miercuri, 8 octombrie 2014

How to Get Rid of Acne

Most people find themselves suffering from an acne outbreak at some point, whether it's due to hormones or stress. Contrary to popular belief, pimples don't necessarily mean your skin is dirty or unclean — in fact, over-cleansing can irritate your skin even more. However, hormones aren't uncontrollable, and there are simple changes you can make to eliminate your breakouts. You can have your glowing, healthy, and pimple-free skin back in no time.

Method 1 of 3: Treating at Home

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    Wash your face twice daily with a pH balanced cleanser of 5.5. The first step to getting clear skin is to set up a regimented cleansing routine to restore the skin's acid mantle and thus discourage acne vulgaris growth. Buckle down and force yourself to wash your face when you wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night. As tired or busy as you may be, taking the extra few minutes to cleanse your skin, this will reduce your acne significantly.
    • If you have acne on other parts of your body such as your shoulders, back, and chest, give these areas a scrubbing twice daily as well.
    • If you wear makeup, never go to bed without washing it all off. Sleeping with makeup on is a surefire way to increase your pimple-count and make getting rid of your acne even more difficult. Use an oil-free makeup remover prior to washing with your regular cleanser to make sure all traces have been removed.
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    Wash your Face Using Oils. Known as the Oil Cleansing Method(OCM), this is a popular method of cleansing in Asia, and is a growing trend. OCM is an alternative cleansing method that is gentler for skin, and of interest for sensitive skin types.
    • Look into oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and emu oil.
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    Exfoliate your face. Exfoliates are mild scrubbing products that work to slough (to get rid of) off dead skin cells that build up and cause acne. Exfoliation can be chemical or physical.
    • For a gentler approach, use a chemical exfoliator, an AHA or BHA at a pH between 3 and 4 to slough off skin. A chemical exfoliation unglues dead skin.
    • A BHA product often cited includes salicylic acid, it must be between a pH between 3 and 4 to work. A BHA works to slough (to get rid of) off dead skin cells and encourage new skin growth. As a result, you may experience dry skin and scaliness around your acne, but this will dissipate over time as your skin begins to regenerate faster. Use this in a cleanser or spot treatment daily on the acne-affected areas of your skin.[1]
    • Aspirin tablets, which contain salicylic acid, a BHA can be ground up and mixed with water and then put on your zits to reduce redness and swelling.
    • Rub a light layer of honey into your skin, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Honey has a variable pH from 3 to 6, but at a pH between 3 and 4, it contains AHA's that will exfoliate skin.
    • For physical exfoliation, consider purchasing a konjac sponge. It is gentle enough for usage upon your face.
    • For physical exfoliation, consider using oatmeal as an exfoliate. Mix oatmeal with honey and rub it onto your face for 2-3 minutes, and gently rinse away the residue with warm water.
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    Apply essential oils to active pimples. Neem oil and tea tree oil are thought to have antimicrobial properties that can kill acne-causing bacteria. Dab a drop of diluted version of tea tree oil or neem oil on each spot, or wet a cotton swab and wipe it over problem areas. [2]
    • Tea tree oil is an antibacterial agent that can help clear out the microbes clogging your skin. Avoid using undiluted tea tree oil — it'll burn your skin, and worsen acne. Read the warning label on the bottle.
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    Use products with benzoyl peroxide. You can use benzoyl peroxide in the form of either a soap or lotion over your acne-prone areas. This product works to clean off dead skin and help your skin to regenerate new, clean cells faster. Look for products that contain 3% or less of benzoyl peroxide to avoid irritating your skin.
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    Use sulfur-containing clay masks. Although we don’t know exactly why sulfur works as a great acne-killer, we do know that it does work. Look for products that contain sulfur to clear up your acne, seemingly by reducing oil production.
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    Use a toner after cleansing. After you wash your face, exfoliate, or apply a face mask, apply a toner to the entirety of your face. Toners work to tighten pores making it less likely that dirt and oil will become trapped in them. Buy acne toners at a local drugstore, or use witch hazel or apple cider vinegar dabbed on with a cotton ball. Don’t rinse toners after application - allow them to stay on your skin.
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    Always apply a moisturizer. Oily skin produces acne, and if your skin is very dry your body will compensate by creating sebum. To prevent this from happening, use a gentle moisturizer after you wash your face every morning and evening. Apply moisturizer post toner application.[3]
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    Use a retinoid. As a Retinoid is a prescription medication in the U.S., be cautious of the side affects before usage. Retinoid cleansers contain high levels of vitamin A, which help to clean out clogged pores and dissolve away grime. You can get a prescription for one from your doctor. Trademarked OTC retinoid-like products are ineffective.
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    Find products containing azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is an antibacterial that also helps to reduce redness and inflammation and is found naturally in wheat and barley. If your acne tends to leave dark marks on your skin, try a product that uses azelaic acid to clean your pores and reduce acne-produced dark spots.[4]
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    Use a Sheet or Face Mask. Sheet or Face masks contain compounds that soothe your skin and kill bacteria. Using a sheet or face mask 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes to dry out your skin and clean out your pores. Buy face masks from your local beauty supply or drugstore, or make your own at home.
    • Create a blend of cucumbers and oatmeal. The cucumbers help to reduce redness and fight off dark spots while the oatmeal soften and soothes irritated skin. Blend the two together in a food processor until it forms a paste, and then apply it to your skin for 15-20 minutes before washing off with warm water.

