What To Do When Climate Change Affects Your Skin

Airdate: 12/8/2011

Climate change can wreak havoc on your skin whether it's from the dry, cold, winter months, or moving from one extreme climate to another. Learn about simple solutions to make your skin feel smooth and comfortable again.

Paula Begoun: Hello, I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, here live in Seattle, Washington. It is December 8th and you can be listening to us live right now and of course you can always go to and listen to our shows archived and learn everything we have been talking about for the past couple of years about skincare and beauty and hair care and all kinds of things.
00:00:33 And it is what we are going to be doing tonight. It's what we do once a week, keeping you beautifully informed, telling you things nobody else really wants you to hear - well, at least not the cosmetics companies and not some of the extreme. Well, I don't know, I can carry on. I'm already ranting and I haven't even started yet.
00:00:56 We are talking tonight about what to do when climate change affects your skin. We are not talking about global climate change. We are talking about whether it is winter or summer and I am here with Bryan Barron and Kate Mee. Kate is standing in for Desiree. Kate, are you there?
Kate Mee: Hi. I'm here. How are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. How are you?
Kate Mee: Good.
Paula Begoun: Are you holding up?
Kate Mee: I am and I am happy to be here tonight. It's been awhile since I filled in for Desiree.
Paula Begoun: That's true. So, Kate is my product development director. Kate, do you want to - I'm sorry, I didn't tell you I was going to ask you this because I didn't know I was going to ask you this.
00:01:37 Do you want to share your -
Bryan Barron: She is used to being put on the spot.
Paula Begoun: That's true, I do this. I do this to everybody in the office. Do you want to share your harrowing, no pun intended, experience with getting your hair straightened?
Kate Mee: Oh, sure. It's a little depressing but I will try to hold it together.
00:01:57 I recently had a Keratin hair straightening treatment done. And by the fourth day, the day that I was allowed to wash it, I realized something had gone terribly wrong. And I have lost probably, I would say, about half of my hair so far.
Paula Begoun: Really?
Bryan Barron: Oh, Kate, I didn't know it was that bad! It doesn't look like you have lost half of it.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, it doesn't look like you have lost that much.
Kate Mee: Well, because it started to grow back, so a lot of the prickliness at the top is helping to fill in so it doesn't look - I don't look bald. But I have always had really thick hair, so luckily I can go out in public, it's not that bad.
00:02:38 But I am continuing to lose hair. What had happened is the treatment - I had a bad reaction to the treatment and it fried my hair.
Paula Begoun: Actually, Kate and I actually disagree on what happened to her cute head of hair. So just to let everybody know, this Keratin Brazilian, whoever makes it - different companies make these different hair straightening products that are a very unique process. It kind of started with the Japanese style thermal straightening where you put this stuff on your hair, hair straightening goo stuff, and then you press it into the hair with a flat iron.
00:03:21 And some, they do it in different ways and different methods, but basically it is a hair straightening substance and heat. You put high heat. You do a flat iron heat on it. And I don't think Kate had any problem with her scalp. I think what the technician did who did her - first of all, the ingredients, hair straightening ingredients, I don't care if they are from Brazil or New York State, or Russia, it really doesn't matter where hair straightening ingredients or what the name is on the product.
00:03:59 The ingredients that straighten hair are the same across the board. There are no special miraculous ingredients and it sure as heck isn't the Keratin. Keratin has no hair straightening properties; I don't care what they tell you about Keratin it is not true. So, I think what happened is she used a flat iron with this strong chemical on your hair at way too high a heat. And I think she just - because the line is way too clear, Kate, where you have the breakage is in a very clear line.
00:04:30 Kind of like oh it is too hot here, not here, too hot here, not here. Because when you touch your hair in the areas where you have lost hair it actually feels like you have had a buzz cut. So we disagreed on what happened.
Kate Mee: Well I think it is a combination of both. I think the flat iron played a huge role in it. In the past I have had issues with flat irons that are 400 and above melting my hair. So I think that played a big role into it in combination with the treatment that was on there.
Paula Begoun: I want you to know I think you are handling it great.
00:05:07 Had it been me, I think I would have been having - I would have just - I don't know...I think you are handing it...and you do look adorable, by the way. You do have a beautiful head of hair. But that did you kind of think something was going wrong while it was happening?
Kate Mee: Not at all. I had no sting, no burning. I didn't notice any hair coming out. I watched her as she did it. I didn't notice any --
Paula Begoun: No smoking from the flat iron?
Kate Mee: No, not at all.
00:05:39 But the treatment itself was really strong, so that could have been masking anything that was happening. As long as it grows back I'm happy.
Paula Begoun: You don't have any permanent damage. That's for sure, because we did examine your cute head. But just to let everybody know; I actually think for the most part these Brazilian, these new types of hair straightening services are actually very interesting and often work.
00:06:10 But they do come with risks when either the technician doesn't exactly know what they are doing or you have a head of hair that can't handle it very well, which may indeed be what happened with you Kate because you have problems maybe with flat irons. And this is a very specific - they really hold that heat on the hair a long time.
00:06:34 Because I have actually had it done, too, and I did love the results. I thought it was great. My hair responded well. But, yes, Kate we will watch your hair grow back in and by the way everybody Kate is a natural gorgeous blonde. She has what everybody else wants. You have never had your hair highlighted, right?
Kate Mee: No, never.
Paula Begoun: Oh, Bryan, sorry. Hi Bryan, how are you?
Bryan Barron: I'm good.
