First, what is acne? Acne is a skin disorder caused by the hormones action on the oil glands of the skin that are called the sebaceous glands. The excretion of oils from these glands can lead to congested skin pores. This is when acne occurs. The face, neck, chest, back and shoulders are where the glands are most profuse, that is why most acne is found in this area. People who have this kind of disorder often tend to be depressed, and feel humiliated.
There are a lot of factors that can trigger acne. First - our genes. Genetics can't be changed but other factors like our daily routine and the way we take care of our skin can be improved to make acne control less of a problem. There's no need to feel so sad about your acne because there's a lot of things you can do. These acne control tips will help you say goodbye to those zits once and for all.
1. Include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. A healthy diet consists of at least four to five servings of fruits and vegetables. Acne control will be a lot easier if you start including this in your daily habit.
2. Rose water can be used as a facial cleanser. Dipped in a cotton, clean your face using this everyday for at least two to three times each day.
3. Don't wait for your pimples to form. If you see a bit starting on your face, do something. Acne control is best done early. Pat some ice on the affected area for this will help make it less swollen.
4. Acne control is easier when accompanied with multivitamins. Start taking vitamins that contain a zinc supplement. Zinc helps to make your skin stronger and acne resistant.
5. Cucumbers can help with acne control. Blend with some water to form a mask. Put the mixture on your face and leave for about half an hour before rinsing it off. This is a good and affordable acne control remedy that can also refresh your skin.
6. Use only mild soaps and avoid ones that contain petroleum based products and animal based ingredients for these can cause your skin to get dry and irritated.
7. Using alcohol free facial cleansers make acne control easier as alcohol tends to dry your skin even more.
8. Makeup also prompt the occurrence of acne. Choose your makeup wisely. Most of the makeup available contains petroleum based ingredients that makes skin dry. All natural makeup helps acne control become more effortless.
9. Lastly, drinking lots of water is very important. It flushes out the toxins in our body, making acne control more of a natural process.
Now you have a list of some tips that can help you control your acne. It's your choice if you want to use these methods. There are lots of ways to control acne, be it naturally or by using medication/chemicals. A myriad of skin products are always around for you to choose from. The thing is, these products are very costly. If you are an innovative type of person, it's better(and cheaper!) to try these natural methods first. Not only are they all natural and won't do harm to your body, with no side effects, but you can also really save a bunch of money this way.
There's no harm in trying! Saying goodbye to acne is just a step away! :)
In chapter 10, The F-M Circulizer System, Fischer discusses the use of an herbal footbath and how herbs in a footbath can improve your skin and help you eliminate acne.
This book was written in 1986 and Fischer claims herbal footbaths have been in use overseas since 1946!
Now, you can do either a footbath or a hand bath. Once you prepare a container with hot water you can put your feet or hands into it and get the same results.
When you use a heated footbath, veins in your feet start to expand. Over a period of 15-20 minute, the warm water affects your entire vascular (blood) system and you get improved blood circulation.
By adding an herbal infusion into the hot water in the footbath, minerals and other phytochemicals from the herbs enter the soles of your feet and into your blood stream.
This means that you can introduce herbal phytochemicals into your blood stream using the footbath. During your footbath, these herbal chemicals quickly circulated throughout your body and get to work neutralizing acid, killing bacteria, and improving your skin circulation.
Here is an herbal combination you can use. This herbal combination was taken and modified slightly from a book written by Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D., called The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine, 1986. Mowrey says,
"This (herbal) blend attacks external skin disorders from within, purifying the blood, carrying away waste, reinforcing the blood's ability to ward off infectious agents."
The herbal combination to use is,
* Dandelion root - purifies blood and improves liver function
* Yellow dock root - purifies blood, helps liver, is anti-bacterial
* Sarsparilla root - has antibiotic action, promotes waste elimination through urine and sweating
* Echinacea - increases immunity and promotes skin healing
* Licorice - protects the liver so that it can detoxify the blood better
* Kelp - provide minerals and vitamins and binds heavy metal that are bad for health
* Chaparral - is anti-microbial making effective against acne.
* Fresh Garlic - cut up a few cubes of garlic and place them into the hot water.. garlic has antibacterial properties
Buy one ounce of each herb and mix them together.
Here's how to do the herbal footbath..
* Place 2-3 tablespoons of herbal mix into 1 ½ cups of water.
* Boil the water with herbs - use only a glass, porcelain, or stainless steel container.
* After water starts to boil, pull the container off the stove.
