Skin Care

Lip Dryness

Dry and peeling lips can be a frustrating experience. Here are some factors that contribute to dry lips, as well as tips and recommendations to help manage this common issue.

Causes of dry lips:

  • Lack of stratum corneum on the lips and mucus membranes to lock in moisture
  • Cold and dry weather conditions with low humidity
  • Lip licking, which can lead to lip licker’s dermatitis

Tips and recommendations:

  • Avoid waxy lip products and instead opt for a rich emollient to hydrate your lips, such as Wileda or lanolin wool oil derivative.
  • In fall and winter, consider lip chap and lip masks to lock in hydration and prevent dryness.
  • Be mindful of irritants in lip products, such as castor oil or beeswax, which can cause irritant dermatitis and make dryness worse.
  • Consider using lip masks such as Laniege, Tatcha, or Aquaphor, which contain shea butter to provide extra moisture.
  • Cerave healing ointment, Aquaphor, and Vaseline are also great options as they contain petrolatum to lock in moisture.
Skin Care

Let’s talk facial oils – Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is a natural oil derived from the seeds of a drought-resistant shrub, which makes it an ideal ingredient to protect and maintain hydration. It has been used for centuries for its wound healing and moisturizing properties.

In my practice, I primarily recommend jojoba oil for patients who have dry skin. It is a great emollient that softens and smooths the skin without irritating acne-prone skin. Although it has been touted as helpful for managing acne, I cannot confirm its efficacy.

Jojoba oil acts as a natural moisturizer, helping to maintain skin hydration and protect against evaporative loss. It is a bit more waxy than other oils and acts similarly to the sebaceous glands on our skin. You can use this oil on any part of the body that is dry.

Jojoba oil is generally well-tolerated, but if you develop any itchiness or redness, you should stop using the product. There are many products on the market containing jojoba oil, but my favorite is Honest Beauty’s Jojoba oil.

Skin Care

How to treat blackheads

Blackheads can be treated with a few simple steps:

  1. Wash your face with a benzoyl peroxide wash 2-3 times a week. Let it sit on your skin for a few minutes prior to washing your face. (Try Panoxyl.)
  2. Use products that contain salicylic acid, which is quite helpful in dissolving blackheads. (Neutrogena has some great options.)
  3. Over-the -counter retinols are best, as they are milder than prescription-strength versions. These help with skin cell turnover, preventing dead skin from clogging pores.
  4. Azelaic acid is another option. It is a keratinolytic, which means it breaks down keratin plugs. It also has bactericidal properties.
Skin Care

Five Golden tips for introducing Retinols/retinoids into your skin care routine

Retinoids, a class of Vitamin A, help boost collagen production, improve pigmentation, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, making our skin look better as we age. To reap these benefits, it’s important to incorporate them into our skincare routines early. While topical preparations are a great starting point, for more advanced anti-aging, we should also consider lasers and microneedling.

  1. When starting out with retinol, it’s best to begin slowly, using it once a week at night, before gradually increasing frequency. For a well-tolerated and effective product, consider Alumier MD’s retinol line.
  2. Avoid exfoliating on the same night as using retinol/retinoids. If you’re a veteran user, you can try using exfoliants on the same night, but beginners should stick to separate nights.
  3. For those with sensitive skin, use a moisturizer under the retinol – apply your active ingredient and then use your moisturizer again on top.
  4. Apply it around the mouth  and nose area cautiously, as these areas can experience significant flaking.
  5. Finally, always use sunscreen in the morning, as this is crucial for protecting the skin.
Skin Care

What to do for random dry spots

Do you ever experience dry spots on your nose or forehead that won’t go away, no matter how much moisturizer you use? These spots can be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a more complex skin condition, or simply by dryness caused by factors like weather or medication.

For those experiencing these random dry spots, I recommend trying jojoba oil. Honest Beauty’s Jojoba Oil is a product I’ve tried and can confidently recommend. After washing your face and waiting a few minutes to dry, apply a few drops of jojoba oil to the dry spots, then continue with your normal skincare routine and moisturizing.

Skin Care

Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)​

Hyperhidrosis is a condition where excessive sweating occurs, leading to a damp, sweaty face, armpits, and palms. This condition can interfere with daily tasks and cause significant psychological distress due to embarrassing social situations.

Botox™ is an effective treatment option for hyperhidrosis as it blocks the nerve signals that stimulate sweat gland activity. Not only does Botox™ help reduce excessive sweating, but it also helps reduce odor from the armpits. the treatment typically lasts for 6-8 months, and patients typically experience an over 80% reduction in sweating after just one week.

While some may choose to undergo Botox™ treatment before the summer or a special event, many patients choose to receive the treatment year-round to manage their condition. Botox™ offers a quick and effective solution for those struggling with hyperhidrosis.

Skin Care

Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Dark circles under the eyes can have various causes, and it is important to determine the underlying issue before selecting an appropriate treatment option. It is essential to evaluate whether the darkness is due to true pigment changes or shadowing effect due to hollowness or vasculature in the area.

