Can Stress Make Acne Worse?

Can Stress Make Acne Worse?

Do you suffer from regular acne breakouts? Are you also stressed out a lot of the time? There could be a connection!

Evidence has shown that the more stressed you feel, the more prone to skin problems you are, with more acne cysts and pimples erupting as your stress levels rise. 

While emotional stress doesn’t trigger acne in someone who isn’t prone to the condition, someone already suffering from this skin disorder will often find that their problem gets worse in periods of severe stress.

The Evidence

For many years, experts have suspected a link between acne and stress, however most of the evidence at that time was anecdotal. Over the past ten years, though, more research has taken place which shows that the experts were right all alone.

A study from Stanford University in 2003 revealed that college students suffered from more acne flareups when they were taking exams – a time linked to excessive stress – compared to when they weren’t being tested.

Cells which produce sebum (an oily substance which mixes with bacteria and dead skin cells to clog up the hair follicles resulting in acne cysts or pimples) also have receptors for the stress hormones. 

If somebody who is already prone to acne goes through a stressful time, more sebum is produced naturally by the body. This clogs the hair follicles and allows more acne to develop.

Stress, Acne And A Dangerous Cycle

Often, when people are feeling stressed, they have a natural tendency to pick at their blemishes, making them worse overall. A condition called acne excoriee involves squeezing and picking at blemishes compulsively due to stress. 

Rather than having pimples on their skin, they pick at them until they turn into scabs, which in turn can lead to scars. Such patients often turn a mild case of acne into serious and lasting scars.

Treating Stress Related Acne

Although reducing stress won’t eliminate acne completely, it can help to make the problem more manageable. Taking measures to limit the amount of stress that you’re exposed to can make your skin calmer and fewer breakouts to occur.

So, how do you go about reducing your stress? Try stress management techniques like yoga, muscle relaxation, tai chi, hypnosis or a guided imagery relaxation program. 

When your stress levels return to normal, you’ll break out less frequently and any pimples which do develop will tend to be less red, less intense and smaller. Also, conventional treatments will work more effectively when you’re less stressed.

When you’re suffering less stress, you’ll also feel able to care for yourself more effectively and you’ll have a higher energy level. 

This means you’ll be more likely to use acne treatment products, remove your makeup fully and wash properly with a medicated facewash. All of these things will aid the appearance of your skin and will help to limit the number of acne breakouts you experience.

As you can see, there is a clear link between stress and the development of acne. However, by reducing the level of stress you’re under, the better your skin will look and the better you’ll feel.

How Skin pH Level Affects Acne

man washing his face with water

How Skin pH Level Affects Acne

man washing his face with water

If you’re struggling with acne, you should probably take the time to find out the pH level of your face wash products. There are numerous factors which influence your skin health, however skin pH is one of the least well known. 

While most people are worried about the effect that their diet or lifestyle habits have on their facial skin, they barely think about reading the labels on the skincare products they buy. 

Yet the pH of those products could be having a major impact on the health of your skin, so it’s time to find out more about skin health and pH are connected.

What Is The Acid Mantle And What Is Your Skin’s pH?

The potential of hydrogen (better known as pH) of any given substance indicates its alkalinity or acidity. The scale runs from 0 up to 14, with the most acidic substances having a lower number and the most alkaline substances have a higher number. 

A neutral pH is 7. While distilled water has a pH of 7 (or neutral), soap usually has an alkaline pH level of somewhere between 9 – 11. Meanwhile, your skin’s pH should normally range between 5.4 and 5.9 i.e., it’s slightly acidic. 

Your skin’s acid mantle is the pH of its outermost layer. This layer is responsible for strengthening the skin barrier, something which is vital for preventing excessive water loss from your skin while also limiting the amount of foreign substances and bacteria entering the skin. 

The acid mantle is also responsible for speeding up the skin barrier’s recovery when it is damaged, improving the integrity of your skin and helping to shed dead skin cells, which helps with age spots and wrinkles. It also creates an acid environment to guard against the growth of skin bugs which could be harmful.

Why Does Our Skin Have An Acidic pH?

Healthy skin has an acidic pH for a number of reasons:

  • The sweat glands are on the skin. They produce sweat which is around 80% sodiumchloride and 11% lactate. Lactate causes the skin’s pH to drop.
  • There are free fatty acids in the skin which is produced by breaking down the fat molecules on the skin, making it more acidic.

  • The sebaceous glands of the skin produce sebum to lubricate the skin. Sebum production increases the number of free fatty acids thus causing an acid pH.

  • The Na/H antiporter proton pump. This boosts the skin’s hydrogen ions concentration and this decreases the skin’s pH.

How Does pH Affect The Skin?

pH has a number of effects on the skin’s hydration, permeability, flora and integrity. The higher your facial pH, the more chance you have of experiencing acne. 

However, if your skin pH can be maintained in the 4 – 4.5 range, your skin flora can be maintained at normal levels while the skin stays well protected from bacteria. 

womans skincare

When the skin’s pH is acidic, fewer wrinkles form, and when you apply an acidic skin product, the barrier function of your skin improves while surface roughness is reduced. 

If your skin is alkaline, however, it will be poorly hydrated and have low lipid levels.

pH Levels And Acne

Acne affects around 50 million people in the USA alone, many of whom are younger than 25. Skin pH has a role to play in the development of acne. Skin which is prone to acne breakouts has a pH which is alkaline and this makes the chance of acne developing higher in a number of ways:

  • The skin’s outer layer has impaired barrier functionality and this makes it more vulnerable to bacteria which cause acne.

  • The natural substance called dermicidin which fights off bacteria can only work properly at a pH of 5.5. If your skin pH is higher than this, the dermicidin is less effective and this causes the acne causing bacteria to become more active.

  • Fewer free fatty acids are produced by the sebaceous glands. These are essential to achieve the perfect skin pH.

How Do Skin Treatments Affect pH?

If you only use water to wash your face, your skin’s pH will actually increase. This just goes to show how using soap could damage your skin even more. 

Your skin pH will increase if you use the wrong skincare products and this could result in skin problems like acne. 

It’s therefore best to choose skincare products which are acidic and which have a lower pH as this is more like your skin’s own natural pH level. Choosing products which contain ingredients such as lactic acid, retinol, glycolic acid, kojic acid or ascorbic acid is always a good idea to maintain your skin’s optimal pH balance. 

It’s important to avoid certain other ingredients which are known to potentially cause damage to your skin. Sodium lauryl sulfate, strong fragrances and alcohol can all be harmful, so you should take care to avoid any skincare products which have any of all of these ingredients named on the label.

Choosing The Right Products To Care For Your Skin

It’s clear to see that the pH balance of your skin can be affected by the acidity of the skincare products that you choose to use on it. Therefore, it’s important to make the right choices when buying products to use, especially if you have skin that is prone to acne and breakouts.

You should work towards keeping your facial skin at a slightly acidic pH level as this helps to replenish the skin and reduce the chance of skin conditions like acne from developing significantly.

You can maintain the right skin pH by using micellar water, soap-free cleansers and toners  with under 10% acidifying ingredients (including lactic acid, retinol, glycolic acid or ascorbic acid). 

Always avoid using products which contain ingredients like SLS which are known to cause irritations and breakouts. 

With this information in mind, you should now be well informed about the connection between your skin’s pH balance and the skincare products that you choose. If you have problem skin, the answer could lie in switching your skincare products to ones that give you a better pH balance.

The Link Between Dairy And Acne

dairy products

The Link Between Dairy And Acne

 

dairy products

Acne occurs when your pores get clogged with bacteria and dead skin cells. Cysts, whiteheads, pustules and blackheads result from those clogged pores. 

In the USA, acne is the most commonly seen skin problem with around 50 million people being affected every year. As the rates of acne have risen, the rate of processed and dairy foods being consumed has risen too. 

There are lots of reasons why people develop acne and we all have different types of skin, however significant evidence exists to suggest dairy may cause or aggravate acne in some people.

The Research

The majority of studies based on evidence agree acne may be aggravated by dairy. However, the underlying connection between acne and dairy remains unknown at the present time. 

Dairy cows receive artificial hormones which affect their supply of milk. It has been suggested by researchers that those artificial hormones could throw your own hormones out of balance whenever you have dairy products and this could cause acne to develop. 

A different theory suggests that growth hormones which are already naturally found in milk can aggravate acne regardless. 

There is also a 3rd theory which suggests that when dairy products are combined with a large amount of processed sugars and refined foods (which regularly occurs in those eating a standard American diet), insulin levels are disrupted and the skin becomes more susceptible to acne. 

However, not all types of dairy product have the same effect on acne. Some studies show that skimmed milk is most likely to trigger acne.

How Does Dairy Affect Your Skin?

Cows make milk with which to feed their calves and enable them to grow. Casein and whey, the proteins naturally found in milk, stimulates hormones and growth not only in calves but also in humans when they drink cows’ milk. 

When humans digest casein and whey, a hormone is released called IGF-1 which is similar to insulin. This hormone triggers breakouts. 

Also, the hormones naturally found in milk may interact with human hormones, confusing the body’s own endocrine system, signaling breakouts. 

Milk has its own natural sugar – lactose. After we grow out of infancy, it’s harder to break down lactose and to digest it. 65% of people have a lactose intolerance and they could develop acne as a result of sensitivity to lactose or an allergic reaction to it.

Is Dairy The Only Reason For My Breakouts?

If you think your breakouts are due to dairy products, trying an elimination diet could be the way forward for you. If you cut all dairy from your diet then observe the way in which your skin reacts, it’s easy to see whether dairy has been impacting on your skin condition. 

If you find that dairy isn’t the cause of your acne, don’t worry. There are several other causes which could be responsible. 

You may have an allergy to some of the ingredients found in specific hair products and cosmetics, or to some foods like coffee beans or cocoa which you’re including in your diet. This could be causing your breakouts. 

Also, your hormone levels could be at fault. They naturally fluctuate during pregnancy and after it, during puberty, and during and before menstrual cycles, and this could trigger acne. 

Acne is also linked to stress, so your lifestyle could be causing your breakouts. 

As one final factor to consider, acne could be genetic and inherited from family members. One or several of these could be to blame rather than dairy products for your blemishes.

Is Dairy Causing My Acne?

At the end of the day, there is research out there to show that some people find their acne problem is worsened or triggered by dairy. 

However everyone has different skin. Acne won’t always be connected to dairy products, but you may find it worthwhile to experiment with your dietary regime to discover just how dairy is affecting your skin. 

