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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Skin Care, Breakouts, Causes, Solutions


Of the several people who I asked what they would like to see a post on, each and everyone one of them wanted a post on skin care and skin problems. Ah, yes. Arguably the biggest beauty problem that we all have. Skin breakouts do not discriminate. They happen to everyone. It's the joy of growing up. So I did some research and discovered some things that even I didn't know. Here is your guide to looking after your skin.
Blackheads

The Most Common Types of Skin Breakouts
Blackhead: an overactive oil gland that is blocked with oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and hairs, making the top appear black. When the breakout becomes inflammed, it turns into a pimple (zit).
Whitehead: sebum and bacteria that is trapped under the skin, making the top appear white

Causes of Skin Breakouts
Diet: new research suggests that foods high in saturated fats and processed sugars are definitely linked with bad skin. This is because those fats and sugars raise blood sugar levels quickly, leading to rising insulin levels. High insulin levels, especially those that are maintained, can make skin drier, thicker and flakier, which blocks pores. They can also increase the levels of free androgens (male hormones) which make our glands produce more oil and trigger acne. Researchers believe that the reason adolescents in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay don't get any pimples is because they don't eat foods high in saturated fats or processed sugars. 
Whiteheads

Hormones: similar to the effects of bad foods, general hormonal imbalances that occur (particularly during puberty, pregnany, menopause, and pretty much whenever you really want to have good skin) influence skin quality. As above, an increase in androgens occurs at these times.

Stress: stress triggers the release of androgens (male hormones) which is why when we are feeling frazzled, our skin feels worse and begins to breakout

Genetics: if both of your parents had acne at any point in their lives, you have a 50% chance of also getting it!

Smoking: the chemicals in cigarettes damage the cells in the body, leading to bad looking skin. Similar effects are seen on the nails and the teeth.
(Fact: human cells sustain about 10,000 damage hits each day from things like air pollution. Smokers receive one to five million extra damage hits PER INHALATION!)

Generally, researchers believe that skin breakouts are caused by hormones, usually androgens. While natural hormone fluctuations can't be avoided, keeping stress minimal and eating in moderation means less chance of the hormones reaching levels where they begin to cause skin problems.
Keep your skin clean

Solutions to the Most Common Types
Blackheads/Pimples: these require non-comdogenic products. Look for anti-bacterial ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, and zinc gluconate. You should exfoliate two to three times a week to make sure your pores are clean. Be sure to keep your hair away from your face, especially when it hasn't recently been washed. You should also consider using a facial steamer to help clean any blocked pores.
Warning: avoid products that include alcohol, peppermind, menthol, lemon, lime or eucalytpus, as these can increase oil production. Also, remember that blackheads are too deep in the pore to be removed away by yourself, so it is best to take the solutions as preventative.
Whiteheads: exfoliating and skin softening (moisturisers) help treat whiteheads. Generally, the same rules apply for whiteheads as well, especially in terms of taking a preventative approach. Many resources suggest that using products which contain witch hazel is very effective in treating whiteheads. However, I've looked around and I can find very few products that actually contain it!

Consider using Olay Deep Cleansing Face Wash as a cleanser.
Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliating Face Scrub has also recieved many great reviews
Also look for Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Complexion Perfection Moisturiser which has both tea tree oil and witch hazel!
A healthy glow

Main Steps to Good Skin
Sleep: tired skin lacks lustre, therefore the gorgeous healthy glow we all want has no chance of coming through
Lifestyle: say no to all cigarettes and avoid a continuous consumption of saturated fats and processed sugars
De-stress: try some meditation or slow breathing to help calm your body, and therefore help reduce your androgen levels
Treat it properly: DO NOT BREAK YOUR PIMPLES! There are so many things wrong with doing it. You risk creating scarring as well as spreading the bacteria from inside them. It really isn't worth it!


Coming up on skin:
Skin care myths
How to hide breakouts
Making sure your skin is ready for a night out
The best breathing exercise to de-stress

1 comment:

Shavonda Duarte said...

Thank you for sharing such a remarkable blog. This post is absolutely true! I’d like to add some causes of acne breakouts if you don’t mind. Extreme heat can also cause acne breakout along with lack of sleep.
- Shavonda Duarte