Is a Facial Really Worth It? The Benefits & Risks

Airdate: 8/25/2011

Wondering just what facials can (and can't) do for your skin, as well as which facial treatments you should absolutely avoid? We've got the answers so you can get the most out of your treatment and not waste time or money at the spa.

Paula Begoun: Hello I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Paula's Choice Research Team – Desiree Stordahl and Bryan Barron – keeping you Beautifully Informed here, wherever you are in the world, here in Seattle. And we are live on Thursday evenings and of course you can listen to us archived. Tell your friends, tell your family.
00:00:31 We will keep everybody beautifully informed, keep you from wasting money, help your skin look better than you could have ever imagined. You know, not wasting money is pretty cool, too. Tonight, talk about a show this is going to help you save money, this topic is it for lots of women all over the world – is a facial really worth it? Is that something you should consider doing, not consider doing? Is it a waste of money? Is there ever a reason to do it?
00:01:04 We are going to answer all of those questions. It's actually a pretty significant cost. Lots of women think that without facials they are not taking good care of their skin, they are not doing anything for their skin. Other women think, well, it's relaxing so why not. And there are women who think, they get it done and they have terrible results and they get a rash or they break out and some women get it done and do have good results.
00:01:34 We want you to get the good results; we always want you to get the good results. So that is what we are going to discuss today. But let me say hello to Desiree who was a model for Paula's Choice today. You were at a photo session all day.
Desiree Stordahl: Yes I was. I was demoing our new sunscreen. So I am very excited about that.
Paula Begoun: The Resist Ultimate Anti-Aging Hand Cream with SPF30 is launching – is it launching next month? Is that when your face is going to – well some of your face, not all of your face?
Desiree Stordahl: I think it is October 1.
Paula Begoun: Okay, October.
00:02:14 We are not going to see all of Desiree. It is just Desiree's hands and her mouth which actually is very cute. You have that – well, everyone will see, because you are going to be up on the website looking very adorable from the nose down. I won't even know it is you, other than that I will recognize that cute little mouth.
00:02:34 And then Bryan Barron, the other part of the Paula's Choice Research Team – actually the head of the Paula's Choice Research Team. Bryan, how are you doing?
Bryan Barron: I'm doing great. Are you feeling any better?
Paula Begoun: No. I'm not. I didn't go into work today. I'm home, doing the show from my home. I don't know, I just woke up with a tummy ache. I felt like I was a little kid.
00:03:04 "I've got a tummy ache." I have a headache. My throat is not so good. So I have just been hanging at home and actually it has been nice hanging out at home. It's actually a gorgeous day in Seattle. I can't believe it is Labor Day Weekend. I cannot believe it is the end of the summer.
Bryan Barron: And today's September 1, so you know that hand cream is going to be available before you know it.
Paula Begoun: Right. And it is sunscreen. We need to do a show on anti-aging. So, Desiree, will you make sure we get that – we need to do a show on how to have young hands because, you know, it is the first place where most aging shows up.
00:03:45 And you can do a whole lot of stuff to your face and still have that old brown dotted crepey skin on the back of your hands. And actually there is a lot of stuff you can do to make it look better, to deal with issues of brown spots and crepiness. And actually as I am having a breakout of eczema. You know it is so funny, I have had eczema most of my life to one degree, when I was young just to a horrendous degree where I just don't think there was a spot of my body that didn't have a scab or a sore – it was just terribly painful.
00:04:27 And now I just have this one knuckle, just one knuckle on my third finger, I just am struggling with, so we can talk about that, too, and we can see if we can't solve my problem and everybody else's problem at the same time. But we will do that in October when we talk about anti-aging for hands. But today we are going to talk, and I'm just going to jump right into the topic of facials because there is so much to talk about and I want to take your questions.
00:05:02 So let me get the first part about facials – the bottom line, because if you are not going to listen to the whole show, let me just get the headline out. And the headline out is that there are indeed reasons to consider getting a facial. However, there isn't a facial on the face of the earth that can work if what you are doing in tandem isn't taking good care of your skin: using great skincare and not getting a tan – not from a tanning booth and not from the sun.
00:05:40 Going to get a facial and then not taking great care of your skin with great skincare products and not getting a tan is kind of like thinking you can eat a salad and smoke a cigarette and you will be healthy. You can't patch up – you can't keep up with the damage of what you do to your skin every day and try to take care of it by getting a facial. Facials, when they are good facials, when they are beneficial, work in tandem with a great skincare routine or they don't work at all.
00:06:17 So, what you can get from a great facial, aside from the hype and the detoxing. And, by the way, should I get that one over with first about detox – okay, see, I'm jumping. There is so much to talk about. We do have to talk about the fact that you can't detox skin. It's just silly. The whole notion is just bizarre and that everybody says it, that it has become this fact, is just ridiculous. You can't detox skin. First of all, skin doesn't even have toxins in it anyway. But facials can't do that. And if you are going to get a facial to detox any part of your face, that is truly a waste of your money.