One way to assess this is by having the patient lie down and observe if the darkness decreases when the effects of gravity are minimized. Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in pigmentary changes under the eyes, and some ethnicities may be more prone to darker pigmentation in this area, such as South Asians.

Exposure to UV light and the sun can also cause darkening under the eyes, and allergies or inappropriate products can exacerbate this issue by causing rubbing and irritation. It is crucial to identify the root cause of the problem to determine the most effective treatment strategy.

If you’re dealing with true hyperpigmentation causing dark circles under your eyes, there are a few things you can try to help improve the situation, Firstly, it’s important to use sunscreen as exposure to the sun and UV light can exacerbate the pigmentation. While it’s not a quick fix, consistent use over time can make a difference.

If you have genetically predisposed pigmentation, it may be challenging to eliminate it completely, despite what some products may claim. While there are things that can help to minimize the pigmentation, it’s important to be realistic about what can be achieved.

If your pigmentation issues are age-related, a mild exfoliant could be worth a try. However, be cautious when using it around your eyes as it can be irritating. Hydroquinone is a powerful lightening agent but has some potential side effects, including paradoxical darkening. Alpha arbutin, niacinamide, and azelaic acid are other ingredients that can help to lighten without these risks.

Retinols are another option that can help to thicken collagen and minimize pigmentation by promoting cellular turnover. However, they can be irritating, so it’s best to use a moisturizer first before applying the retinol.

If your dark circle are due to allergies, it’s important to stop rubbing your eyes and eliminate any products that may be causing irritation. taking an anti-histamine may also help to alleviate the problem. At Sorora, our philosophy is to avoid overselling or over-promising treatments and to offer honest advice about what can realistically be achieved.

If your issue is due to shadowing:

  • It may be caused by the thinning of skin and the visibility of blood vessels as we age.
  • One short-term solution is to use eye creams that contain caffeine, which can help to constrict these blood vessels. Alternatively, you can use caffeinated tea bags that have been refrigerated to de-puff and hide the appearance of these blood vessels. It’s important to note that decaf tea bags will not be effective, as it’s the caffeine that has the constricting effect.

If your issue is due to puffiness:

  • Reduce your alcohol and salt intake, especially at night. Both of these can contribute to fluid retention and puffiness.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration can cause puffiness, so drinking plenty of water is important.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can cause inflammation and fluid retention, leading to swelling and changes in the skin’s appearance.
  • Address any allergies you may have. Allergies can cause puffiness, so taking antihistamines or avoiding allergens may help.

If your issue is due to prominent fat pads:

  • Prominent fat pads under the eyes are often due to aging and genetic predisposition. As we age, fat pads in our temples, cheeks, chin, and under our eyes shrink and drop, leading to a sunken appearance.
  • While certain fillers can help significantly, there can be many complications in the delicate under-eye area, and fillers may eventually cause lumps, bumps, and unevenness. For a more natural and safe option than hyaluronic fillers, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and microneedling can be effective.
  • If fillers, PRP, or microneedling are not options, a blepharoplasty performed by a plastic surgeon can work wonders.
Skin Care

Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen

As our concern for what we put on our skin grows, it is important to understand the differences between mineral and chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier on the skin’s surface that reflects UVA and UVB rays.

Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain synthetic ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB rays before they penetrate deep into the skin. The most common chemical sunscreen ingredients to look for are oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene.

While mineral sunscreens can leave a white or purple film in the skin, chemical sunscreens tend to leave a sheen finish. People with sensitive skin or rosacea may find chemical sunscreens to be more irritating and may experience contact dermatitis. Therefore, it is recommended to use mineral sunscreens if you have these conditions. Regardless of which type of sunscreen you choose, it is important to use it consistently to protect your skin from sun damage.

Skin Care

Can hemorrhoid creams help with puffiness under the eyes?

Technically, the answer is “YES”, but don’t do it as this also has hydrocortisone in it – although this will help to decrease the puffiness by acting as an anti-inflammatory – it will eventually this the skin and cause vasculature to be even more visible.

Skin Care

7 tips for Under Eye Bags

  1. Consider reducing your alcohol consumption to less than two standard drinks per week, as recommended by Canada’s new Safe Drinking guidelines.
  2. Cutting down on salt intake, especially at night, can help decrease water retention and reduce puffiness.
  3. If you’ve recently started using contact lenses, they may be causing irritation and fluid buildup under your eyes. Try removing them to see if the puffiness subsides.
  4. If the puffiness comes on suddenly and without explanation, eliminate all regular skin products, including makeup, to see if they may be the culprit.
  5. Allergies can also contribute to puffiness, so consider taking an antihistamine, particularly at night, to see if it helps.
  6. Finally, try using caffeine-based creams or chilled tea bags under your eyes to reduce puffiness.
  7. You can also use a gua sha stone, making upward and outward motions, to help stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness.