Natural Treatment for Acne and Blackheads
Acne is caused by a blockage of pores. A sebum plug forms and can become infected or inflamed. Whiteheads are pores that are completely blocked so that the sebum plug is not exposed to air. Blackheads are sebum plugs that oxidize or darken because they are exposed to air. Red, swollen and painful pimples are the result of infection in a blocked pore. Self-treatment such as squeezing pores can cause more infection and scarring.
Products containing alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), retinol (vitamin A), and niacinamide (vitamin B3), are effective for the treatment of acne, according to an article in the July 2008 Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. In fact retinol is widely used to treat acne, as are vitamin C preparations. A June 2010 article in the same journal reports green tea, niacinamide and feverfew can be effecting in combating acne and rosacea.
Eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, E and niacinamide. Vitamin E is found in nuts, peanut butter, wheat germ and avocado. Sources for vitamin C are sweet peppers, oranges, vegetable juice cocktail, strawberries, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple and mango, as well as sweet potato and cauliflower. Vitamin A can be found in carrot juice, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, collards and kale. Niacinamide can be found in cereals, legumes, asparagus, seeds, milk, green leafy vegetables and fish. Eat fruits and vegetables with an ounce of nuts or seeds daily for healthy skin and less acne.
Retinol--vitamin A--can be found in many beauty products, but it is also found in red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. You can make a mask for your face with strawberries, avocado or papaya, for instance. Combine 2 tbsp. of strawberry, avocado or papaya with a teaspoon of honey and beat to a smooth cream. Apply to your face for 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Massage 1/2 tsp. olive, avocado or almond oil into your face while it is still damp to retain moisture.
Cleanse and exfoliate your face with colloidal oatmeal, which is oatmeal that has been pulverized in a blender into a fine powder. Mix a spoonful of oatmeal powder with enough chamomile tea or green tea to make a thin paste. Massage your face with the oatmeal paste and rinse thoroughly. Moisturize with 1/2 tsp. olive, avocado or almond oil.
Picking and squeezing blackheads can cause infections and scars. Remove blackheads the way estheticians do--with steam. Drop three chamomile or green tea bags into a pot of boiling water and remove from the heat. Hold your face in the steam, with a towel over your head for five or 10 minutes. This will open your pores and soften the sebum plugs. Press gently at the side of each blackhead with a facial tissue. It should come out easily. If it doesn't, use oatmeal to gently scrub the top layer from blackheads and then dab hydrogen peroxide on to make them invisible.
Allow the tea to cool, after steaming your face, and use it as a toner when you wash your face or after removing your papaya mask. Keep it refrigerated until used.
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