Not only the bane of teenagers, acne can strike adults at any age too. Stress, hormonal imbalance and poor diet all contribute to annoying breakouts. Yet, before fretting that perfect skin will forever be out of reach, have a look at the suggestions below.
Contrary to popular belief, oily skin is not necessarily the cause of acne. Granted, a clogging mixture of dead skin cells, bacteria and oil contribute to the problem, but oily skin isn’t the only reason for less-than-perfect skin.
In fact, one of the best ways to combat acne is through oil cleansing. Those struggling with acne will cringe at the suggestion of adding more oil to the skin, but consider the following.
Oil cleansing relieves breakouts on two levels. First and foremost, cleansing in this way opens the pores and removes embedded dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells. Secondly, by side-stepping harsh cleansers and opting for a nourishing, non-comedogenic oil, the skin is given a substantial boost of moisture. This breaks the vicious cycle of dry skin flakes that block pores.
For best results, massage a half teaspoon of olive, jojoba or argan oil into skin. Add a drop or two of tea tree or thyme essential oil for antibacterial, blemish-blasting benefits — just make sure to avoid the eye area. Next, warm a washcloth with very hot water and cover the face to steam the skin. Keep in place until cool. Rinse the cloth with warm water and gently rub the skin to remove excess oil. Pat dry and you’re good to go.
Another time-honored remedy for acne is honey — especially manuka. Naturally antibacterial, moisturizing and soothing, honey is an excellent addition to your cleansing routine. Many swear by the honey mask. Simply apply a tablespoon of honey onto the skin and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. A recipe for an effective honey, cinnamon and nutmeg spot treatment can be found here.
Likewise, oats can be used as an exfoliating and balancing mask too. Grind 2 tablespoons plain oats in a coffee grinder until it has the consistency of flour. Mix with 1 tablespoon unsweetened yogurt and a squeeze of lemon juice until a paste forms. Spread over the face and let sit for 10-15 minutes. With wet fingertips, rub the skin in a circular motion. Lastly, rinse with warm water.
Clay masks are also beneficial for acne-prone skin. A variety of topical clays are available — Moroccan red, French green and gray, along with bentonite. Red clays tend to be the most gentle, but green, gray or bentonite are effective when you need a little extra strength.
And don’t ignore the diet for encouraging blemish-free skin. Chlorophyll — which is present in leafy greens, wheat grass, alfalfa, blue-green algae and spirulina — cultivates beautiful skin from the inside out. The same for other foods high in vitamin A, such as pumpkin, mango, carrots and dark green vegetables. The anti-inflammatory properties of fatty fish, avocados, turmeric, ginger and olive oil will help tame acne as well. Also, eat foods rich in zinc, which is antibacterial and regulates sebum. Chromium will help heal existing blemishes and prevent future breakouts. According to traditional Chinese medicine, edibles to avoid include dairy, sugar and spicy hot food.
Moreover, drinking plenty of purified water, utilizing stress-relieving practices like yoga and acupuncture, along with getting enough sleep, all balance the hormones. This in turn fosters flawless skin.