What Your Skin Problems May Tell You About Your Health

Airdate: 11/17/11

Did you know that certain beauty skin care issues can actually be a sign of other serious health conditions? Find out what your nails, hair and skin can reveal about your overall health as Paula shares what to look for and what isn't cause for alarm.

Paula Begoun: Hello. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, and I'm here keeping you beautifully informed live on Thursdays, at different times all over the world and of course you can always listen to us archived. And the "us" is Desiree, besides me - Paula Begoun; I'm with Desiree Stordahl, my assistant and producer of this BlogTalkRadio show, "Keeping you Beautifully Informed."
00:00:40 And Bryan Barron -
Desiree Stordahl: Hello.
Paula Begoun: Hello Desiree. Actually, let me introduce Bryan, too. Bryan Barron, famous Bryan Barron -
Bryan Barron: Hi there.
Paula Begoun: Co-author of many books and back from his honeymoon and trying to work but I know he barely can concentrate. But Desiree -
Bryan Barron: What?!
Paula Begoun: Did I just insult you?
Bryan Barron: Well you said I am barely able to concentrate.
00:01:09 I will have you know I have been working my butt off this week.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I insulted Bryan. I was giving Ben a lot of credit for keeping you preoccupied and busy. But I apologize, I won't do that. You were working your little buns off and I'm thrilled. But actually, just separate from insulting Bryan; Desiree is actually now the famous part of our team because she just got back from New York talking to beauty editors about our new products coming out which is Paula's Choice Earth Sourced which is due in April.
00:01:49 And our Paula's Choice Retinol Serum. And you had an interesting - this was your first time talking to fashion editors. Who did you talk to? Good Housekeeping and People and the -
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. In Style, Marie Clare, Teen Vogue Women's Health. We hit up a ton of magazines and it was very cool to go behind the scenes and see where all of the action takes place and to meet these women. And it was a really good time. It was really interesting.
00:02:20 I don't want to let too much out of the bag about our upcoming products because I know that our customer service team will get hounded, but they were so impressed with our Resist Retinol Serum that is coming out in January. I tell you what - that is going to be a big hit. We already know that but these beauty editors, their eyes completely lit up and when we told them the price they were even more shocked. We are the most competitive pricing out there on the market; no one else can touch our Resist Retinol Serum. So I am ecstatic about that.
Paula Begoun: And thank you for doing that.
00:02:55 And it is fascinating to get a chance to talk to beauty editors. So we won't insult them; I will just carry on. But weren't you surprised - were a lot of them pretty young? Were you surprised at that?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes, there were - I think the majority of them were younger than I am. And then of course there were a handful that were older, specifically the senior beauty editors, of course, were a little bit older and might I say wiser.
00:03:24 But it was a very interesting experience. And they were a great bunch of ladies to talk with. They were great.
Paula Begoun: I'm glad you had a good time and I am proud of you. That is not easy to do. So you have to call in with your questions tonight. This actually ended up being a far more interesting topic than I thought it was going to be. I actually just want to jump right into it because - actually we titled this show tonight "What your skin problems might be telling you about your health, but it actually has turned into what your beauty problems or your beauty concerns might be telling you about your health because we are going to talk about more than just what your skin might be telling you.
00:04:07 Although your skin is talking to you a lot, loud and clear, and you might not be listening. But so is your hair, so are your eyes. It really became fascinating. So call in with your questions. You can dial 347-426-3783, it's a United States number, while we are live right now on Thursday at 6pm Seattle time/west coast time in the United States.
00:04:38 So again, that is 347-426-3783. And when we take your call later on after we go through what your skin and beauty problems might be telling you about your health, we will give you some free Paula's Choice products for taking the time to talk to us. So number one, which I just find - this is fascinating. Because it happens that we lose - and it always freaks me out, even though I know this is a fact.
00:05:12 We lose 50 to 100 hairs a day from our head. And I think every hair on my head is precious. I hate when I see my hair brush filled with hair. But in truth we lose very typically, and it is very okay, 50 to 100 hairs a day from our head. What happens though as we start approaching menopause, women in particular, actually 60% of women, and some people would say even more; they would say 75% to 80% of women start losing hair either diffusely all over or at the hair line, often termed "male pattern baldness," but now some people are referring to it as "female pattern baldness" in terms of just what happens because of menopause and you start seeing more hair loss along the hair line, and diffuse hair loss, and more hair in your brush.
00:06:06 But, if you start losing hair in patches or you are not anywhere near menopause and you are young and you start losing hair diffusely, and all of a sudden your thick head of hair has become thinned, it can be a sign of auto immune disease, thyroid problems, and from certain medications you may be taking, and it can just be from some extreme stress and depression.
00:06:37 Some women act out their depression and their stress from pulling at their hair and getting patches of - you don't even realize you are doing it; it's kind of mindless. So when you start losing hair diffusely - you are not near menopause, it is way too much hair, you are stressed, it could be a sign of an auto immune problem, an auto immune disease, thyroid problems, and certain medications that you are taking. By the way, thyroid problems are relatively easily diagnosed and handled with thyroid medication. Once and a while there may be a tumor, but that is actually an easy operation, often absolutely successful treatment. So don't be afraid when you start losing hair, and it isn't around menopause or perimenopause, it is definitely something to talk to your physician about.