If you’ve got any questions about whether your dairy intake could be causing your acne, you should speak to a dermatologist. They will be able to offer you the expert information that you need and help you to find the most appropriate treatments to help you with your problem skin.

Top Myths About Acne

woman thinking

Top Acne Myths Explained

woman thinking

Acne is a very common problem among both males and females of all ages, yet countless myths still persist about this skin condition.

A lack of understanding about acne often leads to incorrect treatment which can actually make the problem worse. 

In an effort to dispel those misunderstandings, we’re going to take a look at which beliefs are true and which are false so you can gain a better knowledge about your skin issues.

Myth 1 – Acne And Spots Are Two Different Things – False

Lots of people think that acne and spots are two different things. This isn’t true. Acne is just a medical term which is used by physicians to describe spots which are especially severe and which can be treated medically.

Myth 2 – Only Teenagers Get Acne – False

 While teenagers often get acne, adults can get it too. When adults develop acne, it has two subtypes. 

Adults who have had ongoing acne since they were a teenager are said to have “persistent acne” while those who only develop acne after they’re 25 years old are said to have “late-onset acne”.

Myth 3 – More Women Get Acne Than Men – True 

Adult acne is more commonly seen in women when compared with men. Up to 22% of all women will experience acne during their adult years while only around 3% of adult men will develop this skin condition. 

The reason for this is because women have a greater sensitivity to hormones during their menstrual cycle. Many women find they have more problems with their skin before their period.

Myth 4 – Acne Is All In The Genes – True

Genetics does have a role to play in whether or not you’ll develop acne. Studies have been carried out to suggest almost 80% of cases of acne is because of specific inherited genes. 

Unfortunately, experts don’t yet understand how this can be reversed.

Myth 5 – Unclean Skin Causes Acne – False

Acne develops for many reasons. It is a disorder of the skin’s pilosebaceous unit which is made up of the hair, hair follicle and oil-producing gland. 

The activity of that gland and its size is affected by levels of hormones and, in some circumstances, it will become larger and produce more oil. This results in a bacteria called P.acnes multiplying. This causes spots.

Myth 6 – Acne Is Caused By Your Lifestyle – True

Evidence exists to prove that if you consume high GI-index foods and dairy products your acne can be aggravated. 

Also, stress aggravates acne, so finding ways to reduce your stress levels while also reducing your consumption of high GI and dairy foods could be beneficial for your skin.

Myth 7 – I Can Pass Acne On To Other People – False

Acne isn’t contagious so it can’t be spread between people. Although bacteria does have a role to play in developing acne, it isn’t transmitted like other bacterial infections. 

Nevertheless, you probably shouldn’t share your pillows or towels just for reasons of general hygiene.

Myth 8 – I Shouldn’t Moisturize My Acne Prone Skin – False

If you moisturize your skin, its barrier function will remain intact. Moisturizing is also essential to maintain good skin health. Even when your skin is oily it should be moisturized, since excess oil doesn’t equate to good skin hydration. 

You should have a good and consistent skincare route, washing twice daily in both the morning and the evening with cleansers that have been formulated specifically for acne prone skin. Once you’ve cleansed your skin, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer with a light gel base since this helps to prevent blackheads forming.

Myth 9 – I Shouldn’t Use Abrasive Products On My Acne Prone Skin False

One common myth which persists about acne is that you shouldn’t use any abrasive skincare products. People who have oily skin should actually exfoliate gently weekly since it will immediately remove dead skin cells to give your skin a much brighter appearance. 

Also, in the long term, less blackheads will develop. Don’t overdo the exfoliation however, since you’ll irritate your skin and worsen the problem.

Myth 10 – You Shouldn’t Squeeze Spots – True

You should never squeeze, scratch or pick at your spots as it causes damage and could cause permanent scarring or pigmentation marks. 

Salicylic acid spot treatments are useful for settling inflammation but if your spots are especially troublesome you should visit a dermatologist who can offer you advice about your skincare.

Myth 11 – I Can’t Wear Makeup When I Have Acne – False

You can still wear makeup when you’ve got acne. In fact, lots of sufferers use concealers to hide their blemishes and boost their self-confidence. You should always make sure to choose products designed for use on blemish-prone, oily skin.

Myth 12 – Steroids Cure Spots – True

Steroid injections treat large and stubborn acne cysts quickly. The cyst will flatten within 42 to 72 hours however a dermatologist must carry out this procedure since it can be risky.

Myth 13 – Spots Are A Sign Of Other Health Problems – False

There is virtually no evidence which suggests acne is a sign of any specific health problems like a gluten intolerance or poor digestion. However, there is evidence to show that acne in specific areas have particular causes. 

For example, acne on the forehead is often caused by hair styling products such as oils and waxes that block the pores. Sometimes it is also caused by hair, helmets, caps or hats rubbing on the skin of the forehead causing breakouts. 

Acne on the jawline and cheek could be caused by using your phone. Touchscreen phone surfaces contain vast amounts of bacteria so when you hold your phone on your cheek, pressure is created that activates the sebaceous glands. Meanwhile, acne around your mouth could be because of hormonal changes.

These are just 13 of the most common myths about acne. Now you know the truth about which ones are false and which ones are true. Armed with this knowledge, you should be better informed about your skin condition and how to care for it.

Why Is Moisturizing Your Skin so Important?

woman moisturizing her skin

Why Is Moisturizing Your Skin So Important?

woman moisturizing her skin

We all know that we should be moisturizing our skin every day, but when there’s so much to do in the morning before you head out of the door on the way to work, it’s no surprise that so many of us forget this key step in our routine.

Yet moisturizing is actually really important. It doesn’t just make your skin feel cared for and pampered, it also keeps it looking smooth, clear and free of wrinkles into the future.

Your skin is the biggest organ of your body and it must perform some key functions.It protects you from the harsh environment outdoors, regulates your body temperature, eliminates waste and provides a sensory input.

However, if you skin becomes damaged or compromised, it stops being able to carry out these functions properly.

The skin’s top layer, or epidermis, has its own outer layer – the stratum corneum. This is where the moisture levels are controlled.

There are two key components in this skin layer – phospholipids and keratin – which help this function. If your skin is well moisturized and healthy, the two components are working together to keep the moisture in and irritants out.

If the phospholipid bilayers are lost, dry skin will occur. This allows moisture to leave via the skin and irritants to enter it.

A moisturizer can help to prevent this from occurring and to restore your skin’s outermost layer to its normal function.

Are you not convinced yet?

Here are just five of the top reasons why moistuizing your skin is so important.

1. Reduce The Chance Of Developing Skin Conditions Such As Acne

If you use an appropriate moisturizer to suit your skin type it’ll help it to improve its balance.

If your skin is too oily or too dry, you will often begin to develop common skin complaints such as acne. If your skin is naturally very oily, you will need an exfoliating moisturizer and a lotion rather than a cream.

On the other hand, if your skin is naturally very dry, a cream with a high oil content is what you should be looking for.

2. Reduce The Appearance Of Blemishes

When your skin is freshly moisturized it will have a healthy-looking sheen which will even out blemishes. This is especially the case if you choose a moisturizer with some tint in it that works with all skin tones.

3. Protect Sensitive Skin

The areas of skin which are most sensitive – the ears, chest, neck and face – are replaced more frequently than any other part of your skin.

When the skin cells are lost each day, the areas are more vulnerable to the elements and dryness. They are also at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Choosing a moisturizer with an inbuilt SPF will help the sensitive skin in these areas to repair itself and remain healthy in the long term.

4. Fight The Signs Of Aging

When you moisturize your skin, it feels plumper and firmer. Moisturizer helps to combat the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines so you will stay looking younger for longer.

Evidence has shown that people who properly moisturize their skin develop wrinkles at a much slower rate than people whose skin is dry and unmoisturized.

5. Protect From Daily Stresses

That hot shower that you enjoy every morning or evening may feel wonderfully invigorating, however it will strip a lot of the moisture from your skin.

If you apply moisturizer straight away afterwards your skin won’t just be clean, it’ll also be well protected from daily stresses so it will feel and look its best.

Going Vegetarian or Vegan to Clear Acne

Going Vegetarian or Vegan To Clear Acne

vegan food

If you believe everything  you see or read, a vegan or vegetarian diet is a natural and healthy way of clearing up acne. 

However, can switching to a plant based lifestyle prevent your acne breakouts? 

Well, there are some studies which suggest acne could be caused by having a lot of animal proteins in your diet.

See also – 10 Best Cruelty-free, Vegan Friendly Products That Treat Acne

Acne And Meat – What’s The Link?

In the body there’s a protein-complex known as mTORC1 (or mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1). This is responsible for the healthy function and growth of cells. 

It is believed by some researchers that mTORC1 can cause a chain reaction that triggers acne breakouts in the body. 

mTORC1 can be activated by certain nutrients and particularly amino acids such as leucine. Chicken, beef and other meets have a naturally high level of leucine.

mTORC1 may be overstimulated when subjected to very high levels of leucine. This, in turn, affects sebum production, inflammation and the growth of skin cells. 

Also, leucine is a building block from which our sebaceous glands can create sebum. The factors are all linked with the development of acne.

When mTORC1 is over-activated, androgen hormones are also increased. These are major players in the development of acne.

Although these factors are known, more studies will be needed to prove beyond doubt a link between eating meat and developing acne.

Will Becoming A Vegan Help Me To Control My Acne?

Like a vegetarian, a vegan won’t eat any meat but they also won’t eat any other foods which are derived from animals including eggs, dairy products and often honey. 

Evidence has shown that dairy can have a role to play in developing acne, with dairy having been demonstrated to trigger acne breakouts in those with a sensitivity. 

Cheese and skimmed milk appear to be the most problematic culprits. Like meat, both skimmed milk and cheese have a high level of leucine.

It has been suggested in other studies that hormones found in milk could also have a role to play. IGF-1 is an insulin-like growth factor found in high levels in milk and IGF-1 is also known to stimulate mTORC1.

It is important, however, to be aware that consuming dairy products hasn’t been demonstrated to result in acne breakouts in anyone with typically clear skin. 

However, for some, milk could worsen any existing breakouts. Other foods which are animal-based like honey, lard and eggs, haven’t been demonstrated to affect acne development at all.

Also, sticking to a vegan lifestyle has not yet been proven to eliminate acne. While reducing the amount of dairy you consume could reduce breakouts for some people, switching to an entirely vegan diet may not be necessary.

I Am Vegan/Vegetarian And I’m Still Suffering From Acne – Why?

