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Hormones and Your Skin: The Not Always Friendly Relationship

For many of use, when we’re a teenager, we hate what our hormones are doing to our skin. Overactive teenage hormones are the main culprit of acne breakouts and excessively oily skin. And, of course, we all hope that as we get older our hormones will regulate. However, hormones play a key role with your skin’s health through most of your life. Depending on your age, gender and genetic makeup, you may or may not have to understand the relationship between hormones and your skin. However, knowing what you can expect your skin to do as a result of your body’s hormones can prepare you to find the perfect skin care regimen.

Skin Care Advice: Hormones and Your Skin

The Teen Years: Overactive Hormones, Oil and Acne
When we hit puberty, almost without fail our hormones go into overdrive. For many, this doesn’t have an impact on their skin. However, for many people the overactive adrenal gland produces hormones that result in an excess production of oil (causing oily, shiny skin) and an excess production of skin cells (clogging pores and hair follicles and causing acne breakouts). Whether your skin care concern is finding an effective acne treatment or just finding a way to reduce oil and shine, hormones are the cause of skin imperfections for a huge number of people during their teen years. If you’re battling teenage acne and what to start a path to clear skin, a great place to start is the Murad Acne Treatment and Resource Center.

Recommended Product: Clean Scene™ Begging for Balance 
Clean Scene products by Murad are specifically designed for teenage skin. Begging for Balance is an exfoliating cleanser that keeps skin healthy while reducing oil and shine. If your teenage hormones are creating a shiny face, Begging for Balance can help to even and improve skin tone and health.

Adult Years: Adult Acne and Hormonal Shifts
Whether you had perfect skin as a teenager or troubled skin as a teenager, hormones shift again in your early adult years. That may mean that your skin improves, or it may mean the onset or continuation of adult acne breakouts. For women, hormonal shifts due to pregnancy or menstrual cycles can also result in breakouts at an older age. Finally, stress can trigger activity in the adrenal gland, and for many people adult life is full of newfound stress. How do you manage hormonal shifts that result in acne breakouts as an adult? The first step is to adopt the practices of Inclusive Health™ so that you can manage your stress via Emotional Self Care™ and your body via Internal Care. Then find the right topical acne products for your more sensitive, adult skin.

Recommended Product: Murad Anti-Aging Acne Regimen 
Salicylic Acid works to unclog pores to reduce existing acne and prevent new breakouts, while anti-aging ingredients hydrate and firm skin.

Customer Review

Skin Care Advice: Hormones and Your Skin

“As a 36 year old woman suffering from acne breakouts for years, I finally decided to use my Murad Acne kit consistently and all I can say is Wow. It has only been a few days and I see amazing results. I am now a lifetime customer and I can’t wait to try the cellulite products. Thank you Murad for giving me my confidence back. I love the Murad Acne products. My skin is clearer and I feel so much better about my appearance.”sugarmama1975, Ohio
Menopause: The Onset of Hormonal Aging
Did you know that in studies skin loses up to thirty percent of its skin-firming collagen in the first five years after menopause? For women, the hormonal shift that occurs before and during menopause results in a significant decrease in collagen production. This process, known as Hormonal Aging, causes loose, crepe-like skin and wrinkles to form. Yes, just when you thought that you were old enough to not have to worry about your skin responding to hormones, Hormonal Aging came along! Fortunately, with the right topical products and Inclusive Health lifestyle choices, you can maintain firm, youthful looking skin.

Recommended Product: Murad Resurgence® Introductory Kit
Specifically developed by Dr. Howard Murad to combat the onset of Hormonal Aging, Murad Resurgence products firm loose skin for a smoother, younger appearance.

Customer Review
“These products are the very best on the market! I purchased this offer a few months ago and am now a loyal customer. I get so many comments about how much better my skin looks now!” teacherdoc, Pennsylvania

No matter what your age, hormones play a role in the health of your body and your skin. Make sure to consider what impact your hormones are having when making skin care regimen decisions!

Reposted from the Murad Skin Care Blog.


