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Natural Care for Acne

Acne affects nearly everyone at some point in his or her life. It
can be painful to endure, and even leave scars if severe enough.
While there are many remedies available for over the counter or
prescription purchase, some products are laden with chemicals and
acids that may have adverse effects. Fortunately, there are
effective natural alternatives to these harsh chemical

What's the Problem?

Acne is caused by dead skin cells and the body's own natural
oils becoming trapped in the pores of the skin. These changes
lead to bacterial growth that causes the inflammation and
discomfort associated with the condition, as well as the scarring
and infection in severe cases.

Diet may impact the development of acne. The hormonal content of
partially skimmed milk, the high glycemic content of certain
simple carbohydrates, and low levels of vitamins A and E have all
been linked to the formation of acne in some research.

Proper home care of acne outbreaks requires treating both of the
factors involved: diet and environment.

Basic Care

There are several methods of controlling acne that don't require
any specific treatment or product. The first is diet. Since
simple carbohydrates may have an effect, acne sufferers should
consider limiting processed foods high in sugar, and opt for a
high-fiber, protein-rich diet instead. In addition, increasing
intake of vitamins A and E is recommended by some experts to
fight acne. Eating right will have other health benefits beyond
clear skin, so a healthy diet in general is a win/win solution.

Cleaning Up

While the instinct is to keep the skin very clean, it is
important to remember acne is not caused by dirt, but by the
body's own oils and skin becoming trapped in the pores. You
cannot simply scrub acne away, and in fact doing so may aggravate
the skin and result in an increase in oil production. Instead,
stick to washing your face twice a day, as well as after
particularly heavy perspiration that may send more oils and skin
into the pores.

To cleanse your face, use a non-abrasive (specifically a non
alcohol based) cleanser, and apply gently with the fingers.
Again, using harsh abrasives or a washcloth may cause irritation,
and do more harm than good. The trick is to clean smarter, not
harder. For people with oily hair, wash and shampoo daily with an
equally gentle shampoo. Oily hair will cause just as many
problems as perspiration, so don't neglect caring for it.
Finally, use lukewarm water rather than hot water, since it will
be less harsh on the skin.

Thou Shalt Nots

For starters, avoid the temptation to pop or scrape the blemishes
that form on the face. This is actually one of the worst things
you can do to acne-afflicted skin. It exposes the wound to
bacteria and additional oil, meaning it can cause extra
inflammation, breakouts, or possibly even infection.

As mentioned before, oily hair can aggravate neck, forehead, and
shoulder acne. For that reason acne sufferers are advised to
avoid heavy, greasy hair products such as gels and pomades. Make
sure your shampoo isn't too harsh, as well. Drying out the scalp
will have a similar effect as drying out the facial skin, leading
to extra oil production that can gravitate to the forehead and
clog more pores.

Many people like to use skin masks to improve skin tone, but this
should be avoided while treating acne breakouts. As might be
expected, masks often trap dead skin and oils against the skin,
leading to more clogged pores and further breakouts.

Avoid harsh chemical cleansers with alcohol or astringents. These
may dry out and irritate the skin, exacerbating the problem.
Additionally, drying out the skin can cause dry, painful itching,
and scratching will scrape skin and spread oils that can clog

Last but not least, control the exposure of the skin to sunlight
and tanning. Sun exposure can dry, damage and irritate the skin.

Better Skin, Naturally

Healthy skin comes with a healthy body, so focus on natural
solutions that contribute to your overall wellbeing. Avoid harsh
chemicals and be gentle with your sensitive skin. Natural skin
care is all about being good to your body and maintaining a
healthy lifestyle. Acne is a result of irritation, and proper
acne care involves reducing the irritation through proper care
and diet.

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