Coming Soon!

Coming Soon! Calming Gel Hydrator™

Specktra6® is excited to announce that in early 2018, we are adding an acne-safe gel hydrator to our line up! Calming Gel Hydrator™ is sure to become a favorite.
Since it is water based, it can be layered over or under your benzoyl peroxide.
If you’ve got an oily skin, but still need some moisture but hate heavy creams, this will be your go-to hydrating gel!
If you’re on the dryer side, Calming Gel Hydrator™ can be layered under your moisturizing creme!

pink flowers on wooden with word Coming SoonCalming Gel Hydrator™ – Coming Soon!

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Coconut oil- Why you *shouldn’t* use it on your face!

There have been many times where I’ve had a new skin care client tell me that they use coconut oil as their moisturizer.  I have been able to tell them that it’s *not* good for their skin, but I don’t think I’m always making sense to them.  When I ramble about percentages of oleic and linoleic within a certain oil, I’m pretty sure their eyes start to glaze over and I’m tuned out.  I don’t blame them.  It took me a while to be able to understand it myself.

I’ve searched for studies on PubMed specifically citing the use of coconut oil and topical skin applications, and I haven’t been able to find any that have the specifics that I’m looking for.  I’ve found it helps to show my clients the summaries of the studies I find, as they are way more easy to comprehend than all the technical stuff within the study.

My good friend and colleague, Beth Kenerson, is my guest today to factually (and maybe a bit snarkily) explain why you shouldn’t be using coconut oil as a skin care cream.

THE INSIDE STORY: COCONUT OIL
I’m always a little baffled when people argue against legitimate, black and white, scientific facts. All the girlie blogs, paid quack reports, and organic, anecdotal DIY in the world doesn’t change the chemical behavior of a substance. Cocos Nucifera Oil is comedogenic for facial skin. That’s the way its fatty acid profile works.
Period.

Just because your face isn’t filled with pustules doesn’t mean that coconut oil isn’t gradually breaking down your skin’s acid mantle, slowly inflaming your pores and creating a sea of congestion you WILL see at some point, whether it be actual breakouts or finely textured sandpaper similar bumps, barely visible to the naked eye. Nonstop inflammation is nonstop age acceleration.
You know how one day you had a chest like a 12-year old, and seemingly the next day it was lined and ruddy? The damage was always on its way and then came prancing through the door – tada!! Hey! Don’t you wish you had skipped that Crisco tanning contest summer of your senior year and used that SPF your mother told you about? Too late now!

Whether you’re acne prone or not, inflammation is inflammation, you’ll simply become inflamed more quickly if you are already oily/acneic vs very dry. Everyone’s skin is different and there are all kinds of acne presentations, but just because you don’t look like a Proactiv commercial doesn’t mean your skin is healthy.
Coconut oil;
– will ultimately make dry skin drier due to gradual barrier destruction
– will cause breakouts in oily and acne prone skin because it badly inflames and clogs pores
– does not sit on top of the skin (that’s a myth) – it penetrates and accumulates in the stratum corneum, where it feels light, pleasant, and initially very satisfying but slowly begins to aggravate
– has almost zero topical nutritional benefit – no carotenoids, only trace vitamins, scant oxidative stress relief, and comparatively speaking, an extremely low antioxidant presence.
– is a tiny molecule, NOT a large molecule.
– has antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial qualities and can boost the immune system – but at a price for easily congested skin
Coconut oil fatty acid composition percentages:
Lauric acid 45-52%
Myristic acid 16%-21%
Caprylic acid 5%-10%
Capric acid 4%-8%
Caproic acid 0.5%-1%
Palmitic acid 7%-10%
Oleic acid 5%-8%
Palmitoleic acid in traces
Linoleic acid 1%-3%
Linolenic acid up to 0.2%
Stearic acid 2%-4%

Guess what – lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and stearic acid are all comedogenic. Lauric and myristic acids are both highly comedogenic [acne causing] and are the two highest percentages.

There are always going to be people for whom everything works, but they’re in the minority. For the people struggling with the health of their skin, the discovery of the “why” is the best way to illustrate what works and what doesn’t.

Copyright © 2017 Beth Kenerson
all rights reserved

 

 

Hyperpigmentation, part 4 (and 5)

To recap:  We’ve talked about the importance of a good SPF, and ingredients that are MSH inhibitors and tyrosinase inhibitors, and which products you can find those in.

Now onto interrupting that pigmentation formation with steps 4 & 5.

Natural ingredients for skin care on pink backgroundStep 4:
L Dopa Inhibitors
There only one single ingredient I’ve come across in this category.  Aloesin, which is from the Aloe plant. Unfortunately ‘aloe vera’ doesn’t have the same effect as ‘aloesin’, which is a bioactive compound of Aloe.
I’m still looking for products / formulation with this ingredient!
There may be more L Dopa Inhibitors, but I haven’t come across them yet.

Step 5:
Melanosome transfer inhibitors
The last chance we get to stop pigmentation formation is where the melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which also does a LOT of other cool things (it could have it’s own blog post!) and Daisy Blossom Extract help to inhibit the melanosome transfer.
These ingredients can be found in Specktra6’s Brightening Serum, Brightening Cleanser, and Brightening Essence.  Niacinamide is in a lot of other products we carry, just ask!