It’s likely that diet does have a role to play in development of acne, but it is probably an attributing factor rather than a primary one. 

Some people can live a very healthy lifestyle with a vegan or vegetarian diet, no sugar or junk food and only organic produce and still suffer from acne. 

On the other hand, some people eat lots of dairy and meat and never develop spots.

The way in which diets affect the skin and body is complex. As yet, it isn’t fully understood. 

However, there is no direct link between specific foods and breakouts. You can’t simply say that meat causes acne or dairy causes breakouts. Having one glass of skimmed milk won’t necessarily cause pimples tomorrow! 

However, certain people may find that specific foods influence their acne development, making their existing breakouts more severe.

If you want to become a vegan or vegetarian for moral reasons or to improve your health, that’s great. However, if you’re a committed carnivore who is thinking about switching to a plant-based diet solely to improve your skin, you may end up being disappointed. While some sufferers may see improvements, others will experience no change.

If you are suffering from acne breakouts, the best thing to do is use a specific over the counter treatment for acne prone skin

If you experience no relief, visiting a doctor or dermatologist is then the best course of action so you can get professional help and advice.

Why Is Candida Spit Test So Unreliable?

test tube doctor

The Super Unreliable Candida Spit Test

test tube doctor

If you’re worried you may be suffering from candida, you may have heard about the candida spit test and be wondering whether it’s worth taking it. 

Is it a reliable test? Here, we look at this test a little more closely so you can decide whether it’s the right option for you.

What Is The Candida Spit Test?

This test can be performed in your own home. All you need to do is spit into a cup of water and then look for particular signs in the mix. 

While this DIY test is becoming increasingly popular, experts have challenged whether it is accurate or not, and at the present time it isn’t considered to be a valid form of testing for overgrowth of candida.

This test is very easy to carry out. Simply follow these steps:

  • Always carry out the test in the morning before eating, drinking, spitting or brushing your teeth.
  • Pour room temperature water into a clear glass.
  • Spit into the glass.
  • Keep looking in the glass at intervals of 10 to 20 minutes over the course of the next hour.

If you observe any of these signs, the test is positive:

  • Legs or strings coming from your saliva.
  • The saliva sinking down the glass.
  • Clouds forming in the water.

Is The Test Accurate?

The spit test for candida is a very controversial one. The majority of health authorities consider the test to be irrelevant and inaccurate.

The theory which drives this test is the belief that when saliva is healthy it floats on top of water. 

However, the candida spit test has proven to be unreliable and inconsistent. 

It therefore can’t be relied upon to offer accurate results about whether you’re suffering from a candida overgrowth whatever the saliva’s presentation is in the glass of water.

However, while this test may not prove a candida overgrowth, it could indicate a few other things. 

It could indicate you have a food allergy, that you are dehydrated or that you are producing too much mucus. 

It could encourage you to take a closer look at your daily diet and to make some changes before redoing the test to see if any changes can be observed. 

However, in any case, the indicators cannot be considered to be reliable or accurate.

What About Lab Saliva Tests For Candida?

Although the home candida spit test is notoriously unreliable, saliva tests taken for the presence of candida in a laboratory can be beneficial in diagnosing candida infections in your mouth. 

This is a very different test from the DIY version. It is supported by science and human studies. It involves the collection of a saliva sample which is then cultured and analyzed in a professional lab. 

This analysis is able to detect many factors which are critical in diagnosing a number of conditions, however none of the analytical processes involve observing the appearance of saliva in water.

How Will A Medical Professional Test For Candida?

There are several factors that healthcare professionals use to test for an overgrowth of candida. They include:

  • Symptoms of a yeast infection
  • The patient’s medical history
  • A physical examination
  • A laboratory test such as the saliva test, stool test, blood test, antibodies test, urine test, vaginal discharge test or skin test.

Although lab tests may identify candida in your body, it may not be sufficient to determine its severity. 

Candida is normally found in the body, however the response and tolerance to candida overgrowth could be very different in different individuals.

How Simplifying Your Skincare Routine Benefits Acne

woman applying face cream

How Simplifying Your Skincare Routine Benefits Acne

woman applying face cream

If you have acne prone skin, you might be tempted to add even more products into your skincare routine in an attempt to address the problem, however dermatologists have advised that, in fact, simplifying your routine could actually have more benefits.

Since we’re all looking for an easier life, the news that you can have a simpler skincare regime comes as good news. 

So, here are some expert secrets to help you to maximize your time and benefit your skin too.

Don’t Over Do It

If you use too many products and put too much time into your skin-beautifying effort, you may actually be having the opposite effect to the one you’re hoping for. 

Exfoliating and cleansing excessively actually damages, dries and irritates the skin rather than clearing it up.

Your skin, first and foremost, shows your inner health, so making sure that you stay well-hydrated and eat lots of nutritious skin-enhancing foods is important, however it’s also important to remember that your skin will react to anything you put on the surface. 

If you add lots of products into your routine, it’s almost impossible to work out which product could be causing your skin conditions and blemishes.

If you’re keen to try something new, it’s always best to go slowly. Introduce new products as gradually as possible and only in small amounts. 

This gives the skin enough time to adjust to the new product and you’ll be able to work out if it’s benefiting your skin or causing any harm. 

The Elimination Diet

If you’re experiencing irritation and redness of your skin, or are having acne breakouts, you should take a less-is-more approach to skincare. This will help you to determine what is upsetting your skin’s natural balance. 

Ingredients in your skincare and makeup products could be causing irritation resulting in your skin problems. Reducing your skincare regime is the best course of action. 

Choose a simple and gentle set of products including a cleanser and moisturizer to balance your skin with no strong chemical ingredients to see if this improves your skin condition.

Use Water If Necessary

If you are suffering from really severe irritation and breakouts, it could be time to eliminate skincare products from your routine altogether. 

Believe it or not, you can use just plain water to wash your skin without any ill effects. 

Make sure that the water you use is cool or lukewarm, since hot water is known to damage and irritate the skin even further. There is no need for a cleanser.

Not only is this an effortless method, it also benefits the skin since it leaves all the natural moisture intact in the skin, leaving a protective barrier. 

Your skin should have sebum (or oil) which seals in the moisture so it stays naturally hydrated. 

If you’re prone to very oily facial skin, all you need to do is splash some cool water onto your skin and pat it dry gently using a clean towel. This will freshen you up without damaging your skin any further.

Bear in mind, however, that this only works if you aren’t using skincare products or makeup which could get stuck inside the pores of your skin. 

Micellar water is a good choice for removing these products rather than a strong cleanser. You can use either a liquid version or a version which comes in wipe form. 

Using a cotton pad soaked in micellar water is sure to show you just how dirty your facial skin can become when you use products, and you’ll be able to see at a glance if all of the products have been removed or whether there is still some remaining in the pores.

Top Tips

Here are some tips for simplifying your skincare routine:

  • Avoid fragranced products whenever possible
  • Use acidic products to help your skin cells to function properly and grow more effectively
  • Avoid alcohol-based products. These could cause your pores to become enlarged, causing your skin to become more oily.

The Takeaway

Although it might sound counterintuitive to use fewer products to treat problem skin, in fact it makes sense. 

If you’re constantly using a wide range of skincare products on your face, it stands to reason that if your skin is prone to irritation and acne in the first place at least one of those products is going to result in inflammation, redness and breakouts. 

Simplicity is key when it comes to healthy skin, so minimize the number of products in your skincare routine – stick to a simple and gentle cleanser and moisturizer or even just plain lukewarm water – and this should give your inflamed skin the chance to settle down. 

Whether you’re addressing acne, pimples or dry skin, a simple routine is often the best one, so simplifying your skincare regime and your life today and see if you can spot the difference.

To Pop Or Not To Pop Pimples?

woman squeezing pimple

To pop or not to pop pimples?

woman squeezing pimple

We all get pimples from time to time, and the temptation to pop them can be very strong.

It might be tempting to squeeze pimples to get rid of them, however this approach is strongly discouraged by dermatologists. This is because if you pop a pimple in the wrong way the chances of scarring and infections are much higher.

Pimple Types

The majority of pimples develop because the skin cells surrounding the hair follicles become stuck together, creating a plug which clogs the pores.

There are a number of things which can cause this to happen including allergic reactions, natural skin oils, bacteria and hormones. As a result, the pores become clogged with sebum, oil or pus, causing the skin to be bumpy and inflamed.

There are three commonly seen blemishes:

  • Blemishes – these are open pores which become clogged by dead cells and oil. These go black when they’re exposed to the air and this gives blackheads a black appearance.
  • Whiteheads – similar to blackheads, whiteheads are covered with skin.
  • Pustules – these are deep acne blemishes which are difficult to extract and which are inflamed and red.

If a pimple begins to form under the skin or a pore is clogged, the hair follicles start to fill with sebum or pus. The hair follicle will eventually burst, causing the clog to come free from the pore, starting the process of healing. 

This is the way in which your body naturally deals with acne and clogged pores. If you pop the pimples yourself, the healing process may be triggered, but there are some risks involved.

Why Not Pop?

Dermatologists recommend that nobody pops pimples themselves. This is because breaking the skin barrier could cause permanent acne scars.

When a pimple contains pus that is infected, popping the pimple spreads the bacteria to the hair follicles and other pores, creating an even bigger outbreak of acne. 

Not only that, but popping pimples also delays the natural process of healing, so the blemish will last longer. 

When you try popping a pimple and find that you can’t, its contents get pushed even further under the skin’s layers. This clogs the pores even more, making acne even more noticeable and triggering inflammation under the skin.

How To Care For Pimples Properly

Since picking and popping pimples spreads infection, worsening the breakout, it makes sense to avoid poking at your skin. There are better ways to care for your pimples. These include:

  • Spot treatmentsover the counter acne treatments can be dabbed onto pimples, drying them out for a shorter healing time.
  • Safe extraction of blemishes – if you really need to squeeze the pimple, do it safely. Never use a hard object or your fingernails, and if the pimple doesn’t have a yellow or white head, it isn’t ready for squeezing.

The Safest Techniques

The right technique to pop a pimple varies depending on the blemish type.

pimple types


  • Blackheads – you can apply an over the counter spot treatment like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to loosen the clog in the pore before trying to pop the blackhead. Make sure you’ve thoroughly washed your hands then put pressure on each side of the pore with your fingertips. The blackhead will pop out with a small amount of pressure.
  • Whiteheads – use alcohol to sterilize a needle then prick the skin gently where the pore has been blocked. Apply pressure, just like with a blackhead, and extract the whitehead using the same technique, again making sure your hands are thoroughly washed.
  • Pustules – these are deep below your skin’s layers and are hard to extract. Use a warm compress to open the pores and encourage the clog to come closer to the surface of the skin. It isn’t advised to pop pustules on your own due to the risk of spreading the infection.

