Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Salicylic Acid

If you have the skin with acne, you may see that it requires more than just a little soap and warm water.  Chances are, you are familiar with all types of treatments. You have probably stumbled over more than one over the counter choices, including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Figuring out which one is better is tough, but figuring out one that is better for YOU is somewhat easier. First, you may already have some preconceived notions of which one you like better, but maybe this will help clarify as to why you have a preference.

While most topical acne treatments and systems contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, some contain both. There are advantages to both. First, benzoyl peroxide has been called the “quintessential acne treatment”. It works to reduce the bacteria that causes acne breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is especially useful when your acne is red and inflamed. It works so well because of its “peeling” action. It will exfoliate all the way down into your pores, getting rid of the “root” of your acne and peeling away the dead skin cells. Benzoyl peroxide is found in both over the counter treatments as well as prescription acne treatments, it is a matter of how much bp is inside of your product.

Salicylic acid is a better choice for cell turnover, meaning that it is great for renewing surface skin and “healing”. It is also useful if you suffer from blackheads, whiteheads or “closed comedones”. Salicylic is ideal for children and young adults that are dealing with breakouts, or for those who have a sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid works similar to benzoyl peroxide, but it is more gentle on the skin.

In this battle, you don’t really have to pick sides, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid work great together. For instance, consider your issues and your skin’s sensitivity. Then, pick a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide and then use a lotion with salicylic acid, or vice versa.

For the record, the side effects for both ingredients is the same, dryness, peeling and mild irritation. If you DO use them together, it could double your side effects, so definitely keep that in mind. If you are also battling dry or irritated skin, maybe dial it down. Both salicylic and benzoyl work best on MILD acne. If you are dealing with something more intense, you should most definitely get with a dermatologist or a doctor to figure it all out.

Hope that helps!


Martin Luther King Jr., More than a Day Off

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

How easy is it to forget the incendiary 1960’s, the civil rights movements and separate drinking fountains? In many ways, Martin Luther King Jr. has been regaled for his accomplishments in the world of civil rights. While the importance of those achievements is not to be questioned, he also made change in other part of society, like organizing unions for workers, better working conditions and better wages for the underprivileged.

In today’s world, one rife with conflict, war, a global economy in a tailspin and a movement called “the 99%”, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. have never been more extraordinary. King worked tirelessly in the world of civil rights, but it seems as thought he set the tone for present day events. In many ways, MLK was the original “one per center”. In 1968, he organized the “Poor People’s Campaign”, a march on Washington to protest economic injustice. King assembled a multicultural army of  the poor to march on Washington to exhibit a nonviolent civil disobedience until Congress created a bill of rights for all poor Americans.

Today is the day we recognize his birthday, the clergyman, tireless activist and prominent and charismatic leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement would be 82 years old.

Drugstore Moisturizers: Stay Hydrated and Thrifty

The winter winds are blowing, chapping and having their way with your cheeks. At the same time,  indoor heating systems can further ravage your face. But since soaking yourself in La Mer isn’t an option for all of us, we need some options as far as affordable, yet functional facial moisturizers. Armed with some reader favorites, I stormed the doors of the local drugstore and checked out the options.

Even though it is cold, you still don’t want to wear the super heavy, possibly pore clogging lotions. If you are susceptible to break outs, you could be trigger shy. But you still need to moisturize! Delicate skin, as well as acne prone skin can benefit from a pH balanced formula like Cetaphil. Word on the street is that Cetaphil is a line of products that are designed for all skin types due to its non-abrasive formula. The moisturizer is super light and airy, not greasy at all. I think it is perfect under your makeup, and it tops out around $12.

If you have severely dry skin and need a great night or day moisturizer, check out L’Oreal’s Nutrissime. This is hard-core hydration, which is a pretty big task to undertake. A jar of this stuff will set you back about $10. If you are working with skin that needs a little love, or if it needs to be smoothed over or calmed, Aveeno has an entire line that is well-known for its gentleness. The Ultra-Calming by Aveeno offers an SPF of 15, and it costs about $16. I thought the Aveeno was pretty cool because it had a built-in SPF, this is important–even in the winter when we tend to skip the whole idea of sunscreen. Obviously, if you are noticing that it is pitch black at 5:45pm, you probably aren’t reaching for that Coppertone. BUT, sadly, the sun can still damage in the winter and in the cold climates, as it reflects off of snow, bouncing into your lil face.

