Acne can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable problem, which not only affects teens but even adults. When present on the face, it particularly affects confidence and self esteem. Not limited to the face alone however, it may also appear on the chest, back and arms. Treating it effectively has been a long standing challenge for many people. It seems that many of the treatments only work temporarily or become ineffective after prolonged use. This can be frustrating when you think you have finally discovered a solution. This article will examine what you can do to stem the problem of acne, by exploring some of the best skincare treatments which have proven most effective.
What Causes Acne?
Acne results when dirt, oil, dead skin cells and bacteria clog the pores on the skin. An underlying cause of excessive oil production is due to hormonal changes which results in the pores becoming clogged with oil and skin cells. This manifests in the formation of pimples, bumps or swellings on the surface of the skin. It has also been found that inflammation has a major role in the formation of acne pimples and so many treatments which now exist also target the body’s inflammatory response.
What Options are Available for Treating Acne?
To be effective at treating acne, it is important that whatever approach you choose has a scientific basis. This will ensure that the root of the problem is addressed. Using home remedies, natural treatments or commercial preparations which bear this principle in mind will prove to be the best methods of treatment for acne prone skin.
Chemical Preparations – Acne Products That Work
The most common acne treatments contain Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps to unclog blocked pores and reduces swelling and irritation. These products come in the form of creams, gels, pads and cleansers and some of them have added benefits, like wrinkle protection. If you have dry skin, starting at around 2% strength salicylic acid will reduce that side effect.
Oral contraceptives. Particularly for women, some contraceptive pills offer the added benefit of keeping skin acne free. These pills usually contain estrogen and progestin in combination and help to decrease the production of oil/sebum which tends to cause acne. They have proven extremely effective in many women.
Topical antibacterials for example benzoyl peroxide are applied to the surface of the skin and are used to treat mild to moderate acne. They can also be combined with prescribed topical antibacterials for greater effect. These treatments generally work fast.
Retinoids are used for severe cases of acne and are the main mode of treating acne. Mature skin can especially benefit from the collagen producing effect of retinoids and their ability to combat wrinkles.
Good Acne Treatments to Use as Natural Home Remedies
Tea tree oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It disinfects by cleansing dirt away, also killing bacteria and reducing swelling. Some soaps, topical treatments and facial washes contain tea tree oil in varying concentrations. Use 5% for mild to moderate acne and 15% for severe cases. Alternatively tea tree oil can be used as a spot treatment, by placing a few drops in coconut or jojoba oil and applying with a cotton swab.
Using apple cider vinegar (with the mother) as a toner helps to reduce excess dirt and oils left after cleansing and kills bacteria. It is safe and effective for use in your morning and night routine. Special attention can also be given to the pimples.
Cinnamon, honey and coconut oil mask can be used to promote healing of acne. Cinnamon and honey in combination have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The mask contains antioxidants which aid in healing the skin. Applying this mask for at least 10 minutes then removing helps heal and rejuvenate skin troubled by acne.
Using Sea salt and coconut oil mask provides gentle and effective exfoliation. It helps to kill microbes on the skin as well as unclogging pores, by removing dirt and dead skin cells.
Maca is a potent super food which supports hormone balance. As such it is a good treatment for acne, but is not as fast as chemical preparations. It works over time to heal the underlying causes of acne and control it. 1-3 teaspoons a day is the recommended dosage.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Acne
Several useful practices can be adopted to help support the acne fighting efforts. These include:
• Getting at least 7 hours of sleep to allow skin to regenerate and heal from stress and damage during the day.
• Eliminating or significantly reducing dairy milk from the diet. The androgens present in milk may cause hormonal imbalances in females and lead to breakouts.
• Include a regular supply of antioxidant rich foods your diet like berries to assist with skin repair and healing.
• Sleep on a clean pillowcase to minimize the skin’s contact with dirt and oils which cause acne.