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Sterling Minerals Beauty News

Back Acne Or Is It Something Else

Acne, comedone, open or closed or a cyst.

Odd Changes To Your Skin

Have you begun to see odd changes to your skin especially on your back that were never there before? Such as, tiny bumps with dry skin, which might be confused with a white head or back acne? But it isn’t!

What about a hard bump with a dark center? You might think it is perhaps the beginning of a black head or plugged up open Comedone, or worse it is skin cancer like I did since I have had melanoma before. But it wasn’t any of those things!

My discovery on anything weird looking on my back or chest requires constant monitoring so I can catch it early. In this case, it turned out to be a subaceous cyst beginning to form and are commonly confused with acne or an open comedone with the latter turning into a subaceous cyst. This little inconvenience is another “blech” moment for me. Yet I needed to know the specifics of this freshly discovered skin malady.

My Husband Went Into Freak Out Mode

Of course, when my hubby discovers something, I can’t see ordinarily it is the same song and dance. “Better get into to see the doctor, you don’t want to play around with this stuff.”

I obediently go see my doctor, anticipating we have another skin cancer on its way, only to learn I have a different anomaly.

Even though this thing is a new pain in my neck, I was relieved to know it was not more skin cancer. Basically, my doctor told me they are common, and it will either go away on its own or it won’t. But warned me to leave it alone and do not pick at it to prevent creating an infection… uhm, too late.

Defining the Differences Between Acne, Open and Closed Comedones

Acne forms from a blocked pore with sebum production increasing to the point of swelling and looking inflamed which in turn can become cystic. These are typically painful to touch, and you know it is cystic when it resembles more of a lump that is red with a blistered whitehead on top. Bacteria flourishes as it feeds on the trapped sebum making this type of acne not fun to experience.

Open and closed Comedones are typically thought of as a type of acne since it also involves a blocked pore or a damaged hair follicle opening. This is why they are confused for blackheads because they tend to originate near a subaceous gland. However, comedones are typically blocked from a buildup of keratin combined with sebum making a hard head of white when it is closed and a black head with an open comedone.

The best way to treat these is with good cleansing practices, some exfoliation and maybe medication depending on how bad the condition is. Steaming the skin with warm compresses can also help open up the pores and soften the hard plug of keratin and sebum so that you can gently remove it. Never pick at or pop them though, since this can drive infection deeper into the skin.

What the Heck is a Subaceaous Cyst Then?

Sebaceous cysts are sometimes confused for Epidermoid cysts which are essentially slow-growing, non-cancerous, and painless masses that occur right under the surface of the skin. They are smooth solid lumps that might have a black dot on top similar to a blackhead like mine had. These types of cysts can happen to anyone at any time. The good news is that neither type of cyst is very serious or painful, and many times, they will drain and disappear all on their own. At least that’s what my doc says.

One can only hope! The black head is gone from the two on my back, but I am left with the hard lump under my skin.

The doctor says he can excise it if it drives me nuts and it only does that because it is right next to my spine, so I feel it on occasion through my clothes. But he also said it can resolve on its own, yet this “wait and see” can take a very long time, 6 months or more. Mine are coming up on 10 months since discovery.

I Got Quite the Education On Types of Cysts

Sebaceous cysts are more common than you might realize but there is another type you may be dealing with like me. Epidermoid cysts are a thing apparently. The names are often used interchangeably even though they aren’t exactly the same thing.

Sebaceous cysts arise from glands in the skin that produce an oily substance called sebum. When one of these glands gets blocked, the sebum begins to build up and form a pocket beneath the skin. This is similar to typical acne behavior. They usually sprout up on the face, neck, scalp, or torso.

Epidermoid cysts, on the other hand, arise from surface skin cells that begin to collect beneath the skin rather than sloughing off like they should. These cysts are filled with a thick, cheese-like material made of keratin. They usually happen when a hair follicle is inflamed or when there is an injury to the skin such as picking at it (of course I did), which allows those skin cells to accumulate into a cyst.

