Sunday, January 24, 2010

Acne skin care essential: how to avoid acne scars

Your acne skin care routine has to include ways to avoid acne scars. Acne is a very painful condition for people to deal with on a daily basis. It lowers self-esteem and ruins your social life. A lot of people that are suffering from acne are very sensitive about the condition of their skin and think they are ugly. Acne scars are more painful than the actual acne itself. It will be with you for the rest of your life. Even when you seek acne scar treatments, your skin will not return to your pre-acne state. It is better to avoid acne scars at all costs because your skin will return to normal after the acne heals itself. Here are some of the best ways for acne skin care that will help you reduce scarring.

Avoid pimple popping is the best acne skin care tip because the chances of it causing scar is huge. Acne scars are caused by deep injuries to the skin that will not be able to heal itself completely. It leaves behind either a raised scar or a sunken scar. In most case, acne scars tend to be sunken scars because underlying tissues were badly damaged due to severe acne or popping a pimple.

Many people are attempted at popping the pimple when they see the white part. However, it can cause your skin more harm when you do that. Our skin has its own ways at healing itself and any external injury or pressure applied can leave a scar. Many may say that popping a pimple helps you heal faster. It could be true in some cases especially when we were younger, 15-20. However, as you get older, you skin tends to heal slower than before. If the pimple pops by itself, chances are the site of injury will be very small thus easier to heal. As we get older, our skin doesn’t heal itself as fast or as well as before. It also depends on your specific case as well; but in general the best acne skin care is to avoid pimple popping.

Acne skin care should be focused on the actual acne and help it heal rather than popping. When a pimple is inflamed, it will be more likely to leave a scar as it heals. The bacteria in the pimple should be killed so that the pimples slowly heal instead of popping. Benzoyl peroxide acne cream is pretty effective at all kinds of inflamed acne. It works by killing the bacteria. For most people, acne will not pop. This is so important in preventing scars because the acne would not cause injury to the skin. Here is a table of all the advantages and disadvantage with using a benzoyl peroxide product. One that I highly recommend is the Neutrogena’s on-the-spot acne treatment cream.

Those that do not want to use benzoyl peroxide product for their acne skin care routine can choose the Zeno brand bacteria killing hand held device. It works the same way as benzoyl peroxide but it uses heat to kill bacteria instead of a chemical. Like all other acne treatments, it works for some people not everyone. When it is effective, acne will not pop, it will go down by itself in short amount of time. This will leave you with no scars, no red spots, and just clear smooth skin.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Daily acne skin care routine for oily, combination skin

I have oily, sensitive skin ever since puberty. In my opinion, this is the hardest skin type to care for because it is highly sensitive and prone to acne at the same time. It all started with very mild teenage acne that is small and non-inflammatory. However, it developed into moderate to severe acne over the years. There are times in my life where I had many pimples covering the majority of my face. Over the years, I did a lot of research and tried several dozen skin care products. Here is my daily acne skin care routine that I use right now which works well for me.

Wash my face twice a day, once in the morning right after I wake up and once at night before going to bed. The cleanser listed below is used both times for washing my face. The blackhead eliminating scrub is great at getting rid of blackheads on the nose; this is used only occasionally. The eye contour cream is used around the eye area in the morning. Neutrogena’s on-the-spot acne treatment is used once in the morning and once at night on active pimples only. I also drink a cup of the home made medicine for oily skin / acne control and take 1 pill of the Kirkland brand daily mulit-vitamins & minerals.

Here are some more details about each product:

1. Neutrogena Cleansing Bar for Acne-Prone Skin
Active ingredient: none
More information: This is good for people with oily / combination and sensitive skin. It has no active ingredient because salicylic acid seems to irritate my skin. Many other acne cleansers contain salicylic acid for acne control causes lots of redness on my cheeks.

2. Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub
Active ingredient: 2% salicylic acid and small beads
More information: Don’t use this everyday if you are sensitive to salicylic acid treatments like me. It is very effective at getting rid of blackheads. I usually only use it on the nose occasionally.

3. Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Eye Contour Cream
Active ingredient: none
More information: Even for people with active acne or have acne prone skin, anti-aging products should be used too. The eye contour cream is anti-aging eye cream for younger people.

4. Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment
Active ingredient: 2.5% benzoyl peroxide
More information: This is one of my most favorite products of all time. It is so effective at healing acne and preventing acne scars. Benzoyl peroxide will kill bacteria which is part of inflammatory acne. Instead of the acne popping, it will gradually go down. This will decrease the trauma on the skin which usually leaves you with no visible scars. This product is highly recommended on my list because it is super effective. However, it will cause the skin to dry out so make sure you only use it on the active acne itself.

5. Natural home remedy for acne, will explain this in a future post in more details

6. Kirkland brand daily multi-vitamins & minerals
More information: contains lots of essential vitamins and minerals. I think it might help with some biochemical process in our body by getting rid of toxic things. It is also highly recommended because it seems to make me less prone to acne with everyday use. You can get it at your local Costco.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to prevent acne by avoiding dairy products

Many people argue that foods DO NOT cause acne. They are mostly right, except for one thing: milk and all diary products. Lots of people that are prone to acne that still do not know about the connection between diary products and breakouts. Talking from personal experience, I know that you can definitely prevent acne by avoiding dairy products.

So, what foods should you avoid in order to prevent acne? The answer is all diary products. Anything from the cow and derived from the cow will make your face breakout even worse. These include: milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, ice cream, pizza, many Mexican dishes and ANYTHING that contains milk and all milk derived products.

When will acne appear after consuming dairy products? Acne will appear 3 to 4 days later after consuming it. I used to buy a box of Yoplait brand yogurt from Costco and eat it everyday. It is so tasty and has three flavors in the box. After 3 to 4 days of continually consuming it, my face starts to get even oilier than usual. This would usually result in a few big painful pimples on my face. These are really severe acne that would take at least a week to heal. My mom is the first person that made the connection between the two and told me to stop eating yogurt. I didn’t believe her at the time but stopped anyway because what if she’s right and my face was in bad condition. After a month of so, my face would slowly heal and clear up. It happened a few times like that and I am now finally convinced that you can prevent acne by avoiding dairy products.

So why would milk and dairy products cause acne? I researched online and found that milk and diary products contain hormone that would make our oil glands produce more oil than needed. For a person with oily skin, this will make your problems worse. In most cases, more oil equals more acne. Not everyone gets acne when consuming diary products. For those that are acne prone, dairy products can easily cause breakouts for you.

Are milk / dairy products very hard to substitute? It is actually not. Soy milk is very good substitute for actual milk, it even tastes similar. However, dairy products are very important part of our diet in the western culture that lots of people consume it everyday without even thinking. In the beginning, it is definitely very difficult to completely avoid. For the sake of your appearance, I think you should always consciously remind yourself not to touch it.

Milk / dairy products are not necessary for adult humans. This might sound surprising to you, but adults from many other cultures do not drink milk and consume dairy products on a daily basis. In East Asia and Africa, many people are lactose intolerant when they grow up. Our bodies are very sufficient at its biochemical functions and that it would not waste energy to make enzymes that are no longer needed. In this case, lactase is the enzyme for breaking down lactose sugars that are naturally in milk. In East Asian countries, over 90% of the people are lactose intolerant to some extant. This is just to make a point that when you avoid dairy products to prevent acne, it won’t harm your health.

For teenagers and young adults in their 20’s that are prone to acne, you should avoid milk and dairy products to effectively prevent acne. This is the most dangerous time and your skin produces lots of oil on its own. Those that are older can consume some dairy products to test their skin’s reaction against it. Oily skin is not forever and will eventually produce less oil with age. At this point, some dairy products might be okay for you. It really depends on the person and there is no one suggestion that fits all. You really have to find out for yourself.