This is how I’ve broken down the melanogenesis process and how to interrupt it (as I understand it)  I hope you find my information to be accurate.  If I need to look at something more closely, please leave me a comment!

www.specktra6.com

Why you -don’t- need hydroquinone! Hyperpigmentation part 3

Daisy Blossom Extract can lighten your age spots!

bigstock--137935253
Daisy Blossom Extract helps to stop pigment issues in 3 out of the 5 steps!

 

In Step 1 we learned why SPF is so incredibly important, and Step 2 touched on MSH inhibitors.

Step 3:

Tyrosinase Inhibitors

“Tyrosinase is an oxidase that is the rate-limiting enzyme for controlling the production of melanin.”  That sentence comes straight from Wikipedia.  It’s kind of confusing.  Really you just need to know that there are a LOT of ingredients that help to stop pigmentation at this juncture.  


I am only going to highlight a few of them for you, but first I want to talk about perhaps the most recognizable tyrosinase inhibitor, hydroquinone.    

  • It’s a steroid compound, so it thins collagen over time
  • it’s banned in the UK because it’s possibly carcinogenic
  • it should only be used for three months at a time, whereas other lightening agents can be used constantly
  • it can cause darkening in some skin
  • exogenous ochronosis can occur (dark blue pigment)
  • hypopigmentation can occur
  • it’s not the most effective lightening agent on the market, and rebound darkening can occur when you stop using it

As I said above, there are loads of other tyrosinase inhibitors besides hydroquinone, and a lot of them are more effective and they don’t have crazy side effects.  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin, Bearberry, Licorice, Daisy Blossom, Mulberry, Ferula Foetida Extract, Kojic Acid, and Azelaic Acid.  These ingredients can be found in Specktra6’s products Brightening Cleanser, Brightening Essence, Brightening Serum, and Bearberry Moisturizer,  and in a lot of Environ products.
Want to find out which products are best for your skin issues?  Contact Ginger at Specktra6 today!  

Hyperpigmentation, part 2

Age spots

You CAN have even toned skin again…

In my last blog, we talked about the importance of wearing an spf to help stop the pigmentation process.

Now we’ll talk about MSH, or melanin-stimulating hormone, and ingredients that help to block this from happening.

MSH Inhibitors
MSH stands for melanin-stimulating hormone. In response to ultraviolet light, it increases synthesis of melanin. MSH stimulates the production and release of melanin (a process referred to as melanogenesis)
There are 2 ingredients that can stop this process that I am familiar with, and they are SepiWhite™ and Daisy Blossom Extract.
SepiWhite ™ is a unique skin lightening agent made of natural amino acids with a lipid-residue. It can be found in Environ’s Clarifying Lotion, which I carry at Specktra6 here in Sheboygan.
Daisy Blossom Extract is botanically derived. Studies show that it effectively reduces skin pigmentation. It can be found in Specktra6’s own Brightening Cleanser and Brightening Essence.

You’ll see Daisy Blossom Extract come up again in future blogs about pigmentation- it works in at least 3 different ways, and in my opinion, making it a must-have ingredient.

Let me know if you want more information on these products!

 

Hyperpigmentation

Age Spots. Melasma. Post Inflammation Hyperpigmentation. Uneven skin tone.

It all can be categorized as “hyperpigmentation”
Hyperpigmentation is darkened areas of the skin due to sun damage or inflammation.

I’ve done some research lately into being able to help my client’s skin with this issue. And by research, I mean I got lost down the rabbit hole of google scholar and pubmed, trying to decipher studies. I’ve also been reading textbooks dealing with ingredients and how they affect the skin. It’s such a fascinating process!

Girl with problematic skin and scars from acne (scar)
Post-inflammation hyperpigmentation

From what I understand, it is a long process for your skin to produce those pesky brown spots. And during that process, we have the opportunity to interrupt (stop) it at (at least) 5 different junctions.

Step 1:
UV Protection
First and foremost, we can’t get anywhere if you’re not wearing sunscreen EVERY DAY. And when I say every day, I mean every day, even if you’re just planning on being inside the whole day. I guarantee you have some windows in your house, and that you look at screens (tv, phone, ipad, computer), and that you probably have some overhead light. (Indoor lighting – referred to as HEV, is a whole ‘nother post)
All of these can affect the production of hyperpigmentation.
I’m a fan of “physical” sunscreens for pigment issues- ones that contain titanium dioxide and zinc. These sunscreens actually deflect the light off of your face. Other sunscreens, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. They are often referred to as chemical or organic absorbers. I don’t like chemical sunscreens for anyone with a hyperpigmentation issue.
Our favorite sunscreen is our own Specktra6 Tinted Mineral SPF 40.

Stay tuned for Step 2!

Specktra6.com

Do you shave your face?

Do you shave your face?

Are you getting ingrown hairs or acne where you shave?

Your razor may be to blame.

More blades aren’t always better.  Don’t attempt to use twin or triple blade “closer-shaving” razors. The first blade stretches the skin; the second (and third) shaves too close, cutting hair off below the skin line. When the skin bounces back, those hairs are set up to be trapped repeatedly under the skin every time you shave.

If you are unable to sanitize your single blade razor in between uses (by soaking in alcohol for 2 -3 minutes before use), we recommend stocking up on this disposable kind: http://amzn.to/2tA6jNx

If you’d like a recommendation of an acne safe gel for shaving, let us know!