00:07:05 But one of the things you can get, the different things you can get from a great facial is you can get thoroughly cleansed skin, you can get softening and removal of blackheads and whiteheads, those little white bumps can be extracted. A really good aesthetician knows how to get a lot of those blackheads out that you really couldn't get out without either damaging your skin or just inflaming it and making matters worse.
00:07:35 They can extract whiteheads, those little white bumps under the skin that kind of look like pimples but they don't squeeze like pimples, that really need to be slightly removed by just a teeny nick/cut and then actually removing it. It is a little cyst like grain, if you will, under the skin. A good facialist can remove that.
00:07:58 You can truly temporarily improve dehydrated skin. You can plump skin. You can use moisturizing masks. You can restore skin's natural barrier function meaning the protective outer layer of skin and that is wonderful. You can plump skin. You can get really great exfoliation with either a gentle scrub, a really gentle scrub when it is done well, a light chemical peel, or a peel off mask, or you can get Microdermabrasion which is a kind of rotary grain procedure that massages a granular substance into skin and vacuums it back off.
00:08:39 That can plump skin. It can make it look temporarily firmer. It hasn't firmed anything but it can make skin look temporarily firmer. AHA peels, light peels, glycolic acid or salicylic acid peels are a very effective thing that can be done. And as a result of say doing something like Microdermabrasion, a light peel, alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid, you can get improvement of skin discolorations as well.
00:09:08 So that's what a facial can do for you. What a facial cannot do for you is it can't eliminate acne. Acne is an ongoing problem that takes place deep in the pore in an ongoing, minute-by-minute basis because of increased oil production due to hormones, presence of bacteria in the skin. You can't eliminate acne. You can remove – you can have a great facialist remove stubborn blemishes that you probably shouldn't try to remove yourself, and like I said, blackheads.
00:09:44 But you can't eliminate acne. You have to fight that on a daily basis. You can't permanently fade skin discolorations. Nothing a facialist can do replaces Botox, dermal fillers, lasers, or any of that. Nothing that a facialist can do other than a light chemical peel even begins to compare to what a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon can do.
00:10:16 You can get some lifting of sagged skin minimally and temporarily but you are not lifting sagging skin and getting rid of it. You are not going to get elimination of dark circles or puffy eyes. I don't care how many pictures you see of women sitting there with tea bags on their eyes or cucumbers on their eyes, you could put a whole salad of cucumbers on your eyes and your dark circles or puffy eyes aren't going anywhere.
00:10:40 There's nothing in a cucumber or tea bags that have any benefit for dark circles or puffy eyes. In fact, tea bags, because of the tannins in tea actually are irritating and can actually puff up eyes. Cucumbers just do nothing. Those pictures are just so silly.
00:11:00 Let's talk a little bit about the notion of detoxing skin, because that is a big one. You hear that so much out there. Detox. Detox. Everything. The detoxing drinks, detoxing facials. You can't detox skin. Toxins cannot leave the body through the pores or through the skin. Really detoxification of any foreign substance takes place through the liver.
00:11:37 That's why you go to the bathroom. That's what is taking toxins out of the body is when you go to the bathroom and what takes place in the intestines and what takes place in the liver to eliminate toxins in the body – skin can't do that. You can't get skin to do anything to alter a toxin in a way that allows it to be permeable through the skin.
00:12:06 It's just not happening. It is physiologically impossible. Now, when you sweat, sweating does excrete some urea to the surface of skin, but that is not a toxin, that is just a natural body chemical, if you will, a natural body substance that is not anything that –
Bryan Barron: Well, and sweating is the body's means of controlling its temperature.
00:12:31 It's not the body's means of eliminating toxins.
Paula Begoun: Right, exactly. And there is nothing about urea that the body needs to get rid of. The liver does a brilliant job of that. And you wouldn't want to sit and get steamed anyway because steaming with hot steam can cause capillaries to surface. It increases too much circulation to the surface of skin which can actually snap capillaries, damage them, and then you get the red little veining on the surface of skin and it causes irritation and irritation causes collagen breakdown.
00:13:09 That's just silly. That's just silly.
Bryan Barron: And real quick, regarding toxins and the elimination of them, we have to give due credit to the kidneys as well.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I forgot the kidneys. And the intestines. Right, it is a whole body process that the skin has nothing to do with.
00:13:31 Absolutely nothing to do with.
Bryan Barron: Right. And the takeaway message is, yes, there is not a product that you can put on your skin or that an aesthetician can put on your skin that will pull or purge or expunge toxins.
Paula Begoun: And actually it is kind of interesting. On the other side of that where they tell you that they can suck toxins out of your skin, one of the other things that facialists or aestheticians or spas will tell you they can do with a facial is that they have these devices, these machines that they run over your face that are product infusing devices.
00:14:13 And so what they tell you is that these devices use electrical currents or ultrasonic waves that supposedly open pathways through the skin so that the ingredients that they then apply at the same time or afterwards can better absorb through the skin. So, on so many levels that just doesn't make sense. If you understood physiology, those out there who are nurses and doctors and biochemists or physiologists know how silly that sounds because if you opened pathways through skin to allow whatever they are putting on your skin to absorb, you would be allowing toxins to get into skin.
