Acne Magazine

All About Acne and How to Treat This Skin Condition

Happy Labor Day!

It’s Labor Day. Yeah, so it’s the last day off before most of us have to go back to work, at least we all got a nice long weekend to relax and enjoy the better life of stopping to smell the roses a little. It really got me thinking about what retirement will be like and when I don’t have all the stressors that a worker bee’s life has.

Not that I’m complaining. I’m glad to have my job, trust me, and very blessed to have everything that I do. But when I get zits all over my face from a super stressful day, it sometimes makes me wonder if it’s worth all the stress. Maybe I should become one of those beach bums! Nah, just kidding.

I think we all like to fantasize about what our lives would be like if we didn’t have any stress. However the reality is that there is no life like that.I know people who haven’t worked a real job, or any job at all, in years and are still some of the most depressed, unhappy or apprehensive people I know.

I think there really is something to the theory that some stress in life is actually productive and keeps us healthy and on our toes. As for the days when it’s absolutely out of control and I can literaly feel the acne sprouting up under the surface of my skin, those are the days when I question how much stress is too much! 

Anyway, Happy Labor Day and good luck getting back into the swing of things at work tomorrow. And thanks for making America the great country it is by being a great worker!

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September 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm Comments (0)

Child Acne is on the Rise

I remember when I was a kid, my mother and father were already marveling at how much more quickly girls and boys were going through puberty.  There were many of my little girlfriends developing breasts very young and a lot of the boys getting deeper voices at a much younger age.

I myself was actually a bit of a late bloomer which is contrary to tuition because I actually had acne pretty bad when I did actually emerge into womanhood at the age of about 15.  At that point, there was some speculation that things like hormones in the meats we eat and other environmental factors were pushing kids into an early puberty. 

Now the speculation is allover the board, and kids with acne are becoming something much more frequently seen as puberty tends to blossom earlier and earlier. Along with puberty of course comes hormones that are multiplying and out of control.

These hormones of course include the testosterones (androgens) that are the main causal foundation of acne.  They shove the skin into overdrive for making the oils that protect the skin, called sebum, which makes for a messy situation for the skin. 

The skin takes on a lot more dirt bacteria because it becomes more sticky with these natural oils. The pores get clogged and inflamed, which leads to whiteheads and blackheads, and the skin generally becomes more irritated, red and inflamed from all the clogged pores and the eruptions of bacterial infections (aka acne).

According to new statistics, dermatologists are seeing record numbers of young kids, kids the ages at which they should not be going through puberty yet, such as 7 and 8 years old, come into their offices with acne flourishing on their faces.  Most doctors believe this is because puberty is setting in earlier and earlier in both boys and girls.

The number of reasons is endless, especially when there are so many factors that could be causing this transition to earlier puberty.  Here are some of the reasons I’ve thought of.  I think that the meats and dairy products we all eat do contain a TON of hormones in them.

This is so that the animals we eat can grow bigger and produce more meat and more milk and other by-products. It’s become a shortcut of the farming industry that is really hurting us. You can avoid this by only buying organic and grass fed meats and dairy products.  This includes cheeses, eggs, milk and any other dairy product. 

There are even hormone-mimicking chemicals in the plastics we drink from, the things our skin comes into contact with every day like receipts and other things coated in BPA chemicals. 

We are bombarded with hormone changing chemicals in our daily personal care products too, so going as NATURAL as possible with your kids will help ensure that they won’t be an early victim of acne. 

 

 

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August 23, 2013 at 9:49 am Comments (0)

Super Humid Environments Leading to Perpetual Greasy Face?

Clear Skin, the Natural Way

 

I’ve always had super-oily skin. Ever since I started producing oil in my early teens, I started to go into hyperdrive with oil production, which combined with my hormones, led to me getting acne pretty badly at a young age. 

However, as the years have passed I’ve also come to appreciate my skin’s oily nature since I think it has helped soothe the ravages of time a bit and keep my skin a bit more supple as my skin ages.

That doesn’t mean that oily skin doesn’t come with its drawbacks as you age. It certainly does.  I still have the occasional breakout, although it’s much less frequent thanks to me using the right products and treatments and just knowing my skin well.

I also need to pretty much be a perpetual blotter. Especially in these recently super-humid conditions we’ve been having in the Midwest. I live in Northeast Ohio, and often times even though our summers are short they can often come with periods of concentrated humidity as well as concentrated heat.

