Thursday, September 4, 2014

Acne Treatments & Prevention (Hormonal Acne Included!)

Help! I've Got Hormonal Acne!!! What do I do!?!?!?!
I was really inspired to do this blog post because I recently had a bout of hormonal acne myself. It’s been so long since acne was an issue for me I’d forgotten just how annoying and emotional a problem it can be. Growing up, I had acne like every other pre-teen and teen going through hormonal changes but by the time I was driving my skin had cleared up and I had only the occasional breakout-usually around “that time of the month.” My skin type is combo/oily with most of the oily concentrated on the “T” zone and chin area so I still have the occasional breakout but I wouldn't say that I suffer from chronic acne.  Hormonal acne plagued me around the time my period would come to visit until a few years ago when, for medical reasons, my doctor decided to suppress those times of the month. This month, however, I missed a few days of my medicine which does this and I experience a lovely outbreak of hormonal acne.  In this post I want to talk about what acne is, what treatments (products) can be used to heal acne, and also some practical steps we can take in our day to day lives to help prevent acne outbreaks. Here we go.

So what exactly is acne? Acne breakouts (blemishes) happen when a pore gets clogged which results in oil accumulated under the skin. That is the simplest explanation I can give. For a more detailed description check out this link. . Most people will deal with acne in their teen or preteen years when they go through puberty. Some people will deal with acne chronically throughout most of their lives. Sixty-three percent of acne prone women will experience what is referred to as hormonal acne around “that time of the month.” (reference on hormonal acne below)

Well, now that we know what acne is, what can we do about? There are medical treatments, both prescription and “over the counter”, to help treat breakouts as well as prevent them. Most of these come in the form of systems which work together as a team to help heal your complexion as well as prevent future breakouts. The main ingredient in most acne treatments is either salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide. Some people, for whatever reason, respond best to one or the other while others can use either or a combination of the two and have great results. Click here for benefits of Salicylic Acid vs Benzyl Peroxide

Listed below I’ll have some drugstore and high end acne system options as well as the websites explaining each one specifically so you can better choose which system may be best for you. If you find you need a little extra help or the over the counter treatments don’t seem to help your skin issues, I recommend you see a dermatologist in your area. These are doctors specially trained to treat any and all skin conditions or disease.

Beyond medical and over the counter treatments, there are several practical steps you can take to help prevent or reduce your acne breakouts. Here are some of my favorites and ones I’ve found to be helpful myself.

            1. Wash Your Face
Your skin is not only oily and possibly laden with acne bacteria, it is also catching all the dirt, dust, and pollution you encounter at any given moment during the day. If you’ve ever worn glasses think about how many times per day you have to clean your glasses. Well all of that is on your face too! Dust falls everywhere and it is not selective as to where it lands. Be sure you wash your face with a cleanser specially formulated for your specific skin type at least twice per day.

2. Oil-Absorbing Sheets
These little guys are a lifesaver to anyone with oily skin. I never leave home without them. I even keep a package of them on my makeup table. They are simply little sheets of thin paper you press on your oily skin throughout the day and they will soak all that oil up without removing your makeup. These are great for guys too. Guys probably will feel a little more comfortable with an oil-blotting sheet than any type of mattifying powder. They are available pretty much anywhere and cost as little as a few dollars. Most skin care and makeup brands carry some type of them as well.

      3. Wash Your Pillowcase
This one is so practical and makes so much sense but most people never really think of it. Pillow cases are most often made of cotton and cotton soaks up moisture. Your cotton pillow case not only soaks up the moisture in your face, it soaks up the bacteria and everything else too. Once you lay your clean face on your pillow each night, all the bacteria, sweat, and skin cells soaked up on your pillow case on the previous nights are just redeposited back onto your face. To help keep this contamination at bay, wash or change your pillow case at least once per week. I know of some girls who change it every night. While you may not want to go to such lengths, its important to keep in mind that the oilier and more acne prone your skin, the more often you will want to take this simple but extremely beneficial step.

      4. Exercise
This seems like it might be an oxymoron. I mean, if you exercise, aren’t you sweating and getting your face dirty? Well, yes, but please note suggestion #1 above. Exercise helps your skin by increasing the blood flow to your skin and thereby nourishing your skin’s cells. Click here for more info on Exercise & Acne.
On top of that, people who exercise tend to add more healthy habits to their lives, such as healthy eating , which brings me to #5.

