Understanding what causes acne and how to prevent massive breakouts can be very confusing when there are so many products and treatments that claim to help cure or prevent acne and to be quite honest are just a bunch of temporary fixes or do not work at all. Putting a “band aid” on the issue only creates frustration and a sense of desperation when these things do not work. Let me educate you on what acne is and its causes then once you have an understanding it will help you make better choices for yourself when considering what treatment is best for you.
Acne, or acne vulgaris is a skin condition where the combination of dead skin cells and excess sebum clog your pores and create pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and can create scarring on the surface of the skin. An overproduction of Sebum backs up in the hair follicle attracting bacteria and dead skin cells creating an inflammatory response and lesions otherwise known as acne.I myself struggled with acne growing up and then again in my 40’s. I had tried many different products as well as spent enormous amounts of money at my dermatologist only to have little to no success at keeping breakouts at bay. Most people suffer from acne at one time or another and breakouts are not just limited to the face. You may breakout on your chest, neck, back, or even on your bum. This is all normal. Annoying, but normal. The causes of acne vary. Hormones play a large role in acne breakouts as does diet, certain medications, and stress. Hormonal changes such as puberty, (hormonal changes in teen years), family history, (if your parents struggled with acne you may be predisposed to it as well) oily creams, lotions, or working in areas with a lot of grease like kitchens with fry vats can cause acne. Stress can raise your cortisol (stress hormone) level causing an inflammatory reaction which can make acne worse and pressure on the skin like cell phones or tight collars can also contribute to breakouts. There are many natural ways of treating acne or preventing acne breakouts.
- Drink plenty of water! Hydration is the number one necessity for healthy skin.
- Wash your face twice a day with a gentle oil free face wash and warm water.
- Always remove your makeup before going to sleep as falling asleep with make-up on is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. This can definitely clog pores.
- Use an oil free moisturizer to balance the moisture in your skin. Oil and hydration are two different things, so even if you have oily skin your skin can still be dehydrated which signals the sebaceous gland to produce even more oil causing more breakouts. An oil free moisturizer can help.
- Clean up your diet. Eating refined processed foods and unhealthy fats do contribute to an unhealthy body and skin. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables in place of un-healthy foods will clear up your skin and bring vibrance and that healthy glow back to your skin.
- Avoid irritants, greasy makeup products, or hairstyle products. Less is more. Avoid heavy makeup in attempt to cover acne. This can cause the skin to break out even worse.
- Avoid picking at the problem areas. This can cause the lesions to become infected and trigger more breakouts and acne scarring.
- Products that help dry out acne or promotes cellular turnover can be good if skin is hydrated from within. Water! Water! Water! Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water otherwise these products can cause excessive dryness and your skin will produce even more oil and this becomes a vicious cycle.
- NaturalVitamin C serums can assist in clearing problematic skin.
Start with these natural ways of caring for your skin then consult with your dermatologist if there is no improvement. I have to say from my own experience, drinking water and eating a diet more plant based cutting out dairy and meat helped me the most as well as taking care of my skin and being very careful about what I put on my skin. I drink a lot of water and use a natural Vit. C serum as well as a good oil free moisturizer. I rarely break out, but I am very diligent in the way I care for myself and my skin. You only get this skin you are in once! Be good to it and it will be good to you!