You Can Have Better Looking Skin
Acne, whether it’s a small blemish here or there or a full break out, can be a stressful situation of people. We like to look our best and feel healthy and attractive, and having acne can really interfere with this goal. Many of us since puberty have tried over-the-counter products and even prescriptions or other treatments such as laser and heat therapies if the condition was severe enough. Acne can be a worrisome problem and expensive to treat, but if you’re not careful, the very worrying about acne can cause acne. There is a well-documented link between being stressed and getting a breakout of acne. There are even some behaviors many of us engage in when stressed that often lead to bad skin: not enough exercise, touching your face, lack of proper hygiene such as not washing your face or bathing often enough, stress eating junk food or not eating enough healthful foods – all can contribute to the problem of acne.
Even the body’s chemistry when under stress changes and can contribute to acne breakouts. When under high stress, the body produces and releases stress hormones such as cortisol to give you more energy to respond to perceived threats, known as fight-or-flight. With these increased hormones, your heart rate speeds up, your senses sharpen and your skin produces more oil called sebum. This oil is produced inside the inner glands of hair follicles also secreting dead skin cells. If the combination of sebum and dead skin aren’t cleared away or there is an overproduction of the substance, this mixture clogs the follicle, creating acne. Under stress, your body produces more sebum much like in adolescence, and you are likely to develop acne as a result. So, a great preventative measure and even treatment for acne is to find ways to effectively manage stress: regular exercise; meditation or yoga; engage in enjoyable hobbies; go outside for a hike, swim, walk or bicycle ride; spend time laughing and playing with friends, family and even pets—these activities can all help you manage stress.
Another tip is to stop touching your face. Most of us don’t realize how often our hands drift up and touch our face. We scratch an itch, smooth our brow, cover our mouths, dab our eyes and all number of expressive and self-soothing gestures. While our hands and faces are a very expressive combination, our hands also are how we interact with the world, mostly. Touching surfaces, door handles, shared items such as condiment bottles on dining tables and office equipment all have us sharing various germs and bacteria through our hands. So, if you consider how often you actually touch your face throughout the day and how often your hands interact with the world throughout the day, frequent hand washing and consciously reducing how often you touch your face can be an effective preventative measure to reduce symptoms of acne.
Try as you will, touching your face is inevitable. So is the fact that your skin produces sebum and releases dead skin cells, so regularly washing your face with and effective natural face wash is another effective preventative and treatment measure. Thoroughly and gently wash your face with a clean washcloth, mild soap and cleanser and plenty of fresh warm water twice per day is one of the best ways to keep breakouts in check. Take note not to overdo it, because you can dry out your face by washing too frequently or by using harsh products, and you can irritate or weaken your skin through harsh scrubbing, which also can lead to acne breakouts.
Another great preventative and treatment measure is basically a cure-all for many of life’s issues if you are not already engaging in it – be sure to get ample exercise. Exercise is an effective way to improve the appearance of your skin along with your physical body and overall physical and mental health. A half hour 3-5 days per week is a great strategy, but some is better than none, so start wherever you are, and build up to a regular routine if it’s not already in your daily schedule. Working out reduces stress, sweating helps release toxins, clear pores and increases blood flow to help balance and restore skin health and can help regulate hormone production. Be sure to shower after you sweat to clear away toxins, oils and dead skin that have been purged through sweat to help keep your skin clear.
Also, avoiding clothes and accessories that are too tight or too loose can help as acne can also be a result of skin irritation through a mixture of friction, heat and lack of airflow on the surface of the skin. Athletic gear, helmets, head bands and even tightly fitting glasses and goggles also can create specific areas on the face where acne develops. Also, acne can appear on any surface area of the body for all the same reasons, so proper hygiene and skincare is helpful all over. Make sure your clothing and gear is fitted properly and is appropriate for your activity for best results and comfort.
Most of the tips above are extremely helpful in preventing acne, but if you already have a breakout, here are a few natural remedies you can try:
- Toothpaste: Apply a small amount of toothpaste on existing blemishes and leave it overnight.
- Raw egg whites: Apply to your face as a “mask” and leave on to dry for 15 minutes before washing off.
- Garlic: Apply a garlic paste made of raw garlic, sea salt and a small amount of olive or coconut oil and smear on face for 15 minutes.
- Honey: Apply on face and let dry overnight to prevent bacteria and reduce acne.
- Lemons: The glycolic acid in lemons is similar to that used by dermatologists to exfoliate skin, so simply apply diluted lemon juice and let it soak in for 15 minutes before rinsing off or just wipe your face with a lemon slice.