Thursday December 11, 2008

Chapter 84 – Taking Care of Acne Skin: Prevention Is Better Than Curing

This would be the continuation from ‘Combat Those Problems Away!’ I have extracted this information from FACE the facts, a booklet that comes with the purchase of Proactiv skincare. It is very useful and I think this information should be spread around to help acne skin sufferers.

·        Avoid excessive sun exposure

Small amount of sun exposure will initially improve acne. However, the benefit is temporary. Consistent sun bathing will increase plugging of the pores and comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and make acne worse. Sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Protect your skin with a product that blocks both UVA an UVB rays and provides an SPF of at least 15.

·        Avoid over-washing your face and acne-prone areas

Limit washing to no more than two to three times per day. More than that can often irritate the skin, offer no further benefit, and may lead to increased oil production. Products such as harsh facial scrubs or with high levels of isopropyl alcohol are not recommended because they tend to tear or irritate fragile skin, which can aggravate acne.


·        Avoid touching your face

Every contact with your skin causes friction. This creates minor trauma that can inflame your skin and worsen acne. Avoid resting your chin in your hands, holding the phone against your cheek, and similar habits that can cause irritation.

·        Check your vitamin supplements

Avoid supplements with iodine in amounts greater than the RDA of 150 mcg. While normal amounts of iodine have not been shown to aggravate skin, amounts greater than the RDA may worsen acne.


·        Dandruff

Dandruff often accompanies acne, especially in teenagers. If your scalp seems oily and is slightly red or flaky, we recommend a dandruff shampoo that contains zinc, tar or salicylic acid. Stronger dandruff shampoos can be prescribed by your doctor if the problem continues.

·        Don’t pick your skin

Squeezing or picking blemishes can force bacteria deeper into the skin, causing even greater inflammation and infection. Picking blemishes may also lead to scarring.

·        Eye creams

Heavy creams of any kind may blog pores and produce milia, which are tiny white cysts under the surface of the skin – often mistaken for whiteheads or calcium deposits. Also, greasy eye creams or eye make up removers may migrate on the face and promote acne in neighboring areas such as the cheeks, temple and forehead.


·        Fragrances

Fragrances are a major cause of allergic and irritant reactions on the face. The most common fragrances that cause irritation are musk, ambrette and cinnamates. Many fragrances are available that are much less irritating and are generally safe for most skin types, including sensitive skin. To test if you are sensitive to ay product, apply small amount – about the size of a dime – repeatedly to the same area on the wrist or behind the ear. If there is no redness after three days of multiple applications to the same spot, you can continue usage on a large area.


·        Hair products

Hair styling products are fine if applied correctly. Hair spray, gel and mousse may promote acne if they get on skin. Cover the skin adjacent to the hairline when you apply these products. Also, do not wear hair care products while you exercise because perspiration from your scalp can carry hair products onto your skin and contribute to breakouts.

·        Non-comedogenic make-up

Make-up brands should be non-comedogenic. This term indicates that the product has been tested and demonstrated not to promote acne. By helping to keep your pores clear, these make ups products actually help fight acne throughout the day. However, even non-comedogenic products may promote acne if you wear them in inappropriate situations, such as during strenuous exercise or while perspiring.

·        Pay attention to your diet

Greasy foods don’t contribute to acne – but dairy products may. In a study of nearly 50,000 people, those who drank three or more cups of milk a day in high school were 22 percent more likely to have severe acne compared with those who drank one serving a week or less. Skim milk was the worst. It’s not the fat, but the hormones in the milk that are the culprit. Foods that contain iodides, such as shell fish and soy sauce, may also aggravate acne. If you notice any food that make you break out, avoid them.

·        Reduce stress

A study by the Standford University School of Medicine proved that acne worsened in college students when they were under stress. Researchers reported that “subjects who had the greatest increases in stress during examination periods also had the greatest exacerbation in acne severity.” Stress can raise levels of cortisol and other hormones that cause increased secretion of thick, sticky oil in your pores, inciting acne and slowing the healing process.


·        Rubbing alcohol

Isopropyl rubbing alcohol can be very irritating to the skin. It will strip the top layer of your skin and may actually cause the oil glands to secrete more oil to stay in balance. This can cause more blemishes and dry, red skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.

·        Simple rules when exercising

Hats or helmets and tight-fitting clothes cause friction that can lead to inflammation, and they can trap sweats and bacteria next to your skin. Always wear loose-fitting cotton clothes. Try to avoid wearing make up; even oil-free, non-comedegenic make up can clog pores when you perspire. If you have to work out with make up, choose a medicated make up. Immediately following exercise, wash face, chest and back with a medicated cleanser.

♥ Traclyn Yeoh

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A Malaysian beauty blogger expressing her views on beauty and life's other superficial aspects. Not to mention, beauty tutorials to appease the die-hard beauty junkies.


  1. @ravi_osahn -Depending what types of scar because different scars requires different treatments. For mild scars due to acne, you can always try on aloe vera gel. I have no particular brand for treating scars but you can give a try on products like, scar serums in your local drugstore…

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