What to Do When Products Cause Unexpected Breakouts

What to Do When Products Cause Unexpected Breakouts

Obviously, you use skin products and procedures to look your best. But sometimes, those efforts can trigger a rash or a breakout that defeats what you were trying to accomplish. In that case, what is the safest course of action that protects your skin and clears up the flare-up?

As part of our continuing educational series, let’s discuss what you should do when products cause unexpected breakouts such as redness, rashes, and hives.

Why Breakouts Happen

The first and most common cause of a breakout is an allergic reaction — your skin comes in contact with an ingredient that triggers a histamine response, i.e., hives. Typically, hives stay limited, remaining at or near the area of application.

Redness after using an anti-aging or exfoliating product (face masks, chemical peels, etc.) is a different matter. Because these products are by definition intended to remove a tiny layer of skin, some irritation is likely to occur. This is especially true with products containing retinol, salicylic acid, or other acne-fighting ingredients.

Acne breakouts are common when the formula of the beauty product is oil-based and clogs your pores, trapping oil and bacteria.

Finally, breakouts sometimes happen if you haven’t washed and exfoliated well, or you are using a product that is expired and that might contain irritating bacteria.

Specific Solutions to Specific Breakout Problems

If you are suffering from hives due to an allergic reaction, immediately stop using the product and get it off of your skin. Experts recommend removing the product with room temperature water or a gentle moisturizer.

Be careful not to scrub too hard or with hot water, as each of these can intensify the histamine reaction. Never try to camouflage or cover up the affected area with cosmetics.

If the hives are severe or painful, you can also take an over-the-counter antihistamine allergy medication, such as Benadryl or Zyrtec. These remedies reduce the inflammation, itching, and discomfort of the allergic rash.

Of extreme importance, if you suffer more serious side effects such as swelling of the tongue or throat, pronounced swelling of the face, or shortness of breath, this is a medical emergency, and you should either call 911 or seek immediate attention.

For puffiness and redness due to irritation, rinse your face several times with water to make sure you have removed all of the irritants. For added relief, you can apply soothing hydrocortisone cream or a light layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor.

It can be tempting to want to get rid of annoying pimples by picking or popping them. But this could cause the affected area to become even more irritated and inflamed. At worst, you could even develop an infection leading to permanent scarring.

Instead, carefully cleanse the area with salicylic acid and apply a topical antibiotic or a benzoyl peroxide gel.

Meeting and Treating All Your Skin Care Needs

The best way to ensure the optimal health of your skin is to only use products recommended by a trusted professional who is familiar with your specific skin condition and needs.

In the greater Chicago area, your best and most trusted resource is Beauty and Body by Mia. As one of the leading aestheticians in the area, Mia Valleskey offers skincare products, procedures, and services that keep you looking healthier and younger.

For a free skincare consultation or to book an appointment, contact Beauty and Body by Mia TODAY

Thermage vs Ultherapy: Choosing the Right Anti-Aging Procedure

Thermage vs Ultherapy: Choosing the Right Anti-Aging Procedure

When you want to look your best but don’t want to endure invasive procedures, two of your best options are Thermage and Ultherapy. Both promise to tighten your skin and remove wrinkles without surgery, but which one is right for you?

To help you decide, let’s take a closer look at these two no-cutting-but-cutting-edge beauty procedures that can help you regain your healthy youthful glow and take years off your appearance.

Thermage: Heating Things Up

Thermage is a non-invasive and FDA-cleared skin rejuvenation procedure that treats crow’s feet, crepey skin, jawline jowls, upper eyelid hooding and sagging, and loose skin on the body.

Thermage tightens the skin and removes wrinkles on your face and body. This versatile beauty treatment is safe for all skin tones and types and can be used almost anywhere on your body:

  • Around the eyes
  • Along the jawline
  • Backs of the hands
  • Arms
  • Stomach
  • Knees
  • Thighs
  • Butt

Thermage uses radiofrequency energy to heat the dermis — the layer just below the surface of your skin – to between 104 degrees and 131 degrees Fahrenheit, triggering an immediate collagen contraction. As new collagen slowly develops, you will be blessed with firmer, smoother, and tighter skin.

