Acne And Treatment
Acne & Treatment
Did your mother ever tell you that if you ate chocolate you’d wind up with a face full of blemishes? Have you been blaming your heavy fringe for the pimples on your forehead?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re familiar with just a few of the breakout myths that have been around for longer than any of us care to remember. Well enough is enough, I say! It’s time to bust these acne questions wide open and discover once and for all what’s true and what’s false.
We’ve recruited the help of Judy Cheung, creator of natural acne-fighting system SkinB5, so that we can finally all better understand blemish behaviour.
There has always been a rumoured link between eating dairy and experiencing acne, though the reason it is linked has always remained a mystery. It’s time to get some answers, right? Judy says: “Cow’s milk (even organic) contains its own hormones (including androgens, the male hormones found in both male and female bodies), and growth factors (including bovine IGF-1). Every time you drink milk or eat dairy products, the cow hormones are absorbed by your body and remain active in the bloodstream, so they can affect your skin (and produce acne) in the same way as human hormones.”
Many people who suffer from skin pigmentation issues such as rosacea think there is a clear link to red-coloured foods. While this isn’t true for healthy red foods – there are still some snacks you need to watch out for. Judy explains: “Natural red foods such as red capsicum, beetroot and tomatoes contain the most anti-ageing and sun-protective antioxidants and will help you achieve good health and clear, glowing skin. It’s the foods with artificial food colourings, such as red food dyes found in many processed foods and cakes that have been linked to a number of health issues, including acne and eczema.”
Wanted to give your body a break or attempt to get pregnant by coming off the pill and wound up with a face full of blemishes? Switching between being on and off the pill has been blamed for a number of skin and weight-gain issues in the past, and as it turns out, coming off the pill can indeed contribute to acne. Some contraceptive pills (like Yaz, Diane35 and Ortho Tri-Cyclen) block the action of androgens, which stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands on your face and body. Once you stop taking the pill, the androgens go back to their old tricks and your skin can break out. Healthy lifestyle alterations such as watching what you eat and going to bed earlier can help to keep androgens in check.
Many people believe that pimples on your chin are linked to your ovaries, so you’re more likely to break out on your chin when you’re in your menstrual cycle. This is based on fact, and Judy tells us why: “Hormonal acne does tend to show up on the chin, neck, and along the jawline rather than the oily T-zone. Androgen (the acne-causing hormone) in your body naturally spikes around ovulation. Studies show that your body produces the most androgen around days 21 to 26 of a 28-day cycle, resulting in larger pores and increased oil production, which promotes acne.”
Some of the most commonly-blamed causes of acne, we know that stress, sugar and alcohol aren’t great for our health in any capacity. However, it’s interesting to know that they actually are responsible for breakouts, as Judy explains: “Studies show that cells that produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones, so when a person with acne experiences a lot of stress, these sebum-producing cells become ‘unregulated’ and more oil is produced to clog the hair follicles to allow more acne to form. Alcoholic beverages on the other hand are often full of sugar, and sugar promotes acne by elevating blood sugar levels, resulting in a cascade of hormonal effects, including increased androgens (acne-causing hormones), excess oil, and increased skin cell production, all of which lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Avoid mixed drinks and cocktails with added sugar.”
ACNE MYTH #6: Dirty/oily hair or fringes can cause acne
Ever thought the spots on your forehead were caused by your heavy fringe? While this isn’t strictly true, you still need to be careful to keep your fringe and forehead clean if you have a tendency to break out. Judy says: “The hairs on our head are lubricated by sebum (the same oil that lubricates our skin). If you have excessive sebum production, both your face and hair will be oily, so oily skin, oily hair combined with heavy fringes, and use of hair products creates a hot bed for bacteria growth. Heavy fringes alone do not cause acne, but they certainly can encourage bacteria growth if your skin is already prone to breakouts.