00:15:05 You would be allowing bacteria to get into skin. I mean there are bacteria toxins that are much smaller than anything you could put on your skin from a skincare perspective. So, the very thing they are saying they would do to your skin to get ingredients to absorb better would actually be a negative because it would allow things you don't want to get into skin like toxins, like bacteria.
00:15:32 I mean it would be dangerous. You would be opening things in skin that should not be opened. The skin has its own pathways and when you put ingredients on it that can absorb, then they go into the layers of skin where you need them. And how deep do you want these pathways anyhow? Because one of the things about great skincare ingredients, they don't actually have to go that deep to have benefit.
00:16:00 Some ingredients need to stay on the surface. Some ingredients need to penetrate. Some ingredients need to go deeper down, but nothing needs to go and get into the bloodstream and then you lose it because it all goes away. So actually well-formulated skincare products absorb fine on their own. And, whatever the claim is that these machines can do, they don't do. Ultrasound does not open pathways into the skin.
00:16:29 And electrical currents – what? Hello?
Desiree Stordahl: I think one of our callers got on screen. You are good.
Paula Begoun: Well, we should talk to her then. But wait, I've got to finish. Actually, it was good she interrupted because I was ranting. I do – I will stop ranting. So let's talk about a good versus bad aesthetician.
00:17:00 So a good versus bad aesthetician is somebody who would – a simple definition in that it would be somebody who hurts your skin, somebody who is not being gentle to your skin or not paying attention to being as gentle as possible. So things, like I said before, steaming – especially with hot steam, will make skin redder and potentially damage, not potentially but almost certainly if you do it often enough will result in surfaced broken capillaries, spider-like veins on the face.
00:17:35 Being too aggressive with extractions, removing blemishes, blackheads or clogged pores, actually making them worse, either pushing them deep or actually wounding the skin and causing a scab. You should not leave a facial with a scab. Using products that are highly fragranced which is so typical of spas and salons because they want you to believe that essential oils – essential oils are only essential for your nose.
00:18:06 Fragrance is bad for skin. It's bad. I know if you guys listen to the show regularly you have heard me say this before. But almost all fragrance, natural or synthetic, is bad for skin and spas and salon products and facials, they just love throwing that on your face and it is damaging. Use products that contain irritating ingredients is another problem for many facials. Using alcohol, camphor or menthol, even if you think, "Oh well, I didn't get irritation."
00:18:42 Your collagen felt that irritation and it is being damaged. It damages skin, causes free radical damage, all kinds of not good things happen because of irritations. So, when you get a facial, the kinds of things you want to consider having done is a lightweight peel, usually about a 20% alpha hydroxy acid or a 6% salicylic acid peel, Microdermabrasion, gentle removal of blemishes or blackheads, a nice lightweight massage is wonderful but if it pulls at the skin.
00:19:27 I don't get facials which I'm sure doesn't shock anybody, because for a relaxing experience I don't need somebody putting a mask on me and walking out of the room. I get body massages. I love body massages. And then I always say, "But don't touch my face," because when they do they pull and it is just too much manipulation. And especially as you get older and the elastin fibers in your skin are at the break point or well past the break point, the more you tug on your skin, the more those elastin fibers are going to break down and you are going to sag.
00:20:07 I always say, "Unless you plan on not moving my skin much," actually now I just say, "Don't touch my face," because they don't' know how – just everyone is pulling and pushing. Same thing when they are removing a facial mask or doing a procedure, if they are pulling at the skin too much it is a problem. You are getting a bad facial. So not too much pulling. Gentle. If you are going to get a massage it has to be gentle; no pushing or pulling.
00:20:34 Forget the product infusing devices, that is just silly. Whatever they tell you about detoxing, just let that one go. It doesn't do anything. It doesn't do anything. That is not something you want to spend your money on. The last thing to warn you about – oh, I will talk about oxygen. Guys, don't let me forget to talk about oxygen infusing machines.
Desiree Stordahl: Got it.
Paula Begoun: Thank you. The biggest problem with getting facials that I want to warn you about is that at the end of the facial, inevitably what you get and how the salon or the spa makes their money is selling you the product. Now, believe me, as somebody who has a skincare line, I am not against people selling products.
00:21:26 You need products to take care of your skin. What I am against is the sales pressure and when you end up buying bad products that are either highly fragranced and jars where if it is well-formulated the ingredients won't stay stable, ridiculously expensive, supposedly all natural when either they aren't all natural or if they are all natural, not all natural ingredients are good and you are going to be perhaps buying a product that is badly formulated. So that pressure at the end is just so you need to have your cell phone there and come to or Beautypedia, our websites, our Paula's Choice Research Team compilation of thousands of product reviews and look up the products you might be considering buying.
00:22:13 Because the worst thing is after spending, I don't know, $150 or so on a facial is to walk out with $400 worth of not great products. So, did I cover everything? What am I missing?
Desiree Stordahl: The oxygen infusing machines.