When you find yourself with something the industry has dubbed “mature skin”, you have a whole new slew of choices. At the top of my favorites is the Oil of Olay Deep Penetrating Foaming Moisturizer. I haven’t tried it myself, but I do love the entire Oil of Olay line. I have been using the “beauty fluid” in the summer since it came in the glass bottle! Jeez. Its been a minute. Well, they have come a long way, this particular product offers a mousse like consistency, and my girlfriend said it was like a tingling facial in a bottle. Interesting.

So, there ya go, just a few drugstore standouts.



REbuilding Ravaged Skin with an Emergency Facial

Ok. Today was brutal. It was up, down and all around. I was haggard and sleep-deprived, my eyes were puffy enough to require Mick from Rocky to “cut me”. TODAY is another day, my friends.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, but I have found a way to renew in an emergency. I did a hot towel to open up my pores, and to relax me. (It sort of inflamed my eyes a little, but I needed the downtime.) Ok, after this, I washed up really good, I had makeup literally everywhere. I scrubbed a little, not too much as my skin was pretty wrecked anyway.

I had a few “bands” of little red zits, which happens when I get stressed out. I also had the makings of some pretty legitimate pimples on my chin and forehead. (No doubt from rubbing my head in complete sorrow and disappointment.) SO, after I exfoliated, I did a spot treatment with my favorite, butt-kicking acne mask. Look for one with benzoyl or salicylic if you need help. After I worked that in, I focused on the other parts of my face that definitely needed a hug. lol.

I had huge bands of dry, flaky skin from the winter months. (YES, it gets chilly out here!) I have a favorite “chocolate” mask that I use for hydration. It is a “cheapie”, I get it at the drugstore in those little packets. I worked that in to my dry areas. The areas that were just tired and dull, I used a little bit of illuminating mask.

Did I look like Rambo? Yes.
Is my skin starting to come back from the “breakup blues”? YES.

Breaking Up

I broke up with my boyfriend today. Though we had only been dating for a few months, it felt rather intense. We got a puppy together. We had moved in together. Now I am going home to split up my earthly remains with a man who I thought I was going to be with forever.

My eyes are shredded. Unfortunately our break up happened through a series of texts and then graduated to chat. (Hey, its 2012, this is how our generation communicates and connects.) I am devastated. But the break up is by my own hand. I changed the rules. I always went into relationships thinking that I would never get married, that I didn’t need to have kids. He was all for it, now I feel totally different. I want both of those things.

My heart is broken, but my head says it is the right thing to do. I am not looking forward to going  home. At all. Not because my stuff will be strewn about the front yard, but because it was a semi-amicable split. My eyes are shredded and red, my skin is blotchy and dry. The stress from a long day and just a few hours of sleep has wreaked havoc on my face.

The only solace I have is that it happened now and not six years from now…?

Send a hug.


And some calming moisturizer.

Night Cream Mishap

Just a case of Morning Lobster Face

Uhmmm. Yeahhh. Well, I finally pulled the trigger and “treated” myself to a semi-expensive overnight cream. I know you’ve seen the commercials, I am quite sure you have passed by it while you are doing your shopping here or there. The active ingredient in it is Alpha Hydroxy. I’m thinking, no big deal. My skin is over dry in the winter, due to the plummeting climate, but it certainly isn’t a problem if I keep up on it.

Well, upon the first application, I had some pretty big problems. Granted, maybe I used too much, I squirted out a dime sized pile into my hand and spread it onto my face and went to bed. I woke up to a beet red area on and around my nose, down by my chin and up by my eyes. AAARGH! I mean, it was red, sunburnt red. And it was hella dry. Great. In defense of the product, it was only in those areas, which as the epicenter of my application. SO, perhaps it was just too much. THe back of the package states that you could have some redness, tingling or drying until your skin gets used to it. Wow. Ok, well, I waited a few nights to really rehab my skin, giving it some time to really get back to normal.

I have been applying it, to my under eye area and that is all. Then, I add a layer of Vaseline to sort of insulate and keep it moist. Although I have some flaking, and some rough alligator skin, it has been anti-climactic. I am not happy with the texture of my skin, I’m wondering if this is a temporary side effect. Perhaps my skin is being exfoliated, freeing up those dead layers to reveal some underneath, or what. I am going to give it the ‘ol college try’, but not at the expense of looking like leather face for a month. lol.

I think I know why I am having these issues. However, I am having trouble deciding if I should stick with it or not…If brighter, more youthful skin is on the horizon, then I am all in. If I am going to vaporize into a pile of dead skin cells, count me out. With the more targeted application plan, I think I should be ok. However, I am supposed to start creating a base tan for Costa Rica, so, I’m sure I will have to address that issue at some point. lol

Well, yeah, send me your ideas!