Have You Ever Had Complex Complexion Issues?
Acne and What You Should Know
With Acne Makeup Tips
Acne vulgaris — just the sound of the word conjures up unpleasant images and those teenagers and adults suffering from this condition usually end up enduring years of emotional distress and, in some cases, physical scarring of the skin.
Acne affects nearly 85 percent of young adults, but even those in adulthood struggle with breakouts — especially during times of stress.
While this condition afflicts almost 85 percent of the young adult population aged 12 through 24, it doesn’t simply end there. Acne affects people of all ages. Considered one of the most common skin diseases, it ranges in severity from mild to moderate and tends to flare up in the following categories and life stages:
- Women going through hormonal changes such as during pregnancy, menstrual cycles and when starting or stopping birth control pills
- Teens reaching puberty
- Those facing stressful situations
How Acne Forms on Your Skin
Acne forms as a result of overactive sebaceous oil glands that cause the hair follicles to become plugged with excess oil and dead skin cells. It can appear almost anywhere on the skin, particularly your face, chest, back, shoulders and upper outer arms, the areas where the sebaceous glands are the largest.
Each hair follicle is connected to sebaceous glands that begin to develop during your teenage years — the time when hormonal changes start to occur. Each person has approximately 5,000 sebaceous follicles all over their body, even their scalp. The only areas they don’t reach are the palms of the hands, lower lip and the soles and dorsa of the feet.
The sebaceous glands actually have a beneficial role — to produce an oily substance called sebum that acts as a lubricator to your hair and skin. The oil glands work on a continuous basis secreting oil through openings in the skin as a way to protect it. When the cells that are located close to the openings block the oil glands it causes an excess buildup just under the skin resulting in a breeding ground for bacteria and irritating the surrounding tissues.
Once acne bacteria begin to build up in the trapped follicles that area of skin becomes inflamed and red. As the plugged follicle continues to grow it gets to a point where it can’t contain the contents any longer and ends up bursting and leaking, spreading the bacteria onto the skin and resulting in lesions or the formation of new pimples.
Does Stress Cause Acne Breakouts?
It’s an age-old question and now there is confirmation that stress does contribute to acne flare-ups. A study involving 22 students suffering from acne revealed that the students with high stress levels during exam time were afflicted with the most severe cases of acne. But, it’s worth noting that one of the factors that led to the flare-ups was poor eating habits during stressful periods such as during exam time.
Researchers found that stress may have triggered the acne breakouts by first stimulating the adrenal glands, putting them into overdrive, producing more hormones that in turn cause the buildup of more sebum, a contributor to acne formation. These actions also negatively impacted the healing process and immune system by slowing it down — in some cases slowing the immune system down by 40 percent when stress was present, nearly doubling the impact stress could have on acne flare-ups.
The bottom line is that stress not only contributes to acne flare-ups, it also negatively impacts the overall health of your skin. When the adrenal glands sense stress they go into a panic-like state and begin producing excess cortisol, a steroid hormone that drives the sebaceous glands to produce lots of oil on your skin, causing inflammation and acne breakouts.
8 Nautral Treatments for Acne
Living with acne breakouts can be emotionally draining and a blow to your confidence no matter what age you are. Rather than letting acne control your life, you can take the control and gain your confidence back by incorporating some natural lifestyle practices into your daily life. Just by making some dietary and lifestyle changes you will be on your way to healing your skin and your emotional well-being. Below are eight ways to get you started:
Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies is best for your skin (and overall) health.
- Keep up a good daily hygiene regime: One of your best lines of defense against the development of acne is to gently wash your skin once in the morning, then again at night before you go to bed. You can use soap and water or gentle products containing natural ingredients like tea-tree oil. There a few things to be sure to avoid with your skin regime:
- When washing your face, don’t ever use harsh scrubbing methods especially if you have sensitive skin. This will only further aggravate your skin and possibly create more problems. Instead, be gentle and keep in mind you are working to bring your skin back to health.
- Washing your face more than three times a day will cause more harm than good because it can lead to increased irritation and thus defeat the purpose of your hygiene regime.
- Stay away from using oil-based make-up and hair products because they have the tendency to clog up your pores.
- Get out and exercise: Exercise is a natural type of therapy for stress reduction and less stress means you’re helping prevent the incidence of breakouts. Think of exercising as a part of your skin care regime and make it a part of your daily routine. For relaxing meditative exercise you can try yoga or Tai Chi. Your cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging and playing tennis, will increase the blood flow to your skin and promote quicker healing and as an added benefit improve the overall health of your internal organs allowing you to pass waste through more efficiently.
- Diet: Add a lot of nutrient-rich fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet as a way to keep your skin clear of acne. Make salads a mainstay of your meals and try to incorporate them into each mealtime. When buying lettuce chose red leaf or romaine and take a pass on iceberg lettuce, as it offers little in terms of nutritional value.
