Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++

Beauty Balms, also known as BB creams, have finally made their way to the U.S. Highly popular in Asia, BB creams are a one-step, multitasking product that provide anti-aging, antioxidants, sunscreen, and foundation all in one bottle.

Dr. Jart is a dermatological cosmetic line in Korea. The Dr. Jart BB cream contains arbutin for brightening properties, titanium and zinc oxide for sun protection, glycerin for moisture and a bio-peptide complex for anti-aging benefits. It is important to note that this product is not formulated using sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan.

I was excited to try Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm since I barely have time to brush my hair in the morning. The pump dispenser allows just the right amount of product to ooze from the sleek, gold bottle. At first glance, I worried that the one-shade-fits-all would be too dark for my Fitzpatrick type II skin tone. I blended the product into my face using the Sephora Collection Pro-Air Brush #55. The shade immediately blended into my skin tone providing a smooth, gleaming canvas. It did a great job at camouflaging superficial discolorations but I still need a concealer to cover inflamed acne and under eye circles. Since I am highly acne-prone, I obviously scanned the ingredients list. The only ingredient that could potentially cause break-outs is soybean oil, but since it’s not high on the list of ingredients, I was not or am concerned. I did use this product for two weeks before my review. I have not had any additional break-outs since using this product.

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I would highly recommend this product, especially if you are seeking a multitasking product that provides light coverage.

Chemical Peels

I have to admit that I am a chemical peel queen. If performed correctly, chemical peels can eradicate many skincare issues from acne to hyperpigmentation. Peels are also relatively inexpensive compared to other treatments such as laser therapy and fillers. I know many people are confused when it comes to the different types of chemical peels so here are the most popular.

Glycolic Peel

Glycolic peels are the most popular chemical peels performed in spa settings. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that’s naturally found in sugar cane. It is produced synthetically in the clinical setting. Since the molecular size is quite small, glycolic has an intense penetration rate.  Glycolic peels can help improve fine lines, solar damage, hyperpigmentation and mild cases of acne.  Available in concentrations of 20-70 percent. A series is recommended for proper results.

Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is another alpha hydroxy acid that’s naturally found in milk.  Lactic acid is a milder peel compared to glycolic acid and recommended for drier skin types & sensitive skin. It is great at increasing hydration levels while providing anti-aging effects.  Available in concentrations of 10-70 percent and again a series is recommended.

Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid is yet another alpha hydroxy acid. Unlike glycolic and lactic, it has a larger molecular size so it can’t penetrate as deep into the skin.  It’s naturally derived from almonds and provides a very mild exfoliation. It’s great at treating superficial discoloration such as melasma. Since mandelic acid also contains antibacterial properties it can be used to eradicate acne that is more severe such as adult acne. Since it’s so mild, this peel is also used to tone down redness associated with rosacea. I personally use a mandelic acid peel on a weekly bases to help control my adult acne breakouts.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid naturally found in willow bard. It contains both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it works well for acne. Since it’s oil-soluble, it can penetrate pores and decrease excess oil and dead skin cells. Since it’s bringing up debris from the pore, you may notice breakouts post-peel, also known as purging. It’s found in concentrations of 20-30%. You may notice a reddening of the skin after the peel for a few days.

TCA

Tricholoracetic Acid Peels (TCA) ,or as I like to call the “big guns”, is available starting at a 10% concentration and increasing in 5% increments. It’s imperative that TCA is mixed properly in a water-based solution so the peel can penetrate the skin. TCA works by method protein coagulation. This means that the peel is reaching the protein of the skin found , therefore TCA is a more intense peeling agent.  TCA is great for use on fine lines, rolling acne scars, hyperigmentation, and solar damage. You may have heard of Dr. Obagi’s Blue Peel, this is a TCA peel. TCA has a tendency to cause hyperpigmentation so it’s best that you find a reputable technician to perform this advanced peel. Downtime is mild-intense peeling, depending on strength use, that can last up to two weeks.

Jessner’s Peel

Dr. Max Jessner, a German-American dermatologist, created the Jessner’s peel. This medium-depth peel consists of resorcinol, lactic and salicylic acids in 14% concentrations saturated in an ethanol base. It sounds dangerous but it’s virtually non-toxic. This peel is best used to treat oily, acne-prone skin. This peel has the ability to reach a little deeper into the upper papillary dermis (2nd level of the skin). You may notice frosting with this peel, which forms as a sheet of white on the skin. This happens when the peel mixes with keratin in the upper layer of the skin, the epidermis. This peel produces more down-time that the other peels in my experience. You may notice intense peeling and a darkening of the skin for up to 5 days.

