|Posted on 22 November, 2015 at 14:05|
Blemishes=Breakouts=Acne,pimples, means the same.
I decided to choose this subject this month, because lately I see more and more adults and adolescents are affected by Acne.They must realize, the cause of Acne can be a combination of life-style, hormonal changes and the list below.
A little science about Acne: Oily skin is characterized by an over-production of sebum (oil) and feels thicker than dry or normal skin. The sebaceousglands, located in each hair follicle produce oil that lubricates the skin. They are found on face, back, chest and shoulders. The oily skin has enlarged pores (follicles) that may be filled with dirt and grease. If some of the oil becomes trapped, bacteria multiply in the hair follicle and the skin becomes inflamed, that’s what we call Acne.
Oily skin and Acne caused by a combination of factors:
- During adolescence (puberty) there may be an imbalance of hormones or increase in hormone levels, androgen (male sex hormone) stimulates the production of sebum and keratin, which leads to clogged pores. Both sexes can suffer from acne at this age.
- A diet rich in saturated fats and oils, hydrogenated fats (junk food) and animal products may contribute to the oily condition of the skin.
- A hot, humid climate may also stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
- Heredity of oily skin.
- Allergies, for example to dairy products.
- Stress can promote hormonal changes and cause flare-ups.
- Monthly menstrual cycles.
- Over-washing and rubbing of the skin (ph alkaline, more on this later).
- The use of cosmetics or creams rich in fats.
- If you start using a product, use it within 3-6 months, after that bacteria can set in. Use spatula when you take your creams out of the jar.
- Hygiene, not regularly cleaned make-up sponges, brushes, pillowcases.
- Skin is our largest organ, toxic waste escapes through sweating. Disruption of this mechanism can also cause acne.
- Smoking is toxic, therefore can cause Acne
- Avoid wearing tight clothing (turtlenecks, scarves); friction makes pimples more likely to rupture.
- Don’t shave the Acne infected area.
- Our skin should be slightly acidic 5.5-ph balance, this is our protective layer against bacteria.When the ph is higher than 5.5 or too alkaline, it becomes as a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria.
What can we do to prevent acne or to reduce existing acne?
During my 26 years in this field, I saw many adolescents or adults suffer from this condition. I had the most success with the ones who followed my advice, used their products, had their regular Facial treatments and changed their diet and life-style. In my mind, I called them the "believers", their skin improved sooner. The others, the "non-believers", went on to take some strong drugs, like Accutane (side effects: nosebleeds, liver damage, birth defects) or just simply gave up. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I can or can’t fix. So, if I see a client with a cystic acne, I for sure will send him or her to a doctor, but not everybody has to run to a doctor and take pills right away. I will list hereafter all the things I experienced in my years to help treating acne. Some will be surprising!
First of all, you should always seek help of an esthetician, but not just any esthetician. The one who knows how to treat acne, how to properly clean, exfoliate the skin and knows how to do proper extractions (using lancets or other sterilized tools if it is necessary to clean out the pores). My experience here in Luxembourg, and also in the States, was that a lot of skin care professionals don’t know how to do extractions or they are afraid to do it. It is easier to put on cream after cream or mask after mask, but unfortunately this will not help your acne prone skin. When you find someone good, you should see her at least once a month, but you may need a weekly session for a while, especially if you have a bad case of acne (with a cystic acne, she will advise you to seek a help of a dermatologist).
Second, you have to find a good product-line, the one you like and the one that is especially good for treating your acne. I, of course, will only recommend organic products (remember, one cause of acne can be from toxins, and chemicals are toxins)! Many years ago, I also used some other than organic lines and some were better than others. Make a smart decission!
Third, always wash your hands before applying the products and, during the day, don’t touch your skin and, please, don’t pick your skin. Picking, squeezing or scratching blemishes may cause scarring. Acne – if you follow the advice bellow - will heal, but scars will not or it will take you a longer time and a lot of money to get read of them.
Fourth, using cleanser and toner at morning and at night is very important. Gel/foaming cleansers are the best to treat acne, to remove dirt and excess oil. Toners also help remove residues, kill acne-causing bacteria and put the protective shield (5.5 ph balance) back.
5. Using a special day cream for acne prone skin and if you spend a lot of time outdoors use one with an SPF30 (15 minutes of sunshine each day without SPF is good). Application of make-up (with a regularly cleaned and sanitized sponge and brushes)
6. Night routine: cleanse again wit your cleanser, even twice if it is necessary, but don’t rub your skin too much. (too much rubbing and scrubbing and hand towels can spread bacteria, avoid using them as long as your acne persists). Toner: spray some on a cotton ball and wipe your face with it, then spray it on your face one more time.
7. If you have a daily exfoliator for acne, I advice that you use it at night, because your skin will rest and breathe better at night. Next, use your night serum and cream for acne prone /oily skin, of course no SPF.
8. Once/ twice a week or between your facial treatments, you may also use a Mud mask or special Acne masks. Don’t overuse them though, it can over dry your skin. You can use your Acne mask as spot treatment more frequently (only on the pimple or only where you have most of your breakouts).
The following ingredients in products are great for treating Acne:
Aloe Vera Juice: heals and calms irritated skin
Carrot: heals and contains Vit A, a natural exfoliant
Chamomile: soothing and regenerating
Cucumber: tones and shrinks skin pores
Eucalyptus Oil: antiseptic healer
Glycolic Acid: loosens dead skin cells
Honey: mild antiseptic, nourishing
Kaolin Clay: draws out impurities
Menthol: antiseptic and calming
Peppermint: antiseptic and calming
Sage: tones and antiseptic
Salicylic Acid: gentle exfoliant, removes impurities and shrinks pores
Stone Crop: reduces inflammation
Zinc Oxide: reduces inflammation, healing and blocks UV rays
Peppermint: antiseptic and calming
Tea tree Oil: antiseptic and anti-inflammatory
Yogurt: exfoliating, contains lactic acid
And many more fruits, vegetables and herbs contain incredible ingredients, which can reduce inflammation and aid healing.
What to eat to help our oily inflamed skin?
Eat a diet that is high in fiber. It is important to keep the colon clean and ridding the body of toxins. Eat foods rich in Zinc, soybeans, whole grains, shellfish and small amount of raw nuts. A diet low in Zinc may promote flare-ups. Eat a lot of low-fat yogurt. Say no to: sugars, butter, caffeine, cheese, alcohol, chocolate, cream, fat, fried foods, spicy foods, hydrogenated oils, meat, wheat, soft drinks. In my opinion a vegan diet is the best to cure Acne, but of course not everybody can became vegan or vegetarian over night. Reducing meat in our diet will already help!
I hope this will help You to better understand Acne and how to treat it! If you live in Luxembourg (or even in Europe :), ) please do not hesitate to contact me.
Categories: Facial Treatments