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Thread: ZZ cream application area

  1. #21
    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Squalane is reported to have a carbon chain length of 28-32, so it isn't a food source for malassezia.

    Squalane has a very "soft" feel for an oil, behaving like it has a carbon chain length of about 60, and it's very expensive compared to other oils.

    However, demodex are a much higher life form (an arachnid) capable of biting/chewing and can presumably eat anything that's small enough to fit into their mouth, including squalane, but no one has ever proposed that it's possible to starve out demodex -- they have to be killed with a miticide/arachnicide.

    I don't know why anyone would add yeast extract to a lotion. The product in question by anemicroyalty has so many odd ingredients it's impossible to analyze just one ingredient. Plus, it's my understanding that only High Molecular Weight sodium hyaluronate has wound healing properties, and all the lower weight hyaluronates are skin irritants -- this opinion is based on a large study out of a Toronto hospital that compared the various weight of hyaluronates on burn-victim skin-healing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Busby View Post
    Squalane is reported to have a carbon chain length of 28-32, so it isn't a food source for malassezia.

    Squalane has a very "soft" feel for an oil, behaving like it has a carbon chain length of about 60, and it's very expensive compared to other oils.

    However, demodex are a much higher life form (an arachnid) capable of biting/chewing and can presumably eat anything that's small enough to fit into their mouth, including squalane, but no one has ever proposed that it's possible to starve out demodex -- they have to be killed with a miticide/arachnicide.

    I don't know why anyone would add yeast extract to a lotion. The product in question by anemicroyalty has so many odd ingredients it's impossible to analyze just one ingredient. Plus, it's my understanding that only High Molecular Weight sodium hyaluronate has wound healing properties, and all the lower weight hyaluronates are skin irritants -- this opinion is based on a large study out of a Toronto hospital that compared the various weight of hyaluronates on burn-victim skin-healing.
    Hi Tom, thanks for your reply! I read the same thing about hyaluronates, but my question is how can you tell if a product has high or low molecular weight hyaluronic acid? Is it apparent from the ingredient list? I will probably look for a new pared down one, though for whatever reason the one I linked to is the only one I've tried so far that feels like it's actually hydrating deeply, and I'm wary of introducing new products while also trying ZZ cream.

    Do we know which ingredient(s) in ZZ act as a miticide? I kind of wish it didn't contain menthol as I feel like it's probably drying my skin out unnecessarily--the sulfur I can understand but I'm not sure what menthol does other than making it tingle and feel like it's working.

    Also, if anyone reading this is interested in trying squalane, the one I use is from the same company (the ordinary) and is quite affordable, around $7/bottle.

    Editing: ok I realized that that serum actually advertises very low molecular weight so I've stopped using it, hopefully that will help with inflammation.
    Last edited by anemicroyalty; 9th May 2020 at 05:09 PM.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Menthol in the ZZ cream is probably for the reason you described, so it tingles. I strongly dislike menthol because it burns my eyes, even the fumes.

    Sulfur is a miticide and is surely the active ingredient in ZZ cream. ZZ cream probably uses inorganic sulfur.

    If you'd like to try organic sulfur, buy some OptiMSM, which in its powder-form is about 38% organic sulfur. Because you probably want have about 10% organic sulfur in your final lotion-mix, you'd need to have about 30% MSM powder, and 60% water or some other base lotion. I proposed doing this several years ago as a substitute for ZZ cream, but as far as I know no one ever tried it. (I don't have rosacea, so I can't test it on myself or I would have.) MSM easily dissolves in water.

    There are at least 2 types of squalane oil that are commercially available: one is manufactured from olives, and another one that's completely synthetic. The synthetic type is about 8 times cheaper than the one made from olives. I use the expensive one derived from olives and like it a lot, so I haven't ever tried the synthetic one. An INCI label probably wouldn't disclose which one is used, but I assume the price point would have some relevance to this issue.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by anemicroyalty View Post
    Thank you for the reply and the tip about the eyebrows, I didn't even think of that! Do you use anything for your scalp/eyelashes? I haven't really had any issues there other than some light dandruff around the hairline (which I'm now guessing is probably mite related) but I'm a bit worried about them migrating there. I just did an apple cider vinegar rinse on my scalp in the shower and used some tea tree oil cleanser on my lash area so hopefully that helps? I don't have anything else on hand.