As an added bonus, Thermage has been cleared by the FDA as a treatment that temporarily improves cellulite and dimpled skin. Thermage gives you smoother, more beautiful skin by stimulating collagen growth and increasing circulation.

Best of all, Thermage treats sagging skin in one treatment, eliminating downtime.

Ultherapy: Sounding Things Out

Likewise, Ultherapy is also non-invasive and FDA-cleared. It lifts and firms the skin on the face, neck, and chin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles on the upper chest.

As the name suggests, Ultherapy utilizes focused ultrasound heat energy to stimulate collagen growth. Even better, providers can use ultrasound imaging to specifically target the tissues that need the most help. Ultherapy penetrates deeply into skin layers that once were only accessible through invasive surgical means.

Best of all, the results of this single-treatment, no-downtime procedure improve over time.

Comparing Thermage and Ultherapy

The ultrasound energy used in Ultherapy reaches the deepest skin layers easier than the RF technology utilized by Thermage. This means that each procedure is superior for different types of problems.


  • Better at reducing wrinkles and bulges
  • Produces noticeable results faster
  • 45- to 90-minute sessions


  • Tightens skin better
  • More precise
  • Less painful
  • Produces longer-lasting results

Making the Right Choice for You

Thermage and Ultherapy both have distinct advantages for similar issues. Choosing the right one depends on your specific skin problems and beauty goals.

If you live in the Chicago area, your first and best resource is Beauty and Body by Mia. As one of the area’s leading aestheticians, Mia Valleskey can help you achieve your beauty goals and enjoy a more youthful and healthy appearance.

To learn about skin rejuvenation or to schedule a consultation, contact Beauty and Body by Mia TODAY

Facial Care Products to Avoid

Facial Care Products to Avoid

Taking care of your skin requires the right products day and night. However, not all facial care products are worth your time or money. In fact, some can damage your skin, causing micro-tears, drying with alcohol, or adding preservatives. Which ones should you avoid? We’re not going to point fingers at specific products, but we will highlight key ingredients that should be on your no-no list. Avoid any product that contains anything from the following list.


There are a lot of conflicts out there about parabens. Some studies claim they’re fine. Others claim they are potential endocrine disruptors, which can lead to hormone imbalance. Usually, parabens are used as preservatives, and you will find them in a lot of moisturizers and cleansers. How do you tell if something is a paraben? The ingredients will have names that start with methyl, butyl, ethyl, or propyl.

The Ethanolamines

Found mostly in things like facial cleansers and some types of soaps, three products fall into this category. They are DEA, MEA, and TEA. Or, more accurately, they are diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine. You may also find them in sunscreen and makeup products.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is used in products as wide-ranging as a paint strippers and skincare products. It’s made from petroleum and can clog your pores very quickly. It also prevents the skin from eliminating toxins, which increases the chance of developing acne and other skin conditions. Where will you find it? Almost everywhere. Check your cosmetics, your creams, and your lotions.


At this point, this should be a no-brainer, but aluminum is still found in an incredibly wide range of skincare products and many women are none the wiser for it. Aluminum is a toxic metal. It also creates estrogen-like effects in the body. Because it disrupts the endocrine system, it leads to hormone imbalances.


PEG, or polyethylene glycol, is used to control moisture and as a product thickener. You’ll usually find it in cleansers designed to help you get rid of oil on your face. The problem is that eliminating your skin’s natural moisture leads to aging and skin damage.

These are just some of the toxins that you should avoid in your facial care products. There are tons of others, including commonly-used options like propylene glycol and butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium Laureth sulfate.

Interested in learning more about effective skin care and rejuvenation? Contact me to schedule your skin consultation.

Home Remedy Options for Skincare

Home Remedy Options for Skincare

You want clear, clean, healthy skin, but you don’t want to pay a fortune for skincare products. You also know that a lot of commercially-available skincare products contain problematic ingredients. There’s good news! You’ll find quite a few home remedy options for skincare that are both affordable and gentle on your skin. We’ll run through the ones you should know about below.

