Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Got Zits?

the bane of my skin's existence. zits, pimples, acne, blackheads, whiteheads, pus-geysers, blemish, cysts, are all words to describe that painful little molehill that seems the size of a mountain under our skin.

as a teenager i had intermittent acne issues. those little suckers would set up camp on my face and i would walk around for days, humiliated. in my early twenties my skin was beautiful and crystal clear. enter the childbearing years, and my hormones were literally like a roller coaster. breakouts were continually banished only to rear their tiny little heads and show themselves again.

post baby hormone coaster and acne free

zits are caused by the sebaceous glands in your skin producing more sebum or oil than is necessary. when this happens your precious little pores can get blocked. bacteria can get in and cause an infection, otherwise known as a zit.

if you have an extreme case of acne, you are best off seeing a dermatologist. if you are one of the bajillions of people who have breakout, but don't need a professional to treat it, here are some suggestions:

  • drink lots of water and avoid juice and soda. water is a natural detoxifier for your body and will help to flush out impurities the could cause blocked pores
  • skip the tan. i know a common urban myth is that a tan helps to dry out your skin and vanish breakout. i'm sorry to say that is incorrect. tanning only helps to thicken your skin, leaving your leather face with more wrinkles, and more pore blocking opportunity.
  • relax. easier said than done right? stress levels only cause our body to react in ways we may not want.
  • begin a regular skin care regimen. cleansing our skin twice a day (with appropriate products) helps remove makeup, sebum, dead skin cells, and other debris that causes acne. however, using products that are too harsh will only cause your skin to react in a negative way, possibly leading to more breakout.
  • avoid touching your face and keep hair from doing the same. touching your face will only help spread acne causing bacteria. the product in our hair (hairspray, conditioners, gels) will also leave residue on our face which could cause breakout.
  • eat a healthy diet. yes it matters. a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains give your body the antioxidants it needs to boost your immune system.
  • exercise regularly. this helps your body stress levels to remain balanced.

following these steps combined with a good daily skin care regimen will help to keep your skin clean and clear. a good daily skin care regimen would include:

  • cleansing with a dermatologist approved cleanser. the top three drugstore brands would be: Cetaphil, Cerave, and Neutrogena. your cleanser should remove dirt, oil, make up and dead skin cells without causing irritation or drying out the skin.
  • moisturize with a non-comedogenic (non pore clogging) hypoallergenic (non irritating) moisturizer. if you are actively fighting acne, make sure this includes salicylic acid.
  • wear sun screen. again, make sure it is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.
salylic acid, the super-acne fighter:

looking at the labels of many acne medications, you'll notice that the active ingredient is often salicylic acid. salicyic acid works by causing the cells of the skin to shed more readily, helping to clear clogged pores and neutralizing bacteria within, as well as preventing pores from clogging up again.

acne occurs in part when there is a buildup of dead skin cells in the pores. salicylic acid helps normalize the shedding of the skin cells inside the pores and helps prevent the clogging that, along with oil and bacteria, can produce pimples.

and that is everything you need to know about zits, and then some.

xo
kristie
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