    So I've been applying the diluted ZZ cream to my whole face and interestingly my forehead, which never had issues before, has broken out in quite a few bumps. I believe I'm having a die off reaction all over (at least I hope that's what it is) and my skin looks probably the worst it ever has. I can handle temporarily horrible skin but it is a little scary, I remember reading someone's posts here (I can't remember who now) who felt their skin was damaged by the ZZ cream and ended up worse than before and hadn't recovered even long term. I will stick with it but I did take last night off because the dryness was getting too much--is it ok to skip a night here and there? The texture of my skin has changed in an interesting way, it feels dry and tight but also somewhat smoother, softer and more tough almost--maybe it's just kind of leathery from being dry but it feels less fragile somehow. I usually have a lot of dead skin that balls up and rubs off in the shower but I don't seem to now. I'm not sure if that's just from the salicylic acid or if it's more than that. I am a bit sore, especially on my forehead, but that's also how it feels when it's dry so I'm not sure at what point I should be concerned. The overall redness has gone down a bit after taking the night off. I'm not sure if it's just my imagination but I feel like my skin overall looks a bit darker/muddier (I am naturally very pale). For what it's worth I did do a patch test to make sure I'm not allergic.

    Editing to add: Ok, to be honest I am, despite myself, freaking out a bit. I know it gets worse before it gets better but is there a chance I could be making my skin worse long-term? Could I be having an increase in pustules from anything other than die off? It does really look like I'm having all the bumps and pustules that I would in several months all at once, so I guess I would have probably had them anyway, I'm just worrying about scarring or aggravating my rosacea to a worse stage and then not having it return to normal after stopping ZZ cream. Can anyone tell me if this is a founded fear?

    A little bit more about my skin before: I wasn't actively trying to treat it but just using gentle skincare and trying to eat well (I admittedly drink a bit too much and probably sometimes have too much sugar). My flushing/general redness were a bit improved but I was starting to get more bumps that weren't huge but would linger for many weeks and leave red marks/never seemed to fully go away and would go down and reappear, though I would only ever have a few active spots at a time, usually on my cheeks. I'm 32 and a woman, if that's relevant. It might also be worth mentioning that I've had exfoliative cheilitis for most of my life, though I'm not sure if that's connected. It kind of feels like overall my skin (at least everywhere on my head) is just sheds/peels more than most people's seems to. I was also working with a naturopath for a possible systemic candida overgrowth before the quarantine started but that's kind of on hold for now. It feels to me like these things are probably all connected.

    Sorry for a ton of information, I'm not really sure what's relevant or not and my anxiety is getting the best of me.
    Hi anemicroyalty,
    Sorry for the delayed response, although it does seem most of your questions have been answered. You are in good hands with Brady and Tom. I remember having new symptoms/occurrences every day in the first few weeks of ZZ, and I would come on here and describe my symptoms because they seemed so strange. I don't recall having any darker tone to my skin, although I did flush a lot more in that first month. This could have been due to a lot of different vitamins I was taking, or due to some detoxes I was doing. However it did all normalize eventually. Question: Did you buy the Original ZZ or the Cosmetic? The Original has Boric Acid, and some people feel this is too strong to use on their skin every day.
    Best of Luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by redvelvet View Post
    Hi anemicroyalty,
    Sorry for the delayed response, although it does seem most of your questions have been answered. You are in good hands with Brady and Tom. I remember having new symptoms/occurrences every day in the first few weeks of ZZ, and I would come on here and describe my symptoms because they seemed so strange. I don't recall having any darker tone to my skin, although I did flush a lot more in that first month. This could have been due to a lot of different vitamins I was taking, or due to some detoxes I was doing. However it did all normalize eventually. Question: Did you buy the Original ZZ or the Cosmetic? The Original has Boric Acid, and some people feel this is too strong to use on their skin every day.
    Best of Luck!

    I've been using the original. I don't think I saw the cosmetic version for sale when I bought it.