00:07:35 It may be telling you to take care of yourself and not just look at the hairs on your head going away. And especially if it is from medication reactions, sometimes a different medication can help your health, whatever you might be taking, and a different medication won't have the same effect. The second thing, this is just fascinating, because we all suffer - well, most of us suffer - with having bloodshot eyes at some point.
00:08:03 And a lot of things can make the white area of the eye, the blood vessels become enlarged and irritated. And it can be something as simple as the dry air and sun exposure, not wearing sunglasses, getting dust in the eye, getting something in your eye like an eyelash and then scratching and rubbing it, allergic reactions. And those kinds of problems, you just want to keep your eyes really well lubricated.
00:08:36 Bryan had a great recommendation to keep his beautiful eyes, and Bryan does have gorgeous eyes. His favorite formula/product that he uses is something called Refresh Tears Lubricant Eye Drops. Just make sure, the major thing is to make sure that whatever you use you are not using the Visine on a regular basis that reduces the blood vessels immediately. And, Bryan, do you know what that ingredient is in regular Visine that you can become kind of addicted to and get a kickback where the bloodshot eyes never go away?
Bryan Barron: No, not without looking it up. But it is the same active ingredient in any eye drop that advertises that it is going to get the red out.
Paula Begoun: Immediately, right.
Bryan Barron: Yes. You will see it across the board. And actually it does;
00:09:37 It has a constricting effect and it does, after several days of use, and in fact it even says now on the label on the back to not use for more than three days in a row or you will notice that your red eyes are getting progressively worse and you get into this perpetual cycle of using the Visine to get rid of the red, but it makes the red come back even worse and you are stuck.
Paula Begoun: Three days? Wow. No kidding.
Bryan Barron: Three days or five days in a row. It is very similar to what they use on the warnings for those nasal sprays that you use to clear your nasal passages. That can have the exact same effect. Eventually those passages get swollen and then you can't breathe and you use more nasal spray and you are just making it worse.
Paula Begoun: It gets to be a Round Robin. So what I do, and I am going to look for the one you are recommending, Bryan, but I have found especially as I have gotten older that my eyes are dry now and I'm sure it is from built-up sun damage.
00:10:44 I just was never good about wearing sunglasses when I was young. I didn't wear glasses and I didn't need reading glasses. It wasn't natural for me to have glasses on and I didn't like the pressure on my nose. And you get sun damage. Absolutely your eyes get serious sun damage from not wearing sunglasses daily/regularly when the sun is out. And your eyes eventually lose the ability to stay moist. So I have just been getting whatever says "lubricating."
00:11:16 If it says lubricating, because I have got one in my purse, I've got one next to my bed, and it really makes a difference to use it on a regular basis, especially if you tend to get dry eyes or they are scratchy or irritated. Keep them moist. But the white of the eye becoming dilated, the blood vessels becoming enlarged, can also be the sign of an infection. If it is painful it can be a sign of a corneal scratch, meaning you have literally scratched the top part of your eye and that can get infected.
00:11:54 If it's painful and it isn't just red but painful, like it hurts, you really need to very quickly get to a doctor to check that out. But for the sake of just having beautiful eyes, keeping them moist and wearing sunglasses goes a long way to having beautiful eyes. And it really makes a difference. The difference between the way my eyes look when I am good about wearing sunglasses and I am good about using the Refresh Lubricating Drops, it's huge - it's astounding.
00:12:29 And it really does look beautiful. And it also helps to wear mascaras that don't flake and smear all over the place. Or eye liners that smear and flake all over the place. So you have to go to Beautypedia and take a look at our recommendations for those kind of makeup products that won't get in your eyes because then that just for sure will get you red, irritated eyes every time while you are wearing makeup, getting in your eyes will just absolutely be an irritant.
00:12:57 The third thing is, and this is kind of interesting because nails getting yellow can sometimes just be you wore a strong nail polish color like red or deep purple, some intense nail polish color. And you didn't put a good base coat on first. You don't put a good base coat on first, those strong colors literally stain those top dead layers. Well actually the whole nail except the part that goes in and under the nail bed next to the cuticle, the whole nail is dead.
00:13:38 And those keratin, those dead built-up layers of keratin love grabbing nail polish color. And so if you don't have a good base coat on, those strong colors will stain the nail. Now you can try soaking the nail a little bit with extra acetone. You can soak the nail with hydrogen peroxide; actually, hydrogen peroxide is less damaging to the nail then acetone is because acetone is incredibly drying. Hydrogen peroxide just bleaches out some of the color. But if the yellowing also comes with a thickened nail, then you could have a nail infection, a fungus infection.
00:14:17 And it actually affects, by statistics some people would say 12% of the population, where you get this yellowing, thickening of the nails, particularly on the toe nails, but definitely on the fingers. Here is the rub, and this is new information that Bryan found, or maybe I found this. Actually, Bryan, I'm never sure; I always think you found something and you always think I found it. It is kind of the same - we work together closely.
00:14:46 So did you find this? And if you notice that you have a fungal infection and you treat it immediately and you don't just let it sit, you can actually nip it in the bud. Did you find that information?
Bryan Barron: That was you.
Paula Begoun: Okay, I can never tell. I found that fascinating because a lot of people, I just always assumed that fungal infections of the nails, that once you had them that they were just impossible to get rid of, that it was a struggle and you had to take medication and it was forever a problem. And there was very little you could do topically.
