Face Wash for Adult Acne
The bacteria that cause acne do not recognize age. While teens are more likely to suffer from acne, some adults are just as prone to outbreak because of the overproduction of the protein keratin, which creates an environment in which a particular bacteria tends to thrive. Our bodies encase these colonies in small cysts that we recognize as pimples. While it is not possible to reduce keratin production, preventing the growth of germs with a soothing face wash can alleviate acne symptoms.
How to Wash Your Face
When adult acne strikes, our first response is to attack it ferociously. Unfortunately this usually causes more harm than good. Acne begins under the surface of the skin, beneath the dirt and oil we can see. Scrubbing your face with harsh chemicals or picking at pimples does not address the cause of the outbreak and merely irritates the skin. The best way to wash your face when acne occurs is to use gentle cleanser. For existing pimples and inflamed cysts, "Any good toilet soap may be used," according to the Merck Manual. "Antibacterial soaps are of no benefit, and abrasive soaps will make it impossible to use ... benzoyl peroxide (an antiseptic)."
What to Look for in a Wash
The key element of any effective facial wash for adult acne is its antibacterial properties. While many washes contain herbs or chemicals that sooth irritated skin, unless they also have an antiseptic component, they are merely treating the symptoms. The best acne wash has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that address both the cause and the symptoms; antibiotics prevent future outbreaks and anti-inflammatory agents sooth irritated skin.
This herb contains chemicals with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Make a tea from the dried flowers, using one teaspoon of the herb with one cup of hot water. Allow the liquid to cool and then use as a facial wash.
The essential oil distilled from this flower has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, write Dr. Linda White and Steven Foster in their book, "The Herbal Drug Store." They caution that the undiluted oil is very astringent, so a half-teaspoon in a cup of warm water will suffice as a facial wash. But the undiluted oil can be dabbed directly on trouble spots with a cotton swab.
Olive Leaf Wash
Olive leaf extract or tea made from loose leaves has been found to combat bacteria and sooth inflamed skin, according to Drs. Donald Hoffman and Barry Fox in "Alternative Cures that Really Work." It is important to note that Hoffman and Fox are talking about the leaves of the olive plant, not the oil or the fruit. They recommend looking for a dried leaf product that has an oleuropein content of 20 percent or higher (oleuropein is the active ingredient that fights acne).
Oregon Graperoot and Goldenseal
These two herbs contain berberine, a chemical that has strong antibacterial properties. Use two teaspoons of dried graperoot or goldenseal in two cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes, White and Foster recommend. The decoction can be used as a wash or compress.
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