* Let tea sit for 15-30 minutes. The longer the tea sits the stronger the tea and its effects.
* Prepare your foot spa with water.
* Strain the tea to remove leaves and roots.
* Pour tea and the cut garlic into the foot spa.
* Place your feet or hands in the hot water for 15 - 30 minutes.
The footbath is a convenient way to bypass your digestive system and get more nutrients into your body. Try it.. you'll like it!
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is commonly supplemented in large doses to reduce oil production and help rid your skin of acne. It works like Accutane, in the sense that it reduces oil production. Pantothenic acid, however, works by helping your body to metabolize the fats in your body that later turn into sebum. Accutane actually shrinks the oil glands to block the oil from coming through to your face. Since pantothenic acid addresses the underlying problem, it is, in fact, the more efficient solution.
Let's get into the details of how exactly pantothenic acid works. During your natural metabolism process, your body breaks down fats. When your body lacks enough coenzyme-A, not all of these fats can be broken down, and your body has to get rid of them some how, so they are ejected through your oil glands on your skin in the form of sebum (oil). By creating more coenzyme-A, these extra fats can be broken down with the rest, and oil production will be greatly reduced.
Coenzyme-A is made up of three things: Cysteine, ATP and Pantothenic Acid. Your body takes care of cysteine and ATP by producing it by itself, so vitamin B5 is the only thing that you have to take in through food. By supplementing with pantothenic acid, more coenzyme-A is producted, fats are broken down better, and less oil ends up on your skin. Without too much oil on your face, when a pore gets clogged, the p. acnes bacteria will have nothing to feed upon and can't thrive to cause acne in the first place.
Considering that pantothenic acid works for more than 90% of the people who take it, it' can be considered a very effective medication. Since it's all natural and water soluble, it's much safer than Accutane, which only works for 70%-80% of the people who take it. It's also more efficient than Accutane, because it eliminates the problem, instead of covering it up by shrinking the glands and trapping the fats inside the body.
Supplementing with Pantothenic Acid
In order to address a pantothenic acid deficiency, you have to take large amounts of it, up to around 12 grams or so. Not everyone has to take quite that much though, so the recommended dosage is as follows: Start out with around 4 grams per day. Always divide the doses into 4 times per day, spreading them out as much as possible. To prevent stomach irritation, the only known side effect of pantothenic acid, try to take it with food or at least a glass of water.
If the 4 grams doesn't work for you, slowly ramp it up until you start to see results, stopping at around 12 grams. When you find a dose that seems to be working for you, stay with it for about two months straight, continuing to divide the doses so that you are splitting the dose into 4 parts. After those two months or so, you should be able to slack back on it until you start seeing negative results to find out how much you will need to continue to take as a "maintenance dose".
The only thing to watch out for is that pantothenic acid can deplete your body of other B vitamins, so a B-50 complex should be taken with it. Some say you should also take Zinc with it, that part is optional.
Since pantothenic acid has to be taken in large doses to see results, that means you can forget trying to get enough by eating foods high in it, or through a multivitamin or B vitamin complex. You can even forget about taking pantothenic acid pills, since that means you would have to take 20+ pills every day. There's only really one reasonable way to take the amount of B5 you will need to treat acne, which is pantothenic acid powder.
Pantothenic acid pills can't be found in most stores, much less the powder form of it. Some health food stores might have it, and you might be able to talk to someone at the store and have them order it for you, though it's usually marked up quite a bit. The easiest and cheapest way to get pantothenic acid powder is to just order it online. A Google search will uncover many websites, such as Amazon.com, which sell pantothenic acid powder at a great price.
As always though, do your homework when it comes to taking ANY supplements and talk to your doctor before starting any regimen. Happy Skin Healing! :)
Normally, enzymes in your body break down omega-6 into DGLA, AA, EPA and DHA fatty acids.
Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA)
Arachidonic Acid (AA)
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
These four fatty acids eventually change into prostaglandins. What are prostaglandins? Prostaglandins are chemical hormones that come from omega-3 and omega-6 oils and that help regulate every function in your cells and organs. Prostaglandins also keep androgen hormones in control so that excess sebum is not produce in the hair follicle, which results in acne.
This is the reason why Essential Fatty Acids - Omega-3 and Omega-6 - are critical nutrients for perfect skin health.