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, I just realized, I couldn't remember if I had introduced Bryan who writes everything. If I don't write it he writes it and then each of us edits the other. Bryan is a skincare genius.
00:07:17 Tonight we are going to be talking about what to do when climate change affects your skin. But before we do that, about winter skincare and summer skincare, we do have one rant that I can barely help myself. I need to get this off my chest.
00:07:34 There was an article in Allure and the headline says, "Do different races have different skincare needs?" And in essence this article was really just an ad for Bare Escentuals who is launching a 7 product mineral skincare line. I mean just using the word mineral is such a joke. There is nothing mineral about skincare or about any makeup that makes it good or bad for skin, it's just such a buzz word.
00:08:04 That is developed specifically for Asian skin. And they basically play around with the notion is it really for different races or not for different races, and sort of kind of, but in essence they interviewed these dermatologists who in essence say, yes, if you are Asian you need to do different things to your skin than if you are not Asian.
00:08:30 And I have no idea what, whether or not these physicians or these dermatologists were quoted wrong or if they really believe what they are saying, but race is not a skin type. Your country of origin is not a skin type. Whether you are Asian or you are white or Caucasian or African, if you are a mix of different ethnicities, it doesn't matter. Race is not a skin type. It isn't a skin type. And the irony, one of the things one of these dermatologists was saying is that Asian skin is more sensitive than other skin types which it isn't.
00:09:17 There's one study just from Shiseido years ago that said something about Asians having more sensitive skin. But even if that one little strange study was true, what does that mean, that Asians have more sensitive skin - does that mean the Asians get the good gentle ingredients for their face and everybody else is supposed to be using harsh, damaging ingredients?
00:09:44 The truth of it is, regardless of your race, your skin color, whatever, irritation is bad for skin. Harsh ingredients are bad for skin. Everybody needs to treat their skin as if it is sensitive skin because that is what heals skin, that is what reduces wrinkles. That is what helps skin not look red and irritated from left over acne marks.
00:10:09 You know, here is the analogy to think of when you think about race and skincare. Skin is simply the largest organ of the human body. It is simply the largest organ - it's an organ. So if you were having a heart attack, you wouldn't say, "Wait, will you take out the heart attack for Asians handbook before you do any work on me?"
00:10:35 If you are having a heart attack it doesn't matter what your background is. You are having a heart attack and the same thing a doctor would do for somebody who was African or Caucasian or Asian is the same. Now it doesn't mean that different skin types don't have different risks. So, for example, if you are African descent or part African and because you have more melanin in your skin you are less likely to get skin cancer. It doesn't mean you won't get skin cancer, but you are less likely.
00:11:16 And, well, you are going to be impacted by sun damage but it isn't going to be as severe as someone with white skin. But, sun damage, sun, is killing your skin. You will wrinkle and you will sag and you will have skin problems and skin discolorations the same as a white person, the same as an Asian person, but just less severe over time.
00:11:43 But it will be because of the sun. And what protects skin from the sun is the same for an African person, is the same for an Asian person, is the same for a - I mean it is just - am I making - I feel like I am ranting. Well, I am ranting, but am I making myself clear, Bryan? Am I leaving something out? Oh, wait, I know what I am leaving out. Sorry, Bryan.
Bryan Barron: No, I think you have definitely made the point and I was hoping you were going to use the analogy, the heart attack analogy, because it is so put to the perspective. I can't think of any other field of health advice where the disease and then the treatment is somehow dictated by the color of your skin.
Paula Begoun: So amazing. Oh, by the way - wait, Bryan, here is the irony. In this article the shocking this is that the products they recommend for the most part for Asian skin are actually bad for skin.
00:12:48 For example, well first of all -
Bryan Barron: That was a big, yes.
Paula Begoun: The recommendation for Asian women was to use Philosophy's Micro-Delivery Mini-Peel Pads. And the quote from this doctor was, which contains lactic acid, not the stronger salicylic acid. Well aside from the fact that salicylic acid is actually less irritating than lactic acid because salicylic acid has built-in anti-inflammatory and anti-redness properties.
00:13:25 These mini pads actually contain incredibly irritating ingredients including eucalyptus, tangerine, grapefruit, lavender, and it ever contains a formaldehyde releasing preservative, DMDM Hydantoin which is absolutely not for somebody with sensitive skin. Oh, and they also recommended - oh, for skin lightening they recommended, because hydroquinone might have adverse affects on -
00:13:53 Actually, hydroquinone can have contraindicated effects on just about anybody with deeper skin tones. You can have a tan and that is going to be a problem for some laser treatments and for using hydroquinone or maybe getting a darkening response. It does tend to happen more for women of color, but it can happen for anybody. Hydroquinone is still, by the way, the most recommended skin lightening agent from dermatologists around the world because it works and it is primarily - but then as an option she says -
00:14:35 What is she recommending? She is recommending Lancôme's Absolue Night Premium Bx which is actually - Bx I just realized, is that like BS, but it wasn't it was Bx. $116.00 for a 2oz jar, and a jar won't keep the ingredients stable, not to mention it is unsanitary. I guess the derm didn't mention anything. And then she also said that because white women are susceptible to early sun damage they must use rich moisturizers.
00:15:14 What is that about?
Bryan Barron: I think the point she was trying to make was that if you are Caucasian and you have a lot of sun damage which a lot of us do, your skin will thin sooner and as skin becomes thinner it somehow becomes drier as well. So therefore if you have a white complexion you need a rich moisturizer.
