Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bad Foods vs. Good Foods: Find the Balance

Below you will find some good reasons to cut back on empty foods, along with some alternative options that are healthy and packed with nutrients. Remember that foods are endless, so if one replacement doesn't suit you, don't get discouraged. Once you make one good choice about your diet, you'll make another, and another, and another. It's that easy!

Bad Carbohydrates: carbohydrates that are bad are comprised of refined, simple sugars. These include wheat products, anything with sugar, and processed flours. Examples of bad carbohydrates include pastries, cookies, sweets, and some cereals (such as cornflakes or rice crispies). Because most of these flours and sugars are refined, they are stripped of most nutrients. As a result, food manufacturers incorporate supplemental vitamins and minerals that are not readily absorbed as naturally occurring nutrients are in the body.

Good Carbohydrates: carbohydrates are present almost everywhere. Fortunately, with the enormous variety of carbohydrates that exist, we can still make healthy choices while satisfying our cravings. To curb your carbohydrate cravings, go for fruits and vegetables, whole wheat or grain breads, and cereals and brown rice.

Bad Vegetables: veggies are not only delicious; they are easy on the digestive system and packed with tissue enhancing nutrients. Nevertheless, many people forget that in the process of cooking our vegetables, vitamins and minerals and weakened. If vegetables are boiled for a long period of time, all nutrients can be lost in the boiling liquid, making vegetables just as empty as fast foods.

Good Vegetables: To make the most of your vegetable intake, try to consume as many veggies as possible in their raw state. Instead of making white grain pasta with broccoli, try a cold pasta salad with whole-wheat noodles, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, and quinoa for a fully balanced meal. Dress with a natural, pure oil such as olive oil and incorporate some acid (lemon, lime juice, or vinegar) to ease digestion and supply vitamin C.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Natural Cures for Acne

Baking Soda
What it Does: baking soda is found in any supermarket and most drugstores. It is a powerful cleaner, antiseptic, and also - amazingly - used for baking cakes, muffins, and other goodies. When used on the skin, baking soda acts not only as a bacterial-inhibitor, but as an exfoliant. It gently sloughs away dead skin cells, which accumulate within and around follicles that later cause a plug.

Application: to apply baking soda as an exfoliant, mix about a tablespoon with a small amount of water to make a spreadable paste. Apply to your face gently, without pressing, in circular
motion. Baking soda is composed of millions of granules - the ones responsible for the scrubbing effects of its use.

Because of this, make sure to very gently massage the paste onto your skin for just 10-20 seconds to avoid ruptures and extreme dehydration. Rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry.

Tea Tree Oil
What it Does: tea tree oil is yet another one of nature's powerful antiseptics. It kills acne-causing bacteria and inhibits their propagation. Tea tree oil can be hard to find in some places, so if you're having trouble, try a health food store or smaller scale pharmacies. They are sure to carry it.

Application: tea tree oil can be used both as a spot treatment and an all-face application. For spot treatments, the oil is to be applied undiluted on the affected area using a q-tip. For whole face use, dilute the oil with another beneficial oil such as jojoba oil. The mixed solution in this case ought to be mainly jojoba oil, as tea tree oil is not only extremely powerful, its smell is strong and pungent like that of eucalyptus.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Controlling Dry Skin

Dry skin is a prominent aspect of acne and acne treatments. Whether you are breaking out because of your skin being dry or you are flaking in response to a treatment, controlling the moisture in your skin should be a priority.

Dry skin is characterized by having discolorations and uneven tone. Fine lines are accentuated and wrinkles become more visible when the skin lacks moisture. With dry skin, the elasticity of the skin is restricted and increases our proneness to follicle ruptures and lesions.

In response to a dry skin type, some people break out as their oil glands attempt to compensate by secreting higher quantities of sebum.

Acne treatments work by inhibiting oil glands in the skin and controlling the amount of sebum that is secreted into the follicle. Because of this, and especially during the first stages of a treatment where we are first responding to the medications applied, dry skin can be a major hit to how we perceive the treatment's effectiveness.

But fear not. Even though dry skin is unavoidable when treating acne, it generally subsides after the first month or two of treatment, when retained dead skin cells have been shed.

