Thursday, October 10, 2013

The 10 commandments to clear skin

I have struggled with acne and breakouts my whole life. Over the years I've seen doctors that have prescribed pills and creams whose side effects have been worse than the spot they were targeted to treat. The thing is doctors are there to prescribe drugs. They deny that food had any affect on the skin and they deny that there are any homeopathic remedies to acne. That is simply not the case.

I  have learned more from the make up artists and models I work with than western doctors about taking care if my skin. Here are the tricks I have used for years. I get many complements on  my skin despite the fact that I had acne in the past. I know how hard it was for me to feel confident and beautiful when my break outs were out of control. I hope my story and my regimen helps someone to feel beautiful and begin to heal the emotional scars left by acne.

1. Drink lots of water. Your body uses the water you drink to hydrate and  even clean itself to a certain degree if you are dehydrated it can't do its job. Your akin will be dry and tight and itchy making it more prone to breakouts.
2. Don't touch your face your hands are constantly touching objects that are covered in germs, dirt and oil.  They are the dirtiest part of your body. I you need to touch your face go to the bathroom and wash your hands first or if that is not possible use a handkerchief or even a tissue as a barrier between your hands and your face to scratch your nose or sweep your hair from your forehead. if you wear lots of hair products or have oily hair keep your hair off of your face. If your breakouts are centralized around your forehead and you have bangs or on your chin and you have layers framing your face that is a good indication that your natural hair oils or your hair products are the cause.
3. Change your pillow cases often I have three pillows that gives me six surfaces to sleep on before I have to wash and change my bedding. Your hair like we discuses earlier is oily and those oils as well as the sweat from your neck and face collects in your pillowcase and as you sleep for 8 hrs or more those pore clogging contaminants are testing in your face. You can cut down on this by wearing your hair up while you sleep so that your hair is not testing on your face as you reposition yourself at night.
4. If there are foods you eat that you seem to notice you break out after ward take note of them. Doctors deny their is a coronation but if you have food allergies that are in diagnosed they can cause breakouts. There are forms of eccsama that look like acne, there are also deeper zits that are actually cysts that can also be caused by food allergies as well as hormone changes  and stress.  I tend to have breakouts around that time I the month I can't change my hormone levels but I can prepare my skin and my body by getting plenty of rest and drinking water so that I minimize the effects. I also broke out from food allergies to gluten. I gave up wheat and the small tiny bump stopped appearing. Another connection between food and break outs is if you eat greasy food like a hamburger or a taco where the oil touches your face simply wiping with a napkin won't get the oil off of your skin. You'll have to wash your face as soon as possible or at least wash your mouth area so that the oily residue isn't clogging your pores all day.
5. You probably wear make up everyday. As long as you use oil free non cogmegentic make up it should be fine. But take note that if you are still breaking out a lot you may be allergic. I have a friend who is allergic to talc she gets eccema. Another friend is allergic to many of the pigments they use in liquid makeup. You can look for makeuos that you aren't allergic to. I choose to only wear a full face of makeup for special occasions so that my pores can breath as much as possible. Another issue is bacteria. Your makeup I good for a certain amount of time if you keep it longer than that it can spoil and bacteria can grow in the bottle or vial. You also need to notice how you put in your make up. Do you use your fingers? Wash your hands before you apply your makeup. If you use a sponge is it a fresh new one each time. Sponges are a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria. Lastly you need to wash and clean your brushes regularly makeup, oil and bacteria builds up on them over time. You can use any antibiotic soap or dish soap but I like to use MAC® Brush cleanser.

 So now that we have talked about positive habits that promote healthy skin and what life style changes need to be made I can give you a skin care regimen that works without gimmicks. I have personally tested this out and been doing it for the past 10 years the four step to healthy skin are to Wash, Exfoliate,
Moisturize and if you have acne treat.

6. First washing your face. There are many facial cleansers available most if them will probably do as long as they are for acne prone skin. Anti aging products may contain oils you do not want on your face because you have issues with oil as it is.  Do not use bar soap unless it is specially formulated for the face. Many soaps leave a waxy residue that clogs your pores more. I use Murad® Clarifying Cleanser Acne face wash. It has an acne treatment product in it. I use a dab and lather it with hot water in the shower and I wash my face thou roily with my finger tips in small circles massaging it into my skin. Then I rinse thoroughly.  I love this face wash because it washes clean there is no residue after. And it has a subtle mentholated effect that helps open pores to get the guck out. After you have rinsed your face splash it with cold water to help close your pores. So that they are not open when you put in your makeup.

7. Once a week or when ever I feel that my skin seems to be dull or has dry patches I exfoliate by adding baking soda to my face wash and washing the same way I do in the shower. There are many exfolient washes for sale out there. They are expensive. The main thing you want to watch out for is the shape of the granuals. They need to be smooth and round with no jagged edges. Because products like st Ives  spoor it scrub use seeds they grind up. The jagged edges actually cause microscopic tears in your skin that  become inflamed or become clogged with makeup and oil and cause more acne. Baking soda is great because it's cheap and each of the granuals are round and small soviet really works on the pores. 

8. Moisturizing is extremely important. Many people with acne think that because their skin is already oily prone that the solution is to strip it and make it as dry as possible. The problem with that is that your skin drys out and begins to crack causing the same issue I explained above. Your skin is tight and uncomfortable and becomes itchy and as your scratch you cause more tears and put more bacteria on your face. It's an ugly cycle. In addition your body produces more oil to counteract the dryness. Moisturizing is important to keep your skin in balance. When you moisturizer your telling your skin I don't need to produce more oil. Also your skin will have a healthy glow and retain the flexibility it needs so you can make facial expressions without causing tears. There are many oil free non cognegenic moisturizers available. You don't want to put body lotion on your face it's to heavy and may have oils or fragrances that clog pores or cause irritation. The best moisturizer I have found is Garnier Nutritioniste® Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream. Clinique has a similar product but it's 3x the cost.

9. Finally if you do have a breakout you can treat it. Don't pick at it or pop it  as that causes scaring and pok marks. There are many effective treatments .  I use a combination. 
Find a product with 1.5% salicylic acid. This is already in the face wash I recommended.  You can also crush up an aspirin and add a little water to make a paste to treat large zits over night. Finally when you are putting on make up you can use a concealer that has salicylic acid in it like the TIGI® concealer stick, The second  tool is Sulfer it takes out redness and lowers the inflammation around the zit. I use a white clay mask sulferbis naturally in clay. Both Murad® And Proactiv® Make a similar product that is affordable. You don't need to apply this to your whole face unless you want to. Just dab a little on all of your zits and they will reduce in size over night. And finally the Thor is Tea Tree Oil. You can get a vial at most grocery stores with a naturopathic or health food section. I buy mine at Fred Meyers. This stuff is great to have on hand it's a powerful antiseptic. I use it on cuts and anything that could get infected it prevents infection. Zits are basically miniature infections where bacteria has begun to grow and your antibodies are fighting off infection which is causing inflammation. In the beginning you'll need to dilute it with water. Put a  drop on a wet cotton ball and dab it on the blemishes. It will help clear the zits and prevent new ones from forming.  I use this when I know I'm going to break out from my cycle as a preventative agent. Since I often break out after wearing a full face if makeup I also use it after my face wash before I moisturizer as a precaution. It keeps me from breaking out. 

10.  Take time  to distress. Live your life. Staying active and spending time with friends, laughing helps lower your stress level.  And stress can cause breakouts. Take time out for yours do something you enjoy and get plenty of sleep.

I hope this helps someone out there. Feel free to share your story leave a comment.

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