Shelly's Acne Prevention Guide
By Shelly Ballestero
While most often acne has been found in adolescent skin, many women continue to have problems with acne on into their twenties, thirties, and beyond. Hormonal changes at various times of life can create acne conditions on the skin. It is important to consult a dermatologist for more severe cases of acne. But whether you see a doctor or simply need to take care of your acne yourself, follow some basic guidelines to reduce the severity and spread of acne.
Top 5 Acne Don’ts
1. Don’t overcleanse. Most people strip their skin by overcleansing their acned areas. When this happens, the body works harder and produces more sebum (oil), clogging pores and causing more acne.
2. No toucha your face. Touching your face, especially with dirty hands and fingers, could cause or further aggravate an acne problem. This also means don’t pick, squeeze, or rub acne. Doing so traumatizes the skin and slows the healing process, adding more breakouts. It could also lead to unwanted acne scars and blemishes. Don’t just be conscious of your hands. We’re on our phones all the time, and they can be dirty culprits against our skin. Be sure to clean your cell phone, work phones, and home phones often.
3. Don’t consume too many sugary foods or drinks. Stay away from cakes, cookies, chocolates (I am not saying chocolate causes acne, consuming refined sugars are not good for any type of skin), candies, sodas, and anything that has refined sugar as a main ingredient. Sugar clogs pores, dries out skin, and ages skin. Also food allergies can contribute to acne, as can certain medications, in particular, iodine-containing foods and steroid inhalers.
Did you know that dairy products may aggravate acne?
4. Don’t use comedogenic products. Skin with acne is already battling an overproduction of oil (sebum), so don’t exacerbate the problem by using certain oil-based products. Watch out for typically oily products such as moisturizers, facial creams, and hair gels. Hair often gets in the face, and hair products definitely affect the skin on the face. However, acne skin can be stripped, leading to dry, oily skin especially in adults. If you have that problem, try to rebalance the epidermis with a product by Talulah, Oma Face Serum No.1 (talulahskincare.com)—an anti-acne base of good oils like olive, grapeseed, and rosehip, all which help to rebalance the skin’s oil production.
5. Don’t dry out acne in the sun. Excessive sun exposure can aggravate acne. UV rays destroy cells and are responsible for skin’s immunology. Chronic sun exposure causes your pores to enlarge because it causes the sebaceous glands, oil-producing glands in your skin, to increase in size.
1. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Many natural foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals, some of the best acne fighters around. For example: green, leafy vegetables and orange or yellow-colored fruits are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents overproduction of sebum. Oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and lemon juice are some vitamin C–rich foods that are also great acne treatments. Eating these types of foods fortifies the body’s defense system against acne-causing microbes and aids faster healing of acne. Furthermore, vitamin C helps your body restore its source of vitamin E, which is essential in revitalizing the skin and repairing damaged skin. Also lowering your glycemic intake may help fight acne.
2. H2O—Drink lots of water. Make sure you get the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day. Drinking lots of water not only replenishes the body’s water supply, but also flushes out toxins from the body that may cause acne.
3. Relax. Stress, worry, and pressure can disrupt your body’s natural balance and lead to health problems such as acne. Avoid acne and skin problems by relaxing yourself. Getting a massage, going to the spa, taking a long bath, getting enough sleep, or simply managing your time and schedule better are considered acne treatments because they reduce acne-inducing stress.
4. Clean your gut. Detoxing can improve acne tremendously. Be sure to us a probiotic whenever you undertake any type of physical detoxification program.
5. Azelaic acid. This has been shown to be a natural acne treatment comparable to benzoil peroxide and other acne products. Azelaic acid is derived from wheat, barley, and rye. Its antimicrobial action slows the growth of skin bacteria and appears to reduce skin redness, papules, and pustules. In addition, tea tree oil is a great bacterial fighter, comparable to a 5-percent benzoyl peroxide. Oils such as neem and neroli also are beneficial for oily skin.
Spot Control - MIEssence Purifying Blemish Gel (miorganics.com) or Burt’s Bees blemish stick can help with inflamed bumps.
6. Proper cleansing. Clean your face at least twice a day but not more than three times to avoid overcleansing. You may also want to incorporate exfoliating here—but don’t overdue it, one to two times a week is enough.
1/2 lemon (squeezed)
1 egg white
1 tsp aloe vera gel
Beat egg white (tightens skin), lemon (astringent) juice and aloe vera gel (calms inflammation) together. Apply directly to face (avoid your eyes) and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your face with warm water.
If your skin is feeling a bit dry after the mask, make a cup of chamomile tea (cold) and saturate a cotton ball into the tea- dab onto face. Finish off with a hydrating serum and moisturizer.
Makeup for Acne/Problematic Skin
After the moisturizer (allow to dry first), use a primer. This will even out skin tone and allow pores and fine lines to look smoother. Try “Smooth as Silk” primer by Alchemist Apprentice (alchemistsapprentice.com), with some ingredients like soothing aloe vera gel, green tea extract, tea tree oil, and serecite (gives a matte finish).
Use a foundation without chemicals, parabens, fragrance, alcohol, talc, chemical dyes, and bismuth oxychloride (gives that shiny look and is irritating to skin). Try all-natural products like some of my favorites: Alima (alima.com), Alchemist Apprentice color cosmetics, Afterglow (gluten-free and organic - afterglowcosmetics.com), 100% Pure (100percentpure.com), Suki (suki.com), Monave (great color selection for women of color - monave.com), MIEesence (mionegroup.com), and Jane Iredale (janeiredale.com).
Remember to not just look at what you put on your skin but what you put inside your body and what you do to your body. A few changes does the body and skin good; prayer, healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and loving life (loving others) are your best lines of defense.
Excerpted from Shelly's new book, Beauty by God: Inside-Out Secrets for Every Woman. Copyright © 2009 by Shelly Ballestero.
Shelly Ballestero is a licensed esthetician, make-up artist, beauty editor of Lifestyle Magazine, and author.
Shelly has studied under Emmy Award winner Eve Pearl, head make-up artist for ABC's The View. In addition, Shelly is one of the make-up experts for Jane Iredale cosmetics and participates in the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa conference. Shelly and her husband, Angelo, a worship pastor, live in Windermere, Florida, with their two children.
(Photo of Shelly courtesy of Katie Meehan, www.phfocus.com.)
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