    Four weeks in I'm still getting new p&p every day, although fewer, and my skin still looks worse than before I started. I'm not sure if it's taking longer because I'm taking some nights off or if it isn't going to work for me but I'm starting to get a little discouraged and my skin looking so bad for the past several weeks is taking its toll. I think I might go down to applying it every other night just to give my skin more of a break and hope that isn't too little to potentially get results.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anemicroyalty View Post
    I've been using the original. I don't think I saw the cosmetic version for sale when I bought it.
    Four weeks in I'm still getting new p&p every day, although fewer, and my skin still looks worse than before I started. I'm not sure if it's taking longer because I'm taking some nights off or if it isn't going to work for me but I'm starting to get a little discouraged and my skin looking so bad for the past several weeks is taking its toll. I think I might go down to applying it every other night just to give my skin more of a break and hope that isn't too little to potentially get results.
    What are you eating and drinking typically?
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by anemicroyalty View Post
    I've been using the original. I don't think I saw the cosmetic version for sale when I bought it.

    Four weeks in I'm still getting new p&p every day, although fewer, and my skin still looks worse than before I started. I'm not sure if it's taking longer because I'm taking some nights off or if it isn't going to work for me but I'm starting to get a little discouraged and my skin looking so bad for the past several weeks is taking its toll. I think I might go down to applying it every other night just to give my skin more of a break and hope that isn't too little to potentially get results.
    I'm really sorry it isn't working for you.

    On a selfish level, I've been waiting for a couple of zz threads to be updated to see if I should go back to using it. But the last few I've noticed haven't been positive at all. Plus, I'm no expert at all, but in the ingredients I swear I saw salicylic acid, and I'm concerned that wouldn't be good for my rosacea skin.

    Anyway, sorry to take over your thread with my own worries. I really hope it starts working for you soon.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by anemicroyalty View Post
    An update: I'm pretty sure my skin is not able to tolerate ZZ cream every night; the dryness, scaling and increased sensitivity is just too much. I'm going to start regularly taking breaks and maybe even going down to just using it every other night for awhile. Hopefully this won't impact the treatment too much.
    My skin is able to tolerate Zhongzhou cream every night if I use a barrier repair cream on top of it (using both of them is my nightly routine). I use Dermalogica Barrier repair cream.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Busby View Post
    Squalane is reported to have a carbon chain length of 28-32, so it isn't a food source for malassezia.

    Squalane has a very "soft" feel for an oil, behaving like it has a carbon chain length of about 60, and it's very expensive compared to other oils.

    However, demodex are a much higher life form (an arachnid) capable of biting/chewing and can presumably eat anything that's small enough to fit into their mouth, including squalane, but no one has ever proposed that it's possible to starve out demodex -- they have to be killed with a miticide/arachnicide.

    I don't know why anyone would add yeast extract to a lotion. The product in question by anemicroyalty has so many odd ingredients it's impossible to analyze just one ingredient. Plus, it's my understanding that only High Molecular Weight sodium hyaluronate has wound healing properties, and all the lower weight hyaluronates are skin irritants -- this opinion is based on a large study out of a Toronto hospital that compared the various weight of hyaluronates on burn-victim skin-healing.
    The Ordinary sell plant based Squalane for £5.50 - I wonder if there is any issue with its quality?
    https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/the-ord...-squalane.html

    Do you think Squalane is worthwhile using in general for people with rosacea or is it more specifically for SD you think it works?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Barrows View Post
    What are you eating and drinking typically?
    My diet is pretty varied and relatively healthy, I don't have any restrictions and eat everything but try not to go overboard on carbs and sugars. I've been considering trying the candida diet for awhile for other reasons but cutting out carbs completely long-term is not realistic for me. Other than coffee in the morning and a beer or two with dinner (not great I know) I only really drink water. For what it's worth I've never noticed and food triggers for myself other than alcohol.


    Quote Originally Posted by ASordidGod View Post
    I'm really sorry it isn't working for you.

    On a selfish level, I've been waiting for a couple of zz threads to be updated to see if I should go back to using it. But the last few I've noticed haven't been positive at all. Plus, I'm no expert at all, but in the ingredients I swear I saw salicylic acid, and I'm concerned that wouldn't be good for my rosacea skin.

    Anyway, sorry to take over your thread with my own worries. I really hope it starts working for you soon.
    Yeah I'm not sure, it has many ingredients that are very harsh which is pretty much the opposite of my usual approach to rosacea. I've always thought of rosacea as being like very skin so it's hard for me to understand how it can help. For what it's worth my skin is looking pretty good right now but I'm not sure if it's just because I've cut back on the ZZ even more and it's less irritated, or if it will actually improve past the point where it was before I started. I just want to make sure to give it a really fair trial because I never want to go through the initial outbreak again. How long did you end up trying it for?

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