00:15:30 And then there is some new research showing that as soon as you see a yellowing that isn't typical, and isn't just staining, or you suspect it is a fungus infection, get yourself to your doctor because if you get treatment right away you could actually prevent it from sticking around. Because that is what happens with fungus infections of the nails; once it gets going, it is very difficult to get rid of. So, you absolutely want to get that one taken care of immediately.
00:16:05 And then Bryan wanted to make sure - oh, I'm sorry Bryan, go on.
Bryan Barron: Yes, definitely, I think what you were leading into was one more sign of yellow nails, particularly if you are smoker, is smoking can be a cause of yellow nails particularly on the hand that you typically hold your cigarette in.
Paula Begoun: Yes, that is one of the many obnoxious things that can happen with smoking, yes.
Bryan Barron: But I was going to mention, I didn't mention this earlier, but I did that very thing. When I saw one of my toe nails was becoming more yellow and I didn't quite know why, and I was at the doctor for something else, and I showed it to her, and she said, "Oh, it looks like you have the beginning of a fungal infection." And I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that, well, there is really not much you can do about that, you are kind of stuck with it.
00:16:57 And she suggested that I try this paint-on product with an active ingredient called Ciclopirox. And it worked. I had to use it for about eight months straight, every day, but my nail looks completely normal again and it never got any worse.
Paula Begoun: Oh, no kidding? And it just happened that you noticed it and then saw the doctor right then and there?
Bryan Barron: Yes. So if I hadn't spoken up to the doctor it probably would have gotten worse and I would have struggled with some other way to get rid of it. But it was kind of a fortuitous circumstance that I decided to speak up and she was savvy enough to say, "Well here is what we can do to try to treat it right now before it gets worse."
00:17:45 I did it and I am glad I did.
Paula Begoun: That's great. So, next one is persistent dry skin, especially this time of year depending on where you live can be a problem of the weather, it can be a problem of just genetics. Some people have dry skin, some people don't. Choosing the wrong skincare products, that can be a big deal if they contain irritating and drying ingredients. But chronic dry skin can, and especially itchy dry skin can be a problem of eczema that absolutely requires, especially if you get -
00:18:21 I mean some eczema you just need to lather up on moisturizers and be careful about the products you use, but sometimes for very severe eczema situations where the skin is cracked and might get infected, you need to talk to a physician. Psoriasis can look like dry skin, but without treatment that will persist and get worse. Interestingly enough diabetes can show up in initial stages as chronic dry skin. And wounds that don't heal, that just look like constantly dry skin that the skin tears, you probably want to get in and see your physician, not only to test for diabetes, but also for thyroid levels.
00:19:05 Believe it or not, when you have dry skin that is chronic and cracking skin is not something to just rely on - well you can use moisturizers and if that takes care of it that is great. If it doesn't, and you are taking good care of your skin with good skincare products, you might want to double check to make sure everything else is checking out okay. Next one is persistent red flushing or rash like bumps across your nose and cheeks can just be Rosacea, and it is very typical. I think statistically 30%, 40% of Caucasians will get Rosacea, actually any skin color, African Americans, Southern Asian/Indians can get, Native Americans, Native Mexicans, can get Rosacea.
00:20:03 So it is not just white people; white people/Caucasians get it more often. But that red flushing or rash-like bumps, depending on what it really looks like, can actually be from an auto immune disorder known as Lupus. So if you are having this rash with raised red bumps, and it actually shows up on different parts of your body, and maybe you get an increased sensitivity to sunlight, you do want to go in and see your physician.
00:20:32 And actually if you have Rosacea you probably want to go in to see your physician anyways because it is very difficult to treat Rosacea without medication. Skincare products can help a great deal, I mean there is no question about it. Keep it at bay to keep it calm, to keep it looking young and healthy, but to keep it from getting worse, it really almost always takes medication and that is something your doctor would take care of.
00:21:04 So, another interesting thing that, Bryan found this, and actually I kind of know this one, but until I saw you bring it up for the show tonight, is that most of us think of breast cancer as being associated with lumps. And it is, no question - lumps and changes in the breast. But if you have dry, cracked skin around the nipple area, and especially if it cracks and is dry to the point where you get a little oozing, that can be a sign of breast cancer.
00:21:41 Not just dry skin. You know, that, I kind of knew that, but I didn't remember that until you found that one for the show. It's just a change in breast tissue, changes in appearance of breast tissue are definitely a reason to go in and talk to your physician. Bryan, that one was great. Because there are so many things we can do to prevent breast cancer - getting mammography, doing monthly breast cancer checks yourself, feeling for lumps, but then just watching for changes as well, that was great Bryan.
00:22:24 I really appreciate that. For the people that are listening, that alone can probably save some lives if we know what we are looking for. Next one is - this was kind of interesting - Bryan you found this one, too. Bryan, you did good. This is a good show tonight. I love these. Staying healthy and knowing how and what to look for is such a big deal. So you may think your skin is just looking dull or a little off color. You might think, well, I got a little too much sun, I'm a little tan, I wasn't good about using sunscreen.
00:23:06 Which, actually, you always should be good about using sunscreen. But, if your skin is actually looking a shade of yellowish/brown, more on the yellow side than the brown side, it actually could be something called jaundice. Now jaundice in and of itself isn't a disorder but rather a physical symptom of perhaps a liver or kidney problem. So, just looking dull, again, good skincare or good exfoliant, gentle, not irritating skin - it persists, it doesn't go away.