Paula Begoun: You are so good. So you read in fashion magazines, you know, Madonna does it or some other famous celebrity does it. And, of course, if a celebrity does it that means you have to do it which of course doesn't make any sense because celebrities do a lot of things that you should not be doing. But separate from that, oxygen infusing machines put a mask over your face and give you some amount of an increased amount of oxygen to breathe and supposedly to soak into skin for a period of time.
00:23:08 So there is a potential benefit to oxygen infusing machines. Theoretically they can improve circulation and healing but most researchers, most studies find this highly unlikely, especially in a facial situation. So, first, aside from the theory and the fact that there is no research showing that these oxygen infusing machines have any benefit for wrinkles or aging skin whatsoever, there is some amount of risk that you are going to be increasing free radical damage because that is what oxygen does.
00:23:56 Oxygen triggers free radical damage. So oxygen infusing machines kind of sound, well, I need more oxygen, and skin does as you get older, has less availability of oxygen but the machines don't necessarily give you what you are looking to get because there just isn't the research showing they do it because you have to keep in mind the fundamental concept is that 20 minutes of oxygen saturation or even an hour of oxygen saturation, then what happens the rest of the week or the rest of the month?
00:24:34 It doesn't fix any problems, at least not as far as any research shows. And, again, most researchers in the hyperbaric oxygen machine business so to speak just think it is nonsense, it is not worth the money. So did I cover everything?
Desiree Stordahl: What about brides who want to get an extra glow the week before their wedding. You hear a lot of them wanting to go get facials and that sort of thing. What would be your advice on that?
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's a good one.
00:25:06 So let's say your photo session that you had today, and you said, "You know Paula, I would like to get a facial so I look really beautiful just before I take all of these pictures up front and personal about my face" – by the way, your skin looked gorgeous. I would have said, "Absolutely you are not allowed." First of all I would have argued with you what kind of facial you wanted to get.
00:25:30 But I would have said absolutely don't do it at least four to six weeks before we were taking the picture. Because unless you knew your facialist, unless you were getting regular facials, you knew how your skin was going to react, you weren't doing anything new and different, then I would say okay go for it. If you feel it makes you look better after you get a facial, absolutely consider doing it a week before the wedding or a few days before the wedding.
00:26:00 But if you don't know what kind of reaction you are going to have to whatever that facialist is doing, you could end up with red swollen patchy skin. Wasn't there a "Sex and the City" episode where – oh, what is the character's name, the blonde?
Bryan Barron: Yes. You are thinking of the episode where Samantha went to a – I think she went to a new spa and she got a chemical peel.
Paula Begoun: And she goes to Carrie's book opening thing and is wearing a black veil because she is red and swollen from the treatment which is exactly the point. You don't want to do something like that just before an event. So, a facial isn't a bad idea.
00:26:54 And by the way, this whole discussion, the Paula's Choice Research Team, we just launched, put up this article on should you get a facial on It lists everything we just talked about and obviously much more. So you can take a look and review it to figure out what you want to do but Desiree asked a great question. Please don't jump in and get a facial just before an event unless you really know that that is the facialist you have been to and you are not going to have a reaction.
00:27:31 Because you so do not want to show up to any event with a big zit or a bit red inflamed eyes and patchy skin because you didn't know the kind of reaction you were going to have to the facial. So, that's about getting a facial. Desiree, let's take the first caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Lynn from Florida on the line.
Paula Begoun: Say again, Desiree, you came through on an echo.
Desiree Stordahl: Lynn, do you have us on speakerphone?
Lynn: Yes.
Desiree Stordahl: Can you take it off of speakerphone, it's making an echo.
Lynn: I'm sorry, it's not on speakerphone.
Paula Begoun: I'm getting a terrible echo.
Desiree Stordahl: I had to take Lynn off because it is just causing an echo for some reason so we are going to go to Marcia in Maryland.
Paula Begoun: But let's make sure we get…what was the caller's name that we just had to let go of?
Desiree Stordahl: Lynn from Florida. And Marcia has the same question as her actually. So go ahead Marcia.
Marcia: Hi.
Paula Begoun: Marcia?
Marcia: Hello!
00:28:38 Can you hear me?
Paula Begoun: I can and I'm not getting feedback. Yay! What can I do for you Marcia?
Marcia: Yes. I have Rosacea which I have been treating very successfully with your products, thank you. Now and then my sister likes to go to a spa and I will go with her. Years ago I went and had a facial. Told them I had Rosacea. They said they would handle it. And it was just a disaster.
00:29:06 I came out of there within 30 minutes totally red and swollen. So, of course the years have passed and I get tempted again and now the place where we go does list that they do these wonderful Rosacea facials. Half of me is just tempted to try it again and the other half says, "Oh, you don't want to do that." What's your opinion on things like that that are specific?
Paula Begoun: You don't want to do that.
Marcia: Okay.
Paula Begoun: There is no way. No, you so don't want to do that.
00:29:35 So a couple of things. Rosacea, and you know this, is an incredibly finicky disorder.
Marcia: Yes.
Paula Begoun: It's a flare-up waiting to happen at the slightest change to your skin. And there isn't any – even a good facial is going to be a problem for you. Because the process of putting new products on your skin, right, you just said you have been using Paula's Choice and you have been using it successfully at keeping your Rosacea under control.