In the meantime, you can minimize dryness and soothe your skin in several ways:

(a) Drink plenty of water:
Like exercise, drinking enough water is essential to having a healthy lifestyle. Also, when suffering from acne, drinking water becomes particularly important. Drink at least two liters of water per day to flush away toxins, ease nutrient transport/absorption, and moisturize your skin. Since water is a transporting medium, drinking enough water will also accelerate tissue healing and body resilience.

(b) Use light-bodied but powerful moisturizers:
If you are using a lightweight face moisturizer, you can try switching to "all day moisture" humectants or to light, non-comedogenic face creams for dry skin. As an alternative, you can add a few drops of jojoba oil into your face lotion to reinforce its moisturizing power.

(c) Don't over wash your skin:
Over washing will lead to dry skin no matter what. Gently wash your face a maximum of two times a day for 10-20 seconds. Use a non-soap, non-comedogenic gentle foaming wash to prevent irritability and pore plugs.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Natural Cures for Acne Relief

Natural cures for acne guide.

Yogurt (makeup remover), a mixture of yogurt and honey can both cleanse and moisturize the skin.

A combination of one cup of yogurt to two and a half tablespoons of honey can be used to remove makeup. Just put a small amount of the mixture on a cotton ball and smooth it over your skin until all cosmetics have been cleaned off. Rinse off and pat skin dry.

What it Does: niacin is a part of the B vitamin family, and has only recently been linked as an acne combatant. Niacin works in the body by neutralizing free radicals and detoxifying cellular tissues. In addition, it is a powerful cellular regenerator and enhances cell metabolism. Application: niacin is taken as an oral supplement. Take two times the directed amount for 1-2 months for best results.

What it Does: avocado is known to contain omega-3 fatty acids, a powerful moisturizer. If you're suffering from dry skin and flaking due to a rigorous acne treatment or regimen, using an avocado mask can restore your skin with much needed humectation.

Application: mash up a half avocado and smooth over skin. Allow to act for 20 minutes or until dry. Rinse off and pat skin dry. You feel your skin tightened, elastic and radiant.

Egg Whites
What it Does: egg whites contain high levels of protein, which makes them suitable to be used as a mask for the purpose of skin regeneration. The whites also absorb impurities and excess oil secreted by the skin, regularizing its oiliness and reducing breakouts.

Separate the yolk from the white - one egg will do. Whisk the white briskly and apply it to your face using your fingertips or a cotton pad. Allow the mask to dry for about 15 minutes. Gently rinse the egg off with warm water and pat skin dry.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yoga's Cognitive and Psychological Effects

The pros of Yoga in terms of acne relief are especially marked in the intense relaxation response that this exercise triggers. Since acne is exacerbated by even the most minimal amount of stress, an exercise that can relax you while toning your muscles is the perfect alternative for an acne-prone individual.

This relaxation response has wonderful effects on the body, as it allows it to slow down and focus within its function. In addition, this provides a break for the mind, allowing it to unwind and experience the pleasant feeling of muscles and internal functions relaxing into their habitual positions.

Acne has the marked effect of causing emotional pain in many of its sufferers. It can lower self-esteem and cause social withdrawal that only worsens stress levels and the acne itself.

Because of this, yoga's relaxation effects on the mind, as well as the improvement that it reflects on our bodies helps increase self-acceptance and reduce mood swings, while lowering incidences of anxiety, depression, anti-social behavior and hostility.

Yoga also improves brain functions and cognition, easing movement and flexibility, awakening reflexes, and reducing our reaction time. Since yoga is a strong cognition enhancer, it is used as an anti-aging exercise to slow down the effects of aging and maintain efficient cognitive functions and motor skills.

Memory has shown to be improved with regular yoga exercise, as learning has been proved to be facilitated with its practice.

Even though it can be hard to believe that such a simple workout that anyone can do could have such amazing effects, don't be skeptical. It's true. Jump on and try some yoga today - there is nothing better to treat the whole body.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are You Doing These Things To Stay Clear?

Go Natural: Avoid processed foods at all costs. Canned, packaged, dried, frozen…all these foods have been cooked for hours to maximize flavors at the lowest possible cost. That means that they are packed with empty calories, little nutrients, and zero enzymes to metabolize, absorb, and assimilate any vitamins or minerals they could contain. Processed foods are also packed with preservatives, dyes, sodium, and flavor enhancers.