Epidermoid cysts are far more common than sebaceous cysts, even though many people lump them under the generic header of “sebaceous cysts.” You may only have a single one on your back or you could have quite a few popping up. I typically start to feel these hard-little keratin spots during the winter when the air is dryer and I wear heavier clothing.  Which I am sure this cuts down on air flow and reduces exfoliation.

For the most part, I can usually dislodge them with a good scrubbing in the shower and prevent the situation from getting worse. But apparently as things change with age, not all things work as simply as they once did. I love getting old! 

Lucky Me I Have My Answer with Some Advice

So now that it has been figured out that mine is the Epidermoid kind of cyst… phew… after I discovered it on my back, let the picking begin. I went after that thing in an unhealthy way to try and pop it or get it to drain. Unfortunately, this type of cyst is not prone to draining in the way a zit or sebaceous cyst might cooperate. Yes, to reiterate, I only learned this after the fact once I went to the doctor as he remarked on how sore it looked… yep uh huh… oops!

At the very least, the blackheads eventually disappeared from the surface and they stopped growing, so I believe once they closed they had reached maximum capacity. They are smooth and don’t hurt, but it does bother me that they are still there because they feel funny.

Things I do to encourage them to drain. I massage the cysts periodically hoping this will relieve the fullness and shrink them. I am also more attentive to washing and exfoliating my back in the shower. This is something that I wasn’t doing as much anymore as I continue to lose that flexibility of reaching around behind my back.

I literally feel tiny little hard keratin spots on my back located near my spine, and I attribute this to not attending to exfoliating the area. And now that I realize that these tiny hard keratin bumps can result into a deeper issue, I’ll be way more vigilant when it comes to back care. Obviously, this will become a priority even if it means recruiting the hubster to wash my back for me.

Researching Some Product Options to Assist with Skin Maladies

Now that I am dealing with what might be a preventable skin issue in the future, I have been doing my research on products that are perfect for just these types of skin conditions, or for simply helping with exfoliation and cleansing of the skin. Even sensitive skin types will benefit from exfoliating care, especially on the neck and face.

I have found an interesting product that I am loving, and if it performs for me the way I need it to after my trial period, I plan to add it to my Sterling Minerals website for everyone to purchase. I am considering it for providing exfoliation of the face and body.

In the meantime, any odd spot or bump you notice, I encourage you to have it checked out just in case. These types of cysts are quite common and only wanted to share with you if similarly, you have a painless suspicious firm lump under your skin, the odds are in your favor it is something benign.  Hey, it may only be a lipoma, a very weird benign fatty tumor, but that’s another story for another day.

Have a great rest of the week and visit with you soon!

Posted by Katie at April 3, 2019 8:40 am | No Comments »

Makeup That Doesn’t Budge

Women trying to remove makeup that won't budge.

Makeup “Glue” Is This A Good Or Bad Thing?

You might be wondering what the heck I mean by makeup glue? Well it isn’t glue per se, yet it behaves like glue and is more brutal on your tender facial skin than you think. I lovingly refer to it as dated face painting. Or otherwise known as makeup that literally doesn’t budge.

My mineral makeup lasts all day as well, but when I want it off, it doesn’t become a battle at my bathroom sink.

The concept of makeup that stays put or stuck to your skin all day is nothing new and has been available by many brands going back to the late 80’s. I remember it being the latest and greatest unless you had the steady hand for application. Then it became my makeup joke.

Yet, if you look and see the type of ingredients needed to make this makeup application work, these are as far from natural or gentle to skin as you can get. The cool wave of makeup lasting forever, flies in the face of the organic and all natural crowd. I actually can’t believe they still can sell this stuff.

This particular brand I will refer to within this article is offered by an MLM company and they make all things beauty related.