00:23:41 You know sometimes I look in the mirror and I think I look a little yellow, I'm not looking so good. We are talking about persistent and we are talking about that the yellowing actually increases and isn't just a transient, temporary kind of thing. And then, Bryan, this thing about your feet and souls start looking tannish color?
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: And that can be a sign of --?
Bryan Barron: Yes. It can be a sign of jaundice and it can also be a sign of liver or kidney disease. Because what you are seeing on the palms of your hands and the souls of your feet are essentially the result of by-products that are building up in your body that the liver would normally detoxify and break down and the kidneys would allow you to eliminate.
00:24:32 And that is happening because one or both organs is somehow malfunctioning. And so what would normally be excreted from the body is being built-up and you will see that over time as a discoloration on your palms and the souls of your feet that no matter what you do just won't go away.
Paula Begoun: So, the next one, this is actually also interesting. So, we kind of talked about this before, but excessive dry skin, dry brittle hair and nails, again, can be, particularly we think of nails as being a problem just cosmetically, but when it is brittle and persistent and is accompanied by excessive dry skin, again, it is kind of astounding how many women actually have a hypo-thyroid or a hyper-thyroid.
00:25:23 And, again, just with medication can take really incredible care - solve so many problems. Actually even solve problems of depression once you get your thyroid balanced. But also differences, your skin improves, your hair improves, it is really astounding. Last thing to go over is any change, we would be remiss not to include this one, any noticeable change in a mole, or any sudden growth anywhere. What we think of as a freckle, I'm not even quite sure what freckles, what that means, but when you see something brownish raised that wasn't there before that has an irregular border and is growing, you need to absolutely -
00:26:09 Especially if you have been not good about staying out of the sun and not getting a tan, it will make a huge difference - huge difference - when you start paying attention and get yourself to a physician, especially with the amount of sun exposure so many of us have gotten that when you do finally start watching your body and watching your skin getting mapped, when you have a lot of moles, to track if they change and have the doctor track that for you, makes a huge, huge difference in terms of catching potential cancer, skin cancer early.
00:26:48 So your body is talking to you, pay attention to it. We just went over some of the ones that have to do with your hair and nails and skin. But beauty is more than just taking care of yourself in terms of looking good. It is also taking care of yourself to stay healthy. And, Desiree, let's take the first caller.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. And just to remind everyone the number to call in is 347-426-3783. And press one and our screener will come on and ask for your call. Our first caller is Heather from Kansas.
Paula Begoun: Hi Heather.
Heather: Hi, how are you doing?
Paula Begoun: Good. How are you?
Heather: I'm great. I'm hiding from my children so they don't interrupt me during the call.
Paula Begoun: That's smart!
Heather: I'm in my closet.
00:27:41 My question is sometimes during the year, I think it is during the spring, the area under my eyes towards the inner corner turns purple. And that's the only time during the year I really try to wear makeup to cover it up. But I was wondering if perhaps it could be allergies and maybe an allergy to what?
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, say this again. This is a little surprising. What happens? You are saying the summer?
Heather: In the spring usually. It's the area under my eye where other people would have maybe bags, but I'm not that old yet. The inner corner is purple.
Paula Begoun: Just during the season and then it goes away?
Heather: Yes. So right now I don't have it. It's not a problem.
Paula Begoun: Have you tried taking an antihistamine and seeing if that works for you?
Heather: No, I haven't. I haven't really thought about it until now because I do have allergies in the fall and I take antihistamines during then.
00:28:48 But it didn't really occur to me at the time. I just tried to cover it up with makeup.
Paula Begoun: Well, so two things. Geez, that is just so different. So one is that I would encourage you when it shows up again, because it is just so odd, to try to get in and have your ophthalmologist take a look at it or find an ophthalmologist. You probably are long overdue for getting your eyes tested anyway. So, you might as well wait for the spring and go in and get an eye exam. But I think that -
Heather: It's not my eye. It's the skin.
Paula Begoun: Right, well it could actually be any physician. Just an ophthalmologist would be able to evaluate it, too, but a dermatologist would be good.
00:29:36 Your GP would be fine. But I think that it doesn't hurt, next time it shows up, to try an antihistamine as long as you are already taking one when your fall allergies show up. Just see if that kind of calms it down in the spring. Are you doing something different in the spring, like are you using a different makeup?
Heather: No.
Paula Begoun: No? Well, this is weird. Okay, you have got to see - definitely try an antihistamine and I would have your physician take a look at it. And then it just goes away? Summer comes along and it --?
Heather: It just eventually fades away.
Paula Begoun: How old are you Heather?
Heather: I'm 33.
Paula Begoun: You are 33. Okay, so Heather do you use Paula's Choice products?
00:30:25 What can I do for you?
Heather: I do. I recently started using your products and before that I didn't use anything so it couldn't have been the change in my makeup. I have Rosacea and I have dry skin and I occasionally have breakouts. I'm using just about everything I feel like. I would like to try your moisturizing tint, the tinted foundation.
Desiree Stordahl: The Barely There Sheer Matte Tint with SPF20?
Heather: Yeah. Yeah.
Paula Begoun: I think that would be great for you.
00:31:01 What skincare products of mine, so let's start with the Rosacea. Are you using any of the MetroGel or MetroLotion? Any azelaic acid? Are you using any topical medical prescription-only treatments for your Rosacea?