Teen Acne

Oh teenagers! What fun it is to be surrounded by a pubescent teen. Not only are they experiencing difficult hormonal fluctuations but then they become plagued with adolescent pore structure. Once the pore structure begins, teens may experience breakouts on their nose, chin, and forehead. Usually it’s minor and might consist of blackheads (open comedones) and papules. A blackhead forms when a pore is large enough to hold onto all the waste inside the pore. Since the pore opening is large, the impacted waste is exposed to oxygen, which causes the sebum to turn brown. A papule is an inflammed (red) bump that might be sore to the touch and lacks a whitehead. You might also hear people say that they have a zit that won’t come to a “head”. They are referring to a papule. During the papule stage, the white blood cells arrive to fight infection. When enough arrive, they may form a cluster that will rise to the surface. The papule then becomes a pustule, which forms a “head” filled with pus. Papules are sore because they are deeper in the skin affecting the nerves. When the papule rises to form a pustule, it’s closer to the skin surface so relieving pressure on the nerve.

Young boys may become afflicted with Keratosis pilaris in the lower cheeks. When beard growth starts, the follicles are too small to harbor the hair which leads to irritation and pimples. Adults might notice Keratosis pilaris on the upper arms and the back of the legs. It is also known as “chicken skin”. The best treatment is use of alpha hydroxy acids or mechanical exfoliation.

It’s important for teens to develop a proper skincare routine. They will need to wash their face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. A toner for oily/combination skin will help control oil and ensure their skin is clear of debris. An alpha hydroxy or salicylic acid treatment can also be used as long as it’s in a gel form. Benzoyl peroxide can be used as a spot treatment if necessary. It’s important that teens also use a broad spectrum sunscreen. The use of chemical exfoliants will cause skin to become sun sensitive, but also sun damage produces cell build-up which will ultimately lead to more breakouts. Do not listen to the old wise tale that the sun dries up acne. As soon as the tan fades, not only will you be afflicted with sun damage and high risk of melanoma but you will also notice more and more breakouts.

Now I will talk a little about nutrition and diet. Studies are iffy on whether or not chocolate and greasy foods lead to acne. They do lead to an increase in insulin levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides which ultimately plays a huge role in the health of our bodies-both inside and out. Iodides may cause acne flare-ups in some individuals. Foods high in iodide include shellfish, kelp, squid, asparagus, and iodized salt. I’m not saying to give them up 100% but perhaps try lowering your intake of these foods to see if it helps with flare-up. Also a big topic today is hormones in foods, especially dairy. Non-organic dairy foods seem to cause a great deal of acne flare-ups in girls and women due to presence of hormones. Try organic dairy to see if flare-ups decrease. I advice against soy since soy naturally contains estrogen.

Hormonal Acne

There has been a huge increase in acne affecting more women in their adult years. Most adult women think clear skin is on the horizon once we escape our teens, only to find that’s not the case.

I had picture-perfect clear skin in my teens and early twenties. In fact, I was often told how beautiful my skin was.  In my mid-late twenties I began experiencing adult acne. Painful papules on my chin and cheeks plagued me for days. I began seeing an aesthetician in Charlotte, NC for blue light therapy, dermaplaning, chemical peels, and even laser therapy. Jill helped me control my breakouts and scarring and also interested me into going into the business. Shortly after, I had planned my move back to my hometown. With the stress of moving, selling my house-all with two kids in tow, my stress levels were through the roof.  By the time I was in Virginia, my face had erupted into painful breakouts all over my face. At the insistence of my grandmother, I made an appointment with a dermatologist.  I saw the PA, Michael, who prescribed Solodyn and Retin-A Micro. My skin is thick and not sensitive, but I could not handle the irritation from Retin-A. I did remain on the Solodyn, which kept me clear for a year. When I became pregnant with my youngest daughter, my skin cleared and glow, as if I were in my teens again. I had no acne, no excessive oil , no worries. About three months postpartum, my skin returned to it’s “usual” routine.

Adult acne is so difficult to treat since it’s mostly caused by hormones. Stress is a culprit, since it triggers our brain into producing  hormones, which causes a mass oil production.  Birth control pills are another factor. They can trigger an androgenic (male hormone) flare-up which can cause acne. Menopause can lead to severe acne, since the body is going through permanent hormonal changes.

Having a proper skincare regimen is important when treating adult acne.  Here are some ingredients used to treat acne.

~Benzoyl Peroxide– available in 2.5%, 5%, and 10% concentrations.  It is a keratolytic, which means it dissolves keratin. It works by breaking up dead cells that have become trapped in pores. It also releases oxygen into the pore.  Acne bacteria cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.

~Salicylic Acid– a betahydroxy acid (bha) that sheds dead cells that have become trapped in the pore. It is touted as being milder than benzoyl peroxide.  BHA is used in over the counter products in concentrations of 1% or 2%.

~Sulfur- is used to exfoliate pores and it also has antibacterial properties. It’s not as irritating as benzoyl peroxide so this is very popular with adult acne-sufferers. It can be found in concentrations of up to 10% and is mainly used in masks.

~Sulfur mixed with Resorcinol- Resorcinol is a known peeling agent that can be found in a Jessner’s chemical peel. When it’s mixed with sulfur, it’s anti-acne properties are increased. Sulfur-resorcinol is often found in “drying” potions. It should not be used on large areas of the body or broken skin due to toxicity.

Finding the right brand or product will take trial and error. If breakouts are not lessened by use of topical treatments, then it is wise to visit a physician to rule out any hormonal disorders.