You know humidity can be a recipe for a bad hair day, but what about what it does to your skin?  First of all, it’s very hard to keep your makeup looking fresh all day when there is extreme humidity.  I can’t tell you how many times I come home from a long day to find that most of my eyeshadow and eyeliner has pretty much disappeared thanks to the humidity and my naturally oily nature combined.

Humidity accumulates on your face, because the moisture is literally in the air, and your hair and skin are like a sponge for humidity.  My skin literally needs to be blotted with blotting sheets (or single ply toilet paper or paper towels) as soon as I set foot out in this type of humidity.

I’ve always had the problem with the shiny forehead and nose because my skin is so oily to begin with.  I will occasionally carry blotting sheets with me, but normally a simple paper product will do the trick.  In the winter it’s a little better since the air is so dry, but in the summer time it’s nearly constant.

Now of course, there is an upside to humidity. It can help people with very dry skin to stay moist-looking and prevent those end of the day lines that form on your face because your skin is moist and supple simply from the air (you still need a moisturizer, even if you’re oily-skinned though). 

I know some people who like the way their skin looks much better when the dew point (humidity) is higher.  They’re usually people who have naturally dry skin.  For me it’s really more of a chore, but it’s a chore I’m used to and it literally only takes seconds to swipe a blotter over my oily areas.

The most oily are my t-zone which includes my nose, the sides of my nose and even upper cheeks sometimes, my forehead and my chin.  Not incidentally, this is where most of my breakouts occur as well – when they do occur.

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August 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm Comments (0)

Hyaluronic Acid Serum May be Excellent if You Have Acne Prone Skin

Those with acne, especially when they are younger in their teens or early twenties, often struggle with whether they should use a moisturizer on their skin for a few reasons. The first is that it seems intuitive that you should just dry the you know what our of your face if you have acne because it’s caused by excessive oil.

But that is 100% wrong. In fact, the more I used to dry my skin out with harsh facial cleansers and other topical products that dried my skin out, the worse my acne got and incidentally the worse my non-acne affected skin looked as well.

The only thing you really have to be careful for is in choosing your moisturizer if you have acne. This is because mineral oils, which are often used in moisturizers, can clog pores.  It is this one ingredient you may want to watch our for, as well as other petroleum- containing ingredients since these mask the skin rather that absorbing into it.

One thing that acne sufferers may want to look into is a hyluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid serum has a plumping effect on the skin, and for that reason, it may not only be able to make the skin more soft and supple looking, but it may also help with old indentations caused by acne pock marks and ice pick types of scars.

Hyaluronic acid is meant to go under your moisturizer, so you still likely would also need an actual “cream” style moisturizer, but the serum is an excellent primer not only for aging or wrinkled skin, but also for skin that is affected  by acne and acne scarring. 

Hyaluronic acid is also not, in and of itself, a pore clogging ingredient, so it is safe for those with acne prone skin to use.  It can be an expensive serum, but not if you’re looking in the right place.  I wouldn’t recommend buying it from a dermatologist’s or spa’s offices as it is likely overpriced and you can find it much more reasonably online.

 

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August 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm Comments (0)

Actresses Breaking Out From Diet Pills?

I know it may seem like a leap for me to make this hypothesis about so many younger starlets who seem to have the fine, plentiful pimples that tend to happen when you take a stimulant or diet pill. Sure, it can be caused by stress or even hormones, but I’ve found that this type of acne is almost always what happens to me when I take the central nervous stimulants that are often found in so many of the diet supplements marketed today.

The reason that these types of stimulant supplements cause so many people to break out in these smaller pimples (and sometimes even in the larger postules that are tough to get rid of) is because central nervous stimulants often cause your estrogen and androgen hormones to become out of balance.

Excess or out of balance androgens or male hormones are a primary, or base, cause of acne.  Androgen or male hormones actually cause your body to over-produce sebum.  Sebum is the body’s natural oil that is secreted from the pores of the skin in order to keep the skin smooth and hydrated all day long.

When it goes into hyperdrive due to outside influences like these types of diet supplements, it causes your body to instantly break out.

I’m writing about this because I’ve noticed a LOT of actresses breaking out in this pattern. With the advent and popularity of HD (high definition) television, we can really see the details of people’s skin better. This is definitely a bad thing for actors and actresses on tv because it puts even more ridiculous amount of pressure on them to be great-looking, all the time.