Method 2 of 3: Treating at a Dermatologist’s or Spa

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    Get a facial. These are available at most spas, and involve the use of several different cleansers, masks, and extraction tools to reduce acne on your face. If you don’t feel comfortable with having an esthetician work on your face, visit your dermatologist for a more medically-oriented facial.
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    Get a facial peel. A facial peel is a specialized gel containing acid that dissolves dead skin and bacteria cells. Getting these on a regular basis can greatly reduce acne over time in addition to your regular skincare regimen.
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    Try microdermabrasion. This is a process by which your skin is “sanded” away to produce new skin growth. Getting microdermabrasion treatments once a week over several months is the most effective route to take, as each treatment only affects the outermost layer of skin.
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    Get a laser treatment. That’s right - use layers to kill off your acne. Many dermatologists now offer a treatment in which they use lasers to fire strong blasts of light to kill overactive oil-producing glands beneath your skin. This process can be painful, but has been shown to cut down acne 50% on average.
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    Try a light treatment. Unlike painful laser treatments, light treatments use milder pulses of light fired off by a specialized wand to help kill bacteria. Certain colors of light (including red, green, and blue) have shown to have a positive effect on killing acne. Ask your dermatologist if getting a light treatment is a good choice for you.[5]
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    Use prescription drugs. Certain medications can be prescribed by your dermatologist to help with particularly bad cases of acne, but should be used with caution. As with all medications, there may be unwanted side-effects in a small portion of the population.
    • Going on a specialized form of birth control (for women) can help to regulate hormones which may be producing your bad acne. Ask your dermatologist if this seems like a good option for you to take.
    • In particularly troublesome cases of acne, a specialized drug known as accutane can be prescribed. This is an incredibly intense retinoid treatment that has shown to almost completely remove all acne in users. However, it has the most serious side-effects of any acne-fighting drug and should be used with extreme caution.
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    Exercise regularly. Exercising does a number of things to help reduce your acne. It releases endorphins which lower stress levels and therefore reduce oil-production, and also makes you sweat which cleans out dead skin cells. Try exercising on a daily basis for a minimum of thirty minutes to help reduce your acne not only on your face, but also on your chest, shoulders, and back.
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    Don’t touch your face. This is incredibly difficult, as people are prone to touching their faces on a regular basis. Be careful about scratching your face, resting your face on your hands, and picking at pimples. Never pop your zits or squeeze at pesky blackheads, as this only introduces more bacteria to your skin and will make your acne worse.
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    Shower often. Although you may want to keep your water bill down, showering regularly helps to keep oil production low, kill bacteria, and rinse away dead skin cells. Wash your entire body with a mild cleanser and use shampoos that limit oil production in your hair. Be sure to always shower after exercising to remove the dead skin cells your body has sloughed off through sweating.
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    Eat healthily. Foods that are highly processed and contain a lot of oils greatly increase the amount of acne on your body. Getting the proper amount of nutrients from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein help your skin to regenerate faster and limit unnecessary oil production. When at all possible, avoid foods that are processed or contain a lot of sugar (think junk foods).
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    Get at least eight hours of sleep. Sleeping kills two birds with one stone, as it helps to relax your body as well as detoxify it. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, chances are your skin hasn’t had the time or ability to renew its skin cells. Regulate your sleep cycle by going to bed at a consistent time every night and sleeping for a minimum of eight hours.[6]
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    Drink lots of water. Although we’ve all heard to drink eight glasses of water a day, there isn’t a set amount on how much water you should consume. Water helps to detoxify your body and purify your skin, so make sure you drink water often throughout the day.
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    Relax your body and mind. High stress levels lead to increased sebum production, so do your mind and your skin a favor by giving yourself some time to relax. Try taking a bath, reading a book, meditating, or practicing yoga and watch your skin transform in response.
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    Wash your fabrics. Any fabric that comes into contact with your skin on a regular basis - clothes, towels, pillowcases, and sheets - should be washed at least once a week to remove oil and bacteria that build up over time. Use a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin to help solve your acne problem.
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    Use oil-free makeup. If you wear makeup, you may be stuck in a vicious cycle of covering up acne while simultaneously causing it with your cover-up usage. Find acne-fighting oil-free mineral makeup to help prevent worsening your acne while simply trying to hide it. Power foundations are also recommended. When possible, avoid wearing makeup at all though as it clogs your pores over the course of the day.
    • Regularly clean makeup brushes to prevent bacterial growth.
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    Avoid toothpaste, lemons, and baking soda as they will cause chemical burns on your face
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    Avoid apricot scrubs and plastic microbeads as the former will cause microtears and the latter contributes to environmental pollution and bioaccumulation up the food chain.

