Having acne is never fun. The breakouts can be really unsightly and painful to the touch. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, you are also at risk for developing permanent scars. Breakouts seem to be timed to perfection – exactly when you don’t want them – and it can be very difficult to control.
In this article, we will look at the reasons why you might have acne and how you can effectively control it.
What Causes Acne?
Conventional wisdom holds that a diet rich in fats and junk food will exacerbate acne. There is also a commonly held belief that the acne stems from the skin being dirty. Both beliefs have now been proven false but persist in common culture.
The simple fact is that we don’t really understand exactly what causes acne. Scientists do, however, believe that there is a definite hormonal component to it.
Hormones go into overdrive and this increases the production of sebum on the surface of the skin. But that is only part of the equation.
The turnover of the skin cells is also increased and this increases the likelihood of the pores becoming blocked.
The sebum builds up behind these pores and the area becomes inflamed and sometimes infected. Acne is the result.
How to Treat Acne
Contrary to commonly held beliefs, cleaning your skin too often may make the problem worse. Diet does also play a role in acne management but not in the way that you would think.
Cleaning Your Skin
It seems to make sense – you want to clear that oil off your skin as often as possible to stop it blocking the pores in the first place. The problem with this is that acne-prone skin is a lot more sensitive. By constantly cleaning it, you are actually just going to dry out the skin.
The skin will then produce more sebum to counteract the drying effect.
It is best for your skin to clean it only twice a day – morning and night. More than that is too much.
Use the Right Treatment
The next thing that we do to acne-prone skin is to throw every medicated cleanser we can find at it. Again, the problem with this approach is that it is very drying and can actually damage the skin underneath.
It is best to start with the lowest dose products that you can get away with and only bring out the big guns if you really have to.
You also need to consider your skin type underneath the acne. Not all acne-prone skin is oily. You must take the skin condition underneath the acne into account. If you can balance out the pH of your “normal” skin, you will find that the acne becomes more manageable as well.
Fat is Good
The notion that eating fat causes greasy skin is really outdated. We know now that we need to supply our bodies with the right fats so that they are able to repair and protect themselves. The skin is especially vulnerable if we don’t have the right intake of essential fatty acids.
A healthy diet should have a fat content of 30%. You should include either two servings of oily fish a week or an Omega 3 supplement to ensure that you get the right amount of essential fatty acids.
Eating junk food once in a while is not going to cause you to break out. As long as you are following a healthy diet most of the time, you will be able to indulge once in a while.
That said, eating a healthy, balanced diet is important so that you can keep your blood sugar stable. You want to keep your blood sugar stable because repeated spikes can lead to hormonal imbalances. And that, in turn, can cause acne to flare up.
All in all, acne is something that needs to be dealt with in a much kinder way than conventional wisdom would suggest. Overmedicating the skin can be just as bad as not medicating it at all for acne.
Here are some of our anti-acne products