Tuesday, February 9, 2010

♥Saving Face

They can be called pock marks, pimples, zits, spots, blemish- basically, it doesn't matter the name: we all hate them. If there is any indication of my life right now... it's on my face. Those nasty little (or big), white (or black) and sore (or VERY sore) spots are invading.my.territory. I want it to stop! Now! In desperation, I dug a little to find out what causes acne and what puts it to a stop.

The Culprit:
* Dirt. It's everywhere; on your hands, on the lips of your little toddler, in the air.
* Oil. When mixed with dirt in your pores, it can be a perfect potion for pimples.
* Hormones. Ladies, we know it. When "that time" is close, our faces break out like a bad dancer.
* Stress. As if being stressed out isn't good enough (why don't you just kick us while we're down, aye, Stress?!)

* Genes. It seems that if mom and dad had it more than most, their offspring will come upon the same challenges.

What doesn't cause acne:
*Chocolate. Thank.God.
* Dorritos. Long has junk food been blamed for acne, but it just isn't true. Unless your rubbing those potato chips all over your face.
*Age. Just because puberty has come and gone, doesn't meant that acne will. Babies are born with acne and elderly folk battle it too.

Fight, fight, fight!
Obviously, washing your face daily will help.
Not all epidermis is created equal. Just because Proactiv worked for your girlfriend, doesn't mean it will work for you. Unfortunately, a lot of skin care is trial and error. Slowly marking those soaps and systems from the long list, will help narrow the choices to one winner.

A healthy diet does contribute to pretty epidermis, as it allows your body to fight off free radicals (organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases), balance hormones and help skin in general.

Also paying close attention to how your skin reacts to different soaps will make a difference. Some acne can be an allergic reaction. If your skin is sensitive, some ingredients will agitate your pores. Me? I wash my face once a day. Otherwise (especially in dry, Wyoming climate) it would be much too dry. If your skin is oily, keep.using.moisturizer. Just find one that is lighter and isn't greasy.

Consistency is key. As skin is a living organism, it becomes accustomed habit. Once you find your successful beauty routine, stick with it. However, skin does change with time. As we age, we may need to drop certain formulas and find new ones. Allow your skin the freedom to prefer a new routine over another, especially if it seems to react well.

We've all heard it: don't pop your zits! But, really, who can resist?! I once read that if you must pick, to do so only after the zit has come to a head (when it is a whitehead) and never after a shower or when your skin is wet- it's too fragile in that state.

The most important? Don't get discouraged. Everyone (and I mean everyone) has acne. It may not be obvious or even on their face but it's all apart of life. Remember that with or without face invaders, you are beautiful (or handsome) no matter what. Because it is the heart of a person that matters most.

I've broken down and finally ordered Proactiv, myself. I used it previously and thought it worked. So, I'm trying it again. What about you? What works, what doesn't? I know I have a couple readers out there who know skin... let us in on your brain power, eh? ;-)


Anonymous said...

I use to have huge boils in high school. I started to use bee pollen. I works wonders! My face has never seen a boil like that for a long time. I do believe diet is key. I've also used pro-active, seems to me it makes me break out major before I see any change. Be careful with that stuff because over time it will dye your skin. :)

Sazaran said...

"They" say that the reason skin would break out is because it's bringing all the junk to the surface. And after that, it gets better. Think it's true? Also.... it dyes skin??!

Bee pollen, huh? Do you know what it is about pollen that improved your boils? Thanks for sharing!!

Ang said...

When I had random acne (as opposed to the one zit I get on my right cheek, once a month - grr) I used a 3% salicytic (sp?) acid creme which you can buy in the skin care aisle, followed by a gentle moisturizer twice a day. It worked great!

Anonymous said...

Skin is a tricky tricky thing. I have found useing a type of anti-bactiral soap works for starters, then I use a after sun aloe vera gel with lidocaine, and then at bed time for those realy bad one try calamine lotion. The old fashion pink kind. These are my basics. They work for us. but everyone is diffrent. Plus they are inexcpencive. Good luck

Lover of your BLOG! said...

Well...me being a self-professed 5 state skin care expert (ha!), I will share the following:

#1 - Wash your face in the morning and in the evening, no ifs, and or buts about it.

#2 - Allow to dry and then follow with an eye cream and some sort of night cream or moisturizer.

#3 - For women in their 30's and up, don't use 'anti-aging' creams...they can burn your face (experienced that!).

For the past 10 years, I've used TRETONIN (which is a Retin A product) on my face at night. This is by prescription only and worth the $$!

