All Natural Skin Care for Acne & Blackheads
Although adults often have acne breakouts, acne can be overwhelming for teenagers, affecting self-esteem, making them feel vulnerable and isolated. It can become a chronic problem, and lead to scar tissue and more serious infections. Current medical thought is that acne needs to be aggressively treated, and that natural retinoids are the best treatment, according to the September 2006 journal "Pediatrics."
Drs. Zaenglein and Thiboutot, authors of the article in "Pediatrics," state that "retinoids target the microcomedo, the precursor to all acne lesions." Retinoids used with an antimicrobial agent target three factors that cause acne, resulting in significantly faster and better results.
Causes of Acne
Acne is caused mainly by hormonal changes in the body which increase oil production. Normally sebum, skin oil, exits the oil glands through your pores and creates a natural barrier on your skin to prevent infection and retain moisture. When the pores are plugged by sebum and dead skin cells, they can become inflamed. Blackheads are plugged pores that are open to the air so that the oil oxidizes. Whiteheads are plugged pores that are closed so that the oil cannot escape. Pimples are due to infection of blocked pores.
Vitamin A, source of natural retinoids, is found in fruits and vegetables. To naturally treat or prevent acne, eat foods high in vitamin A, including dark green leafy vegetables, squash, leeks, peas, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, cantaloupe, grapefruit, guava, mango, papaya, tomatoes and watermelon.
Make a vitamin A mask at home by combining 2 tbsp. of fresh papaya with 1 tsp. of honey and beating until you have a creamy mixture. Apply it to your face and rest for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Besides vitamin A, fruit and honey also have alpha-hydroxy acid, which exfoliates dead skin cells and draws moisture to your skin.
Natural Anti-microbial Herbs
According to an article in the June 2010 "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology," green tea and feverfew are effective for treating acne. Other herbs with anti-microbial action are members of the mint and sunflower families, and rosemary. If your skin is sensitive, you may find peppermint to be too strong, but green tea or chamomile tea are both soothing. Make a cup of green or peppermint tea and allow it to cool. Use to rinse your face after washing or after your papaya mask.
Cleanse with a light natural soap, or wash your face with milk and rinse thoroughly. Steam your face with a face cloth dipped in hot green or herbal tea. Make an all-natural gentle scrub by blending a few raw almonds with water in a blender. Massage the scrub in gentle circles to remove dead skin cells and whiten blackheads. Rinse the scrub with your green or herbal tea. Use papaya and honey to make a humectant vitamin A mask. After rinsing off the mask, moisturize your clean, still-damp skin with 1/2 tsp. of a very light oil like almond oil to seal in moisture.
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