I only mention the type of company I reference here, is due to the marketing concept they embrace since their army of sales reps have minimal education in cosmetic science. Basically, working from sales materials provided by the company. Some of which is making weird claims that lead to disinformation on the very products they sell in spite of the science. And of course this hurts my industry as a whole.

Checkout These Ingredients On Foundation

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, C13-16 Isoparaffin, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Glucosamine HCL, Laminaria Digitata (Algae) Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract, Corallina Officinalis (Blue Seaweed) Extract, Orchis Morio (Orchid) Flower Extract, Cyclomethicone, Cyclotetasiloxane, Aluminum/Magnesium Hydroxide Stearate, C10-13 Isoparaffin, Dimethiconol, Synthetic Urea, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI77492), Iron Oxides (CI77491), Titanium Dioxide (CI77891).

Wow… water aside as the first ingredient, that’s a whole lot of silicone derivatives throughout the list. Anything pretty sounding or natural, four ingredients to be exact, is a typical commercially produced product, not exclusive to this brand. Besides with this level of silicone ratios, this would in all likelihood exceed water ratio. 

Unfortunately, because of the introduction of water, additional preservatives are necessary to protect the user from putting a compromised product on their skin and that is a good thing. However, this in turn adds more skin sensitizing ingredients to your face. But without them, bacteria, fungus or mold will take hold in any skincare item without the use of preservatives and can be harmful to delicate skin as well.

Mature, Oily, Or Dry Skin Gals, Be Wary

If you have dry, mature skin, anything with Alcohol Denat is a big no-no. This ingredient is designed to degrease skin, is very drying and can cause burning on sensitive skin types. It is the 3rd ingredient which gives it a ratio that could be problematic.

If you have acne or oily skin, you may think this is okay for you, but the drying effect has been shown to increase sebum production and can deplete the skins protective acid mantle. This defeats the purpose of keeping oil at bay and fighting acne or keeping skin soft and supple for preventing aging. Who needs more oil or wrinkles on their skin?

This is why I will continue to profess the use of mineral powders for the cleanest and purist makeup application. Plus, the minimalist ingredients in mineral makeup are healthier and have a soothing and healing effect by reducing sensitizing of the skin. Great skincare combined with mineral makeup makes for the best daily routine to fight aging and look fantastic.

When Lip Color Is Painted On Your Lips

Another product is a lip gloss that lasts all day and will not come off until you take it off. It stays put through eating and drinking up until bedtime, or until the next morning if you wish.

The ingredient list for this lip color, for me personally, is more than worrisome, and it is as follows:

Alcohol Denat, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Isostearyl Alcohol, Silica, PPG-20 Methly Glucose Ether, Parfum, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Butylene Glycol, Aqua, Isodonis Japonicus Leaf/Stalk Extract, Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa (Tree Peony) Extract, Tilia Cordata (Linden) Extract, Citronellol, Limonene +/- may contain : CI 77163, CI 77891, CI 77499, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 45410, CI 17200, CI 15850, CI 19140, CI 42090, CI 45370

If you try this, be forewarned! Or if you have tried this lip color, you may have experienced similar reactions to other women seen in product reviews and forums, which includes burning, stinging and sores. Sadly, the reps try to poo-poo it for the sake of keeping their sales from dwindling and to counterpoint any criticism.

The Reality Of These Types Of Cosmetics

I have seen claims stating the tingling you feel is your lips detoxing from using substandard products before using theirs, and it is normal. As they explain, the tingling or stinging will subside after a bit. The reality to that statement is, once it has dried it will stop.

Let me clearly state that this is again marketing jargon because skin does not detox by anything applied topically. This is not skins’ function. If your lips are burning from first use of this product, like anything that creates irritation, discontinue use.

A skin reaction, no matter how mild, is your body signaling you, “STOP” before you cause harm. However, if you need to be sure of the reaction, I guess you can try it again, but don’t ignore this type of reaction just because it subsides after the color is dry. Since repeated use may eventually become evident over time in the form of injury as reported by others.