Marcia: Yes.
Paula Begoun: They are going to put new products on your face.
00:30:13 I don't know even what those products are but even if I knew what they were, you are adding new products and that is – and most likely fragrance because it is a spa, and that is a setup for anybody with Rosacea. It is a setup for most skin types because the products most spas and salons use are irritating because they just have to stick in all of that fragrance and those irritating plant extracts.
00:30:39 But for you even more so, it is not going to be – yeah, don't do it. My strong recommendation: save that money for a really good cosmetic dermatologist. Get Botox, get an IPL peel, which there are those laser – not an IPL peel, Intense Pulse Light.
00:31:00 There are light machines that dermatologists can use that can actually get rid of and reduce the red veining that a lot of people with Rosacea have. So save your money because the amount of money you would be spending on a facial given what a cosmetic dermatologist can do for somebody with Rosacea, don't do it.
00:31:26 So I have said "don't do it" so many times. Clearly I have an opinion about it. So, Marcia, tell me what skincare products of mine are you using? Let me send you some refills.
Marcia: Okay, I would love that. I start with my dermatologist has me using an antibiotic facial wash and then I follow that up in the evenings with your beta hydroxy exfoliating –
Paula Begoun: Do you know if it is the 1% or 2%?
Marcia: 1%.
Paula Begoun: 1% lotion or gel? Is it the lotion?
Marcia: It's the lotion. And then I really alternate between three of your Resist products. I use the serum and then I have, oh let me see, I'm trying to remember because I don't have them in my hand.
00:32:32 I'm using the anti-aging hydrator.
Paula Begoun: Oh that's good. That's great.
Marcia: I love those. I wake up in the morning and I feel my skin. And of course I have also battled acne my whole life. And I am stunned when I started to use those. This is wonderful. So I kind of alternate between those.
Paula Begoun: Thank you for that feedback. So let me add…I'm a little concerned that I am not hearing a sunscreen in there. Are you not using sunscreen?
Marcia: Oh, every morning, yes. I use the sunscreen in the mornings and I use then the other products in the evening. I found that twice a day for the beta hydroxy is a little too much for my skin.
00:33:22 So I lather sunscreen in the morning and then I use your other products in the evening.
Paula Begoun: Which of my sunscreens are you using?
Marcia: I'm not. I'm using a store brand SPF 25.
Paula Begoun: Whose is that, by the way? Whose are you using?
Marcia: It is…
Paula Begoun: That's okay, you don't have to remember. Just because I want to make sure that you are using a sunscreen that only has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the active ingredients I'm going to send you my Resist SPF 25, my new anti-aging sunscreen.
00:34:00 And then I'm also going to send you my sunscreen from my Skin Recovery line, just so that you can experiment to see which texture you like the best. Because when you have Rosacea you want to make sure that the only active sunscreen ingredients you are putting on your face when you look at the back of the package and you look at the active ingredients, the only active ingredient should be either titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
00:34:33 You absolutely should not be using any synthetic sunscreen ingredients on your face, especially around your eyes, but definitely not on your face. So without knowing which one you are using and you should play with mine anyways.
Marcia: I would love to.
Paula Begoun: Okay, Marcia, thank you for calling. And tell your sister I say hello.
Marcia: Okay, will do. Thank you so much, Paula.
Paula Begoun: Take care, Marcia, bye-bye. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: Is Irene from Oklahoma.
Paula Begoun: Hi Irene.
Irene: Hi Paula.
00:35:08 I'm sorry to hear that you are under the weather.
Paula Begoun: I know. But at least it is nice weather I'm under. I mean if it was rainy and miserable, that wouldn't be the best. But I'm under some pretty good weather out here today in Seattle. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous sunset. So what can I do for you, Irene?
Irene: I have a different complexion on my neck then I do on my face.
00:35:32 On my neck it looks like I have goose bumps all the time. My facial complexion is for – I'm 60 – so it is probably adequate, but my neck is bothering me, the way my neck looks. And it looks like….I'm sorry.
Paula Begoun: Go on.
Irene: It just looks like I am, when you look when you get cold and you get little goose bumps all over.
Paula Begoun: Have you seen a dermatologist about this, Irene?
Irene: No I haven't. No.
Paula Begoun: And have you mentioned it to your regular GP?
00:36:13 Your regular physician? Have you pointed it out to anybody and asked what they think it might be?
Irene: No, I haven't. Do you think I should do that?
Paula Begoun: Well, you know, it sounds incredibly benign. I mean I don't want to worry you; I doubt that it is anything. What I am not sure from what you are describing, there are different disorders where you can get bumps….now the bumps are just on the neck? They are not like on your chest or arms or anywhere else? They are just on your neck?
Irene: Yes. They start right under my chin. And they end where a neckline would be.
Paula Begoun: And they are not skin tags?
00:36:57 You know what skin tags are, they are not skin tags?
Irene: No, definitely not that. No.
Paula Begoun: Huh. Well, geez, you know, this is a little…so two things. One is I am fairly certain, like a thousand percent that they are benign. I would still however strongly suggest – it doesn't hurt to have a cosmetic dermatologist take a look and give you an assessment just to make sure.