Heather: No, I haven't been to a doctor yet. I didn't know what was going on until I started listening to you. So I just kind of figured out what was happening. When I exercise my face gets terribly red and sometimes my eye lids just burn like they are cracking apart.
Paula Begoun: Oh my gosh.
Heather: And other times it is just red all the time. Or pink, I should say.
Paula Begoun: So which skincare products of mine are you using, Heather?
Heather: I've got your Clear Normalizing Cleanser. Your 2% BHA lotion acne-fighting treatment. The Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.
00:32:00 Moisture Boost Hydrating. And Skin Recovery SPF 15. And also I have KP, so I use the Weightless Body Treatment on my arms.
Paula Begoun: How is that working for your arms to get rid of the KP?
Heather: It's making my arms nice and soft and wonderful to touch, but it is actually not getting rid of the bumps.
Paula Begoun: How long have you been using it for?
Heather: Probably six months.
00:32:29 It's been awhile.
Paula Begoun: Six months and they are still not gone? Take that 2% BHA that you have from the Clear line and put that on your arms at night and then use the 2% BHA during the day. Let's see if you get a different penetration system down, if that helps. I'm a little concerned about you using an anti-acne, the acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide from my Clear line on your Rosacea.
00:33:02 I don't think that is such a good idea, but are you getting pimples are you getting bumps? Is it, see it's hard to tell -
Heather: Oh, I get regular pimples, along with my Rosacea.
Paula Begoun: So is the benzoyl peroxide helping or do you think it is aggravating your Rosacea?
Heather: I use it pretty sparingly. I just dot it on the actual zit. I don't spread it everywhere. It's not a problem.
Paula Begoun: And it's helping. Okay. So, I want you to stop using the Clear Cleanser. That isn't a good idea for your Rosacea at all. So, you can give that to somebody you know who might have trouble with blemishes but don't use it anymore. And what I am going to send you instead is my Skin Recovery Cleanser.
00:33:56 I think that will do much better for you, especially over your eye area. I also want you to take your makeup off, your eye makeup off with my gentle touch makeup remover. It's soothing. You need to keep all fragrance and all irritating anything off your skin. That will make a huge difference. So, I'm going to send you my gentle touch makeup remover, my Skin Recovery Cleanser. I think that will make a huge difference in how your skin feels when you wash it.
00:34:25 And then you really do need, because I think everything else that you are doing unless Bryan has any other thoughts, I think everything else you are doing sounds good to me except that you probably really need to see a physician to get a medication. And I personally would strongly recommend the azelaic acid. But you can also experiment. It does take often experimenting to whether or not azelaic acid or MetroGel or MetroLotion is the right answer for your skin. But I think those couple of changes will go a long way.
00:35:02 But if you don't get a medication for your Rosacea it just keeps getting worse and harder and harder to deal with. Bryan, any other ideas for Heather you can think of?
Bryan Barron: No, that was great. I just had one comment. In terms of the azelaic acid prescription for Rosacea, the brand name is Finacea. For somebody who is struggling with Rosacea and breakouts, azelaic acid does both. It can handle both.
00:35:34 It has some sort of antibacterial effect that has never been quite understood but it is prescribed for treating both acne and Rosacea. So if you are somebody who struggles with both, then you don't want to use two or three different prescription medicines to get things under control. Azelaic acid as Finacea is a great way to go.
Paula Begoun: Right. And then, Heather, if you did try the Finacea instead of the MetroGel or MetroLotion, although it sounds to me your skin type would be MetroLotion, you would want to stop using the BHA because you would be, and the benzoyl peroxide.
00:36:11 The azelaic acid would be what you would be using instead. So, you would want to talk to your physician about that. Heather, thanks for calling.
Heather: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Take care, dear. Desiree, Jennifer from California has an interesting question. I love this question; it's one of my favorites. Jennifer, how are you?
Jennifer: Hi, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. You want to ask your question?
Jennifer: Yes.
00:36:36 My question is about determining what your skin type is. And I really thought I knew what my skin type was. I thought I had oily skin. I also have acne. And then I started using your Skin Balancing line and it has been about a month since I started that and my acne is so much better. But now I have started having just a ton of dryness. And I wake up in the morning and I have flakes on my cheeks and my mouth feels really tight.
00:37:05 And then I listen to you and I try to be so good about sunscreen but I am wearing a zinc sunscreen and it looks clear when I put it on and then over the course of the morning my skin starts flaking and it builds up white in the flakes and I catch a glimpse of myself and I am just a mess.
Paula Begoun: I got it. I got it. I so got it. Okay, Jennifer, tell me how old you are.
Jennifer: I'm 30.
Paula Begoun: You are 30. And tell me exactly what skincare routine you are doing during the day and at night. What are you doing?
Jennifer: I'm using your entire Skin Balancing line, except for then instead of gel I also got Hydra Light Lotion, because I thought maybe that would be a little more moisturizing.
Paula Begoun: So you use the entire Skin Balancing line twice a day?
00:37:57 Is that what you are saying?
Jennifer: I have been using the Cleanser twice a day. I've been doing the serum in the morning. And then at night I have been using the 2% BHA gel instead of the toner.
Paula Begoun: Okay, during the day?
Jennifer: At night I have been using the BHA.
