Peels To The People: Hand Wringing

The People's Skincare Newsletter, Vol. 13, No. 1 April 2020

Inside this issue:

Hi Everyone. I trust that you are staying healthy and observing the protocols of our new normal. While I certainly can’t add much to everything that’s already been said about the Wuhan Pandemic, I do have a few observations about my own behavior/habits during this time. We all get accustomed to routines and when disrupted, some of us can get (can get? do get!) obsessed with unhealthy aspects of our lives….like looking in the mirror too long and too often, severely judging ourselves as too fat, too thin (ha!), too wrinkly, too self-obsessed, not reaching out enough, reaching out too much, getting restless and then returning to that mirror. I fear I’m guilty then rationalize that I’ll do better tomorrow and that it’s perfectly human to deflect attention from the petty s@#& to the bigger question…is this going to kill me or someone I love. Of course there’s no answer to neither the petty nor the profound, they’re just baked into our particular cake.

Please forgive me for rambling here. I meant to include some tips about sanitation: wash your makeup brushes frequently to prevent bacterial buildup; go through your drawers and toss skincare products that have been opened and are two years or older, including sample sizes; use antibacterial wipes to sanitize your sink between face washes and teeth cleaning….but you’re smart and you’re already doing that.

Take special care of your skin during this time, be gentle and don’t scrub. Wear a soothing facial mask all night to boost your skin’s hydration; wear SPF daily even if you’re just at home reading by a window; wear makeup if it makes you feel better. Maybe you’re eating more because you’re at home more and bored…try substituting more skin-friendly fruits and veggies for those immediately-satisfying sugar and salt snacks. I’m feeling very self-righteous by substituting Emergin-C Immune System Gummies for a package of Swedish Fish. I’d much rather whip up a batch of brownies than make lentil soup with bone broth but there you have it. Readjusting priorities and trying to roll with the times.

I guess we’re never to old to come up with coping skills. What are yours?

Hand Wringing

Of course you’ve been washing your hands like crazy for the last months, using hand sanitizers and cleaning products that aren’t necessarily skin-friendly. I’m proud of Epionce for offering a 20% discount on their Restorative Hand Cream, Lytic Gel Cleanser and Enriched Body Cream. Let’s review:

Restorative Hand Cream (2.5 oz., $16 on sale) is a quick-absorbing formula that provides soothing relief for over-stressed hands.

Lytic Gel Cleanser (6 oz., $30.40 on sale) is anti-bacterial and non-irritating; can be used as a spot treatment on blemishes, reduces redness. I use it about once a week for a really deep clean, leave it on for a couple of minutes then rinse off, then apply a moisturizer or mask. I’ve also been using a drop in the palm of my hand and smooshing my makeup brushes to clean, rinse, then air dry. I trust Lytic Gel Cleanser more than any makeup brush cleaner on the market. Men also like it for face and hand washing.

Enriched Body Cream (8 oz. $32.80 on sale)…this cream is amazing, a body-butter consistency that actually does something for dry skin…it’s hydrating and quick drying. And a terrific bargain for a big tube. As with all Epionce products, you don’t need a huge glob of it to work.

I carry all of these products and honor the 20% discount. I’m happy to deliver/send to you or you can also order directly from and use code 20090528.

And now for some articles:

Skin Health and Nutrition

Nutrition and Skin Health: Nutritional counseling can help support positive outcomes for aesthetic patients, according to a recent paper published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (January 2020). In “The Role of Medical Nutrition Therapy in Dermatology and Skin Aesthetics: A Review”, author Martina Cartwright, PhD, RD, provides an evidence-based overview of nutritional recommendations for various cutaneous concerns. The indications for medical nutritional therapy with the strongest evidence include:

Skin Health and Aesthetics: In large-scale studies, middle-aged women with wrinkled skin consumed LESS dietary protein, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. Lower linoleum acid and vitamin C intake is also associated with drier skin. Subjects whose diets included eggs, yogurt, legumes, fruits, vegetable and olive oil had less wrinkling on sun-exposed skin. Consumption of vitamin C and lycopene-rich foods also led to smoother skin with less visible sun damage.