Paula Begoun: Which would be really great if you had really dry skin. Definitely not the one that she is recommending because it is in a jar and the good ingredients don't stay stable. Although Lancôme doesn't make good products - that's not it - Lancôme is about their makeup, not their skincare.
00:15:56 But separate from that, it is in a jar. Any jar product is a problem. But, rich moisturizers if you have oily skin or acne or sebaceous hyperplasia or any one of them, or combination skin, a rich moisturizer at any age is just going to make you break out. There are other things you do to treat dry skin that just isn't about slathering on moisturizers because, you know, women between the ages of 40 and 70 can still have oily skin and blackheads and blemishes and rich emollient moisturizers can make you break out.
00:16:33 Everybody over a certain age with sun damage shouldn't be using rich heavy moisturizers. Bad recommendations. Bad article.
Bryan Barron: But a good segue into our topic of what to do when winter weather changes or seasonal weather changes, regardless of where you live, affect your skin. Do you need new skincare when the weather changes?
Paula Begoun: You know, that has been an ongoing issue from the days when I wrote my first book, way too many years ago, "Blue Eye Shadow Should Be Illegal."
00:17:07 And 18 books later what I can say unequivocally is weather isn't a skin type. Just because it is winter or just because it is spring or just because it is summer doesn't mean automatically that your skin changes. For some people it does. But it doesn't for everybody. That means what you really need to pay attention to is what your skin is telling you.
00:17:37 So, yes, if you are living in a very dry climate or it is winter and it is freezing and below zero and you start having dry skin, you do need to reconsider what you are doing to take care of your face. But be very clear that is you take great care f your skin 365 days a year, the likelihood is less that you really would need to change much because when you are taking great care of your skin it actually takes care of itself fairly well in almost any climate.
00:18:16 But let's say your face does change and now it is winter and you do start getting dry skin, here is what you have to keep in mind. The major thing is how you are cleaning your face. Because how you clean your face sets the stage for everything else you are going to do. So, no drying cleansers, and if you have been using a good cleanser but it is a little bit on the drying side or a little stronger because you have been dealing with oily skin and you have been wanting to take care of it a little bit more, get a little more cleansing action, you really need to reconsider that. Rather than using a foamy or gel cleanser, using a lightweight lotion cleanser, not greasy, but just a more gentle, less striping cleanser -
00:19:09 This is really more for somebody who has oily skin and has been using a little bit of a stronger cleanser. So you might want to lighten that up and go from instead of a gel or foaming cleanser to a water soluble lotion cleanser. And you want to stay away from bar soaps. I can't do anything about it; bar soaps are drying and irritating. You get done washing with a bar of soap and you feel like you can't open your mouth. You are just frozen because it is so dry. And the ingredients that keep bar soap in their bar form can clog pores.
00:19:39 And you also might want to consider a richer toner. When we formulated our new toner for the Resist, Paula's Choice Resist line, that was an interesting - actually it was a fascinating process to create this lotion type toner that lays down soothing agents in a very light layer of what we call water-binding ingredients or skin identical ingredients that just help give skin and absorb in quickly all of these healing ingredients to let the skin feel soothing.
00:20:16 If you have been using a very lightweight, liquidy, hopefully well-formulated, no drying or irritating ingredients, you might want to consider, for a toner you might want to consider switching to a more lotion style toner, one from my line, from Paula's Choice Resist. The other thing is that any moisturizer you use typically during any time of the year should be based on your skin type.
00:20:46 All skin types need the same thing when it comes to moisturizers meaning everybody needs anti-oxidants. Everybody needs skin identical ingredients, healing ingredients, soothing ingredients, cell-communicating ingredients - those are ingredients that tell skin cells to behave young or normal but the texture of those products differ depending on your skin type. So if you have oily skin you want - or combination skin, you want to find those ingredients in a gel or a liquid or a very, very light serum. And if you have drier skin, you want that to be in a lotion or a cream.
00:21:26 But so when your skin shifts, again, assuming you are using great products, then you might want to, if you have had oily skin, you have been using a liquid or a gel, you might want to consider a very light lotion or a serum. And if you have very dry - if you already have dry skin and now it is drier, then you do want to go towards a more emollient moisturizer.
00:21:49 You can even just put some straight olive oil over your skin at night. Not under makeup because it will just slip off. And that is a great thing. Or a serum, all of the Paula's Choice anti-oxidant serums are loaded with these kinds of ingredients we have been talking about and it has the silky, soft feel and you can layer that over your moisturizer. Oh, exfoliating. Even when you have dry skin, you still need to exfoliate. Don't give up that step.
00:22:19 You might want to cut back. So if you have been using beta hydroxy acids, those are salicylic acid based products or a lactic acid, or glycolic acid based product to exfoliate, that can be a little much this time of year for some skin types. It isn't for me - I swim in my beta hydroxy acid products. It doesn't ever affect my skin regardless of the weather. However, for some people it does.
00:22:50 You shouldn't give up exfoliating but you can cut it back to every other day or every two days - one of the things about sun damaged skin or just about anybody's skin because we all have sun damaged skin -from the day you are born you start getting sun damaged skin is the outer layer of skin starts building up in an unhealthy manner. And you need help getting it off; that is what salicylic acids and lactic acid or glycolic acid products do. And they do it beautifully, but sometimes it can be a little much to do it every day depending on your skin type.