After your face is washed at night, allow to dry, and apply a dime size worth of the TRETONIN in an upward motion all around your face, avoiding the tender skin near your eyes or around your nose. Make sure it's evenly rubbed in, all the way. Wash off your face first thing in the am! You cannot wear this stuff out in the sun or your face will burn. Allow about 15-30 days to notice the effects on your skin condition...amazing! This product needs to be used CONSISTENTLY in the first year or so, to allow it to work it's magic!

This TRETONIN will allow your face to naturally peel, without noticing it, build the derma and totally RID your skin of ZITS! Really!!

Plus...TRETONIN will take YEARS off you face and make you look much younger! I'm a walking advertisement/success story for this product!

Happy young looking to ya'all!

Anonymous said...

Here are some real GOOD and easy suggestions for you:

- Change your pillow case ONCE a week!! That will help with zits, dryness etc...

- Use only WHITE washcloths, not colored ones (I've broken out with colored washcloths & colored pillow cases!)

- Use a different wash cloth each time your wash your face, even if you end up using 50 per week, that's ok!

- Do NOT use fabric softener sheets when you dry your wash cloths or pillow cases (I know...sad!), but the perfumes in those dryer sheets are terrible for you skin!

Anonymous said...

I thought it would be easier to just copy and paste of why bee pollen works. :) Enjoy!

Bee pollen benefits have been used for improving health and wellness since ancient times and were well known to the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks!

For centuries bee pollen has been consumed by many cultures not only for its numerous therapeutic properties in treating disease but as a significant source of nourishment. It’s highly nutritious whole-food nature has earned it a ‘super-food’ status along with titles like “Food of the gods”.

Bee pollen is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet!

It is a highly concentrated package of all the essential nutritional components that you need to live!

Hippocrates (460 – 377 B.C.), the first physician to concentrate on preventing disease as well as treating it, wrote of the benefits of bee pollen. Western trained doctors in Europe have, over the last century, prescribed bee pollen to treat bacterial and viral infections, along with colds and flues (due to its antibiotic properties).

More recently, physicians and scientist’s world wide have begun taking a much closer look at bee pollen benefits in treating a wide range of medical conditions.

kelly said...

Oh man, this is really grossing me out

StevieNachoMamaSenn said...

Okay, then, Miss Sarazan, I'll assume your last comment in the blog may have been directed toward me, so here goes. I am a Professional Skin Therapist and an acne sufferer. There have been many AWESOME comments left here, and Sarazan, you really did your research! I'm proud of ya. Here are a few more pointers I'd like to add...

-I personally change my pillow case every other night, (I sleep on each side once) but I have active acne pretty much throughout the month. You DO need to change your pillow case at least weekly (EVERYONE, not just acne sufferers.) Bacteria and oil build up and that's just gross.

-Wipe down your cell phone often with an antibacterial wipe for the same reason you change your pillow case.

-The bacteria that causes acne (Proprioniacnes Bacterium, or P. Acnes for short) lives in everyone's skin, just as you said, Sarazan. It just happens to proliferate in some more than others.

-Folks with acne also have an overproliferation of skin cells, and the oil in their skin is different than normal skin, it is thicker and there is typically more of it. This being said, you must increase exfoliation. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH THOUGH THAT YOU MUST MUST MUST DISCARD YOUR ST. IVES APRICOT SCRUB!!!!!! And ANY "scrub". A granular scrub is not the only type of exfoliant available. You need to get an exfoliant that is an enzyme base or something with lactic acid. If you have serious acne (not just cyclical breakouts) I highly recommend seeing an esthetician or in more extreme cases, a dermatologist. They can provide you with knowledge and products that can prevent scarring that lasts a lifetime.

StevieNachoMamaSenn said...

-Proactiv is NOT the answer. I don't care who endorses it. IT IS JUNK that is too harsh for your skin. Your skin is naturally acidic (between 5.5 and 6.5 pH, with distilled h2o being 7), and products like Proactiv are alkaline. When you use alkaline products and do not return your skin to its acidic pH, not only are you stripping your skin of its natural barrier that fights against bacteria getting in your system, but you force your skin to do anything it can to get it back to that pH. Like overproducing oil. Ew. So now you have skin that feels like the paper that your butter is wrapped in, dry and greasy at the same time. (By the way, bar soap has around the pH of Comet! Yes, even the "good" ones with "1/4 moisturizing cream" or whatever.)

-HORMONES are the #1 culprit for adult acne in women. Your body goes through a drastic hormone change every 7 years, and so for a lot of people acne happens around 21, 28, 35, and so on. Mine happened to come (after a lifetime of mostly normal, if a little oily skin) right around my 28th b-day. And RIGHT after I got my license as an Esthetician. BUMMER. If you are broken out around your chin or cheeks, it's hormones, and that are is also aggravated by stress (another point made earlier.) Since some acne is hormonal, a lot of times a hormonal birth control can clear it up, like the Pill, I however, have not experienced this phenomenon after 3 months back on that lil' pill.