00:37:26 But what I am going to do…okay…you know I always have so much I want to say that I just start sputtering because I don't know what to start. So let me start here. So the first thing I want to say is that the skin on your neck, the skin on your chest, you need – we have an article we are writing on your face starts at your boobs. That from the breast up, how you take care of your skin doesn't differ. Your chest, your neck, your face, the products you use on your face, you absolutely should also be using on your neck and your chest.
00:38:10 Now I have got to say, I'm not the best at that. I often forget which is a problem because my neck and chest are looking much older than my face because I haven't been as good about my skincare from the boobs up between my chin and my breasts as I have been on my face. So if I have one strong recommendation is that you absolutely have to treat your neck and your chest like you treat your face.
00:38:38 Now, how you should be treating your face is exfoliating. When you are 60, actually when you are in your 20s, gentle skincare, products loaded with antioxidants that are good for your skin type, and then exfoliating is incredibly important, incredibly important for many, many reasons.
00:39:01 So I'm wondering if you started taking care of your neck, are you using Paula's Choice products, Irene? Whose products are you using?
Irene: I use two of the Resist products and then I use a 1% beta hydroxy acid lotion. I use three of your products.
Paula Begoun: So what are the two products you are using from Resist?
Irene: The Barrier Repair Moisturizer. And the Replenishing Toner.
Paula Begoun: And the 1% lotion.
00:39:42 So what are you using to clean your face twice a day, Irene?
Irene: I just use Cetaphil, just a mild, sensitive-skin sudsy cleaner like that.
Paula Begoun: So what I am going to have you do is I want you to start putting your skincare products that you use on your face on your chest and your neck. And I'm going to send you my 2% BHA lotion and I want you to use that on your neck.
00:40:20 And then all of the other products, the Barrier Repair from my Resist line that you are using, the Toner from my Resist line. I'm also going to send you my Resist Antioxidant Concentrate that I want you to use on dry parts of your face and chest. You don't need to use it on your neck. It might be too slippery for your neck. But I think that trying the product, these good products with healthy ingredients and gentle exfoliation might help with the bumps a little bit.
00:40:54 So give that a shot. You will get the Antioxidant Concentrate and the higher percentage beta hydroxy acid exfoliant. Hey Bryan, what do you think about the 10% AHA from our Resist Smoothing Treatment, the Weekly Smoothing and Resurfacing Treatment. What about that for her neck as an option? That's probably worth a try, don't you think?
Bryan Barron: I absolutely think it is worth trying.
00:41:31 And then you will know either right away or within just a few minutes if you feel any intense stinging or tingling. You can just take a damp wash cloth and carefully dab off where you have applied it. But it certainly would stand a good chance of improving the texture of the skin on your neck which could go a long way towards improving those bumps that you don't like.
Irene: Okay.
Paula Begoun: All right.
00:41:57 So I am going to send you that as well. Our Resist 10% Weekly Resurfacing and Smoothing Treatment. And you can give that a try. It works great – I mean take a look at the reviews on our website for that product, Irene. It is working better than I had ever imagined, even in our panel testing. And works great on the chest.
00:42:26 It is great for sun damaged skin and unfortunately when you get to be our age, we got sun damage. It's just the way it went in life. So, just try and you will let us know.
Irene: I'm sure I do. I'm sure I have sun damage. But if I could just get my neck to look a little bit more like the texture of my face, that would be an improvement.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, I think you will be surprised. Let us know how this does for you and then if you are not seeing an improvement, or even if you are, it still doesn't hurt to run it by a dermatologist.
Irene: True.
00:43:00 And I have one also, I know one, so I can. Thank you, Paula.
Paula Begoun: All right, Irene, good luck. And you will let us know how you are doing with the new products.
Irene: Thank you, Paula.
Paula Begoun: Take care, Irene. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Mary Ann from Pennsylvania.
Mary Ann: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: Is it Mary?
Mary Ann: Mary Ann.
Paula Begoun: Oh, Mary Ann. Hi Mary Ann. What can I do for you?
Mary Ann: Paula, I have a good friend who wants me to go to the local vocational technical school to get a facial. Now these are high school girls that are just learning. And it is very inexpensive and that's why she wants to do it. Is this something that I should avoid?
Paula Begoun: I'm screaming over here, Mary.
00:43:47 All these ladies need to drag their friends with into bad ideas. What is that? Can't they go do that on their own? I have like a million reasons why I think you shouldn't do that. But why don't you tell me why you think I think you shouldn't do that?
Mary Ann: Oh, well they don't have any experience at all. And I don't know what kind of products they would be using. I just told her I don't know if this is a good idea.
00:44:22 I don't think I want to do this.
Paula Begoun: I feel one of my true leanings is that, and I am not saying that this is a slam dunk that you would get a good facial, but I actually think getting a facial only when the facialist is working for a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. So there are these cosmetic dermatologists and cosmetic plastic surgeons that actually have facialists working there.