Three Tips For Smooth Summer Legs

Summer is approaching. That means that in addition to your skin care regimen for your face, you also need to take some time to think about body care. With shorts, shorter skirts and bathing suits about to become daily wear for many of us, smooth legs can be one of your best fashion accessories. Here are three tips for ensuring that you have smooth summer legs, no matter what your summer attire may be.

Use a Firming Cream or Anti-Cellulite Treatment
No matter what size you are, you can develop cellulite and loose skin on your legs and even your arms. Cellulite isn’t a “fat problem,” as many people believe. It’s actually a skin health problem where the skin becomes too weak to hold back the fatty lipids right beneath the surface. If you have extensive cellulite, try a complete anti-cellulite treatment solution such as Murad Cellulite Solution Regimen, which includes internal supplements, a firming cream and Murad Firm and Tone Serum to restore skin’s smoothness. If your cellulite problem is more minimal, try Murad Body Firming Cream, which firms skin by up to 40% in just fifteen minutes.

Use a Body Lotion With a Subtle Shine
Much like a light bronzing powder gives your face a subtle glow, body lotions with a hint of shine give your legs a smooth, summer-kissed appearance. Don’t look for a lotion that’s full of actual glitter, but do search for a summer lotion that provides a subtle shimmer or contains ingredients that reflect light. You’ll look a starlet that just stepped off of a movie set.

Begin Exercising Now!
Nothing makes legs look healthier than keeping them in good physical shape. You don’t need to begin running ten miles a day or taking a step aerobics class to get good, toned legs. Opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator, simply walking for 30 minutes per day or doing calf raises while you’re waiting in line at the coffee shop or at the copier at work can all help improve the look of your calves and thighs. Exercise in any form improves your overall health and makes you a happier, less stressed person. And you’ll also get the benefit of great-looking summer legs! 

Of course, choosing flattering lengths on dresses and shorts, wearing shoes with heels and not exposing the skin on your legs to harmful UV rays without proper sun protection will also help give you the sultry summer legs that you want. Summer is a time to get out and show off what you’ve got, so use these tips to get your legs in summer-ready form.

Murad Body Firming Cream Customer Reviews

Murad Body Firming CreamWorth the Price!
“I balked at the price of this at first, but once I used it I WAS HOOKED! I love this cream. It works! It actually really works! I watch my skin go from so-so to va-va-va-voom in about 10 minutes, and it boosts my confidence and makes me feel like I can do anything. It also smells really good, but doesn’t compete with other fragrances. Oh, and it has lasted me forever. A little goes a long way. This cream works in the short term by giving you firm and really soft skin in the time stated, and it works in the long term by motivating you to eat right and exercise so that your skin can stay that way! I love it, my husband loves it, and I will use it until Dr. Murad makes something even better…though I don’t think that’s possible.” 
Lorak, Keaau, HI

Can’t Live Without
“This is one product I make sure I never run out of. It only takes 3 days without it to see why I keep it on hand.” 
Hollace, Denver, CO

It Does What It Says
“This cream easily absorbs, leaving your skin feeling renewed, soft and hydrated. I highly recommend using it with the [Firm and Tone Serum] for maximum benefits. I am almost 60 and though I am conscious of what I eat and exercise regularly, I was still seeing some loss of skin firmness. Finding these two products has shown me there is a solution. Thank you!” 
yogamap, Issaquah, WA


Fake-Tan Lotion Users Tend to Stay Out of Sun. 

Women who use lotions and gels to produce a fake suntan tend to cut back on outdoor sunbathing and use of tanning beds, with close to 40 percent who use such products saying they limited their time in the sun, U.S. researchers said.


The findings, published in the Archives of Dermatology, mean that the products may be a way to convince women seeking a tan to reduce ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure, which is linked to a higher risk of skin cancer, the researchers said.

"The message I give is, your natural skin color is where you were born to be, but if you really want to be tan get it out of a bottle," said Suephy Chen, a dermatologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, who worked on the study.

"Getting a tan out of a bottle is incredibly safe, whereas getting tanned from tanning beds and lying out is not."

