With the aisles full of acne products claiming to be the best, it’s no wonder so many people have a hard time choosing the right one for them. Acne affects an estimated 90 percent of all people at one point or another during their lives. Although it’s typically seen in the teenage years, it can affect people during their 20s, 30s and even 40s. Some people even suffer with some form of acne later in their lives. while the cause of acne is the sebaceous glands producing an excess of the oily sebum, people may experience this overproduction due to several different reasons including hormonal changes, stress, or even touching their face too often. When trying to find the best acne product for you, sometimes it’s best to also find out what’s causing the flare ups in your acne problem. if you are constantly touching your face with your fingers, if you sweat excessively during strenuous exercise or if you’re stressed out, you may have a hard time finding a product that will take care of the whole problem — or worse, you may clear up your acne for just a short time and the cause for your flare ups will happen again and you’ll be in the same position.
Sebum is the oily substance that your sebaceous glands produce to lubricate both the hairs and hair follicles. Acne is caused when your sebaceous glands, for reasons not quite understood, produce excess sebum. The excess sebum then combines with dead skin cells, dirt and debris on your face which clogs the pores and creates a lesion, i.e. whiteheads, blackheads, cysts or pustules. Sebum is the cause of the acne; stress, sweating and other factors simply add to it or aggravate it. as of now, there isn’t a true way to prevent the excessive sebum production, only ways to treat it.
Hormonal changes seem to be a leading cause of acne for many people. For teenagers, both male and female, the body is going through many changes, especially hormonal. Breakouts during the teen years are often what people think of when acne comes to mind. many women experience breakouts related to their menstrual cycle, another major hormonal occurrence. Pregnancy and menopause may also cause fluctuations in the amount of sebum your body is producing.
If you’re a woman and have acne flare ups related to hormonal swings, you may be able to help combat your acne with the use of birth control. many birth control medications tout their acne-helping benefits as a major claim for their product. it works because it helps moderate your hormonal changes. Birth control may be your best option, but is definitely one that you need to discuss with your physician prior. Birth control comes with many side effects that your body may not be able to handle.
Stress doesn’t necessarily cause your acne, but studies are showing that it can make them worse. Studies were conducted with college students and results found that the students had more flare-ups, or breakouts, during stressful times such as exam week. Stress and anxiety can also make you subconsciously touch your face more. Picking at your skin is a common anxiety-triggered action, and if you have a pimple, you’re more likely to start picking there than somewhere else.
Treating your Stress
Unfortunately, you can’t take an anti-anxiety or anti-stress medication that also treats your acne. Stress isn’t the cause of your acne, it simply accelerates it. you can, however, use medications or stress-relieving methods to help reduce your chances of a breakout — or causing one to get worse.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have a tough time deciding between the many brands and products out there touting claims to be the best acne solution ever. many of the products have the same active ingredient, as well as most of the same inactive ingredients. it may come down to a trial-and-error process to see what works for you. if you’ve been using products with benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient, maybe you should try a product that uses salicylic acid as their active ingredient. Other common active ingredients include sulfur and resorcinol. one product may work for you where others have failed. everybody reacts differently to drugs and treatments, acne products are no different. what worked for your best friend may not work at all on your skin. Most of the active ingredients are naturally occurring.
Benzoyl peroxide is found in over-the-counter medications and face products, and also as a prescription to treat acne. In over-the-counter products, you’ll typically find a percentage of 1- to 2-percent benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and also helps dry out the excess sebum on your face and skin. Benzoyl peroxide can severely irritate skin and you should never use it in combination with other harsh ingredients.
You will often find products containing salicylic acid as wipes or facial cloths, although this is not always the case. you can also find salicylic acid in creams, lotions and gels. Salicylic acid works by reducing the amount of cells your skin sheds and also breaks down whiteheads and blackheads.
Sulfur and Resorcinol
Resorcinol is often combined with sulfur in anti-acne medications and products. Sulfur peels and dries out your skin; resorcinol and sulfur both break down existing blemishes.
More Natural Products and Home Remedies
There are a number of pure, natural ingredients that have been used to treat acne — and other conditions — for hundreds and even thousands of years. Witch hazel, tea tree oil, olive oil, azelaic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, zinc, lavender and brewer’s yeast are all natural remedies for acne. Aspirin is an over-the-counter home remedy that is also used with great success in many users. many of these products are the essential oils from their namesake plants, while others are simply extracts. Some, still, are found in various other naturally occurring items and are extracted in other ways. Witch hazel is a common drugstore staple and is the extract of the witch hazel shrub. it has many uses aside from acne. Tea tree oil contains antibacterial properties that may aid in clearing your acne — although it will worsen the symptoms of rosacea. you can buy pure tea tree oil in many groceries, health and drug stores, however, the pure tea tree oil can irritate your skin.
If you’ve never used it, you should mix it with base oil at first. Olive oil, like tea tree oil, has many uses aside from the more typical culinary ones. Olive oil has long been used to soften and cleanse the skin. Azelaic acid occurs naturally in whole-grain foods and animal products. According to the May Clinic, azelaic acid creams show to be just as effective as more conventional acne treatments — including benzoyl peroxide. Alpha-hydroxy acids are not uncommon and are found naturally in acidic foods such as citrus fruits. These acids work by removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. Zinc helps reduce inflammation, a common symptom in many types of acne lesions. Brewer’s yeast, although not proven, seems to be an ingredient that decreases acne. Lavender oil, the essential oil of the lavender plant, treats acne and other skin conditions when applied topically. Aspirin has long been used to treat inflammation, and a topical paste is now a popular home remedy for treating acne. The paste is made from finely crushed aspiring mixed with water, olive oil or another liquid. many users see the inflammation in their pustules or papules go down almost immediately.
Even after learning about the different active ingredients found in many over-the-counter washes, soaps, creams, lotions and other products, you may still have a hard time choosing. if your skin is sensitive, you want something that’s not too irritating — or at least something in a less-harsh formula. For example, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and tea tree oil can all be harsh on the skin. Using a product with a lower percentage, or one that’s mixed with other, soothing ingredients may help you out without irritating your skin and causing pain. if you have problems with dead and dry skin, you may try an exfoliating wash that gently scrubs. if you have dry skin, something that moisturizes may be in order, such as olive oil. since your skin is different than other people, you’re going to need to find a product that suits both your acne and your other skin issues.
Whenever you decide to try out a new product, always give it time to work before giving up. Try a new product for at least two weeks unless you have adverse reactions such as irritation, redness or burning.
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