Acne: There is emerging evidence that a high glycemic index diet and frequent dairy consumption can increase the severity of acne. A low glycemic index diet containing probiotic foods may benefit acne patients.

Rosacea: Spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine have been shown to worsen rosacea in some patients. Histamine-rich foods such as cola, soy and processed meat may exacerbate redness.

Overall a Mediterranean diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, red wine, fish and olive oil helps to reduce inflammation. This diet can be beneficial for patients with inflammatory skin conditions and may also help improve skin tone and texture.

Sunscreen Ingredients & the 2020 Economic Rescue Package

Two items coincide here. The first is a study by the American Academy of Dermatology that found that some active sunscreen ingredients were absorbed into the bloodstream at levels exceeding the FDA’s threshold for waiving additional safety tests. This study tested six SPF ingredients—avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate and octinoxate—in four different formulations after a single, full-body application to analyze the ingredients’ absorption levels in the blood. In his public statement, the AAD president George J. Hruza noted that, despite evidence of absorption above the FDA threshold for additional safety testing, both the study’s authors and the FDA concluded that consumers should continue to use sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun.

“More research is needed to determine if the absorption has any effects on a person’s health. As the researchers point out, just because an ingredient is absorbed into the bloodstream does not mean that it is harmful or unsafe”, AAD President Hruza stated. For those concerned with the absorption of chemical sunscreen actives as well as those with sensitive skin, the AAD notes that people can use physical sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide which sit on the surface of the skin, primarily deflecting the sun’s rays.

Now most recently, tucked into the final 2020 Economic Rescue Package is language ensuring that the FDA reviews newer and more novel ingredients for OTC sunscreen products. The shout-out for sunscreen is part of a long-awaited effort to reform the over-the-counter drug industry, added to the rescue bill amid backing from that industry and various health groups. Besides expanding FDA oversight of OTC products, the provision would streamline the process to change safety labels.

Hopefully sunscreen will finally get its due and make it clearer to consumers which ingredients are the safest and most efficacious to use.

Childhood Trauma & Reconstructive Surgery

I have a very long article on Childhood Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery that I'd like to share with you but I’m going to save it for another time. It’s fascinating and something I'm very familiar with but it’s also about sad people who can’t move on so let’s save that when we’re not housebound and under siege.

Odds and Ends

Thank goodness it’s getting warmer. Here in southern Utah it’s been a cool, wet (for the desert) spring and using hand warmers for early morning walks is normal. That’s starting to change and my outlook with it. I’m actually welcoming the heat this year and the longer, hot days to come. Never thought I’d say that!

As many of you know, I’m now a student of bourbon and American whiskey and have pursued this passion for the past couple of years. I’ve been back and forth to Kentucky a number of times and have made some casual contacts there including at Moonshine University in Louisville. I really wish they’d change their name because it sounds so redneck and silly and that’s the furthest from the truth. Their facility is top-notch with an operating distillery on site; their faculty are world-class experts in their fields…distilling, fermentation, sensory science and so forth.

In March of this year I attended a two-day workshop on fermentation with Dr. Pat Heist, a brilliant and charismatic “hillbilly PhD”, author of numerous scientific papers on yeast, TED talker and soon to be subject of an HBO special. Other classmates included distillers from Fiji, Argentina and Canada, farmers, a commercial fisherman from Oregon, a veterinarian from West Virginia and me, a “mature" aesthetician from Utah. I was definitely wearing the dunce cap for two days as the course was all about chemistry, duh, and I was there really just to get a couple of practical takeaways to share with guests at the bourbon dinners I teach in St. George. I was as overwhelmed by the fermentation material as at some of the skincare courses I’ve taken over the years but also awestruck at how people are so creative and innovative in their respective fields.

Dr. Thornfeldt from Epionce had an advanced education course scheduled in Seattle in May but that’s been cancelled indefinitely. These are always worthwhile events so hopefully another time, another place will be announced soon. We’re all waiting, aren’t we. And yet we have to be ever present. Yuck!

I wish you a healthy few months ahead and would love to hear from you,

All my best,