However, eating plenty of foods with essential fatty acids may not be enough to ensure that you produce enough EPA and DHA, which produce the essential prostaglandins. It is critical for acne and more importantly - for your health that you get enough EPA and DHA in your cells and organs so they can produce the required prostaglandins. To increase the prostaglandins in your cell walls, it becomes necessary for you to take a fish supplement, which contains both EPA and DHA.
Of course eating salmon, halibut, and mackerel twice a week will be added bonus in providing your body with more EPA and DHA.
Here's an example of what to use daily:
Spectrum Essentials puts out an excellent product called Omega-3 Norwegian Fish Oil. Two capsules contain..
EPA - 360mg
DHA - 240mg
Omega-3 - 892mg
Stearic, Lauric, Palmitic Acids - 508mg
Using the Omega-3 Norwegian Fish Oil is critical in getting relief from acne, so take two capsules per meal.
When your body creates prostaglandins, it creates good prostaglandin and bad prostaglandin.
Here's how to encourage the production of good prostaglandins.
·Maintain a ratio of two times more omega-6 than omega-3 in your diet.
·Eating too much omega-6 can lead to producing excess bad prostaglandins.
·Take a multi-vitamin and minerals with your meals to provide the essential nutrients that break down the essential fatty acids into prostaglandins.
·Reduce the amount of meat, saturated fat, dairy, and eggs you eat to reduce the production of AA, which blocks the activities of the good prostaglandins.
·Eat cold water fish at least twice a week to provide extra EPA and DHA to your diet.
Last but not least, include at least 20% of your diet calories as good fats - omega oils and fish oil. This is essential for controlling the excess activity of your hormones and reducing the inflammation of your acne.
A critical step in reducing skin sensitivity is understanding the importance of the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin and is composed of dead, flat skin cells held together by the protein keratin. This skin barrier prevents molecules from passing into and out of the skin and thereby protects the lower layers of skin while reducing skin sensitivity.
Healthy, uninjured skin is more effective at preventing skin irritations that may result from using cosmetics and skin care products. Individuals with altered nerve endings or more neurotransmitters under their skin are more susceptible to minor skin irritants in cosmetics and skin care products. When the skin is excessively dry or damaged, it cannot adequately protect these nerve endings. Sound moisturizing and a strong immune system help minimize possible skin irritants.
Some of Dr. Berson's recommendations for caring for sensitive skin include:
Selecting Mild Cleansers
Use mild cleansing agents that have natural detergents or lipid-free cleansers. Resist using abrasive cleansers since they can cause microscopic tears in the skin and damage the protective layers of the skin.
Rosacea patients should not use alcohol-based products such as toners or astringents.
Acne patients will benefit from toners that contain salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid. However, when starting a retinoid treatment, temporarily discontinue using a toner or astringent since the combination may make the retinoid more irritating. Acne patients must also limit or abstain from excessively rough cleansing and washing. Julie Harper, M.D., who directs a clinic to treat acne at the University of Alabama at Birmingham laments, "Teenagers think they have acne because they do not wash enough, but usually they are washing too often with harsh scrubs that make their symptoms worse."
Tracy L. Grosick, a key skin care product researcher with Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati says that when the skin's moisture barrier is intact, it helps the skin to combat environmental attacks that are encountered on a daily basis. When acne and rosacea patients use reatments that dry the skin, moisturizers may improve the skin's barrier function. Dr. Benson recommends using moisturizers with the least amount of ingredients.
Rosacea patients should choose a moisturizer with only glycerin, petrolatum, or aloe vera, which might be anti-inflammatory.
Acne patients should also stick with products containing the least amount of ingredients.
Using Non-Comedogenic Sunscreens
Rosacea patients need to use a physical-blocking products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because these ingredients will not irritate red, inflamed skin and will provide optimal protection.
Acne patients with oily skin should use non-comedogenic, non-pore clogging products. Select an alcohol-based or gel-based sunscreen.
When an acne product has 20 ingredients listed on it, it can be hard to know if one of those ingredients is actually stopping you from having success. It can be even harder when you can't pronounce the ingredient, much less know what it is and how it is going to affect your skin.
Most mainstream acne treatments are not only much more expensive than common household items, but they also don't always work as well either. With that in mind, I will list some basic household items that can work wonders on clearing up your skin.
Baking soda - A very cheap cooking ingredient that most people have in their homes already, baking soda can be used as a great scrub. The purpose of a scrub is to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin that can eventually clog pores and lead to acne spots.