Treatment for Sensitive Skin

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    Sensitive Skin:
     Please note that you may have sensitive skin and normal, oily, or dry. If your skin has allergic reactions to beauty products and is usually sensitive to the sun, wind, and cold weather, it is sensitive. Sensitivity can show up in rash, redness, inflammation, acne, and dilated capillaries.
    • Treatment: Look for cleansers, toners, makeup, and moisturizers that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Cleanse, tone and moisturize with gentle products everyday. The idea for your skin is to always choose products with a soothing benefit. Some common ingredients to look for are: chamomile, azulene, bisabolol, allantoin, lavender, camphor, calamine, rosemary, thyme, aloe vera, coconut oil etc.

Treatment for Combination Skin

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    Combination Skin:
     Combination skin is comprised of two extreme skin types on one face. These situations occur when there is acne and a lot of oil in one area when the rest of the skin is generally dry (no oil).
    • Two common examples are dry skin with papular and pustular acne on the cheeks or a normal skin with inflamed papular and pustular acne in the chin and mouth area.
    • Treatment: Tend to each area appropriately as described above. If the acne is severe, consult a dermatologist or esthetician.

Treatment for Normal skin

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    Normal Skin:
     Some consider normal skin to be combination skin, but it is not. If your skin is oily in the "T zone" and your nose while dry and taut on the cheeks, it is considered normal. It's also considered normal if it changes with seasons (dryer in winter, oilier in summer). Normal skins can also be 'Normal-To's' as in normal to oily or normal to dry.
    • Treatment: Wash your face with cleansers that are designed for your normal/normal-to skin type. Wipe an alcohol free, hydrating toner all over the face. Apply moisturizer more frequently to dry skin.

Treatment for Oily Skin

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    Oily Skin:
     If your skin is oily, it usually has a lot of shine to it very soon after cleansing and the pores are generally slightly enlarged. It is more prone to pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads than other skin types and is coarser in texture.
    • Treatment: Your skin tends to attract more dirt than dry skin, so wash your face twice a day with a gentle non-foaming cleanser and warm water. Rinse with warm water. Use an alcohol-free, hydrating toner to help remove additional residue. Oil blotting sheets through out the day can help control shine, and it takes as little as 3 minutes after lunch. Although your skin's oily, you still must moisturize it with a light moisturizer daily, or your skin will become dry underneath and overcompensate by producing more oil. Using oil as a pre-cleanser to a foam cleanse can also help, as oily skin can be your skin's way of protecting itself against being stripped of its natural oils by harsh cleansers.

Treatment for Dry Skin

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Dry Skin: If your skin has a strong tendency toward dehydration, lacks oil, and has few breakouts if any at all, it is considered dry. In more extreme cases, dry skin lacks elasticity and can be extremely sensitive to the sun, wind, and cold temperatures. Wash your face once a day with a rich, creamy cleanser and warm water.
  • Treatment: Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry. Use toner to help with that tight and flaky feeling of dehydration. Avoid toners and makeup that contain alcohol as alcohol-based products have a drying effect on skin. Use a cream-based lotion to hydrate your skin and keep it rejuvenated.

Face Mask Recipes for Dry, Chapped Skin

Masks should stay on for 10-15 minutes. I love washing masks off with a steaming hot washcloth. Run the washcloth under hot water, squeeze out the excess water and then press to your face for a full minute. Then, gently wash off the mask in a circular motion.