Do you ever wonder why certain products or ingredients work better than others for treating skin care problems? I know I do and I’m pretty sure a lot of other women are wondering the same thing.
For me, it’s dry, flaky skin and chapped lips every winter without fail. Each time I pass a display of moisturizers (at every department store, drug store, and shopping mall), I read the claims they all make and in the back of my mind, I always wonder, “What makes this moisturizer better than another one?” (Or… What makes the $90 moisturizer any better than the $20 one at Wal-Mart?) Don’t get me wrong. I know there’s a difference, but WHAT IS IT?
Just a few days ago, a friend asked me a similar question—“Which ingredient is best for treating my Rosacea?” And, the more important question—“Why?” Even though I work in the skin care industry, I had to be honest and tell her I didn’t know. Luckily, I knew who to ask.
After speaking with Dr. James Beckman, I became a little bit of an expert on Rosacea. Okay, not really, but enough to blog about what I know and satisfy my friend’s curiosity.
Here’s what I learned from a REAL expert – Dr. Beckman, about Acne Rosacea (this is its proper name since it’s usually associated with breakouts):
Rosacea is a condition directly resulting from inflammation in the skin due to histamine release. The red flushing associated with Rosacea is triggered by several different things, including eating spicy foods, direct heat from the sun, or even just being in a room that is too hot.
As a result of these triggers, histamine is released, resulting in inflammation in the skin. This histamine response causes the capillaries to dilate and allow a greater number of red blood cells to be packed into the area. Seen from the outside, this greater ratio of red blood cells to capillary volume gives the appearance of redness.
So, what’s the best way to treat Rosacea? Dr. Beckman suggests using a product that contains Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). OPCs reverse the oxidative factors caused by histamine, allowing the capillaries to shrink back to normal size. In doing so, the redness fades. Studies have shown that OPC is 20x more effective than Vitamin C and 50x more effective than Vitamin E as a free radical scavenger.
In addition to using a product that contains OPC, there are several other steps you can take to control Rosacea.
- Avoid triggers such as smoking, eating spicy foods, alcohol consumption, exposure to sunlight or very warm temperatures, wind exposure, hot baths, and stress
- Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face twice a day
- Use a product that exfoliates dead skin cells to prevent breakouts
- Apply sunscreen before going outdoors
Just remember, when it comes to choosing a skin care product, it all comes down to what ingredients make up the formula, and for Rosacea, it’s all about the OPCs!
Now it’s your turn! What are your biggest skin care concerns and how did you find that special product or ingredient that works for you?