Chen noted that while there's still controversy among skin doctors about whether they should be promoting any tanning product or if the only message should be that natural skin color is best, years of warning about cancer risks from other forms of tanning clearly aren't getting through to younger generations.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute estimated that there were more than 1 million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in 2010 in the United States, and fewer than 1,000 deaths. For the more dangerous melanomas, 2011 was expected to see about 70,000 new cases and close to 9,000 deaths.

Researchers surveyed 415 women living on or around the Emory University campus who ranged in age from 18 to 71, but most were under 26. They reported how often they tanned outside or in tanning beds, or used sunless tanners.

About half said they'd used sunless tanning lotions, gels or spray-ons in the past year, and at least 70 percent reported tanning in the sun. One-quarter said they'd recently used a tanning bed.

While women who used tanning products said they were also more likely to seek other types of tans, close to 40 percent said they had decreased their sun exposure or use of tanning beds because of the products.

The top reasons for using sunless tanning products were safety and to avoid wrinkles, the researchers said. Some people with sensitive skin may get a rash, but in general the products are safe.

Daniel Sheehan, a dermatologist at Georgia Health Services University in August, said that some dermatologists might consider it a mixed message to suggest sunless tanning products when patients really shouldn't want to tan at all.

"On the other hand, I don't think that standpoint recognizes the reality that people really want a tanned appearance, and many of them are going to get it one way or another," said Sheehan, who was not involved in the study.

"We're probably better off encouraging people to pursue a safe tan than a UV tan."

(Reporting from New York by Genevra Pittman at Reuters Health; Editing by Elaine Lies andRobert Birsel)


Why Winter Hydration Is Important

Feel that chill in the air? Winter is well on its way. And while many of us look forward to sweater weather with relish, you wouldn’t know it by looking at our skin. Between the icy outdoor air and the desiccating indoor heat, it’s no surprise that the biggest beauty gripe of the season is dry skin. However, what most see as a minor inconvenience could hold serious consequences for your complexion years down the road. In the fight against premature aging, winter hydration is just as important as summer sun protection.

While the cold alone isn’t enough to signal a four-star beauty alarm, the drop in humidity compounded with around-the-clock heating are solid clues that its time to step up your skin care regimen. To keep your home cool in the summer and toasty in the winter, your air conditioner dehumidifies the air to control the climate. While this saves you from constantly bundling up when it’s cold outside, it also throws your skin into a state of panic.

Like a sponge, your skin absorbs moisture from the environment to keep its cells healthy and functioning. It also creates a lipid (fatty) barrier to maintain optimal moisture levels even when the humidity fluctuates, like during the winter. Between this lipid barrier and sebum—natural oils secreted by the sebaceous glands—the skin helps combat trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL. If these natural defenses are compromised, the skin’s cells can quickly lose vital moisture, dry out and die. Over time, dead cells can build up, creating a dull appearance and blocking topical ingredients from reaching the healthy cells below.

What threatens the skin’s natural defenses? Anything that strips its lipid and sebum barrier leaves skin vulnerable to dehydration. Talc-based cosmetics, common cleanser detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and topical irritants, like alcohol and benzoyl peroxide, that can cause inflammation all pose a threat to skin’s delicate moisture balance. Chronic barrier abuse can lead to cracked, broken skin, contributing to signs of premature aging. With skin immunity and repair function in jeopardy, lines and wrinkles can easily follow.

Fortunately, you can prevent the type of winter damage that can lead to premature aging with topical ingredients that work with the skin’s barrier to minimize moisture loss. In addition to natural emollients like shea butter, moisture-enhancing ingredients like jojoba oil, liquid crystals and heavy water can work wonders on both seasonal and persistent dry skin.

Jojoba oil comes from the jojoba shrub, found throughout the southwestern United States and Mexico. Jojoba oil acts similarly to human sebum, conditioning the skin and helping to trap in moisture. Combined with other key moisturizers in a formula like CosMedix’s Hydrate+, this highly prized emollient encourages healthy hydration, especially in skin stripped of its own natural oils.