Paula Begoun: Okay, all right. And then which sunscreen are you using that you said has the zinc oxide in it?
Jennifer: I'm using Josie Maran, her one. You guys rated it pretty well on Beautypedia but I think it is maybe not for me. It's weird.
Paula Begoun: It sounds too heavy for you is what it sounds like.
Bryan Barron: I think that might be the one that has 16% or 18% zinc oxide.
Jennifer: I'm going to look on the bottle.
Paula Begoun: Oh god that is so high.
Bryan Barron: Which is pretty high.
Jennifer: It says SPF 40+. I don't know.
Paula Begoun: And it is only zinc oxide as the active?
Jennifer: It doesn't say.
00:39:04 I don't have the box anymore. It doesn't say on the actual bottle. I know that is a non-chemical sunscreen.
Paula Begoun: God, 40+ with just zinc oxide. Oh my god, that is so not for your skin type. Okay, that's why you are feeling flaky and dry. That's a ton! So here is what I want you to do.
00:39:31 So first let me explain to everybody. Skin type is very difficult for exactly what you just said is that skin type is influenced by many things, but for women it is primarily influenced by the skincare products we use. So if you are using the wrong cleanser or a drying cleanser or a cleanser with irritants or a toner with alcohol and irritants, and moisturizers with too much fragrance, or just products with way too many irritating plant extracts - menthol, peppermint.
00:40:03 I mean on and on and on. There is no way for you to know what your skin type is. I mean, let's say you wash your face with soap. You rinse the soap off, it leaves your face feeling dry. And then in the old days you would follow up with a toner that had irritating or contained alcohol, or many toners now contain witch hazel, which is still drying and irritating. And then you follow up with a moisturizer to undo what you did with the toner and the soap.
00:40:30 How do you ever know what your skin - I mean, how could your skin be anything but combination, or broken out, or irritated or sensitive. So, we often can't tell what skin type we have because it is so influenced by the skincare products we are using. So, If I am understanding you correctly, your acne is better but you now have transferred one problem to another problem?
Jennifer: Yeah, exactly.
Paula Begoun: Okay. So we need to find a balance. And so here is what I want you to do.
00:40:59 I think that the Skin Balancing line might be a little too drying for you. So I am going to send you my Moisture Boost Cleanser, and I would like you to give that a try. And instead of the 2% BHA gel, I'm going to have you try the 2% BHA lotion. I would like you to give that a try and see what that does for you.
00:41:36 And then instead of the - don't throw out the Josie Maran, however you pronounce her name or his name. Is that a guy or a girl, Bryan? Josie Maran?
Bryan Barron: It's a girl. She is a model.
Paula Begoun: Okay. Oh, I remember her! Wow. Boy, I remember that review now.
00:42:07 If using her products got me that body, I would swim in it. I would swim in the stuff. Okay, I'm sorry. Oh geez. We looked up her picture when we were reviewing her products; I didn't know who the woman was. And we are in our meeting, our review meeting, and we brought up her picture. And this was some - oh my.
Jennifer: She's gorgeous.
Paula Begoun: She's beautiful and she was posed in a very sexy risqué little thing with cow milk.
00:42:41 Sorry, I just went off. I just realized who we were talking about. But you can use that sunscreen for your hands and your arms and your neck and your chest. So you don't have to throw it out. But what I would like you to consider doing is I do want you to try my Barely There Sheer Matte Tint sunscreen with SPF 20 and my Healthy Finish Pressed Powder with sunscreen as a way to get sunscreen to your face without something quite so heavy and it has a tint, so it kind of looks like a little bit of color but really it is very sheer and natural.
00:43:18 You know I have also been having a we are going to send you those. And we are going to send you my Moisture Boost Cleanser and the 2% BHA lotion. I think that will help a lot. And, let's see how you do with that. Get started with those things -
Jennifer: Should I not be using the zinc? Is that what is drying about it? Should I switch to a different - not makeup wise but just regular old sunscreen? Should I switch to a non-zinc?
Bryan Barron: Or you can try using a mineral sunscreen or foundation with sunscreen. The Barely There Sheer Matte Tint has a lower concentration of both of the mineral actives. Because the Josie Maran product has almost 10% titanium dioxide and 6% zinc oxide. That's a lot.
Paula Begoun: It's really, yes, it's really the amount that you are getting.
00:44:15 And I think the formula is just heavy. In fact I am pretty certain that when you put it on it feels heavy to you.
Jennifer: Yeah, it's thick. I don't like it.
Paula Begoun: So, yeah, you are done with that.
Jennifer: I was liking that non-chemical sunscreens were skin is also sensitive and I was thinking it was more gentle for my skin to have a sunscreen --
Paula Begoun: No, it is. No, no, I want you to use a mineral-based sunscreen. My Barely There Sheer Matte Tint is only mineral-based. There are no other actives in it.
00:44:47 Same thing with my Healthy Finish Pressed Powder. So I am not recommending anything else. It is really just her formula that is just too thick and heavy and so when it is too much titanium dioxide in a heavy thick paste, it just rolls over the skin. It isn't moisturizing. You don't feel moisturized when you put it on. And because you have some dryness, you really need a moisturizer.