00:44:55 You still might get a bad facial. They still might overwork the skin. But the likelihood is so far less because even a not-so-great dermatologist isn't going to, when it comes to extractions, they are going to know how to do that, the chemical peels are going to be the right strength. They are going to know how long to leave it on. They are much more worried about liability so they are going to oversee how things are done better.
00:45:25 So actually I, if you are going to get a facial, then I would spend a little bit of extra money and not do it at just a spa or salon, much less a school where there isn't anybody there of any professional anything.
Mary Ann: Right. Right. Even the teacher probably doesn't have the expertise.
Paula Begoun: Oh, you would be shocked. Let's see, how many beauty schools am I going to piss off right now? So I am often shocked at the poor information that beauty schools hand out that really is just almost always wrong.
00:46:16 Bryan, you just did a class at a beauty school. What did you think of the information these kids had?
Bryan Barron: Um, oh gosh. First of all they were a very earnest group of students and they know a lot about skin physiology. What they don't know about, which is one of the reasons I was there, is ingredients, what they do in products, how they function, and how to analyze a formula so that you can tell if the claims being made are realistic or not.
00:46:51 They are just as susceptible to falling for those claims as most of us are. And they don't know any better. So they need that information so that they can help their clients make informed decisions.
Paula Begoun: So Bryan, would you have trusted any of them to do a procedure on you?
Bryan Barron: Well…
Paula Begoun: Come on, Bryan, yes or no?
Bryan Barron: No. No. No. I wouldn't.
Paula Begoun: He can be so diplomatic sometimes.
Mary Ann: Well thank you. You have all given me great ammunition with my friend.
Paula Begoun: So Mary Ann, are you using any of my Paula's Choice products.
Mary Ann: Oh yes. I buy something every month I think. Right now I am using a lot of your Resist products. I'm washing my face with the Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser and I use the Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator.
00:47:50 And the Advanced Replenishing Toner. And I use the BHA 2%.
Paula Begoun: You are doing good. How is your skin doing?
Mary Ann: Oh, it's beautiful. I have some blackheads on my nose that I am never able to get rid of completely. It seems to improve. But other than that, my skin is really in great condition. When I started using your products, I just couldn't believe how much better my skin got.
00:48:27 And the one, the Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator, I had some freckling on my face and it is almost completely gone.
Paula Begoun: Oh god, I love hearing this. Thank you.
Mary Ann: It's just wonderful. Oh your products, I wouldn't use anything else. I don't use anything else.
Paula Begoun: You are making…thank you…I am flattered and honored. Thank you so much, Mary Ann. Mary Ann, I am going to send you the Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate and when the new hand cream comes out Desiree is going to put you on our list and get the new Resist Ultimate Anti-Aging Hand Cream with SPF 30 out to you.
00:49:15 And I'm also going to send you from the neck down my 10% alpha hydroxy acid lotion from the neck down. So you get beautiful skin all over the place. Mary Ann, thank you for calling.
Mary Ann: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Next caller, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Next caller we have Terry in Indiana.
Paula Begoun: Hi Terry.
Desiree Stordahl: Looks like we might have lost Terry. Oh, here we go.
Terry: No, I'm here. Are you there?
Paula Begoun: Yeah, we are here, Terry, how are you?
Terry: I'm good, how are you?
Paula Begoun: Good. What can I do for you, dear?
Terry: I have a question.
00:49:57 I have been staying out of the sun for the last two years now and I have a friend of mine that still is a sun worshipper however she will deny it. And I have a question – she will –
Paula Begoun: Terry, let me ask you, how does somebody deny being a sun worshipper?
Terry: Yes. She will have all of this color after a weekend and I will be like, "You were in the sun." And she will say, "No I wasn't."
00:50:26 But anyway, she was telling me that I need to be sitting out in the sun for ten minutes a day to get my vitamin D. And I said, no, I am getting vitamin D, I take vitamin D for one, and I am driving in a car at least 20 minutes a day. And I wanted to know if that is enough vitamin D for my skin?
Paula Begoun: Well, driving in the car isn't…okay, three things.
00:50:55 One is that you can't, there is no research showing that ten minutes a day is what you need to get enough vitamin D in your body from the sun. In most parts of the world there isn't enough sun overhead, direct sun, that is going to give your skin the levels of vitamin D most people need. Here in Seattle up north in the winter it is impossible. The sun is never overhead enough.
00:51:30 But even so, let's say you were, you lived in the tropics, the sun was out, that amount – there is no research showing that 10 minutes a day gets your vitamin D levels up to the levels that are healthy where you are not in a depleted – I forget what kind of levels you are supposed to have of vitamin D in your body. For example it is very typical for most people in the world, who live in the north, to actually not have enough vitamin D in their system, but that is even true in tropical areas.
00:52:10 And because only 10% of the population wears sunscreen on a regular basis, you are still seeing most people with vitamin D deficiencies, even though most people are actually getting a lot of sun exposure. So for many reasons, whatever she thinks that ten minutes is doing, all it is doing is damaging her skin. And even if that was getting you enough, it is not. But let's say it was, the problem is that is like saying smoking a cigarette is relaxing so my blood pressure is going down.