Other Options

Apart from using over the counter spot treatments, there are some other options available to you when it comes to getting rid of blemishes and pimples:

  • Cold compresses – these relieve swelling and pain from pustules, nodules and cysts
  • Warm compresses – these loosen bacteria and dirt, speeding up the healing of your clogged pores
  • Diluted alcohol or tea tree oil – these are natural clarifiers which work as astringents to dry and remove the clogs that are caused by the skin’s natural oils

Should I Pop My Pimples?

Although it’s tempting to pop your pimples, it really is something that you should avoid if you don’t want to run the risk of infection or scarring. 

There are better options when it comes to clearing up blemishes on your skin including using over the counter skin treatments, compresses and using natural clarifiers like tea tree oil or diluted alcohol. 

If you are suffering from a large number of pimples it’s always best to go and see a dermatologist for professional treatment rather than trying to handle your skin problem alone.

Carbs & Fats For Hormonal Acne

good fats

Carbs & Fats For Hormonal Acne

good fats

If you suffer from hormonal acne, you’ve probably turned to the internet for advice. However, there’s a lot of confusing information out there, some of which is highly unreliable. Nevertheless, one piece of advice which you may have seen repeatedly is to make dietary changes to reduce hormonal acne. 

However, how does your fats to carbohydrates ratio affect your hormone level? 

Here, we take a look at how to make the right dietary changes to benefit you.

Carbohydrates Vs Fat

Recently a paper was published in the Clinical Endocrinology journal which examined the results of dietary regimens on women suffering from PCOS. Since PCOS has a similar hormonal profile to adult acne, its results are very interesting to those who suffer from this skin condition.

One set of patients were put on a standard diet of 55% carbohydrates, 27% fats and 18% proteins. 

Meanwhile, the second group were put on a diet with reduced carbohydrates. This group only consumed 41% carbs along with 40% fat and 19% proteins. 

Both groups consumed the same amount of calories. Interestingly, the results at the end of the study showed that a lower carbohydrate diet could improve all of the hormones which relate to acne. 

Testosterone levels were reduced by 25%, insulin response levels increased by 23% and fasting insulin levels dropped by 26%. 

All of this evidence shows that by simply reducing your intake of carbohydrates, you can improve your acne.

Why Does Fat Reduce Hormonal Acne?

While this study showed that hormonal acne could be reduced by eating less carbs and more fats, it may not be clear why this should work. 

Other studies have shown that not only do the body’s natural testosterone levels drop after eating, but the composition of the meal will also affect testosterone levels. 

It’s been shown that a meal with a high level of fat will suppress testosterone levels for longer than a meal with a high amount of carbohydrates. 

Also, since eating fat won’t boost blood sugar or insulin levels, this has a beneficial effect. This is due to the fact that insulin stimulates the release of androgen hormones by the liver and this makes the skin more androgen-sensitive.

How Can My Diet Be Adapted To Reduce My Hormonal Acne?

The overall take-away from the most recent evidence is that if you replace some of the carbs in your meals with fats, the level of hormones which cause acne in your body will be reduced. 

A moderate restriction of dietary carbohydrates causes lower insulin levels and lower testosterone, helping to produce clearer skin. 

Also, by improve the quality of the fats and carbs in your diet, your hormone levels can be positively impacted even more.

Here are some top dietary tips to help you to minimize your acne:

  • Replace your high GI carbohydrates with fiber rich, low GI carbs.
  • Eradicate processed fats and trans-fats from your everyday diet.
  • Eat more unprocessed fats from plant sources like nuts, seeds and olive oils.
  • Restrict your carb intake to 40-45% of your total amount of caloric intake.

Follow this advice and you should see an improvement in your hormonal acne.

Does Candida Cause Acne?

woman with skin problems

Does Candida Cause Acne?

woman with skin problems

If you’re suffering from acne, you may be wondering about the cause. One possibility that you may not have considered is candida.

Candida causes gut problems and therefore aggravates acne via its gut-skin axis. As a yeast, it is found around the genitalia, inside the mouth, on the skin and in the intestines. While it isn’t actually a negative thing, it’s possible that it can cause adverse affects if it grows out of control.

When is this likely to happen? If you’re on antibiotics for extended periods, candida can get out of control. The results can be symptoms of a yeast infections including bumps, redness and itching – all signs of acne.

Which Symptoms Are Linked To Candida-Related Acne?

If you are experiencing stomach problems during your acne breakouts or feel as if a UTI might be setting in, this could be a sign of candida-related acne. 

If you’re also feeling achy and tired, this is another known symptom, as are sinus problems and continuous allergies. Irritation of the skin is another sign to look out for as well as a change of nail color.

How Does Candida Over-growth Occur?

There are several reasons why candida may occur in an overabundance in your system. They include:

  • An unhealthy lifestyle and diet – avoid sugary and acidic foods as well as simple carbohydrates as these help yeast to breed. Also avoid alcohol, sodas, dairy products, processed meat, mushrooms and iodized salt.
  • Long-term antibiotic use – since antibiotics counteract both bad and good bacteria, it can kill the beneficial bacteria which is required to balance your body’s yeast levels.
  • Genetics – some families have a genetic predisposition to suffering from candida.
  • Birth control – women using birth control often suffer from candida-related acne due to the high hormone levels that birth control contains. This is especially the case for women taking progestin only pills.
  • Stress – when the body responds to stress, it can result in breakouts as well as an overabundance of candida. Irritation in the body causes higher levels of the androgen hormone which, in turn, causes acne. The inflammation also allows the pores to become clogged with an overproduction of the skin’s natural oils. The result is a candida-related breakout.

Is Candida Easy To Treat?

Although you may be worried about candida causing your acne problem, the good news is that it is a relatively simple problem to diagnose and then treat. 

If you think that candida could be behind your skin condition, visit your doctor and ask for tests to be carried out. Some doctors are able to diagnose candida visually, but sometimes laboratory tests are required. These will give a definitive answer and then you can receive an effective antifungal treatment which will eradicate the problem.

If you suspect your acne may be related to candida, you should also try to eat more healthily and put more effort into living a healthy lifestyle. This will help you to combat the problem and restore your skin to its healthier state.

Bodybuilding and Acne – Causes & Treatments

bodybuilder

Bodybuilding and Acne - Causes & Treatments

bodybuilder

If you’re a keen bodybuilder, you may have noticed that your acne problem has become worse. Unfortunately, if you already have acne-prone skin, bodybuilding can aggravate the situation. So, why is this the case?

Does Bodybuilding Cause A Hormonal Response?

Although many people think that bodybuilding causes hormonal changes, this isn’t actually as much of a problem as people think. 

Weight training may cause a short-term increase in insulin, growth hormone and testosterone levels, but this is only for a brief period before returning to normal. Nevertheless, raised testosterone levels may result in acne. This is because the skin converts testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is a hormone known to stimulate acne. DHT also increases sebum production which leads to the pores becoming clogged and even more acne. 

While training normally shouldn’t raise your testosterone levels so high that acne is the result, if you use steroids, acne can be a prevalent problem.

Which Supplements Should Bodybuilders Use To Avoid Acne?

Although steroids have a negative effect on acne, there are some supplements which won’t aggravate an acne problem and which can benefit bodybuilders when it comes to achieving their goals. These include:

  • Branch chain amino acids
  • Whey protein
  • Creatine
  • L-Glutamine
  • Zinc
  • Omega-3

What Should I Avoid If I Am To Prevent Bodybuilding Acne

There are a number of supplements and foods which you should avoid if you’re to guard against bodybuilding acne. These include:

  • B12
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Multivitamins with excess iodine

There are also several things you should do to prevent the problem of bodybuilding acne getting out of control. This includes:

  • Leaving them alone – even though you might want to pick your zits, they’ll just become inflamed and unsightly if you do so. Leave them alone and you’ll find that they will disappear more quickly.
  • Avoid overwashing – if you wash your face too frequently, you’ll find that acne can recur. You shouldn’t wash your face more than a couple of times daily as you need your body’s natural oils to work on your behalf. Washing too much dries out the skin and this means it’ll take much longer for the acne to heal up.
  • A small amount of sunshine is good for bodybuilding related acne. Avoid sunburn, of course, but getting outdoors on sunny days can be very beneficial.
  • Change your clothes regularly to avoid bacteria spreading and causing more breakouts.

How To Treat Your Bodybuilding Related Acne

If you’re a bodybuilder suffering from acne, you can try a number of home remedies to see if they resolve your problems. Applying diluted apple cider vinegar to the skin may prove helpful as may applying tea tree oil onto the affected areas. There are also a number of effective over-the-counter skincare treatments that you may wish to try. Should you fail to have any success in resolving your problem with any of these, you can visit your dermatologist or doctor to get a prescription for the most suitable medication for you to treat your acne problem. 

Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne – Does It Really Work?

apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne - Does It Really Work?

apple cider vinegar

These days, you might have heard a lot of things about apple cider vinegar. There are plenty of stories online and in magazines about how it can cure all kinds of conditions, so it’s no wonder that you’re probably wondering whether it could help treat your problematic acne.

Apple cider vinegar has a number of uses and its advocates say it offers a host of health benefits like lowered blood sugar levels, reduced cancer risks and even weight loss. So, could apple cider vinegar solve your acne problem?

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill The Bacteria That Causes Acne?

Vinegar is known to reduce some kids of bacteria and viruses by up to 95%. This includes the bacteria known to cause acne such as P.acnes (or Propionibacterium acnes). The citric, lactic, succinic and acetic acids in apple cider vinegar all kill the P.acnes bacteria. Although little research has been carried out into this, it does suggest that it could be beneficial in treating problem skin.

Reducing Scarring

When acne has healed, the result can be scarring and skin discoloration. 

If you apply apple cider vinegar to the skin directly, it’s possible its organic acids could help to reduce these. The acid removes the outer damaged skin layers to promote regeneration. Succinic acid chemical peels suppress the inflammation caused by the P.acnes bacteria while lactic acid improves pigmentation and texture of scarred skin. 

Therefore, it’s possible that apple cider vinegar, which contains these acids, could be helpful. It is important, however, to take great care when applying apple cider vinegar to the skin. It is very acidic and can therefore cause burns if allowed to stay in contact with the skin for any length of time. 