00:23:27 So you want to cut back. If you have been using it in a gel or a liquid form you might want to try a lotion form. You have to experiment to see what you need. But the other thing about getting these dead skin cells off that are built up unhealthy, usually from sun damage, is when you have these built-up layers of dead skin cells, when you do put healthy products on with great ingredients, they can't absorb in as easily and you miss getting some of those great ingredients deeper into the skin.
00:23:58 Don't forget sunscreen. I don't care what - no matter how - unless you are in Alaska, and actually even if you are in Alaska there is still going to be an hour of sunlight at some point, but even if you think that there is no sun you are still getting sun damage. Just err on the side of wearing sunscreen 365 days a year. Your skin will love you for it and you will love your skin, I promise you.
00:24:25 Flakey dry lips, you absolutely have to keep a lip balm with no irritating ingredients, no eucalyptus, no peppermint, no menthol, none of that stuff - that all makes dry lips drier. You have to put it on at night; do not go to bed with naked lips because they are far more vulnerable to sun damage, sorry, to climate damage, to dryness .
00:24:55 Well actually they are even more vulnerable to sun damage than any other part of your body. They don't have the same protective layers of skin. Lip skin is actually fascinating. It is very unique on the body. Warm weather. Bryan, do you want to do the warm weather recommendations and then we will start taking calls?
Bryan Barron: Sure. You know, the main thing that you are going to come across when you either move to a warmer climate or when the climate you normally live in for part of the year turns sunny and humid is that your skin will - you are going to be perspiring more because of the heat and because of the relative humidity.
00:25:34 And if you already have say oily skin, that mixture of sebum and perspiration on the surface of your skin, it is not going to look or feel pretty. So, the easiest tip is if you normally use a creamy or a lotion type cleanser, switch to a more thorough gel or a foaming cleanser to make sure you are taking all of the excess oil and perspiration off and you are not adding more, reduce the amount of creamy or rich moisturizer that you are using, and instead, or instead you could also just stop with the creams altogether and switch to a very lightweight lotion or gel.
00:26:10 Or as Paula was mentioning earlier, a product like the Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner - that is an excellent moisturizer to use if you have oily skin and the climate is making your skin oilier because of all the humidity and the heat. For some more shine control during heat or if the humidity is really intense, and oil-absorbing product like Paula's Choice Shine Stopper or a mattifier like OC-8, or any of the mattifying products you can read about on Beautypedia can be an excellent addition to your routine.
00:26:43 Potentially even replacing a moisturizer just to keep your skin looking matte and fresh. And if you are not already using an exfoliant such as a BHA, now is a great time to start because BHA can penetrate into the pore, it is going to get through that excess oil to help exfoliate inside the pore so that in the warmer or humid/sticky weather you are not more prone to clogged pores and white bumps and blackheads.
Paula Begoun: You know, we have - Bryan, you and I had a discussion about whether or not warm weather causes skin to be oilier. Do you remember that discussion? That was kind of interesting because a lot of the fashion magazines and the beauty magazines just assume that you have to change your skincare products when it is winter.
00:27:32 And you have to change your skincare products when it is summer. Of course that is not true, but the issue with the summer and the weather is that it is not that your skin is oilier, that your - because oily skin is triggered by hormones. That is what makes skin oily. Warm weather doesn't necessarily, or at least I haven't seen any research that shows that warm weather changes your hormones. It is not like all of a sudden women start having more periods in the summer or less periods in the summer.
Bryan Barron: Or men get more aggressive because their testosterone level is up.
Paula Begoun: They have got testosterone running all over the place.
00:28:20 Right, it doesn't change hormones. But what happens in the summer is because you are sweating more, and you are perspiring more, that that mix of sweat and oil feels icky on skin. And just tacky. So you have a sense of it being oilier. Maybe the oil melts more. I haven't seen research about that, but just thinking about it, that could be possible. But you don't produce more oil because of the weather. You also don't produce less oil because of the weather. As anybody with oily skin will tell you, they might develop dry skin in the winter.
00:29:05 Again, I wonder what kind of skincare products they are using when they do, but they still have oily skin, they just might have some flaking, especially if they are using drying products. By the way, just to be clear as somebody who is in my late 50s with oily skin, I have never used a cream moisturizer or lotion style moisturizer on my face ever. I mean I do around my eyes because my eye area is dry, but on my face I only use a liquid or a serum. Other than that, it is the rare moments where I ever put a lotion or a cream on my face other than -
Bryan Barron: Around your eyes.
Paula Begoun: Yes, around my eyes.
00:29:53 So, let's take a call, let's take a question. Oh, you can call in, right, you can call in - what is our call-in number? It is 347-426-3783. And if we take your call you will get some Paula's Choice products to use. We will send it to you as our gift. Kate, what do you got for us.
Kate Mee: We have Cynthia from Washington.
Paula Begoun: Cynthia from Washington. Washington State or Washington, DC?
Kate Mee: I believe it is Washington State.
Paula Begoun: Cynthia are you there?
Cynthia: Yes.
Paula Begoun: What can I do for you?
Cynthia: Oh, hi Paula. It is good to talk to you. I have been listening and you have been talking about exactly what I need help with.
00:30:38 Well, too many things. I'm in my mid-50s, have been using the Resist products, not all of them, but some of them.
Paula Begoun: Cynthia, let's be very clear - there are way too many Resist products. I wouldn't let you use all of them. But go on.
Cynthia: Right now I am using the Cellular Defense Moisturizer with SPF-25. And that is great. The only thing I am having a problem with is my neck seems to be needing more right now. And then I am going to Hawaii in January and when I go to that warm climate, what you were just talking about, with the sweating and everything, I can't use the same moisturizer because it just slides off my face.
