Go To Acne Home | Add to Favorites
Acne...it affects a majority of teenagers and many adults well into middle age. It is dreaded and despaired over by many who suffer from this common skin condition. Clearing acne begins by understanding what acne really is and what triggers it. Then we will consider how it can be controlled by lifestyle choices, skin care choices and wise use of make-up.
Who suffers from it?
Teenagers struggle with acne, but so do many adults. Acne breakouts can result from fluctuating hormone levels at various stages of life, such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Outwardly, acne can reveal internal signs, such as poor elimination or buildup of toxins, a lack of exercise or high stress levels. Both men and women contend with acne, and as good health and beauty are intertwined, the causes of acne can reveal the solutions to managing and reducing skin breakouts.
What is it?
Acne occurs when the oil glands produce excess sebum, the skin's own oil, which accumulates with dead skin cells to form a plug which results in a clogged skin pore. Bacteria trapped inside the pore feed of the sebum mixture, multiplying and producing agents which irritate the walls of the pore. As the immune system works to attack the bacteria, pus is formed leading to an inflamed pimple, blackhead or whitehead. Picking or squeezing a pimple can cause the pore to rupture, releasing the bacteria into the surrounding area, and can cause more pimples, cysts or scars. For many, certain areas of the skin have overactive sebaceous, or oil glands which produce excess sebum. These areas are typically the forehead, nose, cheeks and/or chin. Comedones, or blackheads, are not caused by dirt, but rather by sebum which has clogged a pore, oxidized and discoloured by melanin.
What triggers it?
Often a spotty complexion denotes a diet high in sugar or saturated fats found in fried foods, refined or processed foods. Conversely, a diet low in fat may lack essential fatty acids, and can also affect the appearance of the skin. Breakouts can reveal toxin buildup, resulting from constipation, kidney or lymphatic problems. Other triggers include a polluted, dry environment, and seasonal climate changes. Genetics also determines whether a person will be predisposed to acne breakouts. In general, acne is caused by a combination of four main factors:
- Skin Care
- Emotional State
We cannot change our genetics, but we can change the other three factors to help reduce the likelihood of acne breakouts.
How can acne be controlled?
Skin needs to be cleansed, fed and nurtured. Externally, the skin benefits from a simple regimen:
- Cleansing with a mild, slightly acidic and all natural soap. Other kinds of soaps can cause redness, soreness, irritation or tightness because of the harsh chemicals, colorants detergents and fragrances they are made with. Avoid any products which contain ingredients which may irritate or dry out the skin. Most often culpable ingredients are petroleum derived, synthetic or animal based.
- Tone with an alcohol-free, all natural toner, since alcohol is drying to the skin and will cause the oil glands to produce more sebum. Toner also helps reduce the bacterial population on the skin, decreasing the number of bacteria which will migrate into the pores.
- Moisturize with a petroleum free cream. Petroleum is comedogenic and can clog pores unnecessarily. Creams which contain natural waxes such as beeswax do not have a comedogenic effect on the pores. At night, massage a facial oil into the skin as this helps increase circulation to the surface of the skin and suppresses the oil glands from producing excess oil.
- Once per week, use a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells which accumulate at the surface of the pores and lead to blackheads. A mud mask used once every couple of weeks also helps draw out sebum in the pores as the clays present in the mask are highly absorbent.
Internally, the skin is fed and cleansed by a diet rich in fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables. These foods provide more water, nutrients and fibre into the diet and can make a remarkable difference in the appearance of the skin. Relaxation, adequate sleep, exercise and stress reduction also play an important role in keeping the skin clear and healthy as they assist the body to repair and detoxify itself.
Seasonal or climate changes, such as winter and humid summers in addition to dry, polluted environments also contribute to acne breakouts by drying out or irritating the skin. As the skin is exposed to dry temperatures moisture is lost through the skin, triggering the oil glands to produce more sebum. Keeping the skin clean and moisturized is essential to preventing the pores from becoming clogged with excess sebum. In humid conditions, the skin loses moisture through sweat and evaporation, triggering the same process which can lead to breakouts. Moisturizing and regular cleansing in dry, humid or polluted conditions can reduce the onset of acne.
Makeup can also trigger breakouts. If they contain comedogenic ingredients, such as those derived from petroleum, they may contribute to acne despite a clean and healthy skin regimen or lifestyle. Choose all natural makeup which is in harmony with the rest of your skin care regimen and less likely to contribute to breakouts.
Acne treatments which contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide worsen acne, as these are skin irritants and very drying. Tea tree essential oil is a natural alternative, and works by sterilizing the infected area upon contact without damaging the surrounding skin cells. It can also prevent microbial growth in that area for hours. Other treatments for acne include hydrocortisone which thins the skin over time, or antibiotics which can contribute to microbial resistance in the long term. Hormone treatments work by decreasing testosterone levels in the body, since this is the hormone responsible for sebum production. There are natural alternatives to aid in controlling acne, such as tea tree, lemon and juniper berry essential oils. These are effective and much safer to use for treating acne.
