What is Virtual Acne and How Does It Work?

Virtual Acne is an online dermatology platform that gives you access to a board certified Dermatologist more than ever before. We are based out of Spokane, WA but we currently serve 7 U.S. states which include CA, DC, HI, IL, MI, NV, & WA. Our goal is to make visiting a Dermatologist as painless as possible by offering the convenience of access through our mobile app available on iOS and coming soon to Android. We want you to feel at ease when it comes to getting the care you need.

How does it work?

You can utilize Virtual Acne either through your mobile device or desktop computer by downloading our app from the app store or by visiting our website. Once you have downloaded our app or visited our website you can create an account and begin the process to getting the treatment you need when you need it. Our service is fast, easy, and secure with results received within 24 hours including a prescription sent to your pharmacy if need be and your state allows it. Virtual Acne is also a great tool to consult with a Dermatologist for a second opinion when you are unsure of what is going on.

Virtual Acne Mobile App steps in pictures.

  1. Download our app from the app store or visit our website.
  2. Login or Create and account.
  3. Fill out the forms.
  4. Snap photos of your problem, enter area, and be sure to hit upload.
  5. Select payment option.
  6. Securely enter payment information.
  7. Hit submit!
  8. You will receive an email when your case is complete where you will be directed to log back in to view your results.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us via the contact page on our website or through Facebook.

“I Don’t Want to Talk About It”: Hormonal Acne

Girl shrugging because she doesn't want to talk about hormones and acne.Most of us women dread when “that” time of month rolls around…especially those of us dealing with hormonal acne!  As if the mood swings, bloating, and cramps weren’t enough, hormonal acne is very common in women. The flux of different hormones throughout your entire cycle, which is an average of 28 days, is what can eventually lead to the production of acne if you have acne-prone skin.  According to a study published in the Archives of Dermatology, 63% of acne-prone women experience these premenstrual flares (WebMD). FUN, said no one ever!

The mid-cycle hormone progesterone activates the production of sebum, which is an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands. So when your hormones activate this increase, your skin may not be able to keep up – thus leading to clogged pores and breakouts, depending on the type of skin you have.

Luckily, poor hygiene has absolutely nothing to do with hormonal breakouts and there are plenty of ways to help target them! If you feel as if your acne is closely related to your cycle, please consult with one of our Dermatologists to get a treatment plan that is right for you. They are highly skilled when it comes to the treatment of acne, including the hormonal type.

Here are some quick tips you can implement to help avoid the transfer of bacteria to your face which can worsen acne:

  • Avoid touching your face; your hands introduce dirt and bacteria.
  • Absolutely DO NOT PICK! This will make your acne and blemishes worse.
  • Clean your cell phone regularly; phones breed a lot of bacteria, and you hold them against the most vulnerable area to hormonal acne: your jaw line and chin.
  • When you work out at the gym, cover all mats with a towel; don’t put your face in other people’s germs. (WebMD)


Everything You Need to Know About Skin Exfoliation

Girl exfoliating face

Exfoliation is an important step that should be added into your skin care routine at least once a week. Exfoliation helps remove the dead skin cells that cover your skin, making it look dull and less smooth in appearance. As we age, our skins natural exfoliation process slows down, reducing cell turnover which results in accumulation of dry skin cells giving your skin a dull, lack-luster, unhealthy, or wrinkly appearance. In order to rejuvenate and keep your skin glowing and looking smooth it’s important to exfoliate which in turn promotes healthy cell turnover. Not only does exfoliation promote healthy skin, it also aids in the process of proper absorption of other things you apply to your skin as part of a routine such as a daily moisturizer.

There are two types of exfoliants, mechanical and chemical exfoliants.  Each one has it pros and cons as to their use and what will work best for your skin. It’s important to understand what is going to work best for you if you have any current skin conditions as exfoliation can lead to more irritation and inflammation if the wrong system is implemented.

Mechanical Skin Exfoliants

Mechanical meaning you apply and you do the work! Mechanical exfoliants are easily available at your local drugstore or online and are super easy to use. These type of exfoliants are great for people with oily or acne prone skin as they remove skin cells and debris that clog the pores. It’s important to note with mechanical exfoliants not to scrub too hard or this could lead to further irritation which is the last thing anyone with acne prone skin wants.

When looking for a mechanical exfoliant be sure not to choose anything that appears to have sharp edges as this puts you at risk for further irritation by the products cutting into the skin. OUCH! Exfoliants can be harsh on the skin so be sure to consult with a dermatologist to find out what the best exfoliant for you will be, especially if you have sensitive skin.

One of our favorite tools for exfoliation is The Clarisonic! Although the price tag is hefty, flawless glowing skin is worth it. Clarisonic has a brush head for everyone!

