Facial for Acne-Prone Skin
If you have acne-prone skin, you need to be careful about the ingredients in the facial products that you use. Some ingredients may aggravate sensitive skin and cause outbreaks. You should avoid other ingredients and treatments when your skin is broken, or when you have an active outbreak. Some ingredients in facial creams and masks may help head off outbreaks and keep your skin clear and smooth.
Acne vulgaris, the most common type of acne, will affect approximately 95 percent of people, says Dr. David Leffell, author of "Total Skin." For many, those outbreaks will happen during their teen years, though many men and women continue to have outbreaks of acne--vulgaris, rosacea and other types--into adulthood.
Acne can be uncomfortable physically, and it can result in permanent scarring. Even when the papules, lesions and bumps associated with acne don't scar, they can make you self-conscious and affect your self-esteem. Understanding the needs of acne-prone skin can help you choose facial products and treatments that may reduce outbreaks, or at the very least, avoid aggravating them.
Facials make your skin feel and look better by removing dirt and sebum that clogs facial pores. Some treatments, such as facial massage, temporarily increase blood circulation. Others, such as facial masks and mild natural peels, gently dissolve and remove dead cells on the skin surface.
Facials that use antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients may help reduce acne outbreaks that are caused by yeast or bacteria, according to Doris J. Day, author of "100 Questions and Answers About Acne." Day says that facials can be relaxing and soothing to the skin, adding that some find them therapeutic.
A typical facial for acne-prone skin starts with skin cleansing, followed by a combination of facial massage, heat wraps or steam, extraction of blackheads and application of creams. The cleansing may include a facial mask, often made with clay or a gentle skin peel using mild fruit acids. An aesthetician provides massage using fingertips or a vibrator, and then uses either fingernails or an instrument to press out blackheads.
An energetic massage by an unskilled or over-enthusiastic aesthetician may irritate your skin. Creams and lotions may include ingredients that aggravate acne or trigger an outbreak. The most concerning part of a facial for acne-prone skin, however, is the extraction.
Squeezing blackheads can cause redness and scarring that lasts for months, according to author Doris J. Day. It may also drive impurities deeper into the skin, where they cause infections. She recommends skipping the extraction part of the facial entirely, especially with an aesthetician you don't know well.
Things to Avoid
Any product that is oily or greasy may clog pores that are already prone to building up sebum, notes Dr. David Leffel. If your skin is prone to acne breakouts, avoid products that contain petrolatum, lanolin, cocoa oil, olive oil, sesame oil and peanut oil.
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