00:52:49 So I'm going to smoke cigarettes. I mean that is the way they used to advertise cigarettes. I don't know how old you are, I'm 58.
Terry: I'm 51.
Paula Begoun: So, right, there were doctors sitting there puffing away saying, "A cigarette in the evening, it will relax you." Those used to be the ads you would see in the 50s for cigarettes. So if it is relaxing, there are other ways to relax than to also run a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung cancer, throat cancer, lip cancer, on and on.
00:53:28 So it turns out that the sun is actually a very bad way to get vitamin D. And that people do far better, far better, with supplements, just what you are doing. And your friend is just killing herself on this notion that whatever she thinks this 10 minutes magic number is because it just doesn't exist in the research. And I'm proud of you that you are taking vitamin D supplements.
00:53:54 By the way, the thing about being vitamin D deficient, people have known about this for decades which is why in the United States milk was fortified and orange juice was fortified with vitamin D. Because everybody knew you couldn't get vitamin D enough from the sun, even before we used sunscreen, or knew to stay out of the sun. So you are doing a very good job. Tell your friend to cut it out. I'm mad at her.
00:54:26 I'm mad at her but I will forgive her if she starts getting out of the sun now and wearing sunscreen. By the way, I actually do have friends who have said to me over the years, "Well I use your sunscreen," and I'm thinking – give me a break. Look, I use my sunscreen, I'm not tan. Obviously there is a disconnect between what you are doing and what I am doing, and I'm ranting. I will stop yelling, Terry. Terry, tell me which of my products are you using?
00:54:53 Oh, by the way, one other thing, Terry, it doesn't hurt to see at your next physical and get your vitamin D level tested. Do you do that?
Terry: Yes. Yes, I do. Actually I talked to my doctor about it, yes.
Paula Begoun: So I want to tell everybody listening out there, that the next time they get a physical, because doctors don't automatically test for vitamin D deficiency. So you absolutely need to be proactive and ask to have that included. Because some people are so depleted or so vitamin D deficient they actually have prescription levels of vitamin D up to 50,000mg to take. So, yes, Terry you are being wonderful.
00:55:42 Tell me what Paula's Choice products you are using so I can get you a gift.
Terry: I have your AHA, I think it is the AHA, the 1% gel. I use some of that…the BHA, okay. And then I have the weekly, the treatment, the two of them where you do one weekly and one so many times a week by Resist. I have your SPF 45.
Paula Begoun: Did that work for you, Terry?
Terry: I absolutely love it.
Paula Begoun: I love hearing that.
Terry: I have your SPF 45 of the sunscreen and what else do I have?
00:56:31 I also have some of that concentrate stuff that.
Paula Begoun: So, Terry, what is your skin type, Terry?
Terry: I am kind of normal-to-oily in the T-zone but I do also use your Shine Stopper.
Paula Begoun: Okay. So I am going to send you my Skin Balancing Cleanser and Toner. From what I am hearing for your skin type I think you need a couple of products with niacinamide in them and my toner from my Skin Balancing line would be great for you.
00:57:07 And the Skin Balancing Cleanser. I am going to send you, I'm not sure you are going to like it but I am going to send it to you anyway, I am going to send you my Resist SPF 25, the new Resist sunscreen with just titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and see how you like it for your skin type. We actually are working on a Resist sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that I think will be – it's actually so incredibly lightweight but that is down the road. Let me get you these products out and Terry thank you for calling.
00:57:42 And good luck with the new products I am going to be sending you.
Terry: All right. Thank you.
Paula Begoun: All right, take care. So, guys, it's Labor Day Weekend. What are you going to be doing?
Desiree Stordahl: I'm going to Winthrop, Washington with my hubby.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that is beautiful, over the mountains.
00:58:04 So for those people who don't know the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle side of the mountains is very green and that is why we are known as the rainy part of the world because it rains here all the time. But on the east side of the mountains it is dry and mountainous. It is ponderosa with mountains and sweeping mesas. I love Winthrop. Winthrop is gorgeous.
00:58:29 Are you driving there, five hour drive or something?
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah, it is quite the drive.
Paula Begoun: And Bryan, what are you doing?
Bryan Barron: We are going to do an overnight camping with some friends at Mt. Rainier National Park. And then just come back to the local neighborhood and hang out with friends.
Paula Begoun: I'm going to try not to be sick and sit out on the deck and relax and just have a very relaxing Labor Day Weekend. Everybody have a beautiful Labor Day Weekend.
00:59:01 All the kids going back to school, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, to get them back into the school and out of the house. Next week we are going to address all of your anti-aging and anti-wrinkle concerns. I am taking all of your questions from the top of the show to the end of the show. Anything dealing with anti-aging, we are going to talk about it and I'm going to talk to you personally about it.
00:59:28 So I am just going to jump in and take your calls next week. On the 15th we are going to talk about the six skincare products that are making your skin worse that you don't know about. Making wrinkles worse, making acne worse. We are going to get those out of your bathroom and start helping you take brilliant care of your skin. Always, we are keeping you beautifully informed. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. Come visit me at And from all of us, have a beautiful Labor Day Weekend. Good night.
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