Treating Acne and Pimples
No one likes dealing with acne or pimples. Not only does it hurt, but it often makes you self conscious and feel bad about how you look. However, you can begin to treat your acne and make a difference in how your skin looks, without breaking the bank on hundreds of dollars worth of products.
For a small portion of people acne is actually a mild allergic reaction to dairy products. It is best that if you have extreme acne that you eliminate dairy products for three to six weeks to see if it improves the condition of your skin. If it does you will know you react to dairy, if it doesn't then you will know that dairy isn't your problem.
Avoid Unhealthy Drinks
Water is very important to our diets and can make our skin very healthy. On the other hand unhealthy drinks can add toxins and make it harder to have clear skin. It is best to avoid high sugar drinks such as powdered drink mixes and soda.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Acne has a whole world of causes and we don't even understand all of them. One thing that many doctors have noted is that several healthy lifestyle habits help make your skin clearer and less prone to breaking out. These things tend to have a lot of other benefits that are great as well, so there really isn't any reason people should skip out on them.
- Diet. What you eat can show in a multitude of ways. While a lot of the beliefs that people had about certain foods such as greasy foods and chocolate turned out to be myths, there is a connection to a good diet that includes fruits and vegetables and clear skin. Eating a well balanced diet is important!
- Water. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day helps keep your skin looking healthy, clean, and even younger (not that you are looking for this if you are a teen). It is believed that this is because toxins don't stay in the body as long if we drink lots of water.
- Exercise. Yep, exercise is good for your muscles, your heart, most of your other organs, and your skin! You should be getting 30 minutes or more of exercise at least three days a week. It doesn't have to be hard work or expensive options. Sports, walking briskly, and many other activities count.
While many of us are busy and we want to live better we don't know how. Just remember a few tips. First, it takes about 6 weeks to form a habit whether it is a good one or a bad one. Make small steps toward a healthier lifestyle and give it six weeks to stick!
Cleanse Your Skin
Many people think that cleaning your skin, especially your face is the answer to get rid of acne and various types of blemishes. While it is important to wash your skin and keep it clean, it is also important that you don't over do it. You see, pimples and even blackheads aren't caused from a dirt build up in the skin. Instead they are caused by dead skin cells clogging up pores and then having oil, bacteria, and toxins build up in the blocked pore. The different types of pimples and blemishes then form according to what gets stuck in the pore and how the infection forms (if there is an infection). Washing your skin is important because it helps get rid of dead skin and limit oil.Your face should be done at least once a day, but not more then twice a day. Washing it more often will cause other issues. The skin on your body, even if it is prone to breakouts, should only be washed once a day.
You will need to choose a cleanser to wash your face. You don't want to use soap which is too harsh for your sensitive skin. The cleanser should have the following properties:
- non-comedogenic (won't clog pores)
- oil-free (water based)
- hypoallergenic (with no added fragrance)
- pH neutral
- color free
- for sensitive skin
It doesn't really matter if it cost a lot or only a little. Just take the time to read the bottle to make sure it meets these needs.
- Lather the cleanser in between your palms with a little water.
- Use your palms to massage the cleanser into your skin.
- Use your finger tips to get the cleanser into small portions such as around the eyes and nose.
- Thoroughly rinse the product of. You can use straight water or a soft, clean wash cloth.
Have a Once a Day Complete Regimine
For most people keeping their skin clean isn't enough. They need more then that and there are a few options that they can use for better skin. Having a complete regimen can help most people! These things should be used once a day after washing their skin.
*Antibiotics- Many prescription creams have antibiotics in them because they have been shown to help reduce breakouts. However, there are several antibiotic choices you can make at home that are all natural. There are several essential oils that are known as natural antibacterials and using one or two of these can make a huge difference in your facial care regimen.
- Tea Tree Oil
- Golden Seal
- Burdock Root
- Honey (which isn't an essential oil, but also has antibacterial properties)
When choosing one or more of these always use pure essential oils. These are oils that have been removed from the plant material and are all natural. Don't choose one that is in a carrier oil such as olive oil because you will be adding that oil to your skin which could be heavy and cause additional problems. Also avoid fragrance oils that smell like the real deal, but are made from synthetic materials and carry no health benefits. These oils can be applied directly to the skin after washing or can be mixed with other ingredients for a wide range of affects. Use a cotton ball or your finger tips (as long as they are clean) to gently spread the essential oil across the face or body.
*Other Herbal Options- In addition to oils that are known for antibacterial properties there are many that can also be used for other skin benefits. You can use any of these essential oils for the purpose of clearing the skin and aiding in a healthy look.
- Rosewater-reduces inflammation
- Geranium-balances oil and dry areas
- Patchouli-improves texture
- Lavender-sooths redness
- Sandalwood-nourishes dry areas
- Calendula-heals skin
- Burdock Root-sooths and smooths
- Dandelion Root-Detoxifies
- Aloe Vera-heals and refurbishes
- Vitamin E (not an essential oil, but available as an oil)
*Oatmeal-works as a gentle scrub to gently remove dead skin cells, oil, and dirt and aid in a clean feel.
You can mix a few oils together and dab on your skin for great help. You can also moisten oatmeal and use it to gently scrub your skin with your finger tips. Or you can make a gentle scrub following this recipe. This will make enough for at least one week. Store it in the refrigerator and use each day after you wash. Keep it no longer then 7-10 days. You can heat it up by leaving it out a half an hour or so, or by placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then letting it cool (some of the health benefits may deteriorate in the microwave).