Avoid its use on very sensitive skin or open wounds and dilute with water to reduce its acidity.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar On Acne

Follow these easy steps to treat your acne-prone skin with apple cider vinegar:

  • Mix 3 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • Wash your face
  • Pat dry
  • Dip a cotton ball into the apple cider vinegar solution and apply gently to the affected area.
  • Allow to rest on the skin for up to 20 seconds.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  • Pat dry.
  • Repeat once or twice per day.

Only use organic apple cider vinegar as this contains a cloudy substance known as “the mother” which usually sinks down to the bottom. This contains all the beneficial bacteria, enzymes and proteins which give apple cider vinegar all its proposed health benefits.

Should I Use Apple Cider Vinegar For My Acne?

If you use organic apple cider vinegar, you may find that the bacteria which causes acne is killed effectively. 

Scars may also be reduced in their appearance. 

Although the studies which currently exist have been inconclusive, many people have reported that their acne was cleared up by using apple cider vinegar. 

As long as you dilute it before applying to your skin and avoid leaving it in contact for too long, it will cause you no harm and could be beneficial.

Using Birth Control as Acne Treatment

woman holding pills

Using Birth Control as Acne Treatment

woman holding pills

If you’re suffering from persistent acne, there’s a chance you may be prescribed birth control pills in an attempt to combat the problem. 

However, is birth control an effective solution to acne? 

While some women find that it works wonders, others have discovered that birth control actually causes acne instead of solving it. 

So, how do hormonal birth control pills work and how do they affect acne? 

How Does Hormonal Birth Control Affect Acne?

Often, acne occurs due to hormonal imbalances. The male sex hormones, androgens, have a vital role to play in your body whether you’re male or female. 

Testosterone, among other androgens, boost the growth of skin cells, stimulating oil production. 

As a result, pores can get blocked and cause acne. 

Most hormones are opposed by counterregulatory hormones which limit their negative effects. Estrogen is testosterone’s counterregulatory hormone and this is often found in birth control pills. 

This explains why birth control is believed to be an effective treatment for acne since estrogen counterracts testosterone’s ability to increase oil production in the skin.

Which Birth Control Options Can Be Used To Control Acne?

Not all birth control options are effective in eliminating acne. Some methods only contain progestin while others contain both estrogen and progestin. 

There are also several delivery methods to choose from including:

  • Pills
  • Patches
  • Implants
  • Shots
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Vaginal rings

In terms of acne treatment, the delivery method has no relevance. Instead, the only thing which is important is the amount and type of hormone which the birth control method delivers.

It’s important to note that progestin-only delivery methods such as the IUD, the implant, the mini-pill and the Depo-shot are unlikely to work to control acne since they have no estrogen in them. 

Actually, progestin-only delivery options may actually aggravate acne.

Are There Downsides To Using Birth Control To Treat Acne?

Although estrogen-containing birth control methods can counteract acne, they won’t suit everyone. 

Standard birth control pills can result in problems such as weight gain, headaches, hair loss and depression among other side effects. 

There is a solution, however, in the form of low-dose pills which have been proven to be effective in controlling acne. 

Standard pills have around 35mcg of estrogen in them, but there are pills available today with as low an amount of 20mcg of estrogen. This helps to counteract any unwanted side effects. Also, of course, if you accidentally use a progestin-only birth control method you could find that your acne problem becomes much worse.

Can I Stop Using The Pill?

The majority of women don’t use birth control pills forever. Some stop for a whole so they can have a family while others just want to take a break from taking those synthetic hormones. 

Birth control methods don’t cure acne – they only treat it temporarily. So long as you carry on taking your pill, your acne will usually improve but once you stop taking it, you’re likely to see your acne returning. This can be worse than it was before you started taking the pill. 

Although you can stop using birth control pills at any time, remember your hormones take time to get back to normal. This could take several months and your skin will be more likely to suffer from breakouts during this time.

Should I Consider Using Birth Control To Treat My Acne?

If you’re already looking for a contraception method, using birth control as a way of treating your acne at the same time is a good idea. 

If you don’t need to use birth control, however, you may want to consider one of the other options out there for acne treatment. 

Although serious medical problems are unlikely to occur, hormonal contraceptives have been associated with certain health risks including:

  • An increased chance of certain cancers
  • Hypertension
  • Migraine
  • Low bone density
  • Yeast infections
  • Blood clotting
  • Benign liver tumors

If you are a smoker and are aged over 35 years, you shouldn’t use birth control pills at all since the chance of blood clots in your lungs or legs becomes much higher.

Where Can I Get Birth Control To Treat My Acne?

At present, the FDA have approved three types of birth control pill to treat acne – Estrostep, Yaz and Ortho Tri-Cyclen. 

Although your dermatologist can prescribe you birth control to treat your acne, patients are usually referred to their gynecologist or doctor since pap smears and check-ups are necessary before beginning to take birth control.

Is Birth Control A Good Choice For Acne Treatment?

For many women, a progestin/estrogen birth control method is a good way to treat their problematic acne as long as they were looking for an effective contraceptive too. 

For those women who have no need of contraception or who are smokers over 35 years old, there are other options out there for treating acne which are a better choice.

Best Foods To Include In Your Diet If You Have Acne Prone Skin

superfoods for skin

Best Foods To Include In Your Diet If You Have Acne Prone Skin

superfoods for skin

If you’re an acne sufferer, you’re probably desperate to find any kind of treatment that will resolve your problems and improve your skin. If so, the key could lie in what you eat. 

There are numerous foods which have been heralded for generations for their ability to clear the skin, and if you add these into your regular diet, you could well find that your complexion improves.

When paired with exercise, good hydration and an effective cleaning regime, these foods could improve your skin quality exponentially.

So, which foods should you add into your regime?

Kefir

If your gut is unhappy, it can show up in your skin. Kefir is known to be very rich in probiotics which are vital to aid digestive problems. 

Since poor digestion can result in skin inflammation, it’s definitely worth seeking out some kefir and eating some daily.

Moringa

Not only does moringa contain minerals and vitamin C, it also contains carotenoids which accumulate in the skin to protect it from UV damage. 

Moringa powder is able to be added to juices and smoothies or used as a baking ingredient.

Nettles

You may not like the idea of eating nettles however they can be taken in capsule or tea form. 

They have an anti-inflammatory effect, calming down the skin to improve acne. Also, they have detoxifying effects due to their high antioxidant levels.

Dark Berries

Berries don’t just contain antioxidants which clear the skin, they’re also full of fiber which staves off hunger and regulates insulin production. 

This helps to reduce acne which is aggravated by excess insulin.

Peppermint

Peppermint tea doesn’t just have calming and healing properties, it is know for its digestion-improving and stress-relieving properties. 

Since stress and digestive problems are linked to acne, it’s worth drinking a cup a day.

Nuts

A selenium or zinc deficiency could cause acne in some people, so eating Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds can help. 

Selenium increases white blood cells, strengthening their ability to combat infection while vitamin E, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, iron and potassium all have beneficial properties for the skin.

Tomatoes

Vitamin C, in which tomatoes are rich, keeps the skin taut and firm by boosting collagen production. Also, they contain lycopene which boosts blood circulation to improve the skin.

Watercress

Leafy watercress is packed with antioxidants, potassium, carotene and manganese which help to nourish the skin and flush out excess fluids and toxins.

Water

Clear skin begins inside the body, so hydrating yourself with plenty of water is always a good idea. Try to drink 8 glasses every day and more if you’re exercising.

Fennel

Fennel aids digestion, flushes out excess toxins and fluids and reduces swelling. This helps your hair and skin.

Oat Milk

Some people find that if they eliminate dairy from their diet, their acne is improved. Try oat milk instead of cow’s milk to see if it makes any difference. 

Oat milk is lactose free, high in fiber, folic acid and vitamin E which support healthy skin.

Red Grapes

Red grapes have natural antioxidants and chemicals which treat inflammation in the skin. Grapes are also natural antihistamines which control allergic reactions.

Beetroot

Beetroots have excellent skin-clearing properties and are packed with vitamin A, sodium, potassium, vitamin E, magnesium and calcium, all of which help skin health. 

They also make a very powerful cleanser to eliminate toxins from your body.

Tofu

Tofu is made from the soya bean and is an ideal source of calcium, vegetable protein and unsaturated fats. All of which combat skin problems. 

Tofu is also rich in antioxidants, copper, manganese and iron, all of which can improve the skin.

Brown Rice

Having steady levels of blood sugar helps to improve skin health. Brown rice has a low glycemic index so it can help to stabilize your blood sugars. 

Brown rice also provides B vitamins, selenium, magnesium and protein together with antioxidants which all benefit your skin.

Legumes

Legumes like lentils, beans and peas are packed with minerals and vitamins as well as fiber which assists detoxification and improves the natural digestive processes. All of these combine to clear your skin.

Kale

Kale is packed with vitamins K, E, C, B and A together with phosphorus, folate, protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and manganese. All of these can benefit your skin.

Avocado

Avocados are full of vitamin E which can boost the luminosity and vitality of the skin. 

They also have plenty vitamin C which can reduce inflammation in the skin. Avocado oil stimulates collagen production which improves the texture and tone of the skin.

women posing with avocados

Garlic

Every garlic clove contains allicin, a natural chemical which reacts with blood to kill viruses and bacteria in the body. 

This includes bacteria and viruses which cause acne. Garlic also contains antioxidants which improve skin health.

Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts contain skin-clearing nutrients like folic acid, calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, silicon, zinc and sodium as well as vitam A, B, C, E and K.

Broccoli

Broccoli is full of antioxidants such as vitamin A, B, C, E and K which improve the skin’s luminosity while reviving damaged tissues. 

It also contains folate, calcium and omega 3 fatty acid which improves the process of skin healing.

Artichoke

Artichokes improve the luminosity of the skin thanks to their high antioxidant levels. They also aid digestion, lower cholesterol and aid the immune system.

Eggs

Egg yolk is full of selenium, protein, vitamins and zinc which clear the skin.

Burdock

Burdock boasts impressive antifungal and antibacterial properties to protect against the spread of acne. It also improves digestion.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a selenium packed, high-protein food which clears the skin.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants which improve the skin. (For more on the effects of green tea on acne read here)

Sweet Potato

High levels of cortisone in the body could cause breakouts so regulating blood sugar could be beneficial in reducing acne. 

Sweet potato releases sugar slowly, so stabilizes the blood sugar levels. Also, sweet potato contains beta-carotene. This converts into vitamin A during digestion to improve oxygen circulation in the blood.