00:45:12 By the way, yes, see how you feel using my Barely There Sheer Matte Tint and my...I'm also going to send you my Resist SPF 25 Cellular Defense moisturizer. I think you will find it more moisturizing. It is also pure mineral. Give that a try. So just experiment. You will stay in touch with us. If I can't help you my customer service team will help you. And you have a lot of presents for Thanksgiving and your skin will look glowing and everyone will be jealous. Thank you for calling, Jennifer.
Jennifer: Thank you so much.
Paula Begoun: Take care, dear. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Erica from California on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Erica.
Erica: Hello. Hi.
Paula Begoun: Hi.
Erica: I'm excited to be on. I love your products, Paula.
00:46:07 I've been using them for a long time. So, thank you.
Paula Begoun: Thank you! What can I do for you?
Erica: So my question is, and this is specifically because I drive a lot for my job. I'm outside a lot. I'm in a car quite a bit. So without having to reapply my sunscreen on my face and having to reapply my makeup and everything over that, what I want to know is, is it better to put sun block on in the morning with a really high SPF, say like a 40, or is it better to have multiple products that have an SPF, like foundation with an SPF, and a powder with and SPF?
00:46:46 Which one is better or does it even matter?
Paula Begoun: Well, it depends who you talk to. It really depends who you talk to. If you talk to me, and you are, I actually think layering sunscreen - I mean, it is what I do. It is what I do. And I have for years. I like pure mineral sunscreens a lot. But from the neck down I also prefer combining them with active ingredients, synthetics as well.
00:47:27 And sometimes, just because I don't like the feel of heavy creams and lotions on my face, I like pressed powder with sunscreen over my foundation with sunscreen. And then once in a while I will put a moisturizer on - not really a moisturizer, a really lightweight thin sunscreen. So, for my own personal preference I layer. But some people would say layering isn't good. And SPF 15 powder and an SPF 30 this doesn't add up to more protection.
00:48:01 Actually strongly disagree with that, but there are some people who would say that that is not the case. As long as your skin isn't turning brown, you are doing the right thing. When we use sunscreen and we are still getting brown, you are doing something wrong no matter what products you are using. When skin turns a shade of brown, any brown, you are not using sunscreen right That is your best way to know that you are doing something right about sun protection when your skin isn't turning brown.
00:48:37 Now, that is separate from the fact that UVA damage comes in through windows so you have got to be good, even when you think you are not getting sun protection. So, sun is about daylight. Your skin seeing daylight. So when your skin is turning color you are not doing - so, what to do is make sure you don't turn brown. And whatever you do to do that and protect your skin, you are doing the right thing. Does that make sense?
Erica: Yeah. It does.
Paula Begoun: So what are you doing now? Definitely more is good, especially if you are in California.
00:49:13 So what are you doing now for sun protection?
Erica: It's interesting that you mention that you like I think the mineral ones better. I did try your mineral one and it actually made me break out.
Paula Begoun: I know.
Erica: And actually I'm not prone really to breaking out or getting pimples, so that was a little bit surprising. But your customer service was really cool. I contacted them and I am now using a different one that is better. And it is one of yours but it is not the mineral. I can see what it is.
Paula Begoun: Which - oh, from the Moisture Boost line. That's good. That's very good.
Erica: I think that's it. I'm in my bathroom right now. Yes, Moisture Boost Daily restoring with SPF 20.
Paula Begoun: Desiree and Bryan, isn't Moisture Boost a mineral-based sunscreen? Am I wrong about that?
Bryan Barron: Is it what?
Paula Begoun: Is the Moisture Boost a mineral-based or does it also have synthetics?
Bryan Barron: No, the actives are the synthetic actives.
00:50:19 But it does have some titanium dioxide as one of the inactive ingredients. But, how much, I would have to double check. But it has got Avobenzone and I think some Octisalate and some Octocrylene.
Paula Begoun: Okay, I got it. Sorry.
Erica: So I use that, and then underneath it I have, I really like your Resist stuff, too. I have been using that, the serum. So I put the serum first. Actually, sometimes I even put the 8% exfoliating but not always, and then I put your serum, the Resist, and then that sun block. And then I don't my foundation has a sun block.
Paula Begoun: Have you tried our Barely There Sheer Matte Tint foundation?
00:51:00 Have you tried that one yet?
Erica: I don't think I have.
Paula Begoun: Let me send you that along with my - oh, I love talking sunscreen. Let me send you that -
Erica: I used to know all about sunscreens.
Paula Begoun: And I am so glad you are, because you will love me when you are in your 50's and all of your friends in Southern California are looking older than you, you will go, "You know, I knew this crazy woman and she changed my life!"
Erica: My friends are starting to look old, older. And I'm 29 and people still think I'm like 24 or 23.
00:51:37 And it's been ingrained in my head from my mom every since I was like 8. "Make sure you put your sun block on. You don't want to get old and get wrinkles." Ever since I was really little.
Paula Begoun: Did you say you were 49?
Erica: No, 29.
Bryan Barron: 29.
Paula Begoun: Oh, 29. I was thinking you have a very young-sounding voice.
00:51:55 So, I'm proud of you Erica. You are taking good care of yourself. I am going to send you our Barely There Sheer Matte Tint. I do like layering sunscreens. The nature of a tint and the way this one is formulated, it tends to stay a little bit more on the surface so it is not going to absorb in as much as my pure mineral one. And the way the sunscreen actives float in the product, it is less occlusive than my pure mineral.
00:52:22 I do love my pure mineral. Everybody hates it. I love it. It is my sunscreen of choice.
