First of all, there is no cure. There isn't a miracle product out there and there isn’t one universal method for treating acne. How do I know this? I’m a licensed esthetician so skin care is my specialty.
Yes I do believe products are important. I talk about how important products are and how important a healthy skin care regimen is for a living. But when it comes to “curing” acne, products only scratch the surface, literally. Most skin care products can’t even penetrate the surface layer of the skin and major acne like cystic acne is in the dermis of the skin (the lowest layer of the skin).
I had acne for 8 years and this is what inspired me to become an esthetician. My personal acne drew me to the skin care industry. Being an esthetician, I have always felt my skin care has helped, but it’s never been the answer for acne. For 2 years I was licensed and still dealing with acne. That was the most frustrating time for me because I was supposed to be the person to help you combat your acne and I couldn’t combat my own.
Over the years I have dedicated a lot of my time with research and finally I have balanced out my own skin. So today I want this post to be informative. I will be discussing what I learned from acne in my years of experience and trial and errors. I will go over what I think contributes to acne and educate you on it. My goal isn't to persuade you to a certain life style, my goal is just to get this information out there and you can take it or leave it.
I’m always so hesitant to talk about this subject because so many things can be a factor to acne. Acne is a broad and complicated subject. Everyone’s skin and cause of acne is so different. So I want this post to be informative to you and you can choose what methods and changes you personally think can help your skin. Before you can "cure" your own acne, you need to pin-point and discover what is causing it first.
Today I am going to be informing you on bad lifestyle choices that could be feeding your acne. We are going to discuss diet, good and bad lifestyle habits, and using specific products for your acne type. Click on underlined words to see my product recommendations. I think if you apply some of these tips and products to your life, your acne can improve.
You could be doing so many things on a daily basis that causes bad skin and breakouts. The root of your breakouts can be from your hair care, makeup, and stress.
Most shampoo and conditioner’s are full of skin irritating ingredients like..
Skin clogging ingredients. For example, low grade olive oil. Most oils are comedogenic (clogging to the pores).
I highly recommend switching to a natural based hair care line. I currently use and love Acure Organics hair care line. You can find them at Target, Amazon, and selected health food stores. Also, I sleep with my hair in a bun so my natural hair oils don’t affect my skin. An indication your hair care products are causing your breakouts are breakouts surrounding the hairline of the forehead and the cheek area.
Its almost common sense that makeup isn’t the healthiest for the skin, especially foundation. Foundation is basically a mask over your skin. This prevents your skin from naturally exfoliating and from “breathing”.
Some foundations have clogging ingredients like silicone, mineral oils or other petroleum derivatives and clogging ingredients. I can almost guarantee you that budget friendly foundations are damaging to your skin and making your acne and breakouts worse. If you could invest in anything, I would invest in a healthy skin foundation. The one I use is the Fit Glow Vita Active Foundation. It’s a lightweight foundation that is infused with skin care ingredients like Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid.
Talc is a common ingredient in powders such as eye shadow, setting powders, blushes and bronzers. Talc is a common ingredient that can cause congestion breakouts. I am especially sensitive to talc so I noticed since switching to talc free powders, my congestion has significantly improved. I also use the Fit Glow Beauty powders for my blush and bronzer.
Some stress is actually healthy for you but a lot of stress can be extremely damaging to your overall health. I personally believe what effects your health effects your skin. I can’t just sit here though and tell you not to stress. There are some life stressors you can’t ignore and I understand. Quite honestly, if someone told me not to stress or to “breath in and breath out,” I would want to punch them in the face. They don't know what you are going through personally.
So my advice isn’t to “not stress”, even though that’s kind of the goal. My advice to you is to find something to relive your stress. Even if you only have time for one Yoga class once a week or enough time to do 20-minute cardio workouts here and there thorough out the week, find a release. I’m not here to tell you to workout either despite its benefits. I’m here to tell you to find your personal release. Maybe it's a massage or facial once a month, taking your dog out for a walk or reading a book, MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Stress can really affect your skin and overall health.
-Facial massaging can release stress build up in your facial muscles.
-Facial massaging can increase lymphatic drainage, which is responsible for detoxing toxins.
-Jade rolling is a face massaging tool that has great benefits for acne like calming redness, bringing circulation to the skin, and can help relive stress in the face.
-Make sure to clean the jade roller before and after you use it. Also be gentle and don't press it down hard on your skin. This can help your acne by calming redness, bringing oxygen to your skin, and the massaging benefits.
-You can jade roll as many times as you like, but at least try to do it once a week. Roll over serums, moisturizers, and/or facial oils.
Other Healthy Life Style Changes.
Your going to roll your eyes I know it! But drink water please. The proper amount of water you should drink is your body weight divided in half, then that in ounces should be the amount of water you should drink a day. I’m 150 so I drink 75 ounces of water a day.
Bring a tumbler to work or dedicate a reusable water bottle to help you drink more water.
Detox waters are amazing for acne sufferers. Lemon water with some mint leaves will help your body detox and the mint leaves have anti-inflammatory properties.
You should change your pillow case at least once a week but if you have cystic acne, do it every night.
Sleep with your hair tied up.
