Archive | September, 2010

Treating adult acne the natural way – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

23 Sep

When you are past your teens and still or again battling break-outs, you are in good company. One in five women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffers from adult acne. Adult acne is not different from teenage acne in that the same key factors are involved: Hormonal activity which has an effect on our oil glands, blocked pores, acne bacteria and inflammation. What makes adult acne tricky is that the skin of a person in his/ her 30s or 40s is different from teenage skin. Some people suffering from adult acne may not have oily skin, their skin might be more sensitive, and they are likely concerned about fighting skin aging.

One way to fight adult acne is with over-the-counter medicated products, but there are also a number of natural remedies that can effectively prevent and treat break-outs. Whether your skin is too sensitive to chemical acne-fighting agents or you are simply interested in alternative options, here are some tips and product recommendations for how to fight adult acne the natural way.

Nature’s solutions
A number of natural and botanical-based ingredients help with the causes and symptons of acne, including:

Naturally antibacterial and antiseptic: Willow bark, tea tree oil, ginger, green, white and black tea extracts.

Reduces redness and inflammation: green, white and black tea extracts, aloe

Exfoliates and free blocked pores: Manuka Honey, alpha hydroxyl acids from milk (lactic acid), fruit (fruit acid), apple (malic acid) and sugar (glycolic acid)

Reduces excess oil production: Avocutine, derived from avocados as well as pumpkin seed oil curbs sebum production in the pores.

Cleansers: Keep it gentle
Contrary to a stubborn myth, acne is NOT caused by dirty skin, so stay away from harsh cleansers that strip skin. In fact, dehydration can prompt your skin to produce even more oil and at the same time exacerbate the appearance of roughness, lines and wrinkles. Here are some good options:

Avene Cleanance Soapless Cleanser, 6.76 oz, $17: Contains Pumpkin Seed Oil to reduce excess sebum.

ARCONA Raspberry Acne Bar, 4 oz, $38: Contains lactic acid and fruit enzymes to exfoliate and free pores.

Toner/ Treatment: Look for multi-taskers
Be good to your skin by targeting breakouts as well as aging and other skin issues. If you use a toner, stay away from alcohol-based formulations that unnecessarily strip and dehydrate skin. Here are some good options:

Juara Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, 4.75 oz, $27: Contains green, white and black tea extract to combat acne bacteria and well as provide antioxidant benefits and reduce redness.

Boscia Willow Bark Breakout Treatment, 0.5 oz, $25: Contains natural antibacterial willow bark as well as Vitamin C and E for antioxidant protection.

Hydrate and fight aging
It’s tempting to not moisturize when you see pimples, but it’s important to keep skin hydrated, no matter what your skin type, even if you have break-outs. If you are concerned oiliness, choose an oil-free moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, which draws vital hydration to the skin without adding oil, while plumping lines and making skin supple.

Juara Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer, 2 oz, $48: Anti-aging & oil-control benefits in one. Contains fermented sweet black tea to reduce signs of aging, ginger to purify, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and avocutin to reduce excess sebum.

Astara Blue Flame Oil-Free Moisturizer, 2 oz, $42: Hydrates with hyaluronic acid and totara tree essence to purify, while soothing with aloe.

Put break-outs on the spot

Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone, 0.27 oz, $15: Multiple natural alpha hydroxyl acids free blocked pores while Coenzyme Q10 helps fade discoloration from past breakouts.

Jurlique Blemish Cream, 0.5 oz, $28: Contains tea tree oil for antibacterial benefits. Plus the slightly tinted formulation helps cover up existing blemishes and redness.

bareMinerals RareMinerals Blemish Therapy, 0.07 oz, $28: A unique powder formulation applied with a makeup brush, that treats break-outs with tea tree oil, helps absorb excess oil and covers redness and blemishes.

Any natural acne products that you swear by? Let us know!

Cleanse your Skin, Not your Moisture Barrier – Jill Sung

15 Sep

Why should I clean my face, you ask? I just use water, some say. What in fact do I need to clean? Your skin collects oily soils, dirt, sweat, and sebum (natural skin oils) throughout the day. And in fact, just using water removes only about 65% of the dirt and oils; it’s not even effective for removing makeup. Cleansers are designed to remove the dirt, grime and sebum from skin through the action of surfactants.

What Washing Does…

So when we wash our face, we’re really washing the top layer of the epidermis of our skin. That layer is composed of fat and protein structures that create the waterproof moisture barrier of the skin. But while this skin moisture barrier is protective, it also is great at trapping pollutants, smoke, bacteria, cellular debris, sweat and cosmetics. Unfortunately, washing off the embedded dirt with some cleansers also removes some of the outer protective film which can irritate skin.

Why not Soap?

So you use soap, not just water. If it’s worked for hundreds of years, why stop now? In fact, soap works by making fat and oil water-soluble (emulsifies) to be easily removed by wiping or washing. They reduce the surface tension of your skin with negatively charged agents that can act as possible irritants. These anionic molecules affect the natural moisturizing factors and remove the fat and protein structures of the epidermis which disrupt the protective barrier, irritate, and decrease skin smoothness. But also, soap salts are alkaline causing your skin to become more neutral in pH (which can happen with age as well), making your skin a better place for bacteria to live.

When I was a child, I used to always use soap because I didn’t know better, but I definitely saw the results of drying and decreased smoothness in my skin. How about you? Any previous soap users with bad stories? Next we’ll discuss what options we have besides soap…especially as the drying fall and winter months inch forward.