Understand These Types Of Ingredients

The alcohol denat (denatured alcohol) is first and foremost on the ingredient list followed by acrylates which are film formers to make the color not budge even when wiping your lips. The alcohol assists with drying the lip color rapidly to help the color to stay put instantly.

Film formers are what is put in mascara to help it last all day until you wash it off and contributes to the water proof formulas.

All the pretty flowery names following the Parfum means these can be in the ratio of a single drop to be declared, so essentially it is marketing fluff.

Limonene and Citronellol are known skin sensitizers and once exposed to air cause a drying effect and allergic reaction in some. These are added as a scent to mask other ingredients aromatic odors that might be offensive otherwise.

They are also skin penetration enhancers of other ingredients. I submit if you ever experienced tingling or burning, odds are you were having a reaction to the many dubious ingredients in this lip gloss paint.

Why Do I Care You Might Ask?

Because I am a chronic researcher and care about others especially when it comes to false marketing claims. This is why I have placed many peer reviewed science-based articles throughout my site for your benefit that can assist you with any concerns you might have.

Don’t forget, I too am a consumer outside of my brand, so when I see types of marketing that bypass safety concerns, this becomes my motivator for staying informed using the best science available. It is also why I continue to add articles and attempt to update others as further studies become available.

For yourself, I always recommend doing your homework beyond the sales pitch and delve into the consensus of science and research rather than straight from the marketing reps’ mouth.

For instance, what caught my eye the other day were some videos on Facebook produced by some of these sales reps for this brand of barely removable makeup. After watching I became slack jawed at what I just saw. It is those videos that prompted this article.

Challenging The Challenge Of Makeup Removal

Apparently the MLM marketing plan this month is having their reps perform a set of challenges on video over 30 days. This is to perform a series of tasks showcasing how the products work and are applied and removed.

One in particular, I watched several different reps do a similar challenge of removal of this makeup using the skincare products sold by the same company. They have wipes and sprays depending on your preference. They made it seem easy as they talk throughout the video trying to distract you as they remark how the makeup removal task only took a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately, time lines show the reality on the video and I watched these women tug and pull and wipe for what seemed like an eternity. The delicate eye area was pulled in all directions as the wipes or terry washcloth did a terrible job I might add, of getting the products off in supposed short order.

The actual time struggling to remove the makeup was a whopping 7-8 minutes. You could clearly see makeup residue remained on the face. Then to add insult to injury, the reps advised follow-up washing with their facial cleansers to get the rest of the product off. 

When is enough, enough?

Lip Gloss Color Removal Was Worse

So yep, great idea to have a lip color that you can eat with, drink with and kiss with, and it stays on for all eternity. That is until you want it gone, then begins a whole lot of work.

When looking at the ingredient list above however, is it great concept? Hmmm…

The application itself takes an artist for precision because any small slip and you’ll be spending forever to remove the mistake while possibly destroying the flawless makeup finish you achieved.  Meh… not feelin’ it.

The unbelievable lip color removal process is a whole lot of pulling and wiping as they repeatedly apply with a lip wand some other synthetically created chemical laden product. They mush their lips together to work it in, followed by rubbing harshly with a wash cloth to get it off. This “lovely” (dripping sarcasm) process lasted another 5 minutes.

Don’t Help Mother Nature Along, Fight Her!

The final result was a very tired looking, overworked skin and mouth area. The skin was red and stressed and inflamed from the intense rubbing, yet they flash the pearly whites with what appeared to be a sense of relief. Poor things, this is such an abuse of their skin and it looked painful. Unfortunately they are pushing the aging process along. It certainly is not anti-aging face care by any sense of the imagination. 

Hey, the struggle is real… I totally understand the wish to have to not touch-up your makeup throughout the day. Yet makeup that doesn’t budge, does come with a heavy price… I’m just sayin’.