Acai

Acai berries are potent antioxidants which improve skin help by eliminating free radicals and toxins from the body.

Mackerel/Salmon

Oily fish such as mackerel and salmon helps to reduce acne and improve the complexion thanks to their DHA and EPA content . Their high protein content also speeds up healing of the skin.

Oysters

Thanks to the skin-clearing nutrients that oysters contain, they are excellent for combating acne. They are also full of vitamin A, selenium and zinc, which are all good for the skin.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds have a high level of vitamin E, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and zinc. These are all beneficial in clearing the skin.

Spinach

Like kale, spinach is packed with iron, protein and vitamin E for better blood flow, reduced inflammation and boosted collagen levels for a fresh and youthful glow. 

Spinach is also full of iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamins for healthy, beautiful skin as well as beta-carotene which combats the signs of aging.

Cucumber

As cucumbers are 95% water, they contain excellent hydrating benefits as well as anti-inflammatory flavonols, phytonutrients and polyphenols and antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C. 

Cucumber skin contains silica to keep the skin looking youthful and healthy while also keeping it free from acne.

Bell Pepper

Bell peppers in all colors are great for the skin thanks to their vitamin C content which boosts collagen to keep the skin healthy and growing well.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is packed with beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A inside the body. Vitamin A helps skin cells to grow, leaving the skin wrinkle-free and soft.

Coconut

Coconut oil is very beneficial for the skin since it moisturizes it well. Packed with vitamins K and E as well as minerals and healthy fats, it improves skin health while coconut water contains potassium while also boosting hydration.

Oats

Wholegrain oatmeal has plenty of zinc in it as well as biotin, magnesium and potassium – all nutrients which promote healthy skin.

Kiwi

Kiwi fruits may be small but they are full of antioxidants and vitamin C to prevent skin aging through collagen synthesis.

Carrots

Carrots are full of vitamin A which is known to promote healthy skin.

Yogurt

Yogurt contains calcium, but it is also packed with protein as well as vitamins B2, B6 and B12. All of these detoxify the skin and keep it healthy. Plain yogurt contains no sugar and is therefore best for the skin.

Adding these foods to your daily diet is a great way to improve the condition and health of your skin. With their high mineral and vitamin content as well as their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they are the ideal way to boost your overall health and wellness while allowing your skin to be the very best it can be. Combine these foods with plenty of water and a healthy lifestyle and enjoy all the benefits of beautiful skin. Your acne problems could be a thing of the past.

Acne Types and How To Treat Them

acne types

Acne Types and How To Treat Them

Although we might think of acne as being a singular problem, in fact there are several types of acne. Here, we take a look at some of the different forms of the condition that exist and how best to treat them.

types of acne

Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne is the most frequently-seen kind of acne seen in adult women. It is caused by imbalances in the estrogen and androgen levels in the body. 

Androgens encourage oil production in the skin cells. This results in clogging of the pores, inflammation and, inevitably, acne. 

Hormonal acne is aggravated by dairy products, carbohydrates and foods which spike levels of insulin in the body.

If you suffer from this type of acne, you should control your intake of foods which are known to have an aggravating effect. 

Some women find that taking a birth control pill can help to balance their hormones effectively to minimize their chances of developing acne.

Inflammatory Acne

Excessive inflammation is known to deplete stores of antioxidants in the body leaving the skin at risk of inflammatory damage from air pollution and UV radiation among other sources. 

Inflammatory acne can cause pitting or scarring and produces lesions or blemishes which are swollen, red and inflamed.

Some of the blemishes associated with inflammatory acne include:

  • Papules – solid, raised, pink bumps under the surface of the skin
  • Pustules – tender, large bumps that are filled with pus
  • Nodules – inflamed, painful hard lumps deep inside the skin
  • Cysts – large, painful, soft white or red lumps deep inside the skin that are pus-filled.

Pustules and papules can be treated with several over the counter medications and home remedies.

Some treatment tips include: 

  • Washing twice daily with soap and water
  • Applying warm cloths or compresses for 15 minutes
  • Using a benzoyl peroxide product to combat the bacteria
  • Using a salicylic acid product to remove debris and dead skin cells

In the case of cysts or nodules, a dermatologist or doctor will be required to prescribe a treatment. They may require one or more of the following treatments:

  • Antibiotics like amoxicillin, doxycycline or tetracycline
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Systematic retinoids like isotretinoin
  • Steroid injections
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Drainage and extraction of cysts

Stress Acne

People suffering from stress-related anxiety are trapped in a vicious cycle. They feel emotional and anxious because of their acne, but the acne is aggravated by that stress and anxiety. 

Finding more effective ways to calm down is vital in this form of the condition. 

Learning relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation could prove to be beneficial in breaking the cycle of stress-related acne.

Irritant Acne

Acne is occasionally simply a skin problem. In such cases, it is caused by comedogenic or harsh chemicals or rubbing of the skin. In such cases, eliminating contact with the irritant is key to eliminating acne.

Infectious Acne

Strictly speaking, this isn’t a true form of acne, it merely looks similar. This occurs when pathogens cause a skin infection with a very similar appearance to acne. 

Malassezia Folliculitis is one such condition. If this form of the condition is experienced, a doctor can help to prescribe a treatment to clear the infection.

Acneiform 

This is a reaction to drugs which looks like acne. Some potential causes could be halogens like fluoride, iodine and chlorine as well as corticosteroids, some chemotherapy treatments and immune system suppressants as well as vitamin B12.

Again, this form of acne can be ceasing use of the drug in question.

Non-Inflammatory Acne

Blackheads and whiteheads are both forms of non-inflammatory acne lesions. Usually, these don’t result in swelling and cause minimal pain.

Whiteheads are white or flesh-colored small bumps or spots which are surrounded with a red halo possibly with wrinkled or tight skin. 

Blackheads are black, small spots which may be slightly raised. Around the blackhead will usually look normal.

Blackheads and whiteheads aren’t serious forms of acne. They can often be treated by over the counter treatments like gels, moisturizers, toners, rinses and creams, often containing several active ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol and sulfur. 

Washing with soap and water twice per day, reducing stress, staying hydrated  and eating healthily may also help. 

Sufferers should also avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen if they go outdoors. Popping acne blemishes should also be avoided.

Which Type Of Acne Do I Have?

While some people can easily pinpoint the type of acne they have, many sufferers find that they have two or more forms of the condition. 

Therefore, it may take a little trial and error to find the best treatment to resolve your problem. 

However, if your acne is extremely severe, seeking help from a physician or dermatologist is always the best course of action to minimize any scarring and skin damage due to the blemishes.

Acne Face Map – What Are Your Breakouts Telling You?

acne face map

Acne Face Map - What Are Your Breakouts Telling You?

acne face map

Nobody likes having an acne breakout. How often have you woken up in the morning, looked in the mirror and then experienced the despair and shock of seeing a huge zit on your previously flawless complexion. 

It happens to all of us. 

However, there might be more to your breakouts than you imagined. The location of your breakouts on your face might be telling you something. Knowing what they’re telling you could help to stop them happening for good. 

With that in mind, here’s your acne face map – use it to find out what your breakouts have to say about your lifestyle.

Hairline

If you’re experiencing acne around your hairline it could be a phenomenon called “pomade acne”. Often, these are caused by a build-up of beauty products. 

Chemicals and oils in shampoos and conditioners as well as residue from make-up tends to accumulate on the surface of your skin, clogging up your pores and resulting in spots.

What you can do:

If you regularly experience acne around your hairline, there are a few things to try. 

First, switch to a natural shampoo and conditioner then add a double cleanse into your skincare regime. First, remove all your make-up using an effective cleansing oil. Next, use a high-quality cleanser to cleanse your face even more deeply. 

By cleaning the skin around your hairline twice, all the residue will definitely be removed from the pores of your skin.

Forehead

The forehead is linked with the nervous and digestive systems and this makes this particular area of your face more susceptible to breakouts relating to stress and poor diet. 

If spots are regularly breaking out in this area, you could be struggling to digest particular foods. You may also be suffering from a liver problem or irregular sleep patterns. 

Other causes of spots in this area, and especially between the eyebrows, is greasy and fatty food. Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause breakouts in this area, and if you regularly spot zits here after a big night out, this could be the reason why.

What you can do:

You can minimize the problem of forehead pimples by switching to healthier diet. 

If your diet is over-heavy with unhealthy greasy and fatty foods, switch to eating more fruit and vegetables and stick to grilled and baked foods rather than fried ones. 

Eat less sugar as well as less processed foods and make sure to drink sufficient water so that you stay well-hydrated. 

Whenever possible try to get your full 8 hours’ sleep every night and cut down on your alcohol intake. 

Papaya, bromelain and bitter herbs are useful additions to your diet, and if you include them before every meal you may find that your digestive system can break down foods more easily. 

Try including more onions and garlic in your daily diet and drink dandelion tea or hot water and lemon every morning as this too may clear your digestive system. 

If you have any especially troublesome areas, applying a salicylic acid and tea tree oil skin treatment will help to shrink large pores to create a clearer complexion.

skin imperfections

Cheeks

A major cause of acne on the cheeks is bacteria from your pillowcase and cell phone. 

It may sound strange, but think about it – over the course of the average day, your cell phone will accumulate bacteria which is very bad for your skin. Wiping it regularly is absolutely essential – just because it appears to be clean doesn’t mean that it is! 

Pillowcases too are bacteria magnets. This is why pillowcases are often responsible for a form of acne known as “acne mechanica”, which is caused by materials touching the face. Oil and dirt are transferred over time to the skin, clogging your pores and resulting in blemishes. 

Another cause could be polluted air in city environments or allergies which are affecting your respiratory system. 

This is especially the case if you talk on the phone regularly, transferring germs from your mouth to your phone and then onto your skin. 

Also, acne on the cheeks could be a sign that you’re eating excessive amounts of sugar.

What you can do:

Minimizing acne on the cheeks can be achieved in several ways. 

Firstly, always choose pillowcases which are made from natural fabrics, and take care to launder your pillowcases every couple of days so both they and your facial skin will stay clean and bacteria free. 

If pollution in the air is the problem, adding some houseplants to your home could make a big difference. Plants remove contaminants from the air, leaving it cleaner and healthier. 

Make sure to take the time to wash your facial skin thoroughly before you go to bed to make sure that all trace contaminants are removed before sleeping. 

If you think excess sugar in your diet could be the problem, cut back on the amount you consume for a couple of days to see if you notice the difference.

