Banish those Break Outs!
We all want to make that good first impression and nothing shatters our self confidence like an acne breakout. 85% of the US population experience acne between the ages of 12 and 24. While not only annoying, painful, and embarrassing, these acne outbreaks can also cause long term scaring. While the solutions to dealing with and reducing acne can be complicated, there is some basic knowledge that could keep you in control without having to run to the Doctor for expensive prescriptions.
Firstly, it's important to understand what causes acne. Here are the most common triggers...
- Hormonal Factors (Puberty/Menstruation/Menopause)
- Humid Climates
- Make Up
- Genetic Predisposition
- Certain Medications
But here is what's really happening...
We have hair follicles on our faces. Each of these hair follicles have sebaceous glands at the base of these. These glands become activated at puberty when Andogen hormones (which turns into estrogen in females) levels begin to rise and trigger the glands to grow and begin to release oily secretions called sebum. This sebum carries dead skin through the follicle pores as a way to eliminate dead skin cells. Sometimes these skin cells become blocked in the pores and create blackheads and/or bacteria grows to create actual infection to create, whiteheads, pimples, or even painful cysts. Sometimes these hormones create situations which grow more glands which create an excess sebum secretion which can break down cell walls in pores that cause the bacteria build up.
Our theory for most normal break outs is to work with your body - Not against it. "Don't wake the beast!" There are some fights you won't win, so don't go into this battle head to head (pun intended), but rather learn to use a gentle redirection. If your body has a sebum problem, then create a situation where your face and body are hydrated and moisturized as to not create a situation where your sebaceous glands are triggered to overproduce.
Great! So now what...
(1) Wash your face daily with a gentle, moisturizing natural soap (not chemical based, skin stripping commercial detergents). Do not over exfoliate or scrub your face hard - remember be gentle and Don't wake the beast. Let your soap do the work - its what its made for.
- We sell a line of facial soaps great for oil and acne prone skin. Find your favorite:
(2) Moisturize with the rights oils. I'm not fan of facial lotions as they contain emulsifiers and additives that are used to allow for water and oils to mix and these ingredients can trigger the sebaceous glands in a way that promotes the breakouts you are trying to prevent. Oils that are high in linoleic acid are best and used to help moisturize acne prone skin while still allowing those pores to remain unclogged.
- Check out our OSW Clarifying oil blend here.
(3) Be aware that wearing facial concealers and cover-ups regularly can create a cyclical issue of covering up the blemishes that the make up actually contributes to. I always recommend limiting use of all over foundation to special occasions to allow for your face to breathe. Your face doesn't need to look flawless and plastic to be beautiful. After all-healthy skin IS beautiful skin.
(4). We recommend that after make up removal, to wash your faces and regularly use a gentle toner to help cleanse and tone and minimize pores. Our brand new Clarifying Toner is armed with Witch Hazel infused with Bergamot and Tea Tree to assist in allowing your pores to contently do their jobs unimpeded.
Some other ways to help your body fight the break outs...
- Diet! Get your vitamin rich foods in you - fresh vegetable and nourishing mineral based meals help your body operate properly. Fast food diets will promote acne breakouts.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush out toxin buildup in our bodies. This is huge in keeping us functioning at our best.
- Here's yet another platform for Green Tea to shine. It is believed that the polyphenols from green tea helps clear up blemishes in the skin - so drink up.
- Allow your face to sweat - get it out and then wash your face. Sweating is good for us - cleans our pores, eliminates toxins and cools us off...win-win-win.
So, we'll do everything we can to prevent acne break outs now, but what about dealing with break outs when you have them. I'm not sure why I didn't know about this solution when I was young, but here is our go-to magic solution...
Baker's Black Drawing Salve is used as a 'get rid of 'em fast' method as it creates a hydrostatic pulling action for things like splinters, boils, and infections but also clogged pores and blemishes. Use a small dollop of salve with a band-aid and keep on overnight (or while you work from home). The very best ones to keep on hand are those round ones (finally a reason to use those suckers). Allow the drawing salve to stay on as long as you can until it pulls the infection out. We have found this to be the fastest way to help your body heal the blemish without picking and popping.
For the instances where you have picked at your face (we've all done it), Rose and Geranium are my go to scar prevention options. We will have a rose scar prevention roll on coming soon - stay tuned.
Wishing you all the confidence to go out and face the world!
Peace and Love,