What Exactly is Benzoyl Peroxide? By Kirstie Reese, CSLA-SaMo

June 24th, 2015

Benzoyl Peroxide is a topical medication that is used to treat acne. It is available over the counter and by prescription ranging from 2.5%-10% concentrations in a cream or gel form.

How does it work? Benzoyl Peroxide is antibacterial and kills the Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acne for short, which is the bacteria that causes acne. Almost all of the bacteria in a pore will die within 48 hours of exposure to Benzoyl Peroxide!


What should you know before using Benzoyl Peroxide?

  • Start with the lowest concentration available of Benzoyl Peroxide and you may increase overtime as your skin builds up tolerance.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide commonly causes skin dryness and sometimes irritation, itching and peeling skin. (Although, Corrective Skincare shows clients how to avoid this and how to apply it correctly to be most effective!)
  • A rare and small percentage of people are actually allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide which may result in facial swelling. However, most people who believe they have a Benzoyl Peroxide allergy have experienced redness, irritation and burning from using too much product, too often and in the wrong areas of the face.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide may bleach material such as clothing and pillowcases if it has not completely dried before contact.
  • Studies show that Benzoyl peroxide works most effectively when paired with salicylic acid and less effectively when paired with most retinoids (a form of vitamin-A). Talk to your Corrective Skincare Esthetician about how to use the two medications correctly.
  • The medication loses it potency after 4-6 months and should be replaced accordingly.
  • Sun protection daily is advised when using this product.


Corrective Skincare has a chemist that formulates our 5% and 10% Benzoyl Peroxide to make sure our clients are getting the most effective product. We don’t allow fillers or buffers in our products which makes them more potent than over the counter/ store bought brands. If you have any questions on how to correctly apply Benzoyl Peroxide, please contact us! Santa Monica 310.566.0858 or Encino 818.981.6130


The Three P’s. By Kirstie Reese, CSLA-SaMo

June 15th, 2015

Suzanne Tarakjian at our Encino location has a saying that I just LOVE & I need to share! When it comes to acne treatment it’s important for clients to know the three P’s! They are:

What? A pimple?!

Most clients with acne have a problem leaving their skin alone. I know, I was a picker too! But, THIS IS IMPORTANT! Listen to your Esthetician when we tell you DO NOT PICK.

The pores on your face are at an angle (not just one angle, different angles in different areas of the face) and when you try to extract your own pimple you are probably not pushing in the right direction. Even as an Esthetician, I do NOT do my own extractions. A few things can happen when you go for a pimple, you may cause the pimple to implode and actually go deeper into the skin causing a bigger, more painful pimple. You may spread the bacteria and cause more acne flare ups. You may leave a scar. Or, you may not get the “core” of the pimple out resulting in the pimple coming back.

Have you ever noticed that when you pick, or pop a pimple you’re left with a red mark on your skin called post inflammatory pigmentation that lasts a long time? Yes, you know that red spot on your face screaming at your esthetician “SHE PICKED ME!”- that one. The red mark actually lasts longer than the pimple! If you had just left that pimple alone, chances are the post inflammatory red mark wouldn’t still be there.

Did you know the darker your skin, the more melanin that you have and the more risk you have of the post inflammatory pigmentation turning from red to brown dark spot? No bueno! That’s a whole other post.

Now that you know why you shouldn’t pick, pop, pinch or push, here is what your *should* do! Leave the pimples alone, wash your face in the dark if you must to prevent the temptation, follow your homecare routine diligently, and don’t skip your facial appointments. If your esthetician cannot fit you in for an extraction appointment and you have done EVERYTHING (Icing, topical medication, etc) but you absolutely MUST get this pimple then I ask that you wait until the very last day before you go for it! The longer you wait, the more ready the pimple will be. Remember that “core” I was talking about? When a pimple is ready the core solidifies and should come out easily.

Before you pick, ask yourself “is popping this pimple is worth it?” Is it worth possibly getting a scar that could stay for the rest of your life? Or having post inflammatory pigmentation? Is it really worth it?

Put those fingers down,


step away from the mirror.

If you have any questions, let me know! I’d love to help you clear!
Kirstie Reese, M.E. CSLA SaMo 310-566-0858

The OCM- Oil Cleansing Method. By Kirstie Reese, CSLA-SaMo

June 4th, 2015

The OCM (Oil Cleansing Method) has become popular among pinterest users and naturalists recently because science says that “like dissolves like.” In this scenario, oil dissolves oil.

Instead of the traditional cleansing with soap and water, you can take the oil on dry skin (we’ll get into what kind of oil later) and massage it into the face, getting into every crease and crevice for approximately 2 minutes. Then, take a warm damp microfiber towel to steam your face, leaving it on until room temperature. Rinse the towel and wipe off any excess oil.

This method is supposed to replace the oil in your skin, leaving it feeling super soft and smooth. The OCM may work for some people especially those who have sensitive or dry skin but IT WILL NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE. I’ve seen numerous posted about people with acne who are on the OCM and at the beginning the acne breakouts are really bad. For some, their skin got better but for most it turned into cystic acne or became worse.

My theory on why OCM does NOT work for acne prone skin: Acne is caused by a bacteria that lives deep in the skin’s follicles/pores called Propionibacterium acnes. The P. acne use sebum (oil) as their main source of energy and nutrients. When there is an excess of oil production or a blockage of the follicle/pore the P. acne bacteria will GROW and MULTIPLY!

Ok. Ok. I know, I just blew your mind. Let me repeat that so you completely understand. The bacteria that causes acne feeds on oil and when you clean your face with OIL, you are FEEDING the bacteria! Whoever came up with the OCM must not have had acne.

I completely understand that like dissolves like and oil dissolves oil. Some may argue that the OCM is dissolving the old oil and replacing it with fresh, new oil. Let’s be clear, oil is STILL oil and oil is STILL feeding the P. acne bacteria.

Now, let’s talk about what kind of oils are being used with the OCM! A common ratio is to use 50% extra virgin olive oil and 50% castor oil. A larger amount of castor oil if you have more oily skin is recommended because it’s supposed to draw things out. Other oils that are commonly used are jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, rosehip seed oil and grapeseed oil. I googled “comedogenic ratings” (pore-clogging ratings) to see how comedogenic these oils are. On a scale of 0-5, 5= highly pore-clogging, 0= not pore clogging. Here’s how they rate: Castor oil- 1, Olive oil- 2, Jojoba oil- 2 (if sulfated, 3), Coconut oil- 4, Sweet Almond oil- 2, Rosehip oil- 1, Grapeseed oil- 2, Hazelnut oil- 2, Evening primrose oil- 2. (View more here) Let’s recap, not only are you feeding the bacteria with oil but the oil is more than likely clogging your pores. As I said earlier, the P. acne bacteria will grow and multiple with a blockage or the follicle/pore, meaning the clogged pores are allowing the P. acne bacteria to grow and multiply.

One last thing! Some will argue that by adding essential oils such as tea tree essential oil, it will kill the P. acne bacteria. First of all, Tea tree oil may be irritating to some people so a test spot is recommended. Second, although tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties there are no known studies to prove that it kills the P. acne bacteria specifically.

Have you tried this method? Did it work for you? If you have any questions, comments or feedback about this post I’d love to hear from you!

Comment Below or Email me directly: or book an appointment with me in Santa Monica

About CS | Treatments | Products | FAQ | Book Appointment | Contact Us

Corrective Skincare 16161 Ventura Blvd., Suite 109, Encino, CA 91436 - 818.981.6130