      5. Eat healthy and limit sugar, dairy, and greasy foods
The more healthily you eat the more healthy you will be all over, including your skin. Foods high in sugar, dairy, and grease (oil) will increase your chances of acne breakouts. Add more vegetables, especially cabbage type greens (broccoli, etc) to your diet and watch your face reap the benefits just as much as your waistline!

       6. Drink more water
This goes along with the suggestion above but I thought it could also stand alone in that drinking water not only rehydrated and replenishes you, it also helps to flush out your system and cleanse you of acne-causing toxins. Drinking water instead of soda and sugary juices is a great way to help clear your complexion as well as put you on the road to a healthier you. If you have trouble with the “taste” of water (or lack thereof) try green tea or adding a flavoring to your water. Infusing your water with fruit is another great way to enhance the flavor of water and it can add extra antioxidants too.

       7. Keep your hands off your face
This one is so hard for me! I’m like the thinking man. I’ve always got my hands on my face in thought or while I’m looking at the computer. The oil, dirt, and various and sundry other grossness on your hands needs to stay off your face. Think about it, we anti-bacterialize, sanitize, wash, and air or disposable towel dry our hands to reduce germ exposure and our hands are so much tougher than our face. What on earth are we putting on our face each time we touch it!?! Yuck. Keep your hands off your face.

      8. Limit Sun Exposure
This is a good idea for several reasons. One is the risk of skin cancer. Another is to prevent acne flair ups. Sun exposure can cause your skin to dry out and if you are oil or acne prone this will cause your skin to try and make up for the lost moisture by producing extra oil. Think of it this way, if you get poked in the eye, what happens? Your eye trys to protect itself by watering excessively.  This is also what happens when oily and acne prone skin is overly dry. On top of that, most acne medications are not suitable for sun exposure and may increase your skin of burning. Make sure you use an SPF sunscreen specifically for the face when in the sun.

      9. Be mindful of your hair products.
Many times the fragrances and other ingredients found in shampoos and conditioners as well as hairsprays and other styling products do not mix well with problematic skin. Be sure to rinse your shampoos and conditioners out completely before you get out of the shower and be mindful of how you apply your hairsprays. Using all-natural hair products can reduce this risk.

      10. Exfoliate
Get the dead skin off. You don’t have to overdo it or irritate your skin further but exfoliating your face can keep those dead skin cells from settling in and clogging your pores. Once or twice a week with a gentle scrub is all it takes. Of course, if you seem to have issues with scrubs or masks, be sure to seek the advice of your dermatologist who may have some more suitable options for your specific skin type.

Well, there you go! I hope this well helpful for you and you understand what acne is and how to treat and prevent it better. If you have any questions, feel free to post them below. Feel free to leave any more suggestions in the comments below as well. I will have product links and information below. Let me know if there is a skin care subject you would like more information on and I’ll be happy to help any way I can.

Have a great day, Gorgeous!

How Your Periods Affect Acne (Article-Web MD) Click Here for Link

Mary Kay ClearProof System Information & Products Click Here for Link

The Science Behind the Mary Kay ClearProof System Click Here for Link

Mary Kay ClearProof Testimonials  Click Here for Link

Frankie’s Story Click Here for Link

Melena’s Story Click Here for Link

Mary Kay Botanical Effects for Oily Skin (All Natural)Click Here for Link

Neutrogenia (They do have complete systems available. This is a link to their acne information & product center.) Click Here for Link

Garnier Skin Care  Click Here for Link

Aveeno Acne Skin Solutions Click Here for Link

Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Click Here for Link

Burt’s Bees Hair Care Click Here for Link 

FTC Disclaimer: This video is not sponsored. None of the above links are sponsored or affiliate links. However, I do receive retail profit when someone purchases from MY personal Mary Kay website. As always, if you already are being serviced by a Mary Kay consultant, PLEASE, buy from her. See the information below if you would like a Mary Kay Consultant in your local area. I am in the Triangle area of North Carolina. 

Here's the Video!!

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