As if there wasn’t enough pressure in show business to begin with!  I’ve also seen a lot of faces being softened a bit with a softer lense. There was one show in particular that used to soften the face only of its female lead. Perhaps this was at her request, hey I can’t blame her for wanting to look like that!

Here’s the thing. Lots of actresses notoriously feel a lot of pressure to maintain a ridiculously low weight. This requires them not to eat as much as us normal people do. That takes either a lot of willpower, or a lot of help from appetite suppressants and diet aids because it’s very hard to eat so little calories without some sort of stimulant in your system.

I’ve seen lots of girls with eating disorders try to fill themselves up with things like coffee and other caffeinated beverages. They are trying to derive their energy from energizing drinks rather than caloric foods, and this really wrecks havoc on the skin.

 

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August 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm Comments (0)

Best Way to Apply Self Tanner to Your Face

Self Tanner FaceApplying self tanner to your face can be intimidating.  It’s one thing to apply self tanning products to your body, in areas that are less visible and “out there”  than your face, which is the first thing people see, and which you really cannot hide.  It’s entirely another to apply it to your face, front and center.

We’ve all seen a bad self tanner application on the face. You can see blotches of orange, and it looks pretty bad if it did not apply smoothly and evenly.

However, I’ve used self tanner on my face for a long time now (I don’t use it a lot on my body any more, I’ve become lazy with it unfortunately), so I have some tips I can share with you on what products I think work the best on the facial skin and how to apply it best for the most even, sun kissed look.

Self tanner on the face can really help make your complexion look terrific. It takes away years of aging in one fell swoop, and makes you look youthful and refreshed if you can get it applied correctly.  It’s one of my favorite  go-to methods for making myself look and feel prettier and making my facial skin look rejuvenated and summery.

I don’t do it a whole lot in the winter since my neck skin is very pale and it would look really “off” if I had a tan face and white neck, but in the summer I do it since if I do get sun, my face doesn’t really get much since I wear sunscreen and if I lay out in the sun, I actually cover my face physically so it blocks the sun.

You’ll see a picture of the product I’m currently using as a facial self tanner in the upper left.  I’m using the Neutrogena brand of spray tanner. You’ll also see a much-used makeup application pad as well. I use these in conjunction to get the right look.

First off, start with a freshly washed face. Moisturize the heck out of your face, so that there are no dry spots at all.  Make sure your moisturizer has completely sunk in all the way before you apply the self tanner.  You can even apply a few layers of moisturizer to make the effect look even better, softer and “dewier”.

Once it is all sunk in, take your sponge and spray it with the liquid self tanner. You don’ t need much for your face, and you don’t want to over do it and come out with a too-tan face, so start off with small amounts and work your way up as needed if it didn’t quite cut it.

Take the sprayed makeup sponge, and begin to blend the self tanner into the face, making sure you get under the eyes, the lid area, and right up into the hair line very thoroughly. These are the spots people tend to miss, so make sure you get it everywhere on the face evenly.  I exhaustively blend until the sponge is almost dry just to make sure I don’t have any streaks.

Let it dry and make sure you don’t get any water or liquid on it for a few hours. I even watch how I drink water, because you can end up with a mouth ring of white if you let the water breach the sides of your lips.

Voila, there you have the perfect facial self-tan!

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July 22, 2013 at 5:23 am Comments (0)

My Favorite Makeup Sponge, Hands Down

After Wal-mart discontinued a very economical and perfectly shaped and textured cosmetic application pad that I adored, I was on a mission to find another foundation sponge that mimicked what that old one did for me as close as possible.

You see, I had experimented with the “makeup artist” preferred method of applying my liquid foundation which is using a large brush to apply it. I just couldn’t get the technique right and didn’t end up with the same great coverage I seemed to have mastered using a foundation sponge (mind you, it had to be exactly the right kind of sponge for me to get fantastic results).

I found that the sponge just made me feel more in control of the outcome, and for me it was much more intuitive to use something that had my fingers right behind it instead of having my hands all the way down at the end of some stick. I’m definitely more of a hands on kind of girl. Brushes don’t always work well for me, and I’ve never been a fan of applying my eyebrows or my eyeliner with a brush either.

When I started using the great, full coverage foundation by Revlon ColorStay, I found these wonderful sponges at Wal-mart to apply the foundation. They were very flexible, and seemed to have a touch of latex or some other rubbery substance mixed in with them because they weren’t overly porous or light like so many other makeup sponges out there.

