The Acne Detective
Lights up, client enters stage right: She walked into my room, I motioned her to sit. This wasn’t Madelines* first visit, but this visit was different. She was desperate, I could see it in her eyes. Sitting on the table, I looked at her, an attractive young woman in her 30s, a professional in need of answers. She pointed to her mouth, yes there it was, the first clue.
Odd, I thought, her past included a course of Accutane*, a drug strong enough to K.O. acne like a prize fighter.
Something was hinky, not kosher. I continued with my questions, watching and listening, looking for more clues and bam, there it was.
She was chewing gum, like her life depended on it. She was pulling it like taffy, her teeth holding on one end, her fingers on the other, mopping up around her mouth, then pushing it back in. She kept repeating this, only interrupting it to answer my probing questions.
I was on to something. I continued to push for answers:
“What kind of gum is that?“
“Peppermint” she answered, seemingly surprised the inquiry had taken a turn.
“How many sticks a day are you chewing?” I persisted
“About 30” she answered
“How long have you been chewing 30 sticks a day? And why”
“For about a month, cause I quit smoking”
Eureka! I thought. Case Closed!
I gave this doll my recommendations and told her to come back in a month.
Client exits stage right. Lights dim.
4 weeks later “Madeline” (not her real name of course) returned, the breakout area clearing nicely, and she was thrilled!
The culprit aggravating the acne, was the peppermint in the gum, and the frequency it was exposed to that area.
Peppermint is classified as a “counter irritant”. It’s part of the menthol family, and when applied to skin it irritates it, causing an increase in blood flow, heating up that area. (that’s how “BenGay” and other analgesic type lotions work to soothe sore muscles)
Heat is an acne aggravator. Repeatedly aggravating an area prone to acne will increase breakouts.
So my recommendations were, to find a “non menthol” flavored gum to chew, and start using her over the counter acne products consistently to clear the area. And viola! It cleared AND she didn’t start smoking again!
“Mint” is found in alot of skincare products, because it gives a “cool tingly” sensation. It gives the product a feeling that “it’s working”, when it could really be aggravating.
Look for it in, lip balms and acne products, and avoid them if you are breaking out.
Remember, take care of your Birthday Suit sweetheart, it’s the only one you’ve got!
Lisa the acne detective
P.S. *Accutane is a VERY powerful drug (controlled substance) that is a form of Vitamin A, which will shrink the size of the skins oil glands, in turn reducing or eliminating acne. It should be considered only if acne is severe, and other treatments haven’t worked.
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Bare Bliss Waxing Spa
1020 East Saginaw St
Lansing, MI 48906
By Appointment Only
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