If you have acne, you may remember a time in your life when you first noticed your face and/or body getting a bit oilier. If so, you may wish you had known then what you know now. Those of you who have oily skin and haven’t yet developed acne, take note: oily skin is a precursor to acne. But never fear—there are many ways to stop acne before it even begins.
But first, it should be noted that we all have—and need—skin oil (also called sebum). Sebum is necessary for healthy skin. Too little of it and our skin because dry, too much of it and our skin gets too oily. Unfortunately, each of these scenarios can lead to acne. Dry, flaky skin can mix with oil, dirt and bacteria and clog our pores, creating inflammation in the form of acne. Too much oil can lead to clogged pores, in which dead skin, bacteria and more oil can accumulate and, you guessed it, cause acne.
The best way to prevent acne is to get oily skin under control.
1. Keep it clean- Check the label on your cleanser. Is it non comedogenic? Good. Non comedogenic means it won’t clog your pores. Now we need to make sure it’s mild enough for you skin. If it has ingredients like alcohol or salicylic acid, it’s probably too harsh and might even leave your skin feeling tight. This is not a good thing. These kinds of ingredients can over-dry your skin, leading to increased oil production. You want to stick with natural products containing mild, non comedogenic ingredients such as milk, yogurt, steel-cut oats or coconut oil. Coconut oil actually dissolves sebum and also has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties that help fight acne.
If you think you need something stronger, try a product containing low grades of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA’s). BHA’s are lipid soluble, which means they fully dissolve in oil. So, BHA’s are good at getting into pores when they are “over-stuffed” with sebum. (Please note that we are not referring to the BHA preservative butylated hydroxyanisole, which is banned in parts of the UK, EU and Japan.)
However you wash your skin, don’t rub it dry. Always pat dry.
2. Tone it up- This step may or may not be right for you, primarily because even dermatologists are divided over the merit of toners, specifically over whether their oil-reducing properties are effective. If you want to try using a toner, stick to a mild one that won’t over-dry your skin. Toners containing alcohol may not work well for you. If you want to make your own toner, make your own chamomile astringent using 3-4 chamomile tea bags or 2 handfuls of the dry plant. Brew it, let it cool, and dab onto your skin using a cotton pad. Do this twice a day, but don’t use leftovers for more than two days.
Also, only use it on the oily parts of your skin. Most people get oily in their T-zone (forehead, nose chin) but pay attention to the uniqueness of your own skin. If you find your forehead doesn’t get all that oily, skip using the toner there.
3. Exfoliate weekly- If you’ve never considered exfoliating, it may be time to start. On the flip side, if you tend to exfoliate more than once a week, it may be time to cut back. Exfoliation is helpful to your skin when done once a week using products with mild ingredients such as AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids: glycolic acid, citric acid, lactic acid) or enzymes from pineapple, milk, pumpkin or papaya.
Be sure to avoid scrubs, which may stimulate more oil production and create small cuts in which bacteria can accumulate, as well as anything that makes your skin tingle. Tingling skin is a sign of irritation, which is always bad for skin—especially oily, acne-prone skin.
4. Moisturize daily- Did you think your oily skin didn’t need moisturizing? Think again! All skin needs to be moisturized on a daily basis. Try a lightweight, non comedogenic gel or serum containing ingredients your skin will love: water, aloe vera, marine algae, lemon grass extract, willow bark extract or witch hazel.
5. Protect Yourself- We know SPF seems like something you should have to worry about only in the summertime. But don’t be fooled. The winter sun and snow glare can be just as dangerous for your skin. Sunscreen is always necessary for preventing wrinkles, reducing red marks, and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Look for a natural, mattifying sunscreen with safe ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and an SPF of 25 or higher. If you wear makeup daily, look for non comedogenic makeup with SPF of 25 or higher as well.
6. Blot away- Do you notice oil on your face throughout the day, perhaps while taking a bathroom break at work or passing a mirror in the hall? While you never want to wash your face more than twice a day, you can blot all you like. Cosmetic blotting papers offer a great option for removing oil because they don’t dry out your skin. Simply apply the sheets to oily areas, such as the forehead, nose and chin. There’s no need to scrub your skin with the blotting paper—simply press it against the oily areas long enough to absorb oil, usually 15 to 20 seconds.
Today’s blog post is written by Dr. Agnes Olszewski, CEO of Herborium, natural medicine expert- “My work in China in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, and my personal experience while growing up in Europe, inspired me to develop Herborium®, a novel Botanical Therapeutics® company, based on a new, innovative healthcare concept that combines science and nature. Our approach has already been proven up to 98% effective in our acne treatment, AcnEase®. At Herborium, not only do we focus on developing botanical based medicinal products, but also on educating the public about the benefits and drawbacks of natural medicine.”
If you have any questions or need more information, call or message us. We would be delighted to hear from you!
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