00:31:35 Or I can't even really get it on my face. It is just too hot.
Paula Begoun: Well my SPF-25 from my Resist line isn't water-resistant, so you couldn't use it if you were perspiring. So that would not be okay. So, in terms of your neck you said your neck is feeling dry right now?
Cynthia: Well, it's like crepey and wrinkly more than it was during the warmer months. I don't really know why.
Paula Begoun: You said you are in your mid-50s, right?
Cynthia: Yes.
Paula Begoun: And you are menopausal now? Are you menopausal?
Cynthia: I'm post.
Paula Begoun: Just post-menopausal? Well that explains a lot, unfortunately.
Cynthia: Unfortunately is right.
Paula Begoun: What can I tell you...Cynthia we have an article, a saying in my office that skincare starts at your boobs and works its way up.
00:32:43 Whatever you do to your face you must do to your neck and your chest. Do not leave those out of the process. So, some of it is that skin just in general post-menopause, and even during the process of menopause does tend to get crepey and more so than it was before. You can change that really quickly by just doing whatever - if you are using my exfoliants which I am hoping you are, and the cleanser and moisturizers and the serums, apply them to your chest and apply them to your neck as well as your face. And I think you will notice if you can start doing that tonight, I think you will notice -
00:33:22 Actually I know you will notice a difference first thing in the morning. You will be impressed. It is such a different -
Cynthia: Okay, let me tell you, I have been using the Advanced Replenishing Toner. And I use that on my neck as well as my face. And at night I put on the Barrier Repair Moisturizer and a little bit of the super anti-oxidant serum on my face as well as my neck, is that good?
Paula Begoun: Put a little bit more on your neck.
00:33:59 Are you using any of my exfoliants?
Cynthia: I am not really sure what to do in that area actually.
Paula Begoun: Okay, let's get you an exfoliant. Because right now it sounds like you are doing everything right. You can use a little bit extra, I think you might not be quite as generous as you can be with your neck. So just kind of jump in there. But I am going to give you my weekly - Bryan/Kate, what is our Weekly Resurfacing Treatment - what is it called?
Bryan Barron: That's it.
Kate Mee: Yeah, that's it.
Bryan Barron: You got it. I think we are going to have to send you some products.
Paula Begoun: Oh god, it's really sad.
00:43:44 Our Weekly Resurfacing Treatment - I want you to try that. During the day you use the 5% AHA and at night you can, once a week or more, you have to experiment, try the 10% and see how you do. And then for sunscreen I am going to send you a couple of my sunscreens including my Pure Mineral. You are going to hate it, everyone hates it. But I am going to send it to you anyway.
00:35:12 Because it is an incredible sunscreen. It is so water-resistant, in fact it is so water-resistant you are going to - it doesn't come off. It is a strong, strong sunscreen; just Titanium Dioxide. It is just a pure mineral sunscreen so it is gentle. It is just white. And then I am going to send you my tinted moisturizer, my Barely There Sheer Matte Tint which has a little bit of - it also has sunscreen, Titanium Dioxide, but it has a little bit of a tone to it, it is tinted, and you would put that over it to cut the white cast. And I think that might do it for you.
00:35:53 And then I am also going to send you two of my SPF-45 and my SPF-30 Water Resistant sunscreens to experiment and see which one - because from the neck down it is relatively easy. From the neck up, given what you are describing, you really have to experiment to see what works.
Cynthia: Actually I got a sample last time I ordered of the Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen with SPF-45. And I tried it the other day and it kind of burned around my eyes. I don't know if that is okay or not okay?
Paula Begoun: Oh god no, no. That is so not okay. That is a bad thing. That is a very bad thing.
Cynthia: I don't know if I have sensitive skin or not. Because things like that I go is that sensitive skin or is that, what? I don't know.
Paula Begoun: Everybody has sensitive skin. Everybody has sensitive skin. And some people react differently to different things. But at Paula's Choice we treat everybody as sensitive skin because irritation is bad for everybody. Some people will have a reaction to synthetic sunscreens which is what is in the non-greasy sunscreen. So around your eyes what I want you to do is use my Pure Mineral sunscreen that I am sending you.
00:37:14 And then experiment with which of the other water resistant sunscreens I am sending you work. I want you - for me, I do use my Pure Mineral Sunscreen and then I put my Barely There Tinted Sunscreen over it. And that combination works great for me. But you are going to have to experiment. I do tend to recommend strongly that you only used a titanium dioxide or zinc oxide based sunscreen around the eyes because there is almost no risk of irritation to a pure mineral sunscreen.
00:37:44 I've got to run, Cynthia, but I hope all of that - good luck dear.
Cynthia: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Kate, next caller.
Kate Mee: We have Sherry from Texas.
Paula Begoun: Sherry, how you doing down there?
Sherry: Fine thank you. Yourself?
Paula Begoun: Pretty good.
00:38:01 A little colder than you. What is the weather - where are you in Texas?
Sherry: Houston, on the south side. We have just had our first cold front, our first real one anyway.
Paula Begoun: So how cold is cold down there?
Sherry: Well, we do freeze, we have been freezing the last couple of years.
Paula Begoun: Okay, I thought maybe it was warm down there. Okay, you are having the same weather we are having.
00:38:26 What can I do for you Sherry?
Sherry: Well, as far as my skin does change when it gets really cold. But it hasn't this time yet; I guess it hasn't been long enough. I get red and it is splotchy and I think it must be Rosacea, but I'm not really sure.
