When exercising wear as little make-up as possible, cosmetics can cause
clogged pores. Don't sit around in your wet bathing suit or sweaty
clothes when you're done exercising. Shower off immediately and change
into dry clothes before driving home. If it isn't possible, change into
dry clothes and wipe down as well as you can. When toweling sweat off
your face blot gently rather than wiping. Vigorous wiping can irritate
your skin. When you're going to be in the sun only wear lite-make-up,
sunscreen can travel across the skin's surface and lodge in the pores -
so wash immediately after working out. If you're prone to body acne,
avoid garments made exclusively with Lycra or nylon. Synthetic fabrics
can trap heat and moisture against your skin, creating a fertile
breeding ground for the bacteria that contributes to acne. For moderate
exercise your best bet is lightweight, loose-fitting cotton, or a
lycra-cotton blend. If you're working vigorously and working up a good
sweat try some of the new fabrics designed to whisk moisture away from
your skin. It's best to shower off immediately after working out. If
you can't shower right away wipe down with medicated pads. You may use
a medicated exfoliate cleanser, but always be gentle with your skin.
Scrubbing harder isn't going to make you any cleaner, or make the acne
go away faster, and it may actually irritate existing lesions or
promote the development of new ones. Some people are more likely to get
acne or have lesions aggravated in the areas affected by sports
equipment. The best defense against friction-related breakouts is a
good fit, make sure your helmet doesn't slide around on your forehead,
and your wetsuit isn't too tight under the arms. Try lining your helmet
with a layer of soft, washable, cotton fabric. And remember to keep
your equipment clean and dry when not in use.
Hormonal acne may fail to respond to traditional therapies, such as
topical retinoids and systemic or topical antibiotics. Here are some
clues that will help you and your doctor identify hormonally-influenced
- Adult-onset acne, breakouts
that appear for the first time in adults.
flare ups preceding the menstrual cycle.
Increased facial oiliness.
- Excessive growth of
hair, or hair in unusual places.
- Elevated levels
of certain androgens in the blood stream.
While hormonally influenced acne typically begins around age 20-25, it
can strike teens and mature women as well, and is most persistent in
women over the age of 30. Hormonally-influenced acne is usually
moderate and limited to inflammatory papules and small inflammatory
nodules and occasional comedones.
The treatment of
acne in teenagers can be challenging, because their hormones are in a
constant state of flux. They may initially respond very well to
first-line treatments, such as topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide,
perhaps accompanied by an oral antibiotic. As their bodies develop,
however, they may undergo severe hormonal shifts - and stop responding
to the current medications. Courses of acne treatment may need to be
adjusted more often with teenagers to accommodate these hormone
changes. Many women pass into adulthood without "outgrowing" their
acne. Others may not develop in until their 20's or 30's. During the
course of a normal menstrual cycle estrogen levels peak at mid-cycle,
then decrease as she nears her period. After ovulation, the ovaries
begin to produce progesterone, another hormone which stimulates the
sebaceous glands, and with extra oil comes acne. Hormones are
responsible for acne in a percentage of pregnant women. Sebaceous
glands go into high gear during the third trimester, causing oily skin
and frequent breakouts. Some women even experience acne after
menopause, when estrogen levels begin to taper off and testosterone
becomes the dominant hormone. For a woman controlling acne may be as
simple as regulating a woman's cycle.