All these foreign substances put extra strain on your body, providing it with no nourishment and taking away from its healing time and energy. If you must select processed foods, select those that have short lists of ingredients and are labeled as "all natural." These are the least likely to cause damage to your body.

Avoid Inflammatory Foods: There are certain foods that will only worsen your acne and overall health. Drinks like coffee or anything containing caffeine, alcohol, cream, milk, eggs, and other dairy products are strenuous on the body and require extra effort to metabolize. Fried foods, spicy foods, animal fats, hydrogenated oils, wheat, and soft drinks are also best to stay away from.

Maintain a Consistent Skin Care Regimen: We've all gone through the nightmare of searching for the right product for our skin type. But in the hype of discovering the miracle cream, we forget to give our skin time to adjust to the effects of the new product. By all means, try everything you must before settling for a skin care regimen. Just allow the testing to be done over an extended period of time to truly evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.

Your skin is very sensitive, especially if you are suffering from acne. Remember to be consistent with your routine, and as gentle as you can on your skin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Recap of What We've Learned

Eat Healthy: select easy to digest foods that are high in nutrients. Stick to natural choices like fruits and vegetables, grains, and whole cereals.

Drink Plenty of Water: water not only keeps your skin elastic and glowing, it is a means of transport for nutrients to be absorbed and assimilated into the body. Drink at least two liters of water per day.

Maintain a consistent skin care regimen: once you find a regimen that is good for your skin, stick to it and observe its effects. Make sure to keep a routine so that maintaining consistency is not an issue.

Try one treatment at a time: acne can be troubling and frustrating when we can't seem to get rid of it with anything. But sometimes, we are too impatient to wait for results. Remember that acne mainly occurs due to a prolonged unhealthy lifestyle, so allow a good amount of time for those effects to be undone. Give treatments time to work before switching up, and don't get discouraged about peeling- it is a temporary, and clear sign that the medication is working.

Exercise: whether you do yoga or play racquetball, maintaining an active lifestyle and working out your body helps in tissue repair and resiliency. It is also a powerful therapy to clear the mind of daily troubles and stressors, and improves sleep, mood, and stamina.

Find Balance: don't let your acne get you down. Finding time to unwind and hang out with friends is essential to our well-being and overall health. Withdrawing yourself at home can seem like a
more simple, less stressful choice. But take into account that behaviors turn into habits, and over time habits become hard to break.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dealing with Scars

Scars are a prominent issue when it comes to acne, and they can pose an even bigger threat to our self-esteem than the acne itself. Nevertheless, many acne scars generally go away almost entirely within a year of being acne-free. In many cases, where scars are persistent or if we are trying to accelerate the skin regeneration process, there are several natural alternatives to laser and painful cosmetic treatments that we can resort to.

1) Reduce exfoliation: scars result from a lack of tissue, over-pigmentation, and ruptured follicles that arise from acne. If you are still breaking out, minimize exfoliation as much as possible. Even though exfoliation with abrasives such as sponges and micro particles help the skin shed dead skin-cell accumulation, it also causes scarring by rupturing follicles, and aids in the cross-contamination of acne bacteria in different areas of the skin.

Exfoliation can also remove new skin cells on scar tissue, slowing down its regeneration and in many cases, worsening the scar altogether. Allow you skin cells to renew themselves and use natural exfoliants such as vinegar solutions, lemon juice, or alpha hydroxy acids. These are non-abrasive and gentle on the skin.

2) Don't pick: as is the case with exfoliation, picking on acne lesions ruptures follicles, collapsing its contents (bacteria and pus) into surrounding skin. Their rupture can result in the worsening of the acne lesion, inflammation, and infection. When you use your fingers to pick, not only are you breaking the follicle walls, you are incorporating bacteria and dirt that worsens the conditions of the lesion. This is a terrible habit that causes scarring to become worse, and sometimes, permanent.

3) Use regenerative topicals: natural topicals such as Aloe Vera, olive oil, and Retin-A help the skin regenerate more rapidly, reducing acne scars and strengthening tissues.