To start off, you'll want to mix a small amount of baking soda with some water for form a paste. Baking soda is very effective as a scrub, so you want to be sure to be extra careful when applying it to your face. Gently massage the paste into your skin for ten to fifteen seconds. Then rinse the baking soda off, and pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Though most people that use vinegar to treat acne use the apple cider form of vinegar, you can also use plain old regular vinegar. Regardless of which type you use, vinegar can be very helpful with it comes to clearing up acne. It can kill off acne causing bacteria, balance your skin's pH, and absorb extra oil on your skin.
Starting with clean, dry skin, apply diluted vinegar (eight parts water to one part vinegar) directly to your skin with a cotton ball, and leave it on. If you want, you can also use a stronger vinegar solution (say, 2 or 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar), and apply it directly to problem areas, rinsing it off after ten minutes.
Lemon or lime juice can also be substituted for vinegar. Both of these juices are rich in citric acid, and can exfoliate your skin very well, halting the growth of acne spots, as well as fading previous, non-active acne quicker.
Egg Whites - Rich in protein, egg whites can be used as a mask to heal and rebuild your skin. It can also help to absorb excess oil from your skin.
To start off, crack an egg, removing the yolk so that just the egg whites are left behind. Beat these egg whites, and apply them directly to your face. Let it sit for fifteen minutes, and then rinse the egg off.
Oatmeal - As odd as it may seem, oatmeal can absorb unwanted oil and draw out impurities which reside deep in your skin. Cook some plain oatmeal like you would for consumption. Let it cool off, and rub it over your clean skin. Let it sit for a while, like you would a mask, and then rinse off. If you do this on a regular basis, you should begin to start noticing results soon.
Tea Tree Oil - TTO is a commonly used all-natural household antiseptic, which you can pick up at most drugstores or supermarkets. You can apply TTO directly to acne spots to kill bacteria, or, if you strongly dilute it with another oil (such as jojoba oil), over your entire face.
Tea tree gel can be easier to apply than the oil, and many are made for applying over large areas of skin, so they aren't quite as strong as straight TTO and do not need to be diluted.
Pantothenic Acid (Also known as Vit. B5) - Pantothenic acid can be taken in large quantities for the benefit of acne reduction. B5 works by helping your body to metabolize fats which would otherwise be later turned into sebum (oil) and excreted through the skin. Small amounts of B5 won't help though, and it has to be taken several times a day.
To help with acne, you will need to take 2.5 grams of pantothenic acid (the powder form is much easier to take), 4 times per day, for a total of 10 grams per day.
Aloe Vera - Aloe Vera has been used for many years in kitchens for topical application to burns. Another benefit of aloe is that it can prevent scaring, fade marks and help heal acne spots.
You now have an idea of some basic household items you can use on your skin, that work better than many OTC acne products, and are much cheaper to use. Since we have only really covered basic acne treatments, you can always take this to another level and take all natural, internal acne treatments.
This sums up our basic list of natural alternatives for chemical based acne treatment products. You can take this a step farther by attacking your acne from the inside out. Acne has been shown numerous times to be very closely affected by the digestive system, so keeping your entire digestive system working as smooth as possible can help reduce acne. I will help give you a basic idea of some all natural products you can take to help clear up acne.
Cucumber, lemon and carrot juice, brewer's yeast, and active charcoal pills are all capable of helping the digestive system function normally. Since the digestive system is closely related with the health of the skin, they should help reduce acne breakouts. Flax seed can also be wonderful for helping your skin heal faster.
Brushing your skin while dry and just before taking a shower is a way to stimulate the flow of liquid through lymphatic system and increase the circulating of blood. It also has other benefits:
- Removes and brushes away dry dead cells that can clog your skin
- Opens pores to allow you to excrete more toxins safely
- Activates the nerves near the top of your skin, making your skin work better
- It stimulates the tiny blood vessels near your skin and brings more nutrients and acid neutralizing minerals to your skin
- Improves your overall health since the skin eliminates up to 2 pounds of waste through your pores.
If you practice dry brushing your skin, you will see improved beauty and health in your skin.
There are two different types of brushes that are designed for dry skin brushing.
- A natural bristle brush
- Loofah with a long handle
When you start brushing for the first time, do it softly and gentle until your skin gets use to the rough feeling. If you have not been brushing and scrubbing your skin, then you may have some side effects caused by stirring up toxins. Because skin brushing promotes release of toxins through the skin, you want to make sure you are not constipated, otherwise you will start to release too many toxins through the skin.
A word of caution: Brush only once a day and do not brush too hard. Excessive brushing over stimulates the skin and can produce unwanted side effects.