The acne like breakouts
known as "shaving bumps" are the result of inflammation in the hair
follicle brought on by shaving. As hairs grow back after shaving,
waxing, or plucking, they get trapped inside the follicle, resulting in
irritation and swelling. Anyone can get shaving bumps, but they're more
common in people with curly hair. Before you begin shaving prep the
area with warm water. The hydration makes your skin pliable: the heat
will dilate your blood vessels, bringing blood flow to the area. Lather
well. Thinner, filmier shaving cream help the razor glide over the
skin, reducing irritation. Using the right razor is important. If you
can use an electric razor, the shave won't be as close, but you
probably won't break out. If you prefer blade shaving, use a
single-blade razor each time you shave. Double and triple edged blades
lift the hair out of the follicle for a shave that is actually below
the epidermis. As part of the skin's natural healing process, the
epidermis grows over the opening of the follicle. Then, as the hair
grows back, it has to fight to get out of the closed follicle - causing
an inflammatory response. Go with the grain, the closer you shave the
more likely you are to get shaving bumps. Try to get into the habit of
shaving with the grain, this will cut down on irritation and may help
with nicks and cuts too. When you're done you may want to apply a mild
alcohol-free toner or antibacterial gel; this will kill bacteria before
it gets into the open follicles.
Acne cosmetics, or acne that
is caused by cosmetics, is a mild and fairly common form of acne.
Because it is triggered by topical products rather than the complex
process that creates true acne, it can strike anyone - even people who
are not physiologically prone to the condition. Characterized by small,
rashy pink bumps on the cheek, chin, and forehead, it typically
develops over the course of a few weeks or months and may persist
indefinitely. Over the course of the day make-up migrates across your
skin, settling into your pores - much like rainwater collects wherever
there are small holes in the ground. Some make-ups include ingredients
that are considered comedogenic, or substances that are known to clog
pores. There are seven rules for a clean beauty routine.
- Avoid penetrating oils. Not all oils are comedogenic
petroleum products, mineral oil and sunflower oil do not penetrate into
the pores. Most cosmetic oils however, can aggravate acne. One of the
most common acne triggers is lanolin oil. Isopropyl Myristate, which
promotes smooth, even application in many foundations, is such an
aggressive penetrate that it's the main ingredient in most
- Steer clear of sweet smells.
Fragrance is a major cause of allergic and irritant reactions on the
face. It's best to stick with products that are labeled "fragrance
free" and "hypo-allergenic".
- The stuff that puts
the sparkle in your eye shadow, face powder, and blush is usually mica,
a common mineral. The jagged, flaky shape of mica particles can cause
irritation and/or clogging in the follicle, so it's best to use
products without too much shimmer. Many of the red dyes used to put a
bloom in your cheeks are coal derivatives; these substances are
comedogenic. Cream blushes are more likely to have comedogenic
ingredients, so stick to powder or gel blushes.
Heavy eye creams and oily eye make-up removers can promote milia, tiny
white cysts under the eye. These kinds of products can also migrate to
neighboring areas, creating acne on the cheeks, temples, and foreheads.
- Most hair products are full of ingredients we'd
like to keep away from our skin: alcohol, adhesives, and oils. When
styling your hair cover your skin when you spray, and try to keep oils,
mousses, gels, and promades away from the skin at the hairline. Don't
use hair products when you exercise; perspiration from your scalp can
carry styling products onto the skin, contributing to new breakouts.
Sweat doesn't cause acne. Even non-comedogenic products can cause
clogging or irritation in the presence of heavy perspiration. As a rule
it is best to wash immediately after exercising.
Lipsticks and glosses are greasy by nature, with high concentrations of
petroleum, wax, and other comedogenic substances. The greater the
shine, the greater potential for pore-clogging - so if you're breaking
out, try going for a matte finish rather than a high gloss.
Since some part of your skin is always in contact with your
environment, it's important to pay attention to the substances with
which you come into contact with on a regular basis. For example, the
airborne grease in a fast food restaurant can create an invisible film
on your skin, clogging your pores. Most industrial oils - the kinds
used in cars, in factories, and on bicycles are comedogenic as well.
The simplest thing you can do for your skin is sleep. Surprised?
Scientists and mothers around the world agree that a good night's sleep
- at least eight hours - can do wonders for your complexion. A healthy,
well-rested body has the resources to build a strong immune system.
While a robust immune system won't prevent acne altogether, it can help
fight infection so your lesions clear up more quickly.