-Exercise helps greatly! Another great reason to jump on the elliptical!

-As Sarazan mentioned, food does not cause acne! Thank goodness!!!! Though if your diet is rich in animal fats (beef, pork, CHEESE) your skin MAY be more prone to break out. As always proper diet and nutrition does play a role in the health of your skin.

-Cleanse your face TWICE a day! Morning and evening, like it's your new religion. Tone with an an ALCOHOL-FREE toner, and use a lightweight moisturizer, and DON'T YOU DARE forget that SPF in daylight hours!! If you have blackheads, use a product with salicylic acid to treat ONLY the areas with blackheads (it's really good at cleaning out those blackheads from the inside out). If you have nasty red PUSTULES (ew, right? appropriately named!!) apply the TINIEST amount of a Benzoyl Peroxide treatment product. It is very drying and can cause redness. (The P. Acnes bacterium is anerobic, meaning it cannot live in the presence of oxygen, and Benzoyl perOXIDE products deliver their enemy!) If you can't cleanse your face twice a day without your skin feeling too dry, you need to swap your cleanser, as it's too drying.

-Sarazan said it when she told you NOT TO POP YOUR zits! I know better than anyone reading this how tempting it is to squeeze them, but it spreads those nasty bacteria, thus making your skin look worse for longer, when if you had left it alone, it would have cleared up with a lil' BPO in a few days. Now blackheads are a different story. Don't PICK at them, but extract them by applying pressure with 2 q-tips on either side.

-I am going to go to the dermatologist as soon as I can afford it and get a prescription product, because even with all I know and all the great products and machines I have access to and religiously cleansing and treating my face, I STILL HAVE AWFUL HORMONAL ACNE.

-Any skin questions, post on here or email Sarazan and she'll get them to me.

Best wishes for clear, happy skin in 2010!! Haha!

(Sorry for errors, I'm too tired to proofread.)


Sazaran said...

Stevie!!!!!!!! I wish I would have called you before I bought proactiv. It's really that bad?! Perhaps I shall just use it for the duration of this supply and then sack it?

I'm so glad you told me to get rid of the St. Ives junk- I HATE IT. It's gone, on your recommendation.

So, if I shouldn't use Proactiv, do you recommend a specific product? Something that you've tried? I know for sure that my acne is from hormones (I'm still nursing Mal) and stress (no need of explanation there) so maybe I'll just have to wait it out? I have noticed that about 70% of my acne is on my hairline... I try to wash my hair ever couple days or so. It's just so dry here.

Also, what makeup do you think is best? I know about the whole non-comodegenic rule and SPF... what do you use??

StevieNachoMamaSenn said...

So I'm going back and forth... I PERSONALLY think that SOME routine is better than NO routine. Some would argue with me. If it's hormonal acne, unfortunately there's not a whole lot of difference you can make with routine or product unless you wanna spend the big bucks and hit up a doctor.

For your hairline, it's probably something very simple like you are probably not getting all the hair product cleansed properly from that area. It's a very common area to have blackheads and breakouts for this reason. We'll discuss your skin when we chat tomorrow (I'm calling you, BTW). I'd like to see a non-touched-up pic so I can assess a little better. I'll do a little more research and see what I come up with.

As far as makeup goes, mineral is the way to go. Bare Essentials is good, Jane Iredale, Stila, etc. Avoid ingredients like talc though. Comedogenic means "it doesn't clog pores" (the technical name for a blackhead is comedone, lol). Everyone should use non-comedogenic, but those with breakout-prone skin especially need to look for this. And I say the more quantity of SPF the better, like using an SPF moisturizer and having some in the makeup you use too. Though you do not need to go above a 30 for face OR body. You are only putting unnecessary chemicals on your skin at this point. I have a wealth of sun knowledge too that I can post.

I meant to include in my last comment that there are some ingredients that need to be avoided at all costs:
1 - Mineral oil. (Used in many lotions and is the main ingredient in baby oil.) It's not harmful, though it clogs your pores and doesn't allow any moisture into your skin.
2 - SD Alcohol. "SD" means special denatured which boils down to "not for human consumption. VERY drying and overall bad for your skin.
3 - Lanolin. Derived from sheep's wool and has an extremely high reactivity and allergy rate.
4 - Isopropyl myristate. An alcohol derivative that is very pore clogging.
5 - in your SPF, fragrance. Fragrance ATTRACTS the sun, which is the exact opposite of what we want to do with our SPF.

There's more, I'll post soon when my brain is less hazy.

Love ya!

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