Acne can be a source of frustration for many. Much can be done, however to minimize the occurrence of breakouts thereby reducing the impact of acne on our lives. Making healthy adjustments to our diet, lifestyle and skin care product choices can lead to clearer, more radiant and healthy skin, free at last from acne.
- Erikson, K, (2002). Drop Dead Gorgeous
- Marsden, K, (1993). Super Skin
- Purvis, D, (1989). The Business of Beauty
- The Organic Makeup Company can be located at http://www.organicmakeupcompany.com
About the Author
Lori Stryker has been researching and developing all natural skin care and make-up for the purpose of offering men and women safe natural cosmetics for everyday use. She brings to her research a specialist in human biology from the University of Toronto, coupled with a professional home economics degree and an education degree from the University of British Columbia, fusing chemical and biological knowledge with food family and textile sciences.
Don't Let Acne Ruin Your Life--tips, Techniques And Treatmen
Acne is the term for a disorder resulting from the action of hormones on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands) which leads to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called whiteheads, pimples or "zits." The lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest. Nearly 17 million Ameri...
Different Types Of Acne, Different Treatments – Cystic Acne
Acne can range in severity from a relatively small number of whiteheads, to a proliferation of cysts and nodules, which can be as physically painful as they are psychologically upsetting. Severe cystic acne can be resistant to most treatments, and in fact cystic acne treatment can produce side effects that are as upsetting as the condition itself. For the many sufferers of this kind of acne however, refusing treatment is not an option, so here are some things to be aware of before undergoing your cystic acne treatment. The causes of cystic acne are, like other types of the condition, associated with the over production ...
Natural And Dietary Therapies For Acne
The typical modern medicine answer to outbreaks of acne include antibiotics, drying agents, skin peelers and in some cases a very toxic and strong drug Accutane TM. All of these will normally work for a short period of time, but eventually, if the original cause of the acne is not addressed and treated, the acne returns, usually stronger and m...
The Real Good News
Hidden Manna For The End Times
Correct Your Golf Slice
|Acne - Eliminate Acne Without The Side Effects|
(ARA) - Acne is a condition that affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 85 percent of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the disorder. And although it is most common among adolescents, some people continue to be affected into their forties and fifties. There are so many acne products on the market that it can be difficult to choose whats best for you or your child. Even among medical researchers there is debate over which acne treatments are the most effective. Most products either dont work very well or have a litany of side effects, says Amy Baker, founder of Natures Cure, an innovative health and beauty products company. Acne ha...
|Acne - Acne And Skin Problem Myths Debunked|
Isn't skin a wonderful thing to have?An obvious benefit of skin is that it protects our bodies' internal organs from harmful elements like dirt, insects, bites, toxic chemicals, nasty weather, and the like, and it certainly is more attractive than what's underneath.When skin is healthy it's nice to look at, but when it's diseased, it can not only affect you physically, but more painfully can cause stress and social problems.Like the common cold, acne and similar skin diseases can be treated and covered up, but cannot really be cured. The best treatment is prevention and knowledge a...
|Acne - What Is My Acne Really Trying To Tell Me?|
Most acne products do nothing more than waste money. Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on creams and lotions only to find out they didn't really work or only gave you temporary relief.Acne remains a serious problem for a lot of teenagers and even for some adults. Acne destroys confidence,leaving a person depressed and even suicidal. However,hope remains for many of it's desperate sufferers.Acne, like most other skin problems, exists only as a message that something inside the body isn't functioning properly. This means acne isn't really the problem you have to attack. The problem lies elsewhere inside the body which produces symptoms such as acne, blackheads and whiteheads.To make this idea easy to...
|Acne - The Causes Of Acne... And How To Avoid Them|
If you aren't a sufferer of the effects of acne, feellucky. Acne is one of the most common skin diseases in theUnited States, affecting some 17 million people.By definition, it occurs when the pores of the skin areplugged, where the natural oil, called sebum, can't reachthe pore's surface.Doctors believe that it could be the overproduction ofsebum that contributes to the clogging of pores, whichresults in the formati...
|Acne - How To Alleviate Your Acne Problem|
Acne brings huge problems to teenagers. Teenagers who have acne feel isolated, ugly, and insecure. Who wouldn't when everywhere you look, only clear skinned people are put on the pedestal. You tried every acne product out in the market but nothing seems to work. At this point, you feel that your social life is doomed but fret not because acne won't stay forever if you take the proper actions early.First step to take is to understand what acne really is and from there you can take the necessary actions in curing or at least reducing your acne problem.Acne is the term for plugged pores (whiteheads and blackheads), pimples, a...
|Acne - Skin Care & Acne Prevention|
Skin Care & Acne PreventionLets take a look at how to combat your acne.The main strategy to use is prevention where possible and betterskin care. Here are several top issues of focus for each:exercise,cosmetics,diet,hormones,hygiene,medications,shaving,stress.Exercise Keeping in shape can help fight acne by fighting offnegative stress levels that c...