Dry Skin

Struggling with dry skin? While there are lots of products on the market that promise to help, most of them ultimately cause damage. Instead, consider something like coconut oil. It’s an effective moisturizer, plus it’s antibacterial. Best of all? There are no unwanted ingredients like parabens or petroleum byproducts. Did I mention that it’s also anti-inflammatory? With that being said, there is some potential to clog pores (as with any oil), so you might want to use this on your body, but not your face.


Good old oatmeal – it’s great for your heart, but did you also know it’s good for your skin? That’s why it’s touted on the labels of so many commercial products. An oatmeal bath can soothe irritation and help your skin retain much-needed moisture. It also helps treat quite a few skin conditions, such as eczema.


Give your skin a sweet treat! Honey is a powerful aid in the battle against aging skin and fights wrinkles. It also exfoliates, while treating many different skin conditions. You can use it on its own, or combine it with other ingredients to create scrubs and baths.

Essential Oils

Lemon, rose, and jojoba oils can be combined with carrier oils to create powerful anti-aging skincare products. They help to fight wrinkles and other signs of aging, and can also reduce redness and help with other skin challenges you might be facing. Make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil first, though. Undiluted, they can cause irritation and damage.

Aloe Vera

Renowned for its ability to treat burns and sunburns, aloe vera is also a must-have tool to help keep your skin strong and healthy. It brings healing properties to the table, but also stimulates new cell growth and moisturizes your skin, without clogging up your pores the way oils will do.

These are just some of the many home remedy options for skincare. There are plenty of others! Probiotics, Gotu kola, shea butter, tea tree oil, and even soy can all help you heal damage, moisturize, and fight the signs of aging.

If you want to learn more about the top Skin Care recommendations, then reach out to me. I am more than happy to explain the differences, or even set an appointment for you to come in talk about which skincare treatment is the best one for you and your results.

Top Skincare Regimens and Procedures

Top Skincare Regimens and Procedures

When you’re looking to improve or maintain the look of your skin, it’s important to have a normal regimen. Your skin is incredibly delicate, and any changes to your regimen can irritate it, leaving you with blemishes or outbreaks.

It can be challenging to find the right procedure that works for you, and it may take some experimentation. In the following article, we’ll give you some tips regarding the top skincare regimens and procedures.

The Best Skincare Routine

The following steps can give you a route to building an efficient skincare routine.

1.     Cleanser

The first step should be applying an efficient cleanser. If your face isn’t clean, it doesn’t matter what the other steps are.

You want a cleanser that effectively cleans dirt and grime away from your pores. Clogged pores lead to blackheads, and this is something you don’t want. Try getting an alcohol-free cleanser to avoid drying out your skin.

2.     Serum

A skin serum does two things for your skin – it treats it and protects it. Applying a good serum will help you reverse many of the aging effects caused by the sun and other damaging elements.

Additionally, if you choose a quality serum, you can accomplish two important jobs at once. With the right product, you’ll not only be able to hydrate but also simultaneously treat skin concerns like acne and other blemishes.

Look for a serum that has antioxidants and plenty of vitamins. These will also help with preserving a natural and healthy skin tone.

3.     Eye Cream

This step is optional, but we included it because it definitely can’t hurt. Eye cream will help eliminate the bags under your eyes, which leads to a more refreshed appearance.

4.     Moisturizer

You want to get a good quality moisturizer with plenty of ceramides. Ceramides help your skin retain moisture, which is what you need to preserve soft, healthy skin.

Choose a nice, heavy moisturizer to give you the softest skin possible.

5.     SPF

Finally, protect your skin with a sunscreen containing of at least 30 SPF. This will not only prevent sunburn but the daily abuse your skin takes from the sun’s rays.

Coming up with a good skincare routine doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. If you shop around and get the right products, you can get all of the right ingredients for less than $50. This should actually last you for quite a while (at least a month).

When you have the right skincare regimen, your self-confidence is boosted considerably. If you play your cards right, you’ll end up with healthier, much younger-looking skin that will stand up to the test of time.

If you want to find out more about the top Skin Care recommendations, then reach out to me. I am more than happy to explain the differences, or even set an appointment for you to come in talk about which skin care treatment is the best one for you and your results. 

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