Skin Care & Acne Prevention
Let's take a look at how to combat your acne.
The main strategy to use is prevention where possible and better
skin care. Here are several top issues of focus for each:
Exercise - Keeping in shape can help fight acne by fighting off
negative stress levels that can come from negative self-esteem
and depression. However, some safeguards need to be in place to
ward off acne that can result from your workout routines. First
watch which products you use on your body because you'll most
likely be sweating. With any sunscreen's for outdoor workout
activities and any make-up or other cosmetics, check for
"noncomedogenic" and "oil-free" on the labels to help prevent
pore clogging. And when your workout is finished, wash the
products off as soon as possible, especially if you'll be going
into a steam room or sauna where your pores will be opening up
more. You don't want these lotions and other cosmetics getting
into your pores and clogging them up, resulting in blemishes.
Watch what you put on your body with regards to clothing, sports
gear and equipment. For example, tight lycra and nylon exercise
outfits might look great in the movies and magazine models, but
if you are susceptible to acne problems, avoid these synthetic
fabrics that tend to trap in body moisture and heat resulting in
a bacteria frenzy. Instead, choose loose clothing made of cotton
or natural blends to allow more air to get to your skin. And when
you're finished with your workout, get out of clothing wet from
perspiration or water sports. Shower and change into dry, clean
clothing. And keep your sports gear and equipment clean, too.
Dirty headgear, for instance, can irritate forehead areas prone
to acne problems. So toss headbands into the washing machine
after workout sessions.
Tip: when cleaning your body after a workout, no need to scrub
with force and irritate skin. If possible, wash with medicated
soap (check for "exfoliant" on the label) or medicated wipes from
your athletic bag where showers aren't available.
Tip: When drying with a towel, even if it's during your workout
to erase sweat, always blot instead of rub. That way you avoid
grinding excess dead skin, dirt, sweat and other chemicals into
your pores and risking pore-clogging and skin irritation.
Cosmetics - To avoid pore-clogging and skin irritations similar
to acne and can contribute to acne, use products labeled
"noncomedogenic" or "oil-free." Shimmering facial colors can
contain a flaky mineral called mica that can cause skin
irritations and clog pores. Other additives in coloring that can
cause similar reactions are coal tar derivatives, carmine and
heavy cream in blushes. More preventative measures include using
a lip gloss promoting a matte finish instead of a high gloss for
less pore-clogging; note the more the shine, the more then
comedogenic content and the more the pores can clog.
Beware eye creams can contain heavier concentrations of
moisturizers than regular creams and lotions, meaning they have
greater potential to clog pores in the surrounding facial areas.
Additionally use caution with hair styling products that contain
oils, alcohol and adhesives that should be kept away from skin
and from seeping into pores along with perspiration during
workouts; especially watch hair gels and mousses so they don't
cause clogging around your hairline. Use care when choosing
fragrance and scented cosmetics, and opt for hypo-allergenic or
"fragrance-free" versions where possible to avoid allergic
reactions and skin irritations (a sampling 3-day test behind an
ear is recommended).
Tip: Thoroughly clean your face and any other areas where
cosmetics are applied daily, especially if used when combined
with exercising or other activities that promote sweating, where
there is the opportunity for the chemicals to be absorbed or
soaked up into your pores.
Shaving - Shaving for both genders is an excellent way of
exfoliating or removing dead skin to help with the prevention and
spreading of acne instead of leaving the remains to clog pores.
And for some light acne cases already in process, shaving can
help rid whiteheads and blackheads from the face. A word of
caution: for areas with infection or high inflammatory activity
(redness, sensitive, open acne, sores, etc.), do not shave. Or at
the very least, use a shaving cream for sensitive skin. For best
results with regular shaving, follow these procedures:
Steer away from shaving creams that are oily and choose one for
sensitive skin if available. Then moisten facial or other hair
with warm water, apply the shaving cream and lather well. Shave
with a sharp (not dull) blade. Note when shaving, use gentle
swipes instead of heavy pressure ones that can irritate
acne-prone areas. And go with the flow or "grain;" in other
words, adapt to downward, lateral, angular or upward swipes, for
a smoother shave with less nicks and irritating backward motions.
Experiment with different razors, both electric and disposable,
with single- double- or triple-edged (mach III) heads to see
which works best for you. And try shaving in a warm shower for
For after shaving applications, try toning to stop bacteria dead
in its tracks before it gets into your open follicles. Try
antibiotic gel or lotion, witch hazel, Dalacin T, a mild
alcohol-free toner, Benzoyl Peroxide in gel form and Salicylic
Acid in a gel.
Shaving Tip: Electric razors may not shave as close to the skin;
however, they help with the prevention of acne and other skin
breakout's and flare-ups better.
Shaving Tip: If a non-electric razor is your choice, a
single-edged blade is actually better. Why? Because double- and
triple-edged blades grab hair follicles and pull them out from
below the epidermis. And in the process, your skin "heals itself"
by closing over these holes, making it difficult for future hair
follicles to grow outward - creating inflammation in the tight
Diet - Studies show diet does not play a role in either the cause
or the treatment of acne. However, what is recommended for acne
preventative care is what is best for your body and best for your
skin, especially since your skin is the largest organ of your
body. So here are healthy vitamins, minerals and other
supplements known and recommended to prevent and help conquer
Hormones - Hormones or lack of, during later years and especially
for women, can play a role in acne flare-ups and prevention. One
recent study showed about 50 percent of women have acne, referred
to as hormonal acne, problems during the week before their
menstruation. Treatment options can include topical retinoids,
oral antibiotics and Benzoyl Peroxide for teen years. On into
adult years, some acne aids include oral contraceptives or
hormonal birth control pills and hormonal replacement therapy
(HRT) for women, combined with systemic or topical treatments,
prescription or over-the-counter products and medications, and
antibiotics for both sexes.
Hygiene - A healthy skin regimen should include no harsh
scrubbing or over-washing, because this can cause possible skin
irritation or possible over production of oil to replace what's
washed off, clogging pores in the process. Products with gentle
exfoliation ingredients are OK to use; i.e. not scratchy nut or
fruit shell pieces that can tear skin. And skip alcohol products
when possible; these can take off the top layer of your skin and
cause your glands to product more oil, clogging pores in the
If you do spot acne-troubled areas, do NOT mess with them.
Remember these are already weeks in the making, and squeezing or
picking blemishes can force the infected area to regress back
inside, further troubling the region and possibly leave a scar.
If necessary, seek help from a dermatologist for alternative
About the Author
Kim Standerline is a registered nurse working for a large hospital Trust in the UK. Her websites include www.nursing-hints.com, www.backpain-free.com and www.acne-and-you.com<
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