There are many natural acne remedies you can do right now that don’t cost a thing that will help with your acne.
Grab an ice cube
When you discover a zit forming, grab an ice cube and rub it gently over the spot for about a minute. Keep it moving. Don’t let it sit in one place or you will burn yourself. This will bring down the inflammation and in some cases the pimple will go away by the next morning.
The temptation is so great! What are you going to do with a zit if not pop it? Isn’t it better to squeeze out those blackheads? Shouldn’t I just take the top off the white head and let it out? NO, NO, NO! You think you are getting rid of the blemish, but I promise you are making it worse. Your chances of rupturing the follicle wall are great, which will trigger your immune system to flood the area with inflammation and enzymes that will destroy healthy tissue and leave scars – go read the article about cystic acne. If you are tempted to pick, grab the ice cube, or if you are our client, call and we will try really hard to squeeze you in for a free extraction. If you find yourself picking all the time, slather your hands with cream and put on gloves. If you’re male, the gloves alone will do.
Change Your Pillowcase
There is evidence that changing your pillowcase every night goes a long way toward cutting down on blemishes. If you can’t see yourself doing that, use two pillows and be sure to turn them over so you have a clean side every night for four nights. Then into the wash they go!
Pass the Salt
As in pass it by. Cutting down on salt has many health benefits (you really don’t want me to start, do you?), but it is the iodine in salt that is wrecking your face. Buy the un-iodized kind if you can’t stop using it, but when you are out order your food without salt and bring your own salt shaker. This is a cute trick for French fries because you will get better fries. The restaurant has to make them fresh to get them without salt!
Watch out for Kelp
Kelp is very high in iodides, much higher than fortified table salt, which irritate the follicle walls in acne prone people. This is true of all seaweed products. (Algae, Carrageenan). Kelp is in a lot of vitamin supplements. Iodine is necessary for making thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine), so vitamin manufacturers think they are helping people by including it. It is why it was put into salt in the first place. But trust me, you can’t eliminate it from your diet completely so your thyroid will be fine (unless a doctor has told you otherwise), so don’t buy products that contain it.
For the camera, but don’t eat it. Dairy of all kinds is problematic for people with acne, but cheese is the worst. There are conflicting theories as to why – the cows lick salt that has been iodized, carrageenan is a common additive, the chemicals used in processing the milk, the hormones fed to the cows, the additives used in making the cheese. It is probably all of them. Whatever the cause, switch to almond milk for two months and see what happens. Unless of course you are allergic to tree nuts. The jury is still out on soy milk.
Skip the Fabric Softener
Dryer sheets are the worst, but any fabric softener leaves a waxy residue on fabric to cut down on static. It is highly comedogenic (clogs your pores), so especially don’t use it on your pillowcases. If you can’t stand the static, many people have luck with the dryer balls you can get at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Chocolate, but not Peanut Butter
Chocolate has a bad rap for causing acne, but clinical experiments have proven that it doesn’t cause or worsen acne. That doesn’t mean that some chocolate candies don’t have ingredients that can worsen acne, but chocolate itself isn’t acnegenic. However, peanut butter is. It has a substance that mimics androgen hormones. Ditto peanuts, peanut oil, and wheat germ. Can’t live without your fix? Try unsalted cashew butter instead. Yummy!
Drink Your Water
People with acne often confuse dry skin with dehydrated skin. Dry skin has little oil, dehydrated skin has little water. Unfortunately the products you use to dry up the oil implicated in your acne usually take the water with it. Dehydrated skin has trouble healing, it flakes more, and is more prone to breakouts. There are lots of products designed to keep moisture in your skin and some (called humectants) are able to attract moisture out of the air to your skin. Unfortunately, most of these also clog your pores. Nothing works as well as drinking the stuff. Not only is it good for your skin, it is good for everything. It helps with weight loss. Ironically it helps prevent fluid retention. If you’re not drinking enough, your body tries to hold on to all it has. It helps with headaches. It helps with elimination. It flushes toxins from your body. The list goes on. How much should you drink? A rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and drink that in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs. you should drink 75 ounces. Put a jug in your fridge and put that much in it and drink it by the end of the day. Or take an insulated jug to work with you.
Get Enough Sleep
Someone who knows more about skin than just about anyone says at least 7 hours every single night of uninterrupted sleep. I function best on nine! Seven is deprivation for me. It varies from one individual to another, but minimum is seven. If you think you do just fine with less you are fooling yourself. Scientists are starting to discover all kinds of health issues are associated with not enough sleep, including increased risk of cancer. Lack of sleep definitely affects your skin. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.
Reduce Your Stress Level
This is hard to do, but find a way. Whatever it takes. Deep breathing. Yoga. A walk at lunch time. Progressive relaxation. Staying away from toxic people. Be gentle with yourself when you have those stress-inducing life changes. Even the happy ones are stressful. Birth, marriage, a new job, a new home. Stress definitely brings about acne lesions in those of us who are acne prone. It isn’t a coincidence that you get a big zit right before a big presentation or a date for the prom.
So those are some free things to stop your acne from getting worse, but if you are serious about getting rid of your acne, give us a call and let’s get started. 360-852-8457
©2011 Jane Neville Dudik, The Acne Treatment Center, www.acnetreatmentcenterWA.com