4) Laser and Cosmetic Procedures: as a last resort, you can experiment with cosmetic scar reducing methods such as laser and chemical peels. Always consult a doctor first, as they can enlighten you on what is best for you particular case.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Finding a Good Skin Care Regimen

Everyone has different schedules. But fitting a good skin care regimen into your daily routine must be done. Whether you wake up early or are working the graveyard shift, you ought to find a few minutes to take proper care of your skin.

Step 1: Brush
Teeth FirstIt's important to do this first, so that once we tackle our face, it doesn't come in contact with any toothpaste residue or mouth bacteria.

Step 2: Wash Hands
Removing oil, bacteria, and other residues is important to prevent cross-contamination.

Step 3: Wash face
Wet your face with warm water and proceed to wash your face. Use a non-soap, non-comedogenic, oil-free gentle cleanser. Lather your face very gently. Don't rub the face wash into your skin as you would be washing dishes. Your skin is very sensitive, especially if you are suffering from acne, and it is prone to breakages and follicle ruptures. Rupturing a follicle causes a small lesion to become bigger and inflamed, making it more likely for scars to persist.

Step 4: Pat Dry
Again, don't rub your skin dry. Simply pat it to remove excess water, and allow it to air dry for 5-10 minutes before applying any topical. Have some cereal, check your schedule, make a phone
call - just go about your day.

Step 5: Wash Hands

Step 6: Apply Medication
After 5-10 minutes, you can proceed to apply the acne medication of your choice (or your doctor's). The most common acne medication used is Benzoyl Peroxide, but there are other options such as salicylic acid.

Make sure to be extremely gentle while applying the medication, covering all the area of your face (even if you aren't breaking out there). Don't rub the cream in; simply smear it to cover every inch of your face. You should notice your skin looks "wet" after application. Wash your hands and allow the cream to absorb for 10 minutes.

Step 7: Moisturize
Apply moisturizer as directed in step six. Allow to absorb for at least five minutes before applying make up.

Do this regimen twice a day, ideally morning and night. Remember: over-washing your face worsens acne, so don't fall prey to this bad habit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Help Your Skin Clear with These Tips

Sugar Down: sugar is probably the worst food to put in our bodies. It is like a plague, as it is readily found in most processed products, and even in natural foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and even meat. Sugar, especially in high amounts, causes our bodies to experience hormonal imbalances that compromise immunity.

As is the case with moderate to severe acne, a sugar overload can not only give rise to acne, it prevents it from healing, as white blood cells are debilitated and unable to effectively fight acne causing bacteria. Sugar also feeds unwanted yeasts, such as Candida, that grow in our colons.

As a result, our digestive system is compromised, inhibiting the effectiveness of nutrient absorption, worsening our immune response, and ultimately resulting in poor waste management. When the body can't rid itself of waste due an infection due yeast like Candida, that waste isn't metabolized correctly in our systems. As a result, symptoms arise such as oil over-production (acne), hair loss, excessive sweating, wax build, and fluid over-production.

Drink Enough Water: Drink at least two liters of water a day to flush out toxins and help the body cleanse itself.

Do the Dairy Test: try eliminating all dairy products from your diet for 3-4 weeks. You could be experiencing acne that occurs as an allergic response to lactose-based foods, as is the case with dairy products. If you notice that upon introducing this change your skin clears up, it's a clear sign that you are not able to process lactose as you should.

Load Up on Yogurt: if you are not allergic to dairy products, take advantage of soured products such as yogurt, sour cream, and certain cheeses, which contain probiotic bacteria that enhances the body's ability to rid itself of waste.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Even though dermatologists have long said that diet is not related to acne, today we have evidence proving that what we eat not only affects our overall health, it can also affect our skin.

Considering that skin is the largest organ in our bodies, it would be silly to assume that what we put in our bodies will not reflect on our skin.

The skin makes up for 16 percent of our body weight. It is responsible not only for the protection of our organs and tissues, but it helps the body rid itself of waste, working alongside the kidneys, lungs, and colon. The skin reacts to our body's conditions and it reflects mainly on two things: (1) whether we have the necessary nutrients to sustain healthy living functions, and (2) how healthy our living functions are.