Paula Begoun: Rosacea? So, Sherry - Rosacea is what it is called. It is where your face gets a red masking blushing that comes and goes and seems to be random and doesn't have anything to do with being embarrassed.
Sherry: That's what it sounds like or looks like.
Paula Begoun: That sounds like Rosacea.
00:39:01 So tell me what you are doing to take care of your skin, Sherry? And by the way, Rosacea does tend to get worse in the winter for a lot of women. So, tell me what you are doing to take care of your skin?
Sherry: Right now I am just - I am not doing very much because while I was transitioning into middle aged skin I was very sick, so I didn't pay much attention. And now that the doctors have finally figured out what it was, and I'm rebuilding back up, I'm like oh my skin is flakey all the time, even when I don't have the Rosacea. Did I say it right?
Paula Begoun: So tell me what you are doing for skin care right now?
00:39:46 With what?
Sherry: I wash with a mild soap.
Paula Begoun: Okay, there is no such thing as a mild soap by the way, just to let you know. Soap is soap. Bar cleansers are drying and irritating, Sherry, they always are. They can't help themselves. Just the ingredients in them are drying and the ingredients that clean the skin are drying And then the ingredients that hold that bar soap together are also drying and irritating and they can clog pores. We, at Paula's Choice here, and in all of our research, it is a problem -
00:40:20 Even the published research says it is a problem to use bar soap. So, I'm going to try to get you off of bar soap. Tell me what else you are doing, Sherry?
Sherry: Occasionally I get a little bit dry when it is really cold and dry, so I put a little bit of coconut oil on there. And the flakiness, I have had some luck with using fermented milk, like buttermilk or sour cream because I read it on the internet, sorry.
Paula Begoun: Wait.
00:40:45 You use that where? Where do you use that?
Sherry: I read on the internet to try sour cream or [kefir] or yogurt to get rid of the flakiness.
Paula Begoun: Really? And you do that nightly?
Bryan Barron: I have seen that recommendation type before. And it almost always boils down to the lactic acid content in those types of dairy products. So the easier answer, and something you will get much better results with, Sherry, is an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliant but given that you are likely dealing with Rosacea, a beta hydroxy acid exfoliant which is salicylic acid, I think you will notice a huge difference with that compared to buttermilk or sour cream.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Sherry: Okay, now what was that product?
Paula Begoun: So here is what we are going to do.
00:41:38 We are going to send you some stuff, Sherry. We are going to take care of you tonight.
Sherry: I was going to write it down.
Paula Begoun: We will write it down for you.
Sherry: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: By the way, I think the coconut oil is an excellent idea for extra dry spots. I don't know enough about coconut oil in regard to Rosacea, but Bryan, there shouldn't be anything about coconut oil that would be a problem for Rosacea versus olive oil, right?
00:42:05 I mean coconut oil is a fatty acid -
Bryan Barron: Sorry, I have a frog in my throat. If anything, I think coconut oil could be potentially more advantageous for someone who is dealing with Rosacea because the main fatty acids in coconut oil are what is called medium chain fatty acids. And these are ingredients like oleic acid and palmitic acid that are naturally present in skin and the skin's barrier. And it is theorized that those with Rosacea have a naturally compromised and thinner skin barrier which is why the surface of their skin is so reactive to everything.
00:42:44 So I think applying coconut oil along with other products or looking for a moisturizer with coconut oil or something similar like cocoa butter would be fine.
Sherry: I think I am going to be ordering some of that soon.
Paula Begoun: Here is what we are going to get for you, Sherry. You need a gentle cleanser that isn't soap that is going to inflame your Rosacea, it is going to make your skin dry and irritated. So we are going to send you the Paula's Choice Skin Recovery - what do you think, Bryan, Skin Recovery or Resist Cleanser for Sherry?
Bryan Barron: Well, have we determined what Sherry's skin type is?
00:43:26 Sherry, are you more normal to dry or normal to oily?
Sherry: I'm still normal. I'm not dry yet.
Paula Begoun: Well it sounded like what you were describing was dry skin. That is where I was going. Let's do the Skin Recovery Cleanser because of the Rosacea.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, I think that would be good.
Paula Begoun: I think our Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream would be great for you. And I do want you to try our 2% BHA lotion. And I am also going to send you my Resist Anti-Oxidant Concentrate and I think that combination is going to make your face very, very happy. Please stop using the soap once you get my cleanser.
00:44:09 Even if you don't stay using my cleanser you have got to go to Beautypedia and find somebody - see our recommendation for other cleansers. But you have to break the soap habit, especially given the Rosacea because it will make it worse. Sherry, thank you for calling. I hope all of the products work for you and have a Merry Christmas.
Sherry: Merry Christmas to you, too. And I really appreciate your help.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, dear. Kate, next caller.
Kate Mee: We have Lydia from California.
Paula Begoun: Hi Lydia.
Lydia: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: What can I do for you?
Lydia: Well, my question is, I'm 32, and I have been using your products since I was 16 and I have always been using normal to oily. And recently I have noticed that my skin has been dry. And it is not just in the winter. I notice in the summer that it has been getting more tight after I wash my face. So, I want to know if this is normal as I age and should I be switching products? What do I need to use now? Etc.
Paula Begoun: So Lydia, how old are you?
Lydia: 32.
Paula Begoun: You are 32. So, it is completely normal for skin type to change at any point in our life, not just getting older.