This meant that they also lasted forever. I would always add a dab of water to them with my foundation so that I’d get a more natural, translucent and dewy effect and they were just the perfect texture. As with so many other cosmetics that you think you’ll have access to forever because you love them that much, the sponges were discontinued. Or at least I couldn’t find them in any Wal-marts around me.

So it was pure serendipitous luck that I happened to find a great replacement just weeks later at a K-mart of all places. I hardly ever even shop at K-mart, but my husband was shopping for something specific there one day, and I wandered over into the cosmetics aisle. I found a brand called Image Essentials.

They had the oval shape just like my other beloved foundation sponge, and they seemed to, through the plastic enclosure, have the same consistency, weight and texture as my old beloved foundation sponge. They also happened to be sold only as a single sponge just like my old ones, so I was convinced these were just about the same.

I bought one for about $2.00. They were well worth it. I went back and bought more just in case I suddenly found these new finds discontinued too! Again, here is the name of what I feel is the hands-down, best and most affordable foundation application sponge that I’ve found : Image Essentials oval cosmetic application sponge.

It comes in a pink plastic package and is sold in the “accessories” section of the cosmetics area in K-Mart, which is the only retailer I’ve found so far that carries them. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

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July 9, 2013 at 7:19 am Comments (0)

Nerium AD Oleander Anti Aging Cream : The Real Deal?

I was watching 19 Action News, which is a local Cleveland and Akron (Ohio) area news station for some coverage on the kidnappings and subsequent escape of the now famous threesome of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and there was a segment that of course caught my attention.

I stayed tuned because they were going to talk about a supposedly breakthrough anti aging cream that was taking the anti-wrinkle world by storm due to its rave reviews and supposed capabilities to reverse deep lines and wrinkles. The cream is called Nerium AD and what is supposed to make it different is its use of a proprietary blend using the extract or some other form of the essence of the oleander flower.

Oleander is actually also known for being somewhat toxic if taken in large quantities, so it is surprising that it’s used in a cream.  However, its toxicity is really more of a concern when it is orally ingested (eaten) or when it is burned the fumes from the flower plant which comes from a shrub can be toxic when inhaled.

The bush from which the flower comes is also botanically named nerium, which explains the name of the newer anti-aging cream which is based on the well known flower.

I did a lot of researching on this new cream and found that it seems to be offered mostly by distributors who sign up to be representatives of the product. It is very high priced, at $110 for a one ounce bottle, which likely would not go very far unless only a tiny amount was needed when applied.  There also seems to be an autoship program available where you can get a bottle for somewhere around $80, which is a little better.

There are a lot of very convincing before and after photos on the website for Nerium Ad, which definitely piqued my interest if I’m going to be honest especially because some of the before and after crow’s feet pictures were so amazing (I hate my crows feet, although I have found a way to soften them by using hyper-moisturizing products that keep me moist all DAY).

I wanted to go somewhere else where there were more unbiased reviews, so I did come across a few neutral websites where there were mixed reviews of the product.

Just like with any other product, there were some people who swore this was the next big miracle product for getting rid of everything from wrinkles to age spots and discolorations to people who said it did nothing for their skin. Some even said it seemed to dehydrate their skin.

Since this product may actually work by irritating the skin and therefore making the wrinkles swell out (which would be a temporary effect), that was not surprising, but a lot of other products on the market today work like that as well.

Even retinoids like Retin-A irritate the skin because they make the dead skin cells slough off. I actually found that retinoids made my skin look way worse. So it depends on the person. I’m personally not a fan of products that work by drying or irritating my skin so I prefer to use extremely moisturizing products that help keep the skin moist and plump all day by infusing moisture.

In the end, I decided not to give Nerium a try.  I thought it just might not jive with my sensitive skin by reading extensive reviews. I think it may work if you have the right skin type, but at $100 a bottle I just wasn’t willing to take that risk right now being on a tight budget.

If anyone reading this has actually tried the product, please feel free to add a comment to this post detailing your experience and submitting your review, whether it is good or bad. Who knows, I might be swayed to try it out :)

 

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July 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm Comments (0)

Another Reason to Wash Hands Frequently : Avoid Acne

You’ve heard it time and time again. The importance of washing your hands.  I wash mine several times a day if for nothing else because my bladder needs emptying many times a day, especially when I’m at work and constantly sipping water, coffee or some other beverage as I type away at my desk.