It is known that foods like sugars, carbohydrates, processed foods, preservatives, heavy diary products, and junk food all have adverse effects on our bodies. They not only promote mucus formations in the colon due to their yeast feeding qualities, they interfere with the proper cleansing of our systems, making us strongly retain toxins and waste.

One of the worst foods for acne is sugar. It is a devilish food, as it is present in almost everything that we eat, making it very hard to avoid.

Sugar and related sugars (such as carbohydrates) impact our body by altering the glucose levels in our blood. This detonates an insulin response, which makes our blood levels to drastically drop. When we eat more sugar than we are supposed to in a day, the insulin response is triggered constantly, thus affecting other hormones in the process. This generates an important hormonal imbalance that leads to the overproduction of oil and sebum in skin oil glands. The oil plugs our pores trapping bacteria within it, and the follicle results in a skin lesion.

If we maintain a diet that is filled with foods that cause this chain reaction, skin lesions would be more frequent flare-ups known as mild, moderate or severe acne.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Few Quick Facts About Acne

Fact #1: Acne does not result from poor hygiene habits but from an internal imbalance, generally caused by nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances that affect the overall function of our body systems.

Fact #2: Acne affects about 80 percent of Americans and has higher incidences in men and teenagers. Hispanics and Latinos are the ethnic groups with highest incidences of acne, while Africans and African-Americans are the lowest at risk.

Fact #3: Acne originates from an infection of acnes P. bacteria, hence the name acne.

Fact #4: While all lights have antibacterial properties, UV and blue light are known to be the most powerful bacterial fighters for the skin.

Fact #5: A prolonged unhealthy diet gives rise to candidae yeast growth in the colon, mucus linings, increased oil secretions, and inhibited bodily functions that in turn make way for acne.

Fact #6: Over 40 percent of American teenagers consult dermatologists for acne treatments.

Fact #7: Higher incidences of acne in men occur due to the elevated levels of androgens that produce. Androgens are responsible for the overproduction of oil and generation of acne-causing
bacteria that gives rise to comedones.

Fact #8: Aloe Vera has been used for centuries as a skin regenerative gel and topical pain reliever. It can be used on acne scars to accelerate healing time and encourage cell growth.

Fact #9: Vinegar and lemon juice can be used as natural medications to inhibit bacterial growth, dry skin, and reduce oil production. Just apply after washing and allow to act for 10 minutes.

Fact #10: Moisturizing two times a day will not make you break out. As long as you use a noncomedogenic lotion, the moisturizer will encourage cell growth and tissue regeneration while maintaining healthy moisture levels in your skin. This keeps your oil glands under control.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Keeping a Balanced Diet

As an adult with acne, you probably remember breaking out during puberty. Back then, when our bodies were young and resilient, we couldn't overload on chocolate without experiencing a break out. It was easy then to identify the causes of our acne. When we are young, are bodies are pure and healthy. Resilience to stress is easily maintained and bodily functions (other than hormonal changes) are intact.

Once acne develops, breakouts become an everyday thing, making it hard to determine the cause of our condition. We don't know whether it was that chocolate bar we ate after lunch or the unexpected meeting with the boss that gave us the jeepers.

While turning back time to our young days isn't an option, there are things that we can do to purify our body and start our relationship with it from scratch. A prolonged toxic overload will affect every single system in your body. If you are experiencing breakouts, you might also be sweating excessively, producing excess oils, or having sinus problems and an over production of wax in your ears.

These are all means of the body to rid itself of the toxic substances and waste that becomes accumulated in your system. Because of this, having a balanced diet is essential to keeping waste levels in the body under control. If you surrender to fried foods, animal fats, sugar, dairy, and caffeine on a daily basis, then you are putting more waste into your body than it can handle.

Feed your body with nutrient-rich foods that are easy to digest. Keep a high fiber diet with fats in the form of pure vegetable oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, grape seed oil, and canola oil.

Eat fruits and vegetables every day. Try to eat them raw as often as possible to take full advantage of their nutritional properties.

Also, reduce or totally eliminate sugars in your diet. Yeasts feed on undigested sugars, making our colon more prone to the development of candiadiasis.

Eat protein-based products that are easy to digest. Meat, for example, is high in protein but is also loaded with hormones, animal fats, and toxins. As an alternative, resort to proteic sources such as fish and organic chicken breasts, or stick to grains like quinoa and soybeans.

