A Facial Mask for Skin With Acne
Acne develops as the result of pores becoming blocked with an oil called sebum. This oil is secreted from the sebaceous glands and is intended to hydrate the skin. When excess amounts are made the pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and dirt. Pimples, blackheads and papules--blind pimples--then form. MayoClinic.com notes that evidence points towards hormonal changes being the cause of acne developing, not poor hygiene and bad diet.
The pure honey that is made from the flower of the manuka tree, native only to New Zealand, is considered a good natural remedy for wound healing and repairing acne lesions. The Unique Manuka Factor, or UMF, is a grading given to each batch of manuka honey and judges how potent its beneficial properties are. According to DermNetNZ, a batch with UMF of 10+ is considered of medicinal quality by medical professional in New Zealand.
"Reader's Digest: 1001 Home Remedies" notes that honey can be applied straight to pimples. Apply the manuka in a thick coating over the whole face to form a mask. Leave on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. It can also be mixed with cooked, but cooled, oatmeal. Do not heat the honey before using as this can severely damage the manuka's beneficial properties.
Honey is said to have both antimicrobial and healing effects. BastyrCenter notes that honey uses a technique called osmosis whereby its very high sugar content helps to draw fluid, infection and bacteria from the damaged skin, reducing inflammation. Acidic pH and hydrogen peroxide, produced via enzymes, help prevent the growth of further bacteria. The airtight environment that honey can form over the skin helps to create a moisture-rich area in which fast healing is promoted.
Manuka can cause mild skin irritation when applied topically, so it is best to consult with your doctor first. Apply to a small area of skin, not on the face, as testing. Despite the fact that Manuka is a commercial product sold in many health food stores, where its effectiveness is claimed, MayoClinic.com points out that alternative medicine still has much to prove before it can be considered a serious treatment option.
A doctor may recommend a glycolic acid face mask for your acne lesions. These products are available over-the-counter at most drug stores. Glycolic acid is derived largely from citrus fruits and is an alpha-hydroxy-acid, notes 3Dchem.com. It is available in a variety of strengths, the most potent of which can only be administered as clinical-grade chemical peels. It works by burning off the outermost layers of dead skin cells, dirt and oil, thus preventing further acne outbreaks.
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