As I get older, there are days I am lazier when it comes to my own makeup. But one thing I do appreciate is the correct amount of staying power I achieve with my mineral makeup. Plus I take comfort in knowing my skin is not absorbing weird ingredients and the satisfaction that when I wash my face with my ONATI skincare, it comes off without tugging or rubbing in under a minute. As always, it can consist of simple rinsing for sensitive skin or gentle wiping with your favorite face cloth.

If you are over 40, then you have possibly begun to see the small changes in loss of collagen as your skin thins and your lips fade in pigment while getting thinner as well. Fine lines are probably appearing around your lips, and your eyelids and jaw line might be showing signs of drooping or loose skin.

Final Analysis For Me

Do you really want to use products that force you to pull and tug on your otherwise sensitive or aging skin? Your face certainly doesn’t need any help with added sensitivities or the aging process by using a makeup “glue” that because it won’t budge, needs this much work to take it off. 

For me, I would rather do minimal touchup on my makeup and reapply my lip color after eating or drinking, than waste time or injure my face trying to get off glued on makeup or lip paint when I want to.

No matter your age, young or old, this type of makeup removal should be avoided.

A great makeup like mineral powders, should be resistant to fading or wearing off, but if it acts more like a paint on your face through the use of certain harsh ingredients, you are not doing your skin any favors and may cause irreparable harm.

We have heard from women and have seen their skin after using Bismuth Oxychloride which had lasting ill effects.  But that is another story for another day.

So be kind and gentle to your face and keep it looking fantastic since it is the only one you have.

Until next week and have a great weekend.

Posted by Katie at March 12, 2019 12:54 pm | No Comments »

News On Mineral Makeup, Rosacea & A Possible Cure

Exciting Discovery Could Be Next Cure For Rosacea Sufferers

While women wait on the science to help find a cause and cure, our mineral makeup provides benefits to women that suffer with rosacea.  We are often asked by women if our mineral makeup products can be used if they have rosacea whether it be mild or severe, so…

This is the excitement of the latest discovery.  The Journal Of Medical Microbiology published a review that scientists are closer to establishing a definitive bacterial cause for the skin condition rosacea. This will allow more targeted, effective treatments to be developed for sufferers.  So this latest research is welcomed news.

FULL ARTICLE: Rosacea, Mineral Makeup, and the Possible Cure

Posted by Katie at June 2, 2016 9:22 am | No Comments »

Acne Problems, Acne Solutions And Ingredients Involved!

Acne Issues And How To Resolve Them

With the frustration of acne being so prevalent and the fact it can hit us at any age, we felt it was vital for all to try and understand more about acne care which can include some pretty harsh acne products for the face.  Dryness, irritation and inflammation become the mainstay of our lives as we fight to stop our acne from becoming chronic.

We listen to sales pitches, try to understand the different ingredients as to how it all works, while trying to avoid the harsh chemicals that most commercial skincare brands offer.

We have done a two part series of articles that will break this down for you and hopefully get you on the road to recovery with a better understanding of dealing with acne gently, and keep you from further damaging your skin.

Part One: Confusion and Insanity When Dealing With Acne Problems

Part Two: Ingredients To Use and Avoid When Dealing With Acne

Posted by Katie at April 30, 2014 9:00 am | No Comments »

Do I Have A Sun Allergy? Or Is It Some Other Skin Allergy?

Summer Is Rapidly ApproachingExample dermatological skin allergy

As we are now into Spring and Summer is just around the corner, we will begin to get daily exposure to the sun which will bring about some burning or deepening of our skin tone.  Suddenly some of us may notice something odd or changes to our skin especially after a slight sunburn, something we have never seen before, and not really know or understand what is happening.  You may pose the question, “how do I know if I am allergic to the sun?”

Let’s look at the questions that may help to address some skin changes where you are unsure of their exact cause.

FULL ARTICLE: Do I Have A Sun Allergy? Or Is It Some Other Skin Allergy?

Posted by Katie at April 2, 2014 9:00 am | No Comments »