By: Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP, CH
Everyone needs a daily skin care ance routine in order to keep their skin in tip-top shape. Those who are affected by acne must be especially diligent about the techniques and products they utilize for their skin care. Acne patients usually have skin that is extra sensitive to harsh dyes, perfumes, and other chemicals in many personal care products. If you are experiencing acne, please read futher for some tips regarding skin care with your special needs in mind.
Acne Skin Care: Dealing With Problem Skin
You have likely heard about different skin types such as dry, oily, normal, etc. Chances are if you have acne, you may think you have oily or combination type skin, but in reality, neither of these is correct. People with acne should classify their skin type under a unique category called “problem skin.” Problem skin types are easily prone to skin irritation and breakouts, and they have special needs when it comes to skin care.
Look for products that are especially geared toward acne. They will be extra gentle on your sensitive skin, and be formulated without harsh chemical irritants. Hydra-Tone™ and AloeCalm™ are excellent examples of such products.
Nutrition is very important in the war against acne. Certain vitamins and minerals are especially helpful at healing and improving the appearance of the skin. Zinc, vitamins A, C, and E, and B-complex vitamins such as B6 are critical to maintaining healthy skin. They are commonly used to treat acne as well. Sulphur is another natural substance that helps heal acne blemishes. Eat lots of foods high in sulphur, such as garlic and onions. Foods that you may want to avoid include refined sugar and carbohydrates, fatty or fried foods, and sugary sodas. While these don’t technically “cause” acne, they do aggravate the condition in many individuals.
Acne Skin Care: The Dos and Don’ts
Folks who struggle with acne need to give their skin some extra care and attention. Here are some do’s and don’ts regarding the care of acne-prone skin:
Gently wash your skin twice daily with warm, purified water and a mild organic facial cleanser. Regular mild cleansing will help keep your skin free of debris that could potentially block pores and trigger acne blemishes.
Choose all-natural makeup and skin care products that are free of oil. Most commercial cosmetics are formulated with fatty acids that are higher in fat than your skin. This can promote the development of acne. Look for organic cosmetics that are specifically designed for sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Over-cleanse your skin. Cleansing your skin too harshly or too often (only twice a day) will aggravate acne and cause it to spread. The use of harsh soaps might also increase inflammation.
Pick your skin. NEVER pick, pop, or squeeze your acne blemishes. This can only spread acne lesions and lead to scarring as well. It can also expose you to secondary bacterial infections.
Smoke. Cigarette smoke is a potent toxin that is harmful to every part of the body, including the skin. Smoking dries the skin, causes premature aging, and can irritate acne blemishes too.
Use harsh skin toners. Skin toners may provide some extra cleansing, but many of them contain harmful ingredients such as alcohol or acetone that are very hard on your skin. This added irritation will often aggravate acne.
Over-expose your skin to sun. There is a myth out there that says sunbathing can help acne by drying it up. Don’t believe it. Over-exposure to the sun can only harm the overall health of your skin, and worsen conditions such as acne. However, everyone needs at least 30 minutes of sun every day, preferably between the hours of sunrise and 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM until sunset.
Acne Skin Care: The Cover Up
No matter how diligent you are at caring for your skin, there will be times when factors beyond your control may trigger an acne breakout. Don’t panic! There are “cover-up” products available to help hide the blemishes. However, you must be careful when choosing products and techniques. Here are a few tips about how to best conceal acne.
Wash and moisturize your face before attempting any cover-up. You want to start with a “clean slate.”
Utilize natural, organic cover-up products that contain high amounts of pigment. The more pigment a product has, the less of it you need to apply. Less is always better when it comes to cosmetics. Do a swatch test to make sure it is a good match for your skin tone and color. Take a small amount of the product and massage it into your skin. The proper concealer for you will match your skin color so that it remains invisible, but at the same time hides blemishes.
Apply cover-up products in good, natural light. This will help you do a better job of effectively hiding the blemishes.