Natural Ingredients that Soothe the Skin

You probably know that acne can be expensive to keep under control and that its treatment can be loaded with synthetic chemicals. However, there are all natural and affordable options that you can resort to if you'd like a cheaper, healthier alternative. Just as is the case with cosmetic products, finding the right fix can take time, trial, and error. Nevertheless, the natural cures we have compiled for you cost a marginal fraction of what their synthetic competitors go for, so you won't be counting pennies to test them all. Take a look for yourself. This is just part one!

What it Does: vinegar, in all its forms, can be applied to the skin to kill acne-causing bacteria and inhibit their propagation. Vinegar also stabilizes the pH of your skin, improving complexion and reducing blemishes by modifying bacterial growing conditions. While the most popular type of vinegar used topically for natural acne treatments is apple cider vinegar, any type of vinegar will do.

Application: To apply vinegar on acne affected areas, dilute it with water. For milder cases of acne, a dilution ratio of 1:8 parts vinegar to water is effective. For more severe cases, you can dilute the vinegar with less water, say 1:4 or 1:3 parts vinegar to water. Once you've mixed your solution, use a cotton pad to apply it to your entire face. If you want to prevent dryness in unaffected areas, only pat acne-affected areas with the solution. However, remember that acne tends to be transferred from one location on the face to another, so you might want to treat the whole area to prevent breakouts in unusual spots.

What it Does: toothpaste is used as a spot treatment to kill bacteria and dry out acne lesions. Toothpaste also reduces inflammation, but it can cause long lasting burns on the skin if not applied correctly.

Application: Using a q-tip, dab a small amount of toothpaste on the affected area. Remember this is a spot treatment, so you should use very little amounts on noticeable red marks and inflamed papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Allow the toothpaste to dry off completely. Depending on your climatic conditions, this can take over an hour. Gently rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Medications to Fight Acne

In today's world, there are rarely any diseases that cannot be treated with a medication. Such is the case with acne, which summons the use of a specific set of systemic and topical medications depending on the type of acne suffered.

Below you will find a list of the most popular acne medications available, used by doctors and dermatologists all over the world.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid: acids derived from sugarcane, milk, and fruits that upon application, result in the natural exfoliation of dead skin cells.

Benzoyl Peroxide: acne medication that is generally obtained in a topical form, OTC, or with a doctor's prescription. It works by inhibiting bacterial action and reducing oil secretions that promote breakouts. Benzoyl Peroxide is also a powerful peeling chemical that aids in the renewal of skin and the healing of old flare-ups.

Salicylic Acid: chemical that aids in the shedding of dead skin cells, thus reducing follicle plugs preventing future blockages. Also used in the treatment of skin disorders such as warts, dandruff, and psoriasis.

Sulfur: this element is effective in reducing inflammation as well as inhibiting bacterial activity. It is available in powdered form, and can be found in many cosmetic products that fight acne.

Retinol: alcohol form of Vitamin A. Also found as a topical, it is popularly used in cosmetic products for its easy solubility and its conversion into Retin-A by skin enzymes.

Clyndamicin: antibiotic that is used in the treatment of acne, generally in combination to other medications. As it is alcohol based it is a powerful antiseptic, but like most acne medications, it results in dryness and flakiness of the skin.

Tea Tree Oil: this oil is a popular antiseptic that also aids in the healing and regeneration of the skin. It can be obtained in its pure form and is generally used as a spot treatment. It can also be
found in cosmetic products designed to reduce blemishes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vitamin Supplements for Acne

Once acne unfolds, our bodies go through enormous effort to counteract its effects, depleting nutrients at a faster rate than normal. This becomes a vicious cycle that only worsens if left unmanaged. Here are a few vitamin supplements that you can take to refuel your body with essential nutrients.

As our bodies become depleted of nutrients over time, it can take a while for supplements to begin working at their optimum level. Take these supplements for a minimum of six months to reestablish normal vitamin and mineral levels in the body.

Niacinimide: deficiencies of niacinamide have been related to incidences of acne. This B vitamin aids in blood circulation and tissue oxygenation and regeneration.