Sleep! Your skin regenerates itself when you sleep so its important that you give it time to do so.
I’m not an advocate for veganism, gluten free lifestyle or the palaeo diet like some “acne cure” posts, I’m here to inform you on how certain foods can affect your body and what effects your body affects your skin. I’m here to simply educate you, so keep an open mind.
Inflammation is the bodies response to infection and damage. Although inflammation is a necessary response for heath, chronic inflammation is a major health problem. I personally believe some acne suffers deal with chronic inflammation or other health problems. Not only can chronic inflammation possibly be the root to acne (because remember your skin reflects your health) it can actually lead to heart disease or other deadly health problems.
Today I am listing major foods that cause inflammation in the body.
Dairy comes from cows and cows make milk for baby calves. Milk is not designed for human consumption so your body recognizes it as a foreign object. This causes an inflammatory response in the body. Even if you buy expensive hormone-free cheese or milk, dairy still naturally contains hormones because it’s designed to raise a baby cow to a 1,600 plus pound animal.
Although yogurt is said to help your gut and acne because it contains probiotics, it’s still and inflammatory. So yogurt causes inflammation in the body and that can cause gut and skin problems. If you want probiotics, a healthier option is kombucha teas, fermented veggies, or simply probiotic pills.
I don't know if you have ever heard of a vegetarian or vegan say “I cant eat meat, I cant eat terror.” This statement actually has some truth to it. When animals and humans die, they release a stress hormone called cortisol. When you eat meat, you are essentially eating stress because cortisol was in the animals body when it was getting slaughtered. High cortisol levels can increase sugar levels in your body and can be extremely damaging to the body. All meat is also an inflammatory.
1 oz of chia seeds contain about 4.7 grams of protein. 2 servings will give you more protein then an egg and can be added to any of your morning smoothies. I personally do this and add maca powder to my morning smoothies. Maca powder help balance hormone production and stress levels. You can get Maca Powder for around $5 at Trader Joe's.
The gluten free diet may seem like a fab but it can be beneficial for some people with digestive issues, acne, or other health problems. The natural proteins in wheat are gut irritants. So your body’s natural response to that is inflammation. This could be the cause for many digestion problems like Chron's Disease, IBS, and can also be a factor to your acne.
I'm not going to touch on sugar too much because I assume we all know sugar is bad. Sugar is in fact an inflammatory. Sugar also damages skin cells and body cells causing consumers to age at a faster rate.
A tip to clear sugar out of your life is quitting coffee if your a creamer lover. Switch to tea. Tea has less caffeine, so it is not as dehydrating as coffee. Tea also is filled with anti-oxidants so it has added skin and body health benefits. This is something I personally have done and I get less sugar cravings and my skin has improved.
Other Common Inflammatory Foods.
-Rye & Barley
-Processed corn and processed foods
-Peanuts are a common allergen so even if your not allergic, some studies say it can still cause a inflammatory response in the body for people who aren't allergic.
You should base your acne skin care routine on what type of acne your your dealing with.
Focus on exfoliation and finding your skin's exfoliation balance. Congested acne usually isn't inflamed (although it can be) and can consist of white heads, texture, and black heads. This may mean you need to exfoliate more then the average person because your skin has a problem with exfoliating itself naturally. So you need to assist it. This could include scrubs, serums, and enzymes. Don't forget to always hydrate your skin too with a light weight oil free moisturizer.
Spot treatments and oxygenating stimulating treatments work the best for you because you can't prevent your break outs. They are coming weather you like it or not but you can reduce the impact when they come. Sometimes acne looks worse then it actually is because of the pigmentation it leaves when a pimple is done. Use a vitamin C or antioxidant serum to help heal acne scaring faster. Stimulating masks can be used once a week to increase oxygen and bring blood circulation to the skin. Doing this can lessen the impact of your breakouts when they come.
An indication to figuring out if you have hormonal acne is that you only break out before or during ovulation, your periods, or menopause (if your a girl). Men tend to get hormonal acne once in their life during puberty and early adult hood.
Stop over drying your skin with benzoyl peroxide and salacylic acid. Although salacylic acid can be beneficial by cleaning out your pores, it can over dry your skin so limit your use and mostly use anti-bacterial products for your daily routine.
The key to cystic acne though is to find whats going on internally as well as a anti-bacterial based skin care routine.
I dealt with acne for 8 years. Some of it was because of my age and puberty and some of it was from bad lifestyle habits. At some point I woke up every day with 3 new breakouts. When I stopped consuming meat and dairy, my inflamed acne has significantly improved. Since I stopped drinking coffee and creamer and lessened my sugar intake, the deep painful congestion has improved. My acne has also improved because I started to wash my sheets weekly, sleep with my hair in a bun, wash my makeup brushes weekly, and no longer sleep in makeup. I changed all my makeup to natural chemical free makeup and my texture and congestion has improved.
Now my skin care routine is filled with chemical-free high quality ingredients other then drying chemical-filled products. I don't focus on drying out my skin so much either anymore. For my skin, I try to focus on the health of my skin more then anything. I do a detox mask at least once a week for maintiance, use preventative methods, and I use spot treatments when needed.