Chin & Jaw

The jawline and chin are two very common areas for breakouts to occur, however the culprit could be your hormones. 

Hormonal acne is a result of excessive hormones because of pregnancy, menstruation or high levels of androgen. 

Fluctuations in hormone levels cause excessive production of oil, inflammation and clogged up skin cells as well as excessive production of bacteria. 

During puberty, acne usually appears across the T-zone, but in adults, hormonal acne usually forms along the jawline and chin.

What you can do:

To minimize acne breakouts on the jawline and chin, you may want to try eliminating dairy products from your diet and adding some probiotics instead. This could calm down the inflammation while reducing the number of hormones you intake which could result in pimples. 

If you’re experiencing more spots in this area around your period, try paying more attention to your skincare regime at this time of the month. Try to include more foods in your diet which are known to regulate the natural hormonal cycle. 

Targeting the affected area with a skincare product which is infused with whole seeds and plants which are high in natural antioxidants and phytoestrogens could also improve the appearance of your problem skin. 

Another thing to watch out for is resting your chin on your hands if you’re tired or bored – this transfers oil from your hands onto the chin, and this can result in pimples.

Final Thoughts

Although breakouts are never any fun, knowing the possible reasons why they are occurring could be the key to resolving your problem for good. 

This acne face map will help you to pinpoint to possible causes of your problem skin so you can take steps to address the issues which are causing your spots and zits.

Side Effects Of Isotretinoin (Accutane)

side effects

Side Effects Of Isotretinoin (Accutane)

side effects

Accutane is a name which is often used to refer to the drug Isotretinoin, however the drug known as Accutane was actually withdrawn from sale several years ago.

Isotretinoin is still available, however, and is prescribed to treat very severe cases of acne which have proven to be unresponsive to any other form of treatment. It is also prescribed for some other uses too, including some forms of cancer and other skin conditions.

The amount prescribed varies between individuals, with the length of treatment usually being between 4-5 months.

There are several brand names of Isotretinoin drugs available today, and while Accutane can no longer be found, Sotret, Myorisan, Calravis, Amnesteem and Absorica are other versions which are in common use.

Isotretinoin is a drug which is derived from Reinoid (or vitamin A). This means that the human body reacts to Isotretinoin in almost the same way as it would to vitamin A.

As this vitamin builds up in the tissues of the body it can become problematic. This means that if you’re taking Isotretinoin you should avoid taking any vitamin A supplements.

While this drug can help to clear the skin of acne, there are a number of unwanted side effects associated with its use. Most, however, will fade in a couple of weeks after you stop using it.

Possible Effects When Taking Isotretinoin (Accutane)

When taking Isotretinoin, you may experience side effects which affect several areas of your body. These include the following:

Skin & Hair

As you may imagine, since Isotretinoin has been prescribed to combat acne, it will have a clear effect on your skin.

It treats severe acne by targeting bacteria, clogged pores, oil production and inflammation.

However, in the early days of use, you may experience worsening of your acne problem before you see any improvement.

Chapped lips are another common side effect, together with other dry areas of skin.

You may discover that your nasal passages become dry which may lead to an increase chance of nosebleeds.

Isotretinoin makes skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays, so using tanning devices and going out in the sun without any sunscreen on should be avoided.

Some people who use this drug also develop peeling skin, rashes or fragile skin on the soles of their feet and palms of their hands.

Some also experience yellowing of their skin.

When it comes to hair, some users report that their hair becomes thinner, while the increased fragility of the skin means that hair removal techniques such as dermabrasion, laser treatments and waxing could cause scarring. This means that any of these forms of hair removal should be avoided for at least 6 months after ceasing treatment.

Reproductive Issues

Isotretinoin has been proven to be dangerous for use in pregnant women. This is because it can damage the developing fetus.

Women who are prescribed this medication should ensure that they aren’t pregnant before beginning using this medication and should always use birth control while taking Isotretinoin. This should be continued for at least 4 weeks after stopping taking the medication, and should you accidentally become pregnant while taking the drug you should cease its use immediately and let your doctor know.

Isotretinoin use by pregnant women can result in miscarriage, fetus death or a premature birth.

It could also cause birth defects and deformities such as hearing loss, missing or small ears, missing or small eyes, missing or small thymus gland, microcephaly, congenital heart defects, hydrocephalus and cleft palates.

Men who are taking Isotretinoin must also be very careful about using birth control as the drug may be found in their semen.

As yet, it has not been proven whether or not this may result in birth defects.

It may also pass through to the baby in breast milk, so breastfeeding while using Isotretinoin should be avoided.

Anyone who is prescribed Isotretinoin must be registered with iPLEDGE, a restricted distribution FDA-approved program which informs people about birth defect risks and helps prevent pregnancies.

Central Nervous System Problems

Isotretinoin may affect the central nervous system resulting in side effects such as tiredness, headaches, dry eyes, difficulty in seeing in dark conditions, hearing loss or ringing in the ears.

woman with headache

Pressure inside the brain can also be caused by Isotretinoin.

This can be life-threatening and the symptoms include blurred vision, severe headaches, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, strokes and seizures.

Mood changes are also common, with many users experiencing sadness and irritability and some suffering from serious mental health disorders like suicidal thoughts, psychosis and depression.

Allergic Reactions

All medications have the possibility of causing allergic reactions. The symptoms may include swelling of the face or mouth, breathing problems and hives. 

If you experience any form of allergic reactions you should consult your doctor.

Excretory And Digestive System Problems

Isotretinoin may cause digestive tract problems.

The symptoms can include poor appetite, stomach pains, bleeding gums, heartburn, dark urine, bowel pains, nausea, rectal bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms may suggest damage has been caused to the intestines, liver, pancreas or esophagus.

Your cholesterol and liver levels may need to be monitored when you take this medication.

Bone, Muscle And Blood Problems

When you take Isotretinoin, your white and red blood cell count may drop. This can result in symptoms like difficulty in breathing and fainting.

As Isotretinoin builds in the bloodstream it’s possible to develop problems with lipid and blood sugar levels.

You should not donate blood either while taking Isotretinoin or for a month after stopping taking it since it can represent a danger to pregnant women.

You may also experience pain your joints, bones, ligaments and muscles. Some users also experience stiffness is the muscles and joints.

Conclusion

Although Accutane as a brand isn’t being sold today, there are still lots of other brands which are selling generic forms of Isotretinoin. They can all cause the side effects mentioned above.

While Isotretinoin is known to be an effective way to treat severe and treatment resistant acne, there are a number of potentially serious side effects including mental health disorders and digestive problems.

Also, if Isotretinoin is taken by a pregnant woman, there are other dangers such as birth defects and miscarriages.

Therefore, care needs to be taken if you’re planning on taking this medication to make sure that you are aware of the possible risks.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Antibiotics For Treating Acne

no to antibiotics

Why You Shouldn’t Use Antibiotics For Treating Acne

no to antibiotics

At one time, antibiotics were the go-to treatment for acne. 

However, these days, it has been recognized that the condition isn’t actually caused by bacterial infections, and when this knowledge is paired with the fact that there is an increase in antimicrobial resistance which is rendering antibiotic treatments useless, it makes sense to avoid using them as an acne treatment.

While it’s true that antibiotic treatments may reduce the severity of acne, there are numerous reasons why you should avoid using them whenever possible.

Antibiotics Can’t Treat The Causes Of Acne

Bacteria isn’t actually responsible for causing acne. That means that when you take an antibiotic to treat acne, it’s only treating one of the symptoms instead of the cause. 

Some of the causes of acne include genetics, environment, diet and stress. 

All of these factors can damage the fatty acids of the skin and result in overproduction of the protein which sticks dead skin cells together. This causes blocking of the pores which produces pimples. None of these elements can be addressed by antibiotics.

An Ineffective Treatment

Even in the days when antibiotics were the first line of treatment for acne, they had a very poor success rate. 

One study carried out in the UK showed that as many as 82% of patients saw little or no improvement in their acne even after several courses of antibiotics. 

Acne has actually become more resistant to antibiotics over the last forty years and this creates a further problem.

Bacteria Becomes Stronger

The more antibiotics are used by patients, the more bacteria will evolve and become resistant. This is a serious public health problem which is worrying medical experts today. 

The treatment of drug-resistant infections is very difficult and even impossible and therefore avoiding over-prescribing antibiotics is vital.

Antibiotics Can Have Unpleasant Side Effects

When people take antibiotics to treat acne, they can develop unwanted side effects. Some of these can be serious and may be long-lasting or permanent. 

While some are merely irritating and unpleasant such as teeth staining, heartburn and nausea, others can be life-changing. 

There are many kinds of bacteria which live in the gut and intestines however antibiotic use harms some of these bacteria types while it may also encourage others to grow excessively. The result of this can be colon and gut problems.

People who are taking antibiotics for acne also have lowered immunity which makes them more vulnerable to a host of other conditions from the common cold to much more serious conditions. 

This can lead to long-term health problems, especially as patients who are taking antibiotics for acne usually take them for extended periods – often several years.

There are also other worrying studies which have linked long-term antibiotic use to an increased risk of developing breast cancer, which is obviously something which is better avoided.

More Effective Treatments Exist

There are a number of other treatments in existence today for acne which have proven to be very promising. 

For example, there is evidence to show that those suffering from acne often have a zinc deficiency. Patients who take zinc supplements often see a great improvement in their skin without any side effects or antibiotic resistance. 

Many patients also find that dietary changes can be helpful while benzoyl peroxide and antioxidant supplements and topical creams are other viable alternatives. 

Women who are acne sufferers can also often benefit from oral contraceptives and spironolactone to address the condition.

Is It Ever Right To Take Antibiotics For Acne?

Although there are many other options available these days to acne sufferers instead of relying on antibiotics, for some patients they may be the best option. 

However, other treatments should always be tried first. 

Also, when patients use antibiotics for acne, they should always use benzoyl peroxide too as this can reduce the incidence of antibiotic resistance in sufferers. 

For most acne sufferers, trying an alternative treatment such as zinc supplements and topical creams will be more likely to achieve long term success in reducing or eradicating their acne than using antibiotics. 

Also, as there are no unwanted side-effects and no antibiotic resistance, patients are much less likely to experience health problems in the future.

How Can Green Tea Treat Acne?

woman holding tea cup

How Can Green Tea Treat Acne?

woman holding tea cup

If you suffer from acne breakouts, it’s only natural to question if natural remedies could be any help.

One household remedy which has received some attention as a natural acne treatment is green tea.

Some people claim green tea can combat breakouts, as well as offering a host of other health benefits such as promoting weight loss and protecting against heart disease.