While jojoba oil helps hydrate skin by locking moisture inside, liquid crystals, like those found in Emulsion, help support the natural liquid crystal matrix of dermal tissue and cell membranes. Existing in a state between liquid and solid, liquid crystals help enhance the absorption of topical hydrators that might otherwise remain on the skin’s surface. Because all cellular components in the body exist in a liquid crystal state, liquid crystal skin care products communicate with the skin’s cells to help correct concerns like moisture loss.

One ingredient you’re not likely to hear a lot about is heavy water. However, with a list of benefits that includes ionizing radiation, boosting immunity and fighting acne bacteria, this little known substance is a skin care powerhouse. Heavy water, or deuterium oxide, is water enriched with deuterium, a hydrogen isotope found naturally in the ocean. Denser than water (hence the name), it’s more resistant to evaporation, making products rich in this moisture-binding ingredient, like Mystic, dry skin must haves.

By targeting moisture loss from outside and within, multi-active hydrating products like those in CosMedix’s chirally correct skin care line can help eliminate winter dryness and prevent the aging effects that build with time. Used in conjunction with a skin care regimen customized to your skin’s needs, corrective hydrators can help you give dry skin the cold shoulder this season and every season.


Non-Wounding Peels

The Battle is Over

Non-wounding chemical peels maintain the health of your skin


In today’s world, the term chemical peel has practically been embedded in our everyday vocabulary. Even if skin rejuvenation does not interest you in the least, it is likely that you are somewhat familiar with the procedure and its intended results. But for chemical peel ‘virgins,’ the following is a brief explanation:


A chemical peel involves the application of a chemical solution onto the skin, causing it to blister and eventually peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smooth and less wrinkled than the old skin.


Therein lies the problem of a majority of chemical peels. Most people—including experts in the industry—believe that blistering, or wounding, is a necessary component in the success of a chemical peel. What they don’t know, however, is that blistering not only causes injury to the skin, but damages its overall health as well.


Traditional chemical peels wound the skin due to their high level of pH acid. This wounding is believed to send a message to the skin that it must, in turn, repair itself by forming new skin. While partly true—a wound in the epidermis notifies the skin to stimulate new fibroblasts—it is not the best approach to achieving healthy, younger-looking skin.


What if there was a chemical peel that not only gave you beautiful, smooth skin, but also maintained its health? Fortunately, CosMedix has developed peels that stimulate, not irritate.


Dana Perdue, National Director of Education, offers a logical analogy on this topic: “The subject of wounding versus non-wounding chemical peels is similar to getting into a house. There are two ways you could go about entering—either by breaking in or using a key. While breaking a window would give you the same end result as a key—getting into the house—it would be a much more violent approach and cause a big mess. A key, however, would not only get you inside the house, but it would be the safest way to do so.”


In summary, wounding peels are similar to breaking into a home—they cause damage to the skin. Non-wounding peels, on the other hand, offer the same outcome but protect the skin’s health. “All too often, people focus on the end result, but what matters most is how we get there. The path you take to achieve radiant, beautiful skin is vital,” Perdue says.


CosMedix’s peels stimulate healthy cell turnover by communicating to the cells’ receptor sites, not by simply blistering the skin. CosMedix’s line of chirally correct chemical peels encourages the body’s natural response to a chemical peel rather than forcing it to become inflamed and irritated. Containing ingredients such as AGP Complex, L-lactic acid and blueberry antioxidants, CosMedix’s peels minimize inflammation and optimize the health of the skin.


Depending on the condition of your skin, you may still experience some irritation from CosMedix’s peels. But, you can rest assured knowing that you’ve taken a much safer path to beautiful skin.


Deep Sea Peel – A non-acid peel that stimulates cell turnover, generates collagen and increases NMF (natural moisture factor).


Benefit Peel – A powerful antioxidant that delivers vital nutrients to the skin with calming benefits of vitamin C.


Pomegranate Peel – Helps prevent free radical damage and increases the life span of healthy cells.


Blueberry Jessner Peel – An excellent acne treatment that improves the appearance of mature skin and brightens skin tone.


Purity Peel – Clears skin of acne and blemishes while reducing inflammation and exfoliating the skin.


Credit: CosMedix