00:45:28 Because we have one skin type pre-pubescent, you know, before you go through puberty, and then you get another skin type afterwards for some people. Some people have acne in their teens. Some have acne in their 20s, but not in the teens. And sometimes you get dry and then sometimes you develop Rosacea or sometimes you develop allergies. Skin changes. Skin is not static anymore than we are static.
00:45:55 So it is completely normal for your skin to be changing. And then because skin type is what you need to look for, and that means if it is indeed changing and you have been doing healthy good things for your skin, and I'm going to be flattering myself by saying if I know you are using my products, I know you are using good products. So, I think that you do need to start changing it up a bit. So, you have been using all of my Skin Balancing products, is that what you were saying?
Lydia: I'm using Essential Non-Greasy, that is a sunscreen. Yes, your basic stuff. I haven't started the Resist line or anything.
Paula Begoun: So do you know what cleanser --?
Lydia: The cleanser that I am using is Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser which got your happy face on your Beautypedia.
Paula Begoun: That's a great cleanser.
00:46:59 That's a fine cleaner. Neutrogena's cleanser, that is just fine. And then what do you follow that up with?
Lydia: I follow that up with a toner at night. Your toner. And I actually just now, I got your Resist. And I am actually excited to start using that. So I am using that toner. I also use a BHA 2%, the gel.
Paula Begoun: The gel? Okay. And then what else do you do?
Lydia: Oh, that's at night. In the morning I actually don't do the toner or the exfoliant. I just start with makeup after I use the moisturizer, or the sunscreen I should say.
Paula Begoun: So here is what I want you to do.
00:47:50 I want you to try my Resist Cleanser. I think that that is going to help. It is great that you have got the toner, the Resist Toner. It is so soothing and it is so loaded with great ingredients for your skin that when you get done cleansing it just - especially with the Resist Cleanser, I think your face will just feel silky smooth. Oh, you are not using my Resist Cleanser. You are using the Fresh Foaming. Bryan, do you think the Fresh Foaming is okay if her skin is getting drier?
00:48:25 You tend to remember those reviews better than I do.
Bryan Barron: Well, I would encourage, if you like the cleanser from Neutrogena, the Fresh Foaming Cleanser is a good one. But I would consider, they have another one in their Neutrogena Naturals line. It comes in a pump bottle. I believe it is called Purifying Facial Cleanser plus Makeup Remover. So give that a try.
00:48:54 And then another one from them that I like is their One-Step Cleanser which you will find with their makeup.
Lydia: Well, I'm not married to Neutrogena at all, I just got it because it was easy and it was there.
Paula Begoun: So we will send you mind, because I like mine better than Neutrogena. So we will send you our Paula's Choice - what do you think, Bryan, Resist or the Skin Recovery? Which one would you?
Bryan Barron: Well, I was actually leading towards the Moisture Boost Cleanser.
Paula Begoun: Sorry, my phone is doing very strange things over here. Ignore it.
00:49:37 Go on, Bryan. I'm sitting here unplugging my other phone.
Bryan Barron: I was leaning towards recommending the Moisture Boost One-Step Face Cleanser for her based on what is going on now and based on what she used in the past. I think that would be a good one for her to start with.
Paula Begoun: Okay, let's do that. And then I think that I would like you to try my BHA lotion, the 2%, as opposed to the gel. And I think that combination now that your skin is changing will help you a lot, will help you a lot. So let's give that a try. But I think you are going in the right direction. You are paying attention to the changes. You have been doing great things for your skin. And now you just need to alter it a little bit. And it could just be the time of year. It could be just your skin has decided to do something different and you are going to pay attention to it.
00:50:30 and I think you will find that the changes will get you what you want.
Lydia: Okay, great.
Paula Begoun: Thanks Lydia.
Kate Mee: Okay, do we have time for one more call?
Paula Begoun: Do we? How are we doing? I don't have my glasses on.
Kate Mee: I think we are doing good.
Paula Begoun: Oh we have probably time for two more callers. Go for it.
Kate Mee: I have Rebecca from California.
Paula Begoun: Hi Rebecca . Rebecca? Rebecca: Kate, I think we lost Rebecca.
00:51:02 Let's take another caller.
Kate Mee: We have Patricia from Iowa.
Paula Begoun: Patricia, are you there?
Patricia: Yes Paula, hi. How are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good, how are you?
Patricia: I'm good. My question is I have very dry skin between my fingers. It is dry and flakey. And I was wondering if you had a recommendation for a hand cream.
Paula Begoun: Well, I always have recommendations for everything. I can't help myself!
00:41:42 So, have you been diagnosed with Eczema, Patricia?
Patricia: Actually this started occurring when the temperatures in Iowa started getting cooler. And I was told that one time that I had [unintelligible].
Paula Begoun: I don't know what that is. Go on.
Patricia: It has to do with the dry skin in between my fingers. And it is very close to the base where the fingers meet the palm of my hand. And it is very dry and flakey.
00:52:20 And I put, I have been using Neutrogena Hand Cream, the fragrance-free, and I put gloves on at night when I got to bed. And I --
Paula Begoun: What kind of gloves do you put on at night? Cotton gloves?
Patricia: Cotton gloves that I got at the drugstore. And I have also used the [Aquacelic] Ointment.
Paula Begoun: All right, let's go through this. So, a couple of things about what you are experiencing. If there is a disorder, this disorder that you mentioned, I am not familiar with it. I would have to do some research, but for certain you have to start paying attention to what you wash your hands with and how you do your dishes.