Every time I go to the restroom, I wash them as a habit and since I’m in the restroom so frequently the hand washing has never been an issue for me.  This is good, because I do tend to lean my hand on my face a lot, which puts me into contact with lots of potential germs and bacteria that could lend themselves to acne breakouts on my face.

You were probably told time and time again as a child to make sure you wash your hands, but really it was more to make sure you got bacteria off your hands from potentially coming into contact with either urine or “number 2″ bacteria.

However, frequent hand washing has a lot more implications. And by the way, you don’t have to wash your hands with antibacterial chemicals (mostly toxic) to get the job done. Normal soap and water, and sometimes just hot water, will do the trick just fine.

First of all, you dramatically decrease your odds of getting colds and flu, which are often transferred from germs on the hands from things you’ve touched which have been contaminated such as door handles and the like.  Washing your hands several times a day removes these germs effectively, so that if you do touch your eyes or anything else with your hands, they won’t be contaminated with the germs that transmit the virus or bacteria that causes illness.

If you frequently put your hands on your face, the bacteria on your hands easily transfers to the skin. This can include the bacteria that causes acne, so you can be worsening your acne simply by touching your face with unwashed hands.

It’s probably better to avoid touching your face at all, but that can prove much more challenging than you think.  Even at night we might inadvertently touch our face and contaminate it with bacteria and the like, exposing us not only to breakouts but also to getting some sort of bug.

If you’re one of those people who frequently feels like their hands are “dirty” then this can actually work in your favor.  That’s the category I fall in to. If I’m shopping and have been picking things up or thumbing through clothes on racks for example, my hands really tend to feel “dirty” so even that will trigger me to wash my hands.

I wouldn’t recommend the antibacterial gels in place of washing hands, namely because most of them contain chemicals and toxins that are worse than the bacteria they kill, and remember that these chemicals all sink into the skin and can enter our blood stream. Best to use good old fashioned soap and warm water, just like mom and dad (or grandma and grandpa) did.

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June 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm Comments (0)

Can Probiotics Help Your Skin?

Colon cleansers and probiotic supplements are all the rage these days. We even see Jamie Lee Curtis pushing a yogurt on TV commercials that is supposed to enhance probiotic activity in the colon and intestines, making gastrointestinal discomfort and dysfunction a thing of the past.

There are countless supplements, many of them useless in my opinion, that contain probiotics in pill form. There are drinks (much better than the pills I think) that contain probiotics in them. One of the Naked Smoothies I love most actually has probiotics in it and I swear it really does help “keep things regular” when you drink it.

There has been talk about how keeping your intestines and colon running smoothly and cleaned out can actually help with the way your skin looks. I happen to agree.

Mostly I agree because it’s based on my own personal experience and a couple other observations of my own that have lead me to believe that probiotics, or at least keeping your whole digestive and elimination system on track is very important not only to the health and appearance of your skin, but also to your longevity, enjoyment of life and overall quality of life.

My personal experience with having probiotic foods and high fiber foods in my diet and staying “regular” has been that whenever I’m properly eliminating waste and am in comfort in this area, my skin tends to look a ton better than it does if I’m clogged, gassy or feeling stopped up.

Why would there be this correlation between probiotics, or more importantly, staying regular and having clear, healthy looking skin? Well, when you cannot properly eliminate waste from the body or your digestive system is compromised at any point, you’re not only not eliminating toxins that can make your skin look worse, but  you also may be compromising the proper utilization and absorption of important nutrients that keep the skin soft, supple and free of acne.

If you think about how closely our diets are related to how our skin looks, this makes perfect sense. When you’re getting the right vitamins, minerals, fiber and fatty acids in your body, your skin reflects this in spades.

On the other hand, when you are not properly nourished, such as when you’re sick or you’re eating a lot of foods that are not conducive to keeping the colon and intestines flushed and clean, your skin tends to take on that sallow, gray and unhealthy look that is associated with poor health.

Your colon and intestinal health have a lot to do with your skin in this way. These two organs are vital in flushing out the unwanted waste and keeping the right nutrients in the body to keep your skin glowing, soft and healthy. They also help absorb the right nutrients to keep your hormones in balance, which is another important aspect of keeping skin acne-free and beautiful.

 

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June 18, 2013 at 9:30 am Comments (0)

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