There are many opinions on what exactly causes acne and how to best prevent breakouts. If you look on the web, you’ll find lots of conflicting information and expensive products that don’t put you any closer to your goal of blemish-free skin. As an adult with previous acne problems in childhood, I can tell you what worked for me and what has worked for others that I have consulted about adult acne.
Acne is believed by many people to be caused by improper hygiene, but the main culprit is an excess of sebum, which is the natural oil that your skin produces. Why do some people produce more sebum than others? In many cases it has to do with improper diet, hormonal imbalances and over-cleansing of the skin. Once the skin begins producing too much sebum the pores become clogged, allowing them to become infected and inflamed, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, and painful red bumps. If these symptoms are not treated properly, they can cause pain and scarring, leading to discomfort and embarrassment.
First of all, all things regarding your body stem from a well balanced diet. You can use the most expensive, most researched products on the planet and you’ll be wasting your dollars if you do not pay attention to what types of foods you put into your body. Most people know that they should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily, avoiding sweets and refined carbohydrates, and consuming as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible. At the same time, some healthy foods can aggravate acne breakouts due to food allergies. For example, many people have skin problems when eating oranges. Different foods will affect people individually, and keeping a journal of what you ate coupled with your symptoms may be helpful in determining which foods you should avoid.
Hormone imbalances come frequently for women before their menstrual cycle, but these fluctuations can be controlled by a balanced diet as well. Certain herbal supplements may also help to level out uncontrollable hormones, such as black cohosh, dong quai, or Siberian ginseng. Soy is especially good for many women in helping with hormone balancing for both menstrual and menopausal women. I highly recommend soy in any of its forms (tofu, edamame, miso, tempeh, etc.) not just for women, but as a healthier lifestyle choice that will dramatically improve overall health and nutrition, and therefore assist with acne concerns.
For those who realize that excess sebum can cause problems with acne, their line of defense is to repeatedly wash their face with harsh, drying ingredients in order to cut down on their skin’s oily appearance. Cleansers that include alcohol, along with rinsing with hot water can actually trigger your skin to produce more sebum. Excessive exfoliation opens up pores and will most certainly leave your skin to infection, which results in painful blackheads. Instead, try using a mild cleanser such as witch hazel once a day, exfoliating only once a week while avoiding the eye area. Moisturizers with mineral oil, petrolatum and lanolin should be avoided in order to prevent clogged pores, which can trap sebum and cause breakouts.
If you’ve already developed a problem with acne and need a solution, there are many natural ingredients that will work best with your healthy eating regimen without expensive medical treatments. A few drops of tea tree oil and lavender essential oils can be mixed into a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and applied directly to any spot where acne is present. This can be done twice daily with improvements in as little as a day. Cedarwood, chamomile and lemongrass are also essential oils that are easy to find, inexpensive, and quite effective.
Source: Burgundy Shank