Chemical Skin Exfoliants

Chemical skin exfoliants use gentle acids to aid in dissolving the bonds hanging on to your outer layer of dead skin cells for dear life. There are two main types of chemical exfoliants which include your AHA & BHA!

AHA- Alpha Hydroxy Acid

AHA’s are derived from different foods such as apples, grapes, and even milk. The most common to look for on labels are:  glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, alpha-hydroxyoctanoic acid and triple fruit acid. Alphas are best for people with dry or thickened skin. (1)

BHA- Beta Hydroxy Acid

Betas are the close cousin of the alphas but are more oil-soluble and better for those with oily or acne prone skin. The best know BHA is salicylic acid. Things to look for on labels: salicylate, sodium salicylate, beta hydroxybutnoic acid, or tropic acid. (1)

Chemical skin exfoliates tend to be less harsh on the skin than mechanical exfoliates. They help rejuvenate the skin in ways that mechanical exfoliates cant. Chemical exfoliates help balance your skins pH levels and smooth, improving the look of your skin. (1)

Some say finding the right formulation for your skin involves some trial and error and while this may be true to an extant why not make the decision a little less stressful and consult with one our online board certified Dermatologists. Want to learn more click here.

When to Exfoliate?

When it comes to exfoliation you should most definitely not exfoliate every day! Your skin needs time to regenerate its top most layer. If you have dry skin you should only exfoliate once or twice a week max. If you have oily skin you should be able to exfoliate 2-4 times just make sure you spread it out instead of exfoliating back to back. If your skin starts to become irritated or you develop a rash stop exfoliation and consult with a board certified Dermatologist.

As always remember to moisturize to keep your skin from drying out!


  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/skin-care-101/whats-an-exfoliant.aspx
  2. http://blog.reneerouleau.com/the-importance-of-skin-exfoliation/
  3. http://beauty.about.com/od/cleansers/a/How-To-Exfoliate.htm

9 Tips for Managing Acne

9 tips for managing acne.

Acne has it’s funny way of introducing itself into our lives. Luckily there are some good tips out there for managing acne and reducing the appearance without all the wacky DIY at home treatment plans. I don’t know about you but I wont be smearing honey or baking soda on my skin anytime soon. Follow these tips so that you can begin to reclaim your skin.


  1. Cleanse your skin twice daily and after sweating. Sweating can and will most definitely make acne worse. It’s important to cleanse the skin as soon as you can after sweating to avoid breakouts or furthering them.
  2. Wash your hands and use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non abrasive cleanser. It’s important to wash your skin with clean hands otherwise you potentially set yourself up for spreading the bacteria from your hands to your skin which can worsen acne. Also be sure to avoid using any harsh exfoliants like a loofah or washcloth which can lead to irritation and the worsening of acne.
  3. Be gentle. The skin is the body’s largest organ so it’s important to take care of it! Use gentle products like those that are alcohol free to avoid further irritation of the skin which can make acne look worse.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water. It’s important to cleanse the skin with lukewarm water. Too cold or too hot can lead to further irritation of the skin causing dryness and potentially ruptured blood vessels. Always cleanse and rinse with lukewarm water as hot water to open the pores and cold water to close them is just a myth!
  5. Shampoo regularly. What does shampoo have to do with acne? Seems odd right? Well not quite. If you have oily hair its important to shampoo regularly as the oils from your hair and product transfer onto the skin  can lead to further breakouts.
  6. Dry your face by patting. After cleansing the skin it’s important to dry your face by patting instead of rubbing. Also remember to use a clean cloth every time to avoid the spreading of bacteria.
  7. Always moisturize. It’s important to keep your skin moisturized regardless of your skin type. There are various lightweight moisturizers on the market but what works for you may not work for someone else so be sure to consult with a Dermatologist to find a skin care regimen that works for you.
  8. Keep your hands off you face. I am guilty as charged when it comes to this one and it shows due to the area of my most consistent breakouts. Touching your skin can cause flare ups because of the amount of bacteria you transfer from your hands to your skin can lead to further irritation. Not to mention that when you touch, pick, or pop acne it tends to get worse. So hands off!
  9. Consult a Dermatologist if:
    1. The products you’ve tried have not worked.
    2. Your acne is leaving scars or darkening your skin.
    3. Your acne makes you shy or embarrassed.

These are some great tips for managing acne. The good news is your not alone. Nearly every case of acne can be successfully treated. Our Dermatologist work hard to provide you with a treatment plan that works for you as well as the convenience of online care. Follow this link to get started today! START HERE (Currently only available in CA, DC, HI, IL, MI, NV, & WA) Message us to find out when we will be coming to a state near you!


