M.Arena_newMadeleine Arena

There is a Solution for Most Every Skin Problem
You Just Need to Find It.

Sally’s Story

I never know from one day to the next how my skin will look. My skin is so reactive, but I am never quite sure what it is reacting to. The clock is ticking and I can see it on my face. I am between a rock and a hard place. I need moisture and anti-aging products, but when I use them my face stings and burns. So if I don’t moisturize, I wrinkle; and if I do, I react. In addition, my skin is so flaky that my make-up cakes into the wrinkles and makes my face and eyelids look like I have baked a cake on them. As if all these issues weren’t enough, the perpetual redness of my cheeks and neck make me look like I am in a constant state of embarrassment.


Sally’s Skin Problems

  • dry, flaky skin, dull looking skin
  • sensitive, itchy
  • makeup cakes into wrinkles
  • reacts poorly to skin care products
  • red, flushed color to cheeks and neck
  • puffy eyelids

At the end of her patience, Sally made an appointment with a dermatologist well known for her ability to treat women with sensitive skin. The doctor explained that a damaged skin barrier (the outer layer of her skin), caused her problem. Sally learned that when you cannot keep important elements like moisture inside the barrier, and you cannot keep problematic things such as irritants, allergen and bacteria outside the barrier, a cycle of inflammation begins. Inflammation leads to itching and a continued deterioration of the barrier. Hence, the skin cannot retain water, and dehydration occurs, which causes more inflammation, itching and dryness.

Problem # 1
Dryness, Crepiness and Wrinkles

Treatment plan for this problem
The main objectives of Sally’s plan were to alleviate skin dryness and minimize both her wrinkles and the stinging and redness caused by skin sensitivities. A gentle hydrating cream cleanser designed for sensitive skin types was recommended for twice daily use.

In the evening after cleansing, Sally was advised to apply an anti-oxidant night cream and to look for products that contained moisturizing ingredients such as Borage seed oil, Ceramides, Pro-Vitamin B-5 or olive oil and anti-oxidant ingredients such as Idebenone, Coenzyme Q-10 and Grape Seed extract. After cleansing in the morning, she was to apply a moisturizer with an SPF-30 or more, but was cautioned to pay close attention to how her skin responded to the moisturizer with sunscreen.

Problem #2
Redness and Stinging

Treatment Plan for this problem
Sally’s dermatologist recommended that she see an allergist, who could perform a patch test to further identify her specific triggers. However her dermatologist gave her a list of some of the most common sensitizing ingredients and advised Sally as a first step, to avoid those items temporarily and see if that helped reduce her skin sensitivity. The dermatologist explained that once the cycle has begun, all products used must soothe and desensitize. (She also advised Sally that while the redness might be annoying, her primary issues were dryness, crepiness and wrinkles.)

Sally’s plan incorporated products rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients to help rebuild the barrier and treat wrinkles. She was advised to use a gentle hydrating cream cleanser, as it also would effectively deep cleanse her skin without irritation. Her dermatologist recommended that in the morning she was to apply an anti-inflammatory serum after cleansing, and follow with a moisturizer and sunscreen with micronized Zinc Oxide (minimum of SPF-30), as it might be better suited to her sensitive skin.

In the evening after cleansing, she was instructed to apply an anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant night cream as well. The doctor recommended products that contained anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Green Tea, Licorice, Evening Primrose oil and Zinc, and wrinkle treatment ingredients such as peptides for collagen and elastin production, Coenzyme Q-10 and Grape Seed extract.

Want to learn the basic Do’s and Dont’s of good skin care habits? Click on Skin Care

For more information on the most effective ingredients in today’s skin care products, Click here to learn all about the cosmeceuticals best suited to the needs of your skin.


Now also available in all e-reader formats with full color pictures.

In chapter four of Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour, Madeleine Arena presents a number of different, typical real life skin problems and how to best resolve them.

Beauty Within

                Beauty Without . . .

                               What’s Your Passion?

Discover the many dimensions of beauty.

Lois W. Stern


  1. Thanks for showing us the way for treating wrinkles in deep. You have a very good experience in dryness, creepiness, redness, stinging. Thanks for sharing with us. I really enjoy your articles. This is nice post which I was awaiting for such an article and I have gained some useful information from this site.

    • Calvin, I’m so glad I could help. It’s always a pleasure for me to hear from a loyal fan!

      Thanks so much for letting me know. Keep posted at my beauty blog for articles on both aesthetics and inner beauty. I love writing about both!

      If you have already LIKEed my Facebook PAGE, you can sign up as a member of my Aesthetics and Beauty GROUP. Or just say the word and I’ll do it for you.?

      Very best,
      Lois W. Stern

  2. Nice and very informative information you shared in this blog. I am very much thankful to you for sharing such precious information. I ordered the book which you prescribed here. Hope it would be helpful for me.

  3. Would like to add what I feel are other important factors is treating sensitive skin. First: A skin care regiment that avoids excessive abrasion and exfoliation, but that contains a light moisturizer and a natural anti-inflammatory component. Second: Avoid things that will worsen the problem: excessive exfoliation, strong cleansers, light chemical peels, avoid the use of products that contain Salicyclic Acid and you might want to stop or at least decrease the concentration of Retin-A if you are currently using it. . • Diet: Flaxseed and walnut oil – Use flaxeed oil or walnut oil with balsamic vinegar as a salad dressing. • Cold water fish – Sardines are a good source of essential fats. Salmon is another good source,•Supplements – Consider fish oil supplements. Hope this is helpful:

  4. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to respond and to adding some valuable insights to the caring to sensitive skin. I am going to copy and paste your comments onto my Facebook author page where more people can have the opportunity to read it.
    Happy holidays!
    Warm regards,

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  9. Madeleine,

    This post has a lot of great info in it about how to handle “troubled skin”. And, the Tick, Tock, Stop the Clock book is a great reference. I see that the author approves of your use of the reference, which speaks very highly of your web site. Many of the “tricks” you mention are also on my own “Dry Skin” web site (as well as many more). I think you’ll find some excellent products there on the “Dry Skin Around Eyes” page that should work well for the wrinkle problems you describe. And, can be integrated into the great advice you provided above:

    Beauty Is Only Skin Deep


    • Hello Jagger,
      Since your site, referenced above, rates a variety of skin care products, I am allowing your comment to remain on this blog. Others should note that I do NOT allow commencial postings on this blog. report them as spam and remove them.

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