A fun and creative way to add more fresh fruit to your diet is by making smoothies (you can even through in a few veggies, like spinach or carrots, and you’ll never know the difference).
Also, make it a point to avoid refined carbohydrates. Research has shown that refined carbohydrates like white bread, flour and pasta are one of the top dietary culprits to the formation of acne. The sugars in the carbohydrates initiate a chain reaction: first, the surge of insulin brought on by the sugars ingested from the carbohydrate generates the production of excess male hormones. This results in the overproduction of sebum, the substance responsible for acne-promoting bacteria.
- Use only natural products on your skin: Adopt the mantra “less is more” when it comes to using products on your skin. And the more natural the product, the better off it is for your skin.
One healthy and safe ingredient to look for is tea tree oil, which contains anti-bacterial properties that help eliminate acne-growing bacteria. Some studies suggest that if you use a gel with 5 percent tea tree oil you are getting the same effect as you would using a popular acne-fighting lotion containing 5 percent benzoyl peroxide. (If you are prone to acne rosacea you shouldn’t use tea tree oil because of its tendency to aggravate symptoms.)
You must be very leery of popular skin care products because most contain several harsh chemicals that can aggravate your skin by stripping it of its natural oils, causing it to produce more oil that could block your pores and trigger breakouts. For your makeup, look for products that use natural ingredients and list non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic (non-pore blocking) on the product label.
- Cut down on stress, cut down on acne flare-ups: Now that it’s been proven that stress does contribute to acne flare-ups, the next step is figuring out how to control your stress levels. If you find that you get easily stressed start learning what triggers your stress and build a set of coping strategies to be prepared for it. When you feel a stressful situation or moment coming on turn to a stress-relieving activity such engaging in deep breathing exercises or practicing meditation, which naturally lowers your heart rate and allows your body to become relaxed as you train your mind to focus on one thought. Meditation is a great way to start your day after you wake up each morning and also a healthy way to end your day just before bed by letting go of all of the stressors of the day.
- Drink more water and reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol: Be conscious of how much water you are drinking each day and make it a goal to drink two liters of water daily. If you don’t drink enough water your skin can become dehydrated. This can hinder the natural shedding of dead skin cells, which can clog up pores and lead to the formation of acne. Caffeinated drinks and foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate raise stress hormones in the body and alcohol interferes with a good night’s sleep, which adds to stress levels, so keep away from both.
- Reduce your intake of dairy and red meat: Because dairy products and meat are difficult for our bodies to transfer through our digestive system, they end up being released via the skin in the form of acne. Many people have an intolerance to milk and don’t even know it; and, this intolerance in many cases can show up on the body in the form of acne. If you are concerned about excluding milk as a source of calcium from your diet, rest assured you have many delicious and nutritious alternatives such as spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens, which provide you with plenty of calcium.
- Zinc: Reports have shown that people with lower serum zinc levels are more likely to have severe acne cases compared to individuals with healthy levels. Zinc works to fight acne by preventing potential hormone imbalances that can lead to outbreaks, promoting wound healing, increasing immune system activity and boosting tissue regeneration.
Acne Makeup Tips
Next time you wake up frustrated with what to do with the annoying acne and or scars staring back at you in your mirror, here are a few tips to consider.
Exfoliated and moisturize your skin which is the most important first step to create a smooth complexion. Don’t over exfoliating as that can further irritate acne.
Scotch tape tip. If and or when you have overdone it with acne cream resulting in flaky skin, know that foundation and flakes won’t be a good mix. Pat down your skin with Scotch tape gently removing flakes without damaging your skin. Then dab your moisturizer on the dry patch of skin allowing it to dry for a few minutes before applying your makeup.
Minimize (vs maximize) your foundation. Use a sheer foundation, to emphasis and feature the parts of your skin that don’t have acne or scarring saving actual concealing to concealers. WARNING: Heavy, full-coverage layers of foundation will only emphasize your skin’s bumps and texture drawing attention to acne!
Color correctors can make a difference. If or when there is visible discoloration from acne scars try applying a layer of sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer, Go back and paint over each scar with a color corrector, then tap it with your finger to blend. Depending on your skins coloration peach, tangerine, and deeper orange shades might work best to neutralize acne scars because they tend to have cooler undertones.
Brighten Your Day. Once you’ve applied your primer, concealer, color correctors, foundation, blush, a light dusting of powder you likely now understand why it is truly so important to apply thin, sheer layers. However, does your skin look a little dull?
If so put on some glow to your complexion. Apply a soft amount of highlighter to your cheekbones.
Hoping you now feel as happy with skin as bright and fresh looking on the outside as everyone knows you are on the inside!