Erica: What about the Resist? Is there a sun block for the Resist, or no?
Paula Begoun: There is, but it is a titanium dioxide; it's a pure mineral base. I think it would be too heavy for your skin. I will have Desiree send you some samples. It doesn't hurt to try it. It might be happier for your skin. It is a beautiful formulation. So you will try both. You will try the Resist samples. Try the Barely There Sheer Matte Tint. There is no reason, you little Southern California girl, there is absolutely no reason to not use the, if you do like the Resist Cellular Defense SPF 25, and the Barely There Sheer Matte Tint, there is no reason to not layer them.
00:53:14 If it makes your skin happy, it definitely will protect your skin from the sun. Erica, thank you for calling dear. Take good care. Tell mom I say hi.
Erica: Thank you.
Desiree Stordahl: Paula, I think we have time for one more. We have Ophelia in Singapore on the line.
Paula Begoun: Ophelia? Is the name Ophelia? Hello? Is this Ophelia?
Desiree Stordahl: We must have lost the connection. I can't get her on the line here.
Paula Begoun: What is Ophelia asking? Ophelia?
Ophelia: Hello, can you hear me?
Paula Begoun: I can hear you, Ophelia.
00:53:55 Can you hear us?
Ophelia: Yes, I can hear you. My question is I have pimples throughout my body. What sort of a shower [gel] should I use to clear away the pimples from my body?
Paula Begoun: When you say you have pimples on your body, you are talking about your back and your chest? Where do you have pimples?
Ophelia: My arms. My legs. My back. My chest. Everywhere.
Paula Begoun: Everywhere. Everywhere? Like regular pimples? Like whiteheads? Like swollen? Like the kind most people get on their face you have on your body?
Ophelia: I think it's more on my arms and back. I think front is not so much.
Paula Begoun: Arms and back.
00:54:45 Well, Ophelia, here is what it is. When you have acne, pimples, wherever they are on the body, they are treated the same way whether they are on the face or they are on the chest or they are on the neck, or they are on the arms. And that requires no bar soap, gentle cleanser. It means using a BHA exfoliant and using a benzoyl peroxide topical disinfectant or going to your physician and getting a topical antibiotic missed with a benzoyl peroxide.
00:55:22 And your physician will know what that is. But a BHA exfoliant would be a great way to start. And Paula's Choice is available in Singapore. And I think in Singapore I am one of the only product lines that actually carry BHA products. So you would want to consider trying my 2% BHA Weightless Body Lotion as an option. But I actually think my 2% BHA from my Clear line, the lightweight one, so it doesn't feel all slippery on your clothes would work great for you.
00:56:01 So you might want to try that. The major thing is that you don't want to try to scrub your blemishes away. And you don't want to use bar soap because the ingredients that put bar soap in its bar form can actually clog pores. But really, one of the things about blemishes, getting pimples on your chest and neck and back is they just can be so stubborn.
00:56:32 They can just be so, so stubborn. So, what I want you to consider doing is to see your physician to see if you can get a prescription for a topical antibiotic that also contains benzoyl peroxide. And get my BHA product from my Singapore distributor, Paula's Choice Singapore, and start using that, and my all-over hair and body shampoo.
00:57:01 So you are using a cleanser on your body that is gentle and doesn't clog pores. Ophelia, does that make sense to you?
Ophelia: Yes. Thank you very much. May I ask how do I look for your products in Singapore? Is there a website?
Paula Begoun: Yes, you would go to - excuse me, my throat has just decided to get weird - you would go to and on the right side of the page there is an international dropdown list.
00:57:33 And Paula's Choice Singapore is right there. And if you have any problem getting the products, you can always order them directly from us and we will get them to you. But Paula's Choice Singapore is right there and she is a lovely, lovely woman and will take good care of you. So, Ophelia, thank you for calling. You are one of our - I love getting our international callers. Thank you, dear.
Ophelia: Thank you so much.
Paula Begoun: All right. I love this show.
00:58:01 I love this show. I do love doing this show. So, everybody, so next week where am I? Oh my god, I'm like so thrilled Ophelia called; I love when we get international callers.
Bryan Barron: Next week you will be enjoying Thanksgiving with your family and we are going to not have a show.
Paula Begoun: We are not going to have a show. But you can, with your sisters and cousins and relatives and aunts and moms, you can listen to us archived. Please go to BlogTalkRadio or and find our archived radio shows.
00:58:34 And listen to us and introduce your family and friends to us. By the way, we have a Facebook contest going on for a year of free skincare products. Go take a look and "friend" us on Facebook. "Like" us on Facebook and you can enroll to win - Desiree, how do you do that? How do you enroll?
Desiree Stordahl: There is actually a link on our Facebook page that they can click on. It is on the left hand side, right under our logo; right under our profile picture.
Paula Begoun: Perfect. Come visit us on our Facebook page. You can always find us on On the first of December, "Splurge versus Steal: the best anti-aging products for less!" On the eighth of December, "What to do when climate change affects your skin." And then on the fifteenth we are going to have "Behind the scene hair tips with celebrity stylist Sacha Q." Boy, I love that name, Sacha Q.
00:59:31 So thank you all for listening. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Paula's Choice Research Team, Desiree Stordahl and Bryan Barron, "Keeping you Beautifully Informed." And until, well, after Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for all of you. Take care. Talk to you in a couple of weeks.
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