00:53:07 But you need to keep detergent cleansers as far away from your hands and bar soaps as far away from your hands as possible. That means at the sink to have a lotion style cleanser and not use bar soap. Yes, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: Tassie, who is our human resources director and general manager of Paula's Choice, she has a young daughter that had a very similar problem on her hands. And she definitely suffers from Eczema. And Tassie asked me about it and said is there anything that she can use because she washes her hands a lot, and I suggested a couple of different moisturizing body washes including Olay Ultra Moisture or Dove's Sensitive Skin Body Wash.
00:53:53 Those are both really creamy and packed with emollients to help protect the skin as you cleanse. And she gave one of them a try and came back to me about a week later and said you will not believe the difference in my daughter's hands. She said the splitting and the cracking and the dryness was gone. And I said, you know, I said Tassie, buy a few bottles of that body wash, it is not expensive, and put it at every soap dispenser throughout your house so that no matter where she is she won't be washing her hands with something that is going to strip them.
Paula Begoun: Actually, you know what I have in my house, Patricia, that you might -
00:54:28 I think Bryan's suggestion is brilliant. And I also have a couple of other things that I am going to ask you to try. But at Bed Bath & Beyond or on Amazon, there is a line of products for your home by a company called Simply Human. And they have a hand cleanser dispenser that is electronic. You wave your hand under it and the cleanser comes out. So you can take those body washes, those emollient body washes that Bryan is recommending and put them by your sink and put them in your bathroom or in your guest bathroom, wherever you wash your hands, so that is what you are dispensing onto your hands.
00:55:09 The other thing I am going to send you, speaking of cocoa butter that reinforces skin, the compromised skin. I'm going to send you Paula's Choice Body Butter. And I want you to keep that by the side of your bed so that if you forgot to put your moisturizer on before you get to bed, it is right there next to your bedside. I keep mine right next to my bedside. And then the other thing is my lip and body balm. I would rub that between your fingers as well as an extra step.
00:55:42 It is just a very tenacious moisturizer that really will keep the skin moist. And then see how you do. I think that might get you through. So, does that all make sense, Patricia?
Patricia: Yes. I wrote down Dove and what was the other one that Bryan had mentioned, the body wash? Dove Sensitive Body Cream.
Bryan Barron: There is the Olay Ultra Moisture. And then Dove makes one in their line called Sensitive Skin Body wash.
Patricia: Okay and what was the Olay one again?
Bryan Barron: Ultra Moisture.
Patricia: Ultra Moisture, okay.
Bryan Barron: That is the one that is easiest to find. All of Olay's body wash formulas are quite similar. So if for some reason you can't find the ultra moisture, buy their Quench or their Winter Retreat or whatever they are calling it in the store you are in. But the ultra moisture is the one I see at Target, at Rite Aid, at Walmart.
00:56:43 It is all over the place. Costco has it.
Paula Begoun: And Patricia, we are going to send you the Paula's Choice Body Butter and the Lip and Body Balm. That we will be sending you and I think it will get you through the winter. You have to stop wearing - I'm sorry, one other thing, don't want to forget this. You need to stop wearing the cotton gloves. Cotton gloves absorb moisture. They don't hold moisture into the skin. That is not helping your skin. So you need a more tenacious moisturizer that sticks to your skin.
00:57:15 And that is what I will be sending you with the Paula's Choice Body Butter and the Lip and Body Balm. And then I think the cleanser Bryan is recommending will be excellent. I think you will have an easier winter. Thank you so much. You take care.
Lydia: Thank you, Paula.
Paula Begoun: Take care, Patricia. What do you think, one quick question? Do you think I can get a question in a minute?
Kate Mee: Yeah, let's try it. Let's give it a shot. We have Robert from California.
Paula Begoun: Hi Robert, real quick. What can I do for you?
Robert: Every once and awhile my scalp breaks out under the hair, obviously, especially around the back of my head. And it becomes very painful to put in hair treatment or any sort of hair cream or gel. And if I get a haircut at that time, it is very painful. I'm using standard, what is it, Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo or one of those, god help me, thickening shampoos for thinning hair.
Paula Begoun: So is this happening in the hair line or at the base of the neck?
Robert: It's in the hair line, under the hair.
Paula Begoun: Under the hair.
00:58:29 So real quick, Robert, you need to stop using styling creams and lotions and conditioners. You have to stop using that. It is tricky to treat scalp acne. You need to talk to your physician about getting a topical, a dermatologist about getting a topical antibiotic. You can't use benzoyl peroxide because it will turn your hair blond. But you can get a topical antibiotic from your dermatologist. That will be brilliant for you.
00:58:56 You need to talk to your dermatologist. You need to stop using creams. Robert, that is the best I can do right now. You take care, dear.
Robert: All right, thank you.
Paula Begoun: Take care, Robert. That is a rough problem when you break out right in your hair area. That is just so rough.
Kate Mee: We can send Robert some of our shampoo that doesn't have fragrance. That might help as well.
Paula Begoun: Oh that will help reduce the irritation. So, I am Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Paula's Choice Research Team - Kate Mee, my product development director filling in for Desiree Stordahl, and Bryan Barron, probably one of the, yeah, he is. He is the genius of the skincare world, knows more than anybody; well except maybe me, but that is my ego.
00:59:40 So, we are going to be here next Thursday. We are here on Thursdays keeping you beautifully informed. Next week it is going to be a behind the scenes hair care with celebrity stylist Sacha Q. And on the 22nd, how to create your own spa at home. Come visit us at We will love to see you there. Take care.
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