Acne & Natural Products
Acne affects people of all ages and is usually treated using harsh chemical creams that contain benzoyl peroxide. Unfortunately, these topical treatments can sometimes be too strong for the skin, leaving behind irritation such as redness or peeling. By understanding how to treat your skin using natural products and methods, you'll be able to clear your skin without damaging it.
Types of Cleansers
Cleansing your face is an important part of maintaining clear skin, but there are a few different ways to keep your skin clean. A soap or cleanser designed to treat acne breakouts will dry up blemishes as it cleans your skin, but it may be too irritating to use long term. Your skin does not require intensive cleaning or scrubbing, even when it is affected by acne. As a result, a gentle, natural skin soap is ideal for cleaning the skin without exacerbating breakouts. A gentle, natural soap is one designed for sensitive skin types, and only contains natural ingredients. Dr. Bronner's bar soap is ideal, and can be purchased at any health food store. Another alternative to soap is a natural, non-comedogenic oil that will bind to impurities in your skin and flush out the pores. Olive, castor and jojoba oils are useful in cleansing your skin. Simply massage 1 tsp. of oil onto your face for two minutes, then drape a steaming washcloth so that it covers your face until it cools. Use the cool washcloth to wipe away the remaining oil. Repeat two times per day.
Types of Spot Treatments
Spot-treating acne involves applying a substance directly to the individual acne pustules or cysts, which dries out the blemishes and kills off acne-causing bacteria. According to the Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, two of the most common acne spot treatments are benzoyl peroxide cream and tea tree oil. Benzoyl peroxide cream is very strong, even in the lower concentrations, and can cause the skin to become highly irritated and inflamed. To avoid this, it is possible to gain the same skin-clearing effects by applying natural tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is an antimicrobial oil that kills off acne-causing bacteria on the skin. Tea tree oil must first be diluted into a 5% solution before applying it to breakouts, as it can cause redness if used undiluted on the skin.
When treating acne naturally, it is helpful to follow a daily routine that involves cleansing and treating your skin in the morning and again at night. Treat your skin as gently as possible, and avoid rubbing or scrubbing your skin, which can make acne worse.
Avoid using tea tree oil in its full strength. Using acne spot treatments that are too strong for your skin can cause severe irritation and even a mild chemical burn. If redness or burning occurs, stop using tea tree oil until you talk to your doctor.
If no irritation develops after using natural acne treatments, continue using your cleansing method and spot treatments twice per day for at least three weeks. If three weeks have passed and you do not notice a significant change in your acne breakouts, consult a doctor or a dermatologist.
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