Antioxidants: aside from natural vitamin antioxidants such as vitamin A and E, other supplements such as grape seed extract have an extraordinary effect on how the body processes free radicals.

Chromium Picolinate: helps control bacterial activity and reduces infections within follicles.

Vitamin D3: aids the body in tissue repair and regeneration.

L-Cysteine: this supplement contains sulfur, an antiseptic and vital element for smooth, resilient skin. Make sure to take this supplement on an empty stomach with water or juice ONLY.

Selenium: promotes elasticity of the skin, also a powerful antioxidant.

Retin-A: this supplement must be prescribed by a doctor. It acts as a peel to remove dead skin cells and encourage tissue repair/renewal. It must be taken for over six months for noticeable results.

Lecithin: necessary for the proper absorption and assimilation of fatty acids.

Proteolytic Enzymes: like acidophilus, these act by maintaining better colonic function. The enzymes digest colonic waste, enhancing nutrient absorption and improving the body's waste management.

Garlic: garlic is known to be a powerful antiseptic. It inhibits bacterial activity while also strengthening the immune system.

Three Milestones to Replenish Your Body

Eliminating acne requires an internal evaluation of how we are treating our bodies. Cleansing our skin is just one milestone to achieve in the process of becoming acne clear. However, to obtain permanent results, one must address the overall health of one's entire body.

In this mini guide to acne and skin care, we will teach you ways to replenish your body. We will address the three essential aspects of your life and body that you must keep in balance and provide you with body strengthening, mind clearing exercises, sample diets, and skin care regimens. Most doctors, even those of ancient Chinese medicine, will tell you that to get rid of acne, it is essential to maintain the following conditions: (1) a healthy balanced diet, (2) proper bodily functions, and (3) clear mind and spirit.

Believe or not, these three milestones are so intertwined that they must all be achieved for guaranteed, acne-clearing success. With our following newsletters, you will learn everything that you need to know about acne, from how it affects your psyche to the medications and treatments to use and its underlying causes. Our guide will make you feel more aware of your condition so that you can take that step and make the change that your body needs.

As we go through this learning process, you will learn many new terms that you ought to be familiar with to better understand the nature of your skin eruptions. If you are unsure of the terms that we use throughout these newsletters, fear not. We will be incorporating an Acne and Skin Care glossary that you can refer to any time you're in doubt.

So, get ready! We are beginning our way down the road to clear skin.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Acne and its Types

Acne Skin Care Image
Acne is a skin condition that results from a follicle that becomes plugged. Pores, or follicles, can become blocked by over-production of sebum by oil glands in the skin, accumulations of keratin, and bacteria.

Once an acne lesion forms on the skin, it appears as a microcomedone. Microcomedones are minuscule lesions that can't be seen by the naked eye, and can only be spotted by using a microscope.

Microcomedones can develop into either inflammatory acne or non-inflammatory acne. Non-inflammatory acne results in what are called comedones, which can be either a whitehead or a  blackhead.

Whiteheads are characterized for resulting in an accumulation of sebum that blocks the follicle. The bacterial activity in this case is contained beneath the skin, and appears as a small bump with a firm white tip.

Blackheads, on the other hand, result from retention of sebum within an open follicle. The black color on the end of the blackhead is attributed to melanin (natural skin pigment), which turns black in contact with oxygen .

If the whitehead or blackhead isn't resolved and doesn't heal properly, the follicle may rupture and result in inflammatory acne. Inflammatory acne occurs either as a papule, a pustule, a nodule, or cyst.

The first stage of inflammatory acne is the papule, which results in the breaking of a follicle wall. As the tissue breaks, white blood cells rush into the cavity where bacteria is trapped, causing the follicle to swell up.

Following the papule, a pustule is formed as white cells migrate to the surface of the follicle. The inflammation is more Noticeable and the pimple appears white and stiff.

In many cases when pustules don't heal as they should, the follicle walls break completely, affecting the skin surrounding the lesion. The area becomes swollen and hard and can be painful to touch. This is called a nodule.

The last stage of inflammatory acne is the cyst, in which acne lesions become severely irritated due to an accumulation of pus.

Treating acne when it first begins can save your skin from painful lesions and scars. Now that you know the different types of acne that exist, you can identify the severity of your next breakout and understand its stage of development for better treatment.