, especially from those UVA rays that are present even when you can't see the sun. UVA rays are part of what creates daylight. So if you can go outside and see your hand in front of your face you are getting UVA exposure, even if the sun is not out.
00:57:56 Robin, we are going to send you the Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream to use around your eyes because one thing that does make dark circles look worse is when the skin around the eyes is dry or dehydrated. And this particular product is not an eye cream per se but it has an eye cream texture. And it contains exactly the same type of beneficial ingredients that I would say look for in an eye cream.
00:58:25 You may know that we are not big advocates of eye cream because for the most part they are just facial moisturizers in tiny packages, but we are going to give you that to try. And we are going to send you some samples of our Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25. That is going to give you gentle mineral sun protection during the day and help to cosmetically brighten the dark under eye area. And, Desiree, we are getting the countdown clock. I think we need to wrap up here. I am so sorry. We have a couple more questions we didn't get to.
00:58:56 We will do our best to address those on Facebook when we can. Desiree, what do we have coming up for the next week's shows?
Desiree Stordahl: Next week we have Kimberly Heintzman. She is a TV makeup artist and she is joining us for tips for the perfect foundation. We have had her on in the past and she is an excellent, excellent special guest. On February 7 we have "How to get rid of dark spots and uneven skin tone." And on Valentine's Day, February 14, we have a back-by-popular-demand episode of "Tips for an at-home mani and pedi with nail expert Jaime Schrabeck.
Bryan Barron: Oh, that's right, because we are going to go out with our sweeties.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes.
Bryan Barron: Oh, wait, Desiree, you are supposed to come over to our house so we can make you dinner, but it won't be romantic.
Desiree Stordahl: Exactly.
00:59:43 Because my husband has been transferred out of town so I don't have my hubby at home. But this was a great show. So many great questions and people continue to filter in questions on Facebook. We will get to those when we can. And remember that you can always reach us at our customer service department here at Paula's Choice as well.
Bryan Barron: Yup. It takes a village and you know we have an excellent village on our Facebook team, all of the people that are regular posters to our page that are actively helping other people. It is a really, really great community and I am thrilled that it is growing. If you have not visited our Facebook page, look for Paula's Choice on Facebook.
01:00:22 Come visit us at or And everyone have a great night. Thanks for listening. We will talk with you next week. Good night.
Desiree Stordahl: Good night.
Skip to Top of Page
[{"Key":"SpecialOffers","Name":"SpecialOffers","BrontoID":"0bbf03e9000000000000000000000000ead0","Label":"Web Specials & Daily Deals","DisplayDescription":"","DisplayRestrictions":"","Value":null},{"Key":"SpecialOffersLessFrequent","Name":"SpecialOffersLessFrequent","BrontoID":"0bbf03e90000000000000000000000012122","Label":"Web Specials","DisplayDescription":"","DisplayRestrictions":"Less Frequent","Value":null},{"Key":"BeautypediaExclusives","Name":"BeautypediaExclusives","BrontoID":"0bbf03e9000000000000000000000000eace","Label":"Beauty Exclusives","DisplayDescription":"Expert Advice Newsletter ","DisplayRestrictions":"twice a month","Value":null},{"Key":"BeautypediaUpdates","Name":"BeautypediaUpdates","BrontoID":"0bbf03e9000000000000000000000000ead1","Label":"Beautypedia Updates","DisplayDescription":"New reviews on Beautypedia ","DisplayRestrictions":"twice a month","Value":null}]


Paula’s Choice Auto Delivery is a quick and convenient way to make sure you never run out of your favorite products again. Just select the products you can’t live without, choose how often you’d like them delivered and we’ll take care of the rest.

Get 10% off your first order when you sign up today.