American Academy of Dermatology


What is Dermatology?

What is Dermatology

We are all about that Derm life! So what exactly does Dermatology mean and what is a Dermatologist?

Dermatology is the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders and a Dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in treating them!

So what is teledermatology? Teledermatology is Dermatology from an online and virtual perspective. You can still see a dermatologist for most skin issues without having to step into an actual office, with the exception of skin cancer of course. If you have a mole or bump that seems bothersome or appears to be along the lines of your ABCDE’s of melanoma, its always best to see a Dermatologist in office to get a valid diagnosis.

So what does dermatology include?

  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Mucous Membranes (e.g., lining inside the mouth, nose, and eyelids.)

Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3000 different diseases including acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, and much more. And not only does a Dermatologist treat various skin conditions, they also help their patients improve the appearance of their skin from aging, to acne scars, to the appearance of scars after skin cancer removal.

What I love about our Dermatologists is they are always there when you need them…literally!

Virtual Dermatologic which will be launching soon is a great way to reach a Dermatologist when:

  • Wait times to see your Dermatologist are too long to address your skin issue;
  • You have a non-emergency skin issue, but would like an almost immediate resolution;
  • If you want a second opinion on a skin related diagnosis;
  • When you are too busy with work or family to visit a local dermatology office;
  • If you are planning a trip and need immediate assistance with your skin condition.

Our sister company, Virtual Acne, focuses solely on Acne, and is there for those who want to get their acne treated but don’t know where to begin or let alone have the time to take out of their busy day to get started. It’s fast, easy, and secure! Create an account, fill out form, snap photos, and submit! You will get a response within 24 hours and a prescription sent to your pharmacy if your state allows it and need be!

Sources: American Academy of Dermatology



BB Creams for Acne Prone Skin


If your skin is oily, combination, or prone to acne, it’s hard to return home on a warm day without looking as if you spent the last couple hours in the gym. So having the proper cosmetics to pair with this skin type without causing breakouts and blemishes is key.

So it goes without saying, less is more. BB creams are great for light coverage but also offer benefits ranging from anti-aging to even fighting acne. The key ingredients to look for in BB creams are antioxidants such as vitamins C & E to help reduce wrinkles and even skin tone, hyaluronic acid for hydration, and the most important ingredient an SPF to protect from the suns harmful rays!

I’d like to believe that there is a BB cream for everyone! My personal favorite is Smash Box’s Camera Ready broad spectrum! It’s lightweight, primes the skin, protects, and can be worn alone or used as a base to build your coverage.

When it comes to acne it’s important to take into consideration the cosmetics you are applying to your skin. While you want to look and feel your best when heading out the door it’s important to get the proper treatment for the underlying issue. Virtual Acne is your online acne Dermatologist. Get access to a dermatologist anytime, from anywhere our service is offered. Current states offered include CA, WA, IL, NV, MI, DC, & HI. Still not offered in your state? Message us and let us know!


How often should you clean your makeup brushes and sponges

When & How often should you clean makeup brushes & sponges?

spongeFor the most part we all use them, makeup brushes and sponges that is. They are the key items in every woman’s makeup kit. The question is how often should we be cleaning these items and how?

Makeup brushes and sponges should be cleaned daily! When you don’t clean your brushes and sponges on a regular basis you put yourself at risk for all sorts of skin irritations. Makeup brushes accumulate dirt, dust, and bacteria. So every time you use a dirty brush you are transferring all of this to not only your face but your foundation , eye-shadow, and whatever else you use that requires you to dip the brush into something. If you are battling acne or any other skin allergies there should be no question as to how often you should clean your brushes. As keeping them clean will put you on the right path to clearer skin.

I know I know, everyday seems like a lot right? Yes! But there are easy ways to ensure you keep your brushes and sponges clean and your skin clear without the stress of another daily task. When it comes to cleaning your brushes it truly depends on the type of makeup you are using and the current state of your skin. If your skin is breakout prone I would recommend daily cleanings to prevent further breakouts. Many makeup lines sell a brush cleaner that you can use to spray on your brushes after each use and gently wipe off with a tissue or paper towel. You can find some decent brush sprays here, or visit your local beauty supply store to see what they have to offer.

Another method would be to rinse under lukewarm water being sure not to get above the metal clasp or under wet as this will damage your brushes. Grab a small bowl and fill with lukewarm water adding your preferred soap of choice. Some people use baby shampoo or some other form of gentle cleanser to do this. Once you have mixed the shampoo with the water dip your brushes in until all make up residue has cleared. Once you feel you are at a good stage in the process go ahead and rinse again with lukewarm water and layout to dry. It’s that simple!

Need a more step by step guide? Check out this article here which includes a visual as well to make it a little easier!