More than 60 million Americans suffer from some form of acne breakouts. Acne affects more than 80% of all teenagers at some point in their lives, and clogged pores comprise more than 25% of all visits to the dermatologist. Acne has now hit epidemic proportions in adults, especially women. What used to be just a teenage problem is now a real challenge in people’s lives.
Common Acne Myths
→It is not due to dirty skin.
→It is not due to eating chocolate.
→It is not due to sexual frustrations.
→It is not just a teenage problem.
What Is Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the pores. It can be caused by certain drugs, lifestyle, diet, medications or exposure to certain chemicals, but most acne is an inherited tendency. Dead skin cells are shedding much too quickly in the acne-prone pore and an excess of sebum (facial oil) is being created due to hormonal responses. It forms a ‘plug’ along with sebum and hair and this is where the problem begins. If the body doesn’t see the ‘plug’ as an ‘invader’, then it remains as a non-inflamed lesion; a.k.a. ‘blackhead’. If it does, then the formation of pimples, pustules and cysts begin to happen.
First and foremost- acne CANNOT be cured; only controlled. Don’t be fooled by all of the hype and empty promises you see about a skin care product or pill being able to “cure” acne- they can’t. Your best course of action is to stop wasting your time, money and sanity on bogus products and get yourself to a QUALIFIED skin care professional. As a certified acne specialist myself, I HIGHLY recommend seeking help from acne clinics such as Face Reality in California. They specialize in the successful treatment of acne- it’s all they do. You can even check with them to see if there’s a Face Reality Certified Professional in your area. Many of our PRIIA™ retailers are also trained acne specialists.
The Top 10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Help With Your Acne
1. Grab some ice! When you discover a pimple forming, instead of picking at it, grab an ice cube and rub it gently over the spot for about a minute. Don’t leave it one spot otherwise you may burn your skin- keep it moving. An even better solution is to use a SoothieQ®! Icing brings down the inflammation and in some cases, the pimple goes away. Picking only leads to the possible rupture of the follicle. This sends an inflammatory response signal to your immune system. More redness ensues and you most likely will be left with a scar because healthy tissue has been damaged.
2. Watch your salt intake. Iodized table salt and foods high in iodides cause irritation in the follicule walls in acne-prone individuals. Cutting down on salt is good idea for overall health but if you just can’t be without it, opt for the un-iodized variety. Foods that high in iodides (actually higher than table salt) are kelp and all seaweed based products (algae, carrageenan) and also plankton. Many vitamin supplements contain kelp. Many cosmetic brands are now including algae and plankton extracts.
3. Back off from dairy; especially cheese. There are many different schools of thought when it comes to the acne-dairy connection. Cows lick salt that has been iodized. Carrageenan is a common additive found in dairy products. Many different chemicals are used in processing milk, not to mention hormones fed to cows. Organic milk isn’t any better either- cows still lick salt AND their milk still contains hormones (just not added hormones). Consider switching to almond milk instead (unless of course you are allergic to tree nuts).
4. Change out your pillowcase every night. If you’re not using a fresh pillowcase every night- start doing so. There is evidence to suggest that sleeping on a fresh, clean pillowcase every night cuts down on the occurrences of blemishes.
5. Say NO to fabric softener and dryer sheets. These products leave a waxy residue on fabric to cut down on static cling. This residue is highly comedogenic and gets transferred onto your skin. Opt for dryer balls instead. They’re reusable and they help with static cling. Switch your laundry detergents to the fragrance-free variety.
6. Put away the peanut butter and other “high androgen” foods. These include: Peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, corn oil, wheat germ, shellfish and organ meats (liver, sweetbreads, heart). They contain a substance that mimics androgen hormones. Foods high in androgens are inflammatory, cause more facial oil and exacerbate acne.
7. Get more R&R. Rest and relaxation is important in helping with your acne. Not enough sleep and high stress levels stimulate the adrenal glands. This promotes more sebum production which leads to more breakouts. The stress doesn’t have to be ‘bad’ stress either. It can be joyful stress such as getting married or landing that new job you’ve been after for a while. Stress is stress- your body doesn’t know the difference.
8. Avoid low-estrogen birth control methods. They cause hormonal changes which leads to breakouts in the acne-prone individual.
9. Limit your sun exposure. At first, it may seem like your acne is drying up and going away from being in the sun. Don’t be fooled. Sun exposure without proper protection damages the follicles, exacerbates hyperpigmentation and increases your risk for skin cancer as well as for getting ‘Solar Acne’ and ‘Acne Majorca’. Be sure to use a non-comedogenic sunscreen every day. Heat and humidity also make acne worse.
10. Double-check your skin care and makeup products! Cosmetics are notorious for causing breakouts in the acne-prone individual. Many are filled with comedogenic oils, waxes, dyes and synthetic ingredients that aggravate acne. Even natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil are big no-no for acne. Some prescription skin care products such as Retin A (cream form) contain a potent pore clogger- isopropyl myristate. Check your products with our PORE CLOGGERS list. If you find these ingredients in your cosmetics, consider an alternative. Our PRIIA™ Minerale-Derm products are 100% acne safe. They are truly non-comedogenic AND non-acnegenic. Give them a try today!