So, is there any truth in the claims?

The Link Between Green Tea And Acne

There have been many purported links between beverages and foods and acne. Some people claim that alcohol and chocolate can exacerbate the problem, while green tea has been linked with a reduction in breakouts.

There have been numerous studies carried out into whether green tea can offer any benefits to skin health, and the results have been very positive. 

Green tea reduces inflammation which can help to clear the skin and reduce the severity and frequency of breakouts. Since green tea is also packed with antioxidants which combat free radicals and repair damaged skin, it can also be beneficial in relieving the symptoms associated with acne.

High blood sugar and insulin levels are linked to worse acne, and therefore keeping levels stable is key to ensuring skin stays looking clear. Green tea can actually help in this. 

A Japanese study proved that people who drank over six cups of green tea every day have a lower incidence of diabetes. This is because green tea can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels. 

For this reason, green tea also promotes weight loss and this too can improve skin health.

Since green tea also has anti-inflammatory benefits it can make skin feel better and look better too.

Green Tea Benefits for Acne

Green tea offers a host of possible benefits for the skin and overall well-being too. 

Green tea helps to reduce the amount of sebum produced by the skin while also giving the immune system a boost and reducing inflammation levels. 

These three things, in conjunction, help massively to combat acne.

Green tea contains an antioxidant polyphenol called EGCG. This polyphenol is responsible for many of the benefits of green tea.

green tea cup

Here, we look at how green tea can help people who suffer from acne.

  • Lower androgen levels – EGCG reduces the levels of androgen in the body. This is beneficial for acne sufferers since high levels of androgens causes increased sebum production and this clogs pores and worsens inflammation, resulting in worse acne.

  • Combats candida albicans – people who have an overgrowth of candida in their gut suffer from all kinds of problems including acne. However EGCG combats candida on its own while also boosting “azole” antifungal treatments to make them even more effective.

  • Lowers blood sugar levels – EGCG lowers blood glucose and insulin levels, improving insulin resistance. Most acne sufferers are insulin resistant, and this causes excessive sebum production, worsened inflammation, swelling and redness and clogged pores. The EGCG in green tea reduces insulin resistance and improves blood sugar level control to reduce acne breakouts.

  • Combats skin UV damage – EGCG can repair DNA which has been damaged by UV ray exposure. This could help to combat acne since it’s possible that DNA damage due to UV exposure could suppress the immune system which could lead to worsened acne.

How to Use Green Tea To Treat Acne 

If you’re interested in trying to use green tea to treat your acne problem there are two possible ways in which it could be used. You can either use it internally by drinking it, or externally by applying it topically onto your skin. 

Let’s take a look at some of the different ways in which green tea can be used to treat your acne problem.

Treating it from the outside

There are numerous preparations which can be used externally to treat acne-prone skin. Here are just a few:

1.Green Tea On Its Own

Brew yourself some green tea. Allow it to cool down completely then pour into a spray bottle. Make sure your face is thoroughly clean and dry then spray the green tea on your face and allow it to dry naturally. 

Use cold water to rinse your face and pat dry gently using a clean towel. Apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer. Repeat this treatment twice daily for the best results.

2.Honey And Green Tea

Put a green tea bag into a cup of boiling hot water for three minutes. Take out the tea bag and allow it to cool completely. 

Once it is cold, cut the tea bag open and take out the leaves. Add a large spoonful of honey to the tea leaves. Apply the mixture to a clean and dry face and leave for twenty minutes. 

Rinse away using cool water, then gently pat dry. You should repeat this four times per week for the best results.

3.Apple Cider Vinegar And Green Tea

Brew a cup of green tea and allow to completely cool. Add a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to the cool tea and put in a glass jar. Store in the fridge. 

Dampen a cotton ball with the vinegar and green tea mixture and dab it onto a clean, dry face. Allow to dry naturally then apply moisturizer. Repeat twice daily for the best results.

4.Tea Tree Oil And Green Tea

Brew a cup of green tea and allow to completely cool. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with the cold green tea and store in a glass jar inside your fridge. 

Wet a cotton wool ball with the mix and dab gently onto a clean, dry face. Allow to dry completely then apply moisturizer. Repeat twice daily for the best results.

5.Aloe Vera And Green Tea

Pour a cup of boiling hot water and put two green tea bags into it. Let the tea cool. Squeeze in some aloe vera gel and combine well. 

Soak a cotton wool ball in the mix and dab gently onto a clean, dry face. Allow it to dry naturally then apply moisturizer. Repeat this twice daily for the best results.

6.Lemon And Green Tea

Brew one quarter of a cup of green tea and allow to completely cool. Add the juice of one lemon to the cold tea and mix well. 

Dip a cotton wool ball into the mix and gently dab onto a clean, dry face. Allow to dry completely before applying moisturizer. Repeat twice daily for the best results.

7. Olive Oil And Green Tea

Brew a cup of green tea and allow to completely cool down. When it is cold, pour into a spray bottle and spritz onto a clean, dry face. Allow it to naturally dry and then rinse away using cold water. 

Pat your face dry using a clean towel then apply two tablespoons of olive oil onto your clean fingertips and massage into your facial skin for two minutes. Wash away with a facial cleanser and pat dry. Repeat daily for the best results.

Drink It

Drinking green tea is also an effective way to improve the condition of acne-prone skin. Drink one cup per day at least to see the best effects. 

Consuming green tea as a beverage helps to reduce skin inflammation thanks to the powerful antioxidants it contains while reducing the level of insulin in the body and balancing hormones. 

You can use any type of green tea. Simply boil some water and pour into a cup. Steep a green tea bag in the water for up to five minutes. Take out the tea bag and drink the tea. 

You can even add fresh orange juice, mint leaves, lemon juice or a spoonful of honey to improve the flavor if you wish. Alternatively, you can add ice cubes to make iced green tea. 

Begin by drinking a single cup daily and then progress to three per day. It’s wise to avoid drinking more than this amount since green tea contains caffeine. You should notice results in around 3 weeks. While you’re drinking green tea, remember to eat a healthy diet too for the best results. 

Avoid excess sugar in your diet to limit the amount of breakouts you’ll experience.

Conclusion

Although green tea won’t be a miracle cure for acne, it does contain beneficial properties which mean that it can help to improve the condition of your skin. 

It’s certainly worth giving green tea a try by both drinking it and applying it externally to your skin to see if it will make a difference to your breakouts. If you already drink hot beverages, it certainly makes sense to switch one of them for a cup of hot green tea, while including green tea applications to your beauty regime can be both pleasurable and beneficial for your skin. 

As green tea is a natural substance it won’t cause you any unpleasant reactions or side-effects, and there’s a good chance that you will experience at least some positive results if you’re patient and wait for the recommended two or three weeks.

How Can Zinc Help With Acne?

woman skin care

How Can Zinc Help With Acne?

woman skin care

Over the many years that acne has plagued humanity there have been countless attempts at curing it. From different sorts of medication to ancient Oriental practises, there has never been a lack of acne treatment. 

But how do you sort the effective treatments from that ones that just leave you looking ridiculous? 

Well, I am here to tell you about a treatment for acne that you may not be aware of. Zinc.

What does zinc have to do with acne?

There are two possible zinc treatments for acne; either via a cream or serum that is administered onto the skin or taken orally in the form of a supplement.

The zinc oxide within the serum has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that greatly reduce the severity of acne breakouts. The anti-inflammatory nature of the zinc treatment can calm even the most severe of acne breakouts and can greatly reduce the pain or irritation caused by acne.

The anti-inflammatory qualities of the treatment will also reduce the physical appearance of acne on the skin, reducing the visible redness and encouraging the scars to heal much faster than they naturally would. The antibacterial properties associated with zinc will help to keep the open pores clean, making sure that the natural oils aren’t blocked by bacteria thus reducing the likelihood that another severe acne breakout will occur.

These inherent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are able to be spread around the body as zinc sulfate, oxide or acetate is able to inhibit specific enzymes within the skin that would otherwise cause the growth of acne-causing bacteria. 

Due to its inhibition via zinc these enzymes cannot produce the bacteria that would cause the onset of acne.

How can your acne prone skin benefit the most from zinc?

As previously mentioned, there are two different primary ways to treat acne via zinc. 

One of those ways is by taking a supplement of zinc. This method is very simple, just take a supplement with a meal and you’re done! This, naturally, requires very little time and effort and can be managed easily. 

This is generally considered the more effective type of treatment as the zinc can immediately begin to be spread around your body and affects your entire body, not just the area to which it has been administered.

The other type of zinc treatment is via a serum or cream that can be easily applied to the face, neck and any other areas of the body affected by acne. This method is slightly more time consuming than the supplement method and takes a great deal more effort. 

However, this method does allow you to directly target the most severe areas of affected skin.

Some possible side effects of taking zinc supplements include; headaches, a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

How much zinc to take?

These are the recommended amounts of zinc that should be taken depending on life stage: 

  • Birth to 6 months 2 mg
  • Infants 7-12 months 3 mg
  • Children 1-3 years 3 mg
  • Children 4-8 years 5 mg
  • Children 9-13 years 8 mg
  • Teens 14-18 years (boys) 11 mg
  • Teens 14-18 years (girls) 9 mg
  • Adults (men) 11 mg
  • Adults (women) 8 mg
  • Pregnant teens 12 mg
  • Pregnant women 11 mg
  • Breastfeeding teens 13 mg
  • Breastfeeding women 12 mg

The amount of zinc taken daily must be noted as it is very possible to ingest too much zinc. 

The maximum amount zinc that adults should be taking daily is 40mg. Too much zinc within the body can cause issues with the cholesterol levels within the body. 

The recommended maximum amount of daily zinc for teenagers is 34mg.

Include it in your diet

zinc foods

A very viable strategy to naturally treating acne is to eat food products that contain high levels of zinc. 

Some of these foods include dairy products, poultry, oysters, nuts, whole grains and beans. 

Changing your diet is an easy way to get zinc into your body without having to go out of your way and pick up supplements or cream.

Should you try it?

Due to the very low risk of side effects and their lack of severity I would highly recommend using zinc products, whether it be supplements or creams, if you are suffering from severe acne. Just one supplement daily or a few splashes of cream on your face can drastically change how you look and feel. 

It really requires very little effort overall and the results are definitive. 

There is no real reason why you shouldn’t try zinc out as a treatment for acne.

If you have any questions about zinc as a treatment for acne or if you are looking to try it out, then seek out a medical professional. I am sure that they will recommend it.