Stress is a purely chemical reaction. When you become tense, your
adrenal glands go work flooding your bloodstream with the hormone
cortisol. This triggers the sweat glands in your face to produce more
oil. When your sebaceous glands go into high gear, there's a higher
possibility that this excess oil will mix with dead skin cells and clog
your pores, trapping bacteria inside.
diet and at least seven hours of sleep every night will help you build
a stronger physical foundation; if you're well fed and well rested
you're less likely to feel irritated by the events of your day. Try to
get some exercise every day, even if it's just a short walk around the
block. It's also important to take time out of every day to relax -
read a book, take a bath, practice yoga, or do whatever makes you feel
happy and calm.
One of the most common
misconceptions about acne is that it's caused by dirt. It's not! Acne
is caused by a combination of factors you can't control, like your
hormone balance and the natural pace of your skin's renewal process.
Don't over wash your face, since dirt is not causing your acne,
excessive scrubbing and washing won't make it go away. Try to limit
yourself to two washings per day - anything more than that can leave
your healthy skin dry, and your acne prone area irritated. Habitual
over washing may also stimulate extra oil production, which could
result in more breakouts. Skip harsh scrubs. It's okay to exfoliate,
but be sure to use a scrub that is gentle. Avoid products with almond
or apricot shell fragments; they can irritate or even tear your skin
and further aggravate your acne. Say no to alcohol. Use a toner, but
avoid products with high concentrations of isopropyl alcohol, or common
rubbing alcohol. A strong astringent, alcohol strips the top layer of
your skin causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. The result
is dry, red skin and possibly more blemishes. Squeezing or picking your
blemishes - with fingernails, pins or anything else - can force
bacteria deeper into the skin, causing greater inflammation and
infection. You'll also increase the damage to the surrounding skin, so
the blemish is more likely to leave a permanent scar. Excessive
touching of your face, including rubbing or even resting your chin in
your hands, you can drive bacteria into your pores. Work out, wash off.
Shower off immediately, heat and moisture trapped against your skin can
create an ideal breeding ground for the spread of bacteria. Find a
regimen and stick with it. Most cases of mild acne can be improved with
"over-the-counter" products, or products that don't require a
prescription. If you start treatment before your acne gets severe,
you'll have a better chance of avoiding physical and emotional problems
down the road. If your acne gets worse after more than a couple of
weeks, sticking with the same treatment, see a dermatologist.
Don’t eat that - or you'll get zits! We've all heard it; from parents,
friends, or even the family doctor. But the fact is, even after
extensive study, scientists have not found a connection between diet
and acne. Diet plays no role in acne treatment in most patients...even
large amounts of certain foods have not clinically exacerbated acne.
Here are some common nutrients that influence healthy skin.
Naturally occurring vitamin A is found in fish oils, liver, and dairy
products. Vitamin A produced by plants is known as Beta-carotene, is
found in yellow/orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, yams,
apricots, and cantaloupe, as well as green vegetables like parsley,
kale and spinach. Extremely high doses of vitamin A are toxic, so don't
over do it.
Vitamin B-2. Stress has been known to
aggravate existing cases of acne, and vitamin B-2 is often helpful
relieving stress. High concentrations of B-2 include whole grain, fish,
milk, eggs, meat, and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin B-3. Found in peanuts, eggs, avocados, liver, and lean meats.
Vitamin B-3 improves circulation promoting healthy skin.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E is found in almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds,
broccoli, wheat germ and vegetable oils. A powerful antioxidant, it
protects your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are
Zinc. Even in trace amounts,
the antioxidant known as zinc is known to boost the immune system,
improving overall health. Zinc can be found in eggs, whole grains,
nuts, and mushrooms.
Normal amounts of Iodine have
not been shown to affect the skin, amounts greater than the RDA of 150
mcg may aggravate your acne.
Drink lots of water
and eat a healthy, balanced diet - but don't be afraid to indulge your
cravings every now and then.