Cook 2/3 cup of instant oatmeal in 1 cup of water for five minutes (after water boils). Drain off any excess water. Add one tablespoon of honey. Mix together well. Add one tablespoon of aloe Vera gel (buy a gel or "juice" that is just the plant with no additives, available at most drug stores). Add four drops of two or more antibacterial essential oils (tea tree oil is one of the best). Add three drops of two or more of the other essential oils to meet your needs. You can also add one teaspoon of rosewater. Mix together really well. Use liberally to gently scrub your face using your finger tips only. Rinse with cool water. (This is my own recipe).
Astringents and Toners
After you finish cleansing your skin and adding any essential oils or such you should finish with an astringent and toner. There are many out there that are available over the counter. They often contain harsh drying chemicals. You can choose one for sensitive skin or use simple witch hazel for the best option. Witch hazel is all natural and gentle. You can take a cotton ball or square and gently apply it to the skin of the face and or body. It helps remove any residue from your cleanser, any lasting oil, and it helps the pores tighten up. It does have a bad smell, but is well worth it.
Many people have several misunderstandings about moisturizer. Some believe that it will increase their chances of breakouts or block their pores. Then there are a lot of men (and boys) who believe that only girls need to use it. However, for healthy clear skin it is an important part of your daily skin care. You see, cleansing strips the natural oil from the skin. In many cases this is good, however if you don't apply something to help keep the skin moist then your body will work hard to produce more oil and will actually overcompensate causing additional breakouts. So, you should use a moisturizer after each time you cleanse your skin whether you are a man, woman, girl, or boy. Choose a moisturizer that meets the following requirements:
- Is light, especially if you have oily skin.
- Is oil-free. Whether you have dry skin or oily skin you want one that is oil-free.
- Is non-pore blocking. Now a days reading labels will let you find those that don't block your pores.
- Fragrance free and color free may help your skin.
Often times products that are labeled "beauty fluid" meet these requirements and provide a light refreshing finish.
Taking Care Of Your Body
If you have acne on other areas of your body then it is a good idea to take a soft bristled body brush to your skin before your shower. Just gently brush the skin with the brush to help get rid of dead skin cells. You can then wash with cleanser or soap. It is a good idea to finish with a moisturizer.
It should be noted that you should never use a brush on your face since it is too harsh for the delicate skin. Instead simply use the palms of your hands.
Once a week or so you can treat yourself to a clay mask. These will help moisturize and help draw out toxins. They are also a great way to relax. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, but many associated clay masks with women. You may want to get past this to take advantage of the benefits.
You can make your own clay mask very easily from powdered clay and water or buy one. If you are going to buy one look for something herbal. If you are going to make your own have some fun with it. Below is my own recipe.
- Make a cup of chamomile tea. While it is brewing mix together the other ingredients.
- 3 Tablespoons of clay powder (green clay or Kaolin are two great options)
- 1 Tablespoon of honey or honey powder
- 3 drops of tea tree oil (essential oil)
- 2 drops of lavender (essential oil)
- 1 drop of rosemary (essential oil)
- Mix a little tea at a time into the mix until it forms a smooth paste.
Apply the clay mask to your face, enjoy what is left of the tea, and when the clay has dried carefully rinse it off for great feeling skin.
It should be noted that there are hundreds of different recipes for clay masks, you can experiment to find one that you really like.
Make Up Tips
Make up is used to highlight a woman's beauty. However, if the make up she is using adds to blemish problems then it isn't any good. It is best to choose your make up with care. You may need to read labels carefully and may even need to choose products that cost a little more. However, if you have healthier skin it will be well worth it. Look for products that use the following words or phrases:
- non-comedogenic (won't clog pores)
- oil-free (water based)
- hypoallergenic (no added fragrance)
Take the time to cleanse your face at the end of the day. You want to look good during the day, but it is important that your skin be free of make up at the end of it. You can use make up as your normally would, but at the end of the day take the time to wash your face thoroughly to remove make up, use your toner, and finish with your moisturizer.
If you are a man who shaves with acne or a woman who has to shave her face then it is a good idea to follow a few extra tips for shaving.
- Shave before you wash your face so that you wash off your shaving gel or cream.
- Use a thick shave foam, cream, or gel so that you have maximum protection. It is a good idea to choose one for sensitive skin as well.
- Rinse your skin well after you are done.
- Wash your face, use toner, and moisturize for healthier skin.
Supplements and Additives
There are some things that you can add to your daily life (if you haven't already) that can help your skin out as well. These products will be healthier for your skin. Many things that you take into your diet can help make for a better you. These can include supplements, herbs, and vitamins. Things to consider adding to your diet to aid with healthy beautiful skin are:
- Multivitamin- Most physicians agree that a good multivitamin can help you in a lot of different ways. Look for one that includes everything from A to Zinc.
- Teas- *Green tea is said to have a lot of benefits for skin. Adding three to four cups a day can have a lot of advantages, but even one cup a day can be a plus. Other tea options include many herbal teas which can also help. Chamomile is said to aid in clear skin as is dandelion tea. Drinking a variety of tea and herbal tea may just lead to healthier skin.
- Supplements- Omega 3 Fatty acids are some of the best known. However, most of us don't eat a lot of the foods that they are naturally found in. Adding a fish oil supplement or a flaxseed oil supplement could improve the health of your skin.
- Flaxseeds can also be eaten for good benefits. They are usually available at your local health food or organic food store.
*Green tea supplements are now available. I have done some research on these supplements and don't recommend them. They contain high amounts of green tea (more then four cups) and therefore are loaded with caffeine. Caffeine in moderation is okay for the body and may even be helpful, however high doses can cause anxiety, jitters, nervousness, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, irregular heart beat, and even heart attacks. It is better to be safe then sorry, just avoid them all together.
Dealing with and treating acne and pimples is all about taking it one day at a time. It will take time to have clear and beautiful skin, but it can be you. Make a few good choices and you will be well on your way to a better out look on life.