Want to get rid of pimples, zits, spots or outbreaks? Let’s be honest acne can be so frustrating and embarrassing for some. Acne is a long term inflammatory disease of the skin. It can range from mild to severe.
What Causes Acne?
Where there are hair follicles, there are sebaceous (oil) glands. The job of these glands is to produce sebum (oil) to lubricate and protect your hair and skin. Sebaceous glands are receptive to hormone levels in the blood. Testosterone increase the production of sebum, whilst oestrogen can repress it. Males have much more testosterone than females, and so males can be affected far worse. Women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have raised levels of testosterone and so are more inclined to suffer from oily skin and acne.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Ance
- Lightly exfoliate regularly: Regular exfoliation will help to unblock pores and limit new spots from appearing. Use light and natural scrub once or twice a week and avoid harsh chemical scrubs as they can exacerbate spots. Exfoliating should not be done too frequently as it can aggravate your skin, causing more inflammation.
- Exercise: Many acne sufferers stop exercising as they feel that sweating exacerbates spots. In fact, exercise helps unblock your pores by making you sweat. Just ensure you wash straight after a workout.
- Healthy foods: Almonds, blueberries, avocados and kidney beans are a few foods that can help to reduce and prevent inflammation.
- Avoid sunbeds: Exposure to the sun is essential to get vitamin D which strengthen our bones. It’s necessary always to wear sun protection with UVA and UVB protection when in the sun and avoid sunbeds altogether as they emit vast levels of UV rays which are very damaging to your skin.
- Shower once a day: Over-washing can aggravate the skin and cause more inflammation which can exacerbate acne.
- Increase water intake: Water is essential for all body functions, including the liver, which controls hormone production. Drinking water will help keep you in optimal health. Drink two litres a day or more if you are exercising.
- Go make-up free, or use mineral-based make-up: make-up can block your pores. But if you need to cover up blemishes, use mineral-based foundation and concealer as it is less likely to clog your pores.
- Wash make-up off thoroughly: Washing make-up off with water and a cleanser before going to sleep to unblock your pores, allowing your skin to breath.
- Don’t touch!
Different Types of Acne Spots
5 Ways to Improve Acne
1) Salicylic Acid
Salicylic Acid is extracted from the Willow tree producing beta-hydroxy Acid. It is lipophilic, meaning that it is a soluble oil acid that can infiltrate into pores and unclogs follicles by breaking apart dead skin cells and softening the skin.
Salicylic acid properties:
- Keratolytic (helps exfoliate dead skin cells)
- It penetrates pores to loosen clogged follicles by breaking apart dead skin cells, softening them, and helping them slough off the skin.
Learn More: Salicylic Acid Supplements
2) Vitamin C, Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid
Vitamin C can improve your skin tone and hyperpigmentation. It can brighten your appearance of the skin and help neutralise the damaged areas.
Retinol is a great anti-ageing ingredient as it causes the top layer of skin to replenish faster, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin glow. It also deals with uneven skin tone and texture.
Hyaluronic Acid binds 1,000 times its weight in water providing moisture to your skin. Your skin will feel and look more hydrated. Hyaluronic Acid is gentle on the skin and can be used on all skin types.
Probiotics are great bacterial supplements as it calms inflammation and restores skin barrier function. It also protects your skin from harmful environmental particles to repress bacteria growth. They can be used for skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or rosacea.
Learn More: Probiotics Supplements
4) Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a plant inherent to North America and parts of Asia. It is extracted from the bark or leaves of the plant. Witch hazel is involved in protein synthesis, which tightens pores. The natural antioxidant-rich tannins that witch hazel contains can calm the appearance of red, irritated, or blotchy skin, as it reduces inflammation. It is an astringent on the skin and absorbs the excess oil. The antimicrobial properties reduce the bacteria growing on the skin, thereby reducing breakouts. The other properties help to refine the appearance of pores, inflammation, tighten the skin and even the skin tone.
Learn More: Witch Hazel Supplements
5) Zinc and Niacinamide
Zinc is an essential mineral required in the body. It protects your immune system by attacking acne bacteria. Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is the active form of niacin ( vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid). Perfect for oily skin.
- Fights Free Radicals
- Fades Pigmentation
- Reduces Redness
- Reduces Wrinkles
- Regulates Oil Production
- Shrinks Pores and Smooths Texture
- Strengthens the Skin Barrier
- Reduces dryness
- Protects from UV damage
Disclaimer: Before you begin taking any supplement, it is crucial to discuss this with your GP or health professional. Any advice given here is to promote your internal health.