Here is how to dry brush your skin before you take a shower,
- Start with gentle light touch circular motions at your face. If you have severe acne do this gently massage with a clean hot face towel and do not brush your face.
- Always brush only in the direction of your heart. From the feet upward, brush up toward the heart. At the neck, brush downward toward the heart.
After you finish brushing, about 5 minutes, take a shower to remove the dead and old skin.
Brushing your body decreases the amount of toxins that reach your face and can help you get rid of or prevent acne.
The skin stores around 12% water. It is important to maintain this amount with the correct amount of good fat to keep your skin from getting acne. You need to drink around 2 litres of distilled water every day. If you are not drinking this amount, just start increasing the amount that you do drink.
Drinking water helps you get rid of toxins in the blood. By drinking water, you will urinate more and more toxins will be eliminated. The cleaner your blood the healthier your skin will be and you will not have a problem with acne.
Use glass containers when buying distilled or reverse osmosis water. Try to avoid using plastic containers for water since plastic containers contain chemicals, left in the container walls during manufacturing, which leaches out into the water.
If you are drinking fresh juices, you will also be getting water from these juices. Drinking sodas is not drinking water.
Here are few things you can do to help you drink more water or to make the water healthier. Find a 16 or 32 oz glass container and add distilled water. Then add one of the following nutrients:
* A few drops of Alkalife. This solution changes the pH of the water from 7 to 8 and also activates the water with its electrolytes - sodium and potassium.
* Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water. Do not add sugar. A few drops of honey may be ok.
* Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water and add up to one teaspoon of powdered MSM. MSM is excellent for the skin disorders such as acne. It makes the skin cells more flexible, allowing more nutrients to go into and out of the cells, and its anti-inflammatory. MSM is also excellent in activating peristaltic action and will prevent constipation.
* Put 2 oz of mangosteen into the water. Mangosteen is an over all body tonic. It works on all parts of the body and will help keep you regular.
You can also choose to add your favorite nutritional flavor to give water an additional value.
Chose one of these natural additives for your water and drink this water little by little all day long. This is one more thing you can do to get rid of acne, improve your skin texture or to keep the nice skin you already have.
Get Some Sunshine
One more thing you can do for your skin is to get more natural light.
Expose your face to plenty of sun and air. This helps your skin to heal faster. You don't need to purposely place your face in the sun, but remaining in the shade and open outdoors will give you plenty of sun and air.
At least 20 - 40 minutes a day in the outdoors is necessary for you to get a sufficient amount vitamin D to meet your daily needs.
Eighty-five percent of teenagers have had at least a mild form of acne. During puberty increased hormone levels cause an increase in oil production. This increased oil can then combine with dead skin cells and cause acne. Acne does not discriminate though as some adults, especially women, have intermittent acne all their lives.
What are acne symptoms going to look like to most people? You will most likely notice an outbreak of whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. These can occur on your face, back, shoulders, or chest. Whiteheads and blackheads are clogged pores, while pimples have a bacteria build-up under the clogged pores. Large and deep pimples are called cystic lesions and can be quite painful and create scarring.
What are acne treatments going to consist of? Acne treatments depend upon the severity of the acne. The goal is to reduce or eliminate acne outbreaks and reduce any scarring that may occur with an acne outbreak. The first method of treatment to begin with is cleansing with a mild soap and warm water and using benzoyl peroxide. This often controls and prevents mild acne.
If this does not reduce or eliminate the acne outbreaks, you will need to consult a physician to try more aggressive treatments. The physician may prescribe antibiotics combined with topical benzoyl peroxide. This increases the effectiveness of your treatment. If there is still no improvement and the acne is severe, the physician may recommend Accutane as a last resort. Accutane has rare but serious side effects and is very expensive. A new treatment available is Light Wave Therapy. This treatment was recently approved by the FDA and is helpful in reducing and eliminating mild to moderate acne that has not been responsive to other treatments.
What are some acne reducing things that you can do to help reduced your symptoms or outbreaks? Things you can do to help reduce your acne symptoms are cleansing your face twice daily using a mild soap and warm water. Use your clean, bare hands to wash your face rather than a washcloth. Vigorous rubbing of your skin will only make your acne worse. Follow your Doctor's directions fully. This will help to ensure that your acne is reduced or eliminated.
Acne is a condition that can cause moderate to severe embarrassment and self-esteem problems, as well as depression. If your acne is not responding to treatment then seek out a treatment that works for you or your skin.