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There are a lot of skin care myths out there. To help you weed out what’s true and what’s not true when it comes to skin care, we put together this list of seven skin-care myths your mom probably never told you about:

Myth #1 – acne is caused by poor hygiene and eating certain foods aggravates the condition. First, acne is not caused by dirt. No matter how many times you wash your face and your body, acne may still appear. The cause of acne is an overproduction of sebum, or oil, which clogs the pores. The rate at which the skin on your face produces sebum is not at all affected by dirt. Hormones, stress, pollution and bacteria are some of the culprits behind the appearance of pimples. Additionally, consuming junk foods like chocolate, soda, fried foods and any other oily or greasy foods will not aggravate acne.  Of course, we don’t recommend that you load up on junk food.

Myth #2 – not washing your face often enough can cause blackheads. Many people have blackheads, especially on either sides of the nose. Just like pimples, blackheads are not caused by dirt, so washing your face more often than usual is not the solution. Blackheads appear when the pores become dilated; the cellular buildup leads to oxidation that causes that black color. If you want to steer clear of blackheads, use a good exfoliating face scrub that is suited for your skin type.

Myth #3 – going to a tanning booth is the safest way to add some color to your skin. This is not true at all. Whether it’s natural tanning under the heat of the sun or tanning under the tanning booth, you’re still exposing your skin to UVA rays. Experts agree that this type of exposure can still penetrate deep into the skin and cause damage like premature aging. In effect, you’re also exposing yourself to the risks of developing skin cancers.

Myth #4 – when looking for products that help shield your skin from the rays of the sun, all you need to look for is a higher SPF.  SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, an ingredient that is ever-present in sunscreen lotions. Although a higher SPF will offer protection from ultraviolet rays, the SPF will only work in shielding your skin from UVB rays. There are other kinds of ultraviolet rays, including UVA and UVC, which some sunscreens may not necessarily protect you from. A good compromise would be to choose a product with SPF 15 or higher that contains ingredients that block both the UVA and UVB rays from penetrating into your skin.

Myth #5 – the more expensive a skin care product is, the better it is for your skin.

Myth #6 – a skin care product claims to be natural, it should be 100 percent good for my skin. First, there are no regulations in the market when it comes to using the term “natural.” Therefore, even if the product contains only one herbal ingredient, they can still use the term “natural.”

Myth #7 – dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic products will work well for any skin type. What causes allergies for one person may not necessarily have the same effect for another person, so the term “hypoallergenic” is quite vague. Observe which products lead you to have breakouts or skin rashes and steer clear of them.

At the end of the day, taking care of your skin is all a matter of choosing the right products and having a good skin-care regimen that you can follow on a daily basis. Now that you know about the top skin-care myths and the truth behind them, you can make an informed decision about how to better care for your skin so that you can have that clear, smooth, and flawless complexion you want.

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Pimples don’t only show up on the face.
For some, acne on the body is a real problem and can affect large areas of the body.  Body acne can affect the back, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper arms.  Back acne is pretty common among those with acne on the body.  Body acne can affect anybody, however most cases are seen in men.

Usually acne begins on the face and will start spreading to other areas of the body.  Not everyone with facial acne will develop body acne. Most everyone with body acne will have some kind of facial acne.

How does acne affect your body?
Like facial acne, body acne can be very embarrassing.  Many people will wear clothing to cover up so they don’t reveal their acne.  Even going out to do things and have fun can be uncomfortable.  You can’t swim. It’s also very difficult for teens with body acne to change in the locker room.  Acne on body can cause lasting scars, depending on the degree of inflammation.

What causes acne on the body?
The same causes of facial acne are attributed to acne on body; overactive oil glands, excessive dead skin cells, and many acne-causing bacteria we come in contact with everyday.  Oil and dead skin cells block the pores in your skin and create a blockage.  This area may become irritated and could turn into a pimple if bacteria invade.  Acne on body is usually found on the back and upper torso.  These areas have more glands so they are more vulnerable to the oils and sweat from your skin.  It’s not likely that your clothes would cause body acne, but the friction may affect existing areas of the body with acne.  Sweat is another cause of acne on the body, shower after workouts to keep skin healthy.

 

5 Diet Tips that help control Acne
Previously it was believed that fat caused acne — that’s a myth — it has nothing to with acne.   So acne is definitely not the fault of the pizza, but what you eat can definitely have an impact on the skin.

1. Milk
Milk is good for babies and small children, but not so good for young people — especially if you have acne.  Milk contains hormones that can exacerbate acne.  That doesn’t mean you can’t drink milk — coffee and cream or milk with cereal from time to time does not damage the skin.  Just try not to drink more than a glass of milk a day.

2. Sugar
This is not scientifically proven, but many doctors now believe that excess sugar can aggravate acne.

3. Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are not only good for general health, they are important for healthy skin and acne prevention. The best sources for Omega-3 fish include salmon, cod and tuna.  So eat more fish or you can take Omega-3 supplements.

4. Vitamins
Some vitamins are essential for treating acne.  Research has shown that both vitamin B5 and vitamin A in high doses can be excellent in treating acne. You should consult your doctor about the proper dosage before trying these because they can also be toxic.  Vitamin E is also important for healthy and beautiful skin.  Multivitamins are also a good way to prevent acne.  And of course, fruits and vegetables can help your vitamin intake.

5. Zinc
Zinc reduces acne because it boosts your immune system. Good sources of zinc are eggs, whole grains and mushrooms.

Follow these tips for at least two weeks and you should see their effects.  Don’t expect miracles, but in combination with other acne treatments, you’ll be happy with the results.

 

3 Rules to hide a pimple
Pimples seem to be able to read your mind. They know when its when its class picture day and even prom night! Here are three simple rules to follow when a pimple rears its ugly head.

1) If there’s no whitehead, DON’T squeeze it, since the pimple is probably too deep to drain.  Picking a deep “underground” pimple can end up turning it into a larger boil that may get infected.  Plus, squeezing can make it scab, which is harder to hide with concealer.

2) If there’s a whitehead that’s just too nasty to be seen, you can try squeezing it gently – BUT do this only at night, so it has time to shrink before morning.  And if it doesn’t come out easily, don’t keep squeezing, since this may cause more damage.  Cover with a Band-Aid to prevent scabbing.

3) Avoid letting hot water hit the pimple, this can make it more red and inflamed.  Instead, apply a cool, damp washcloth over the pimple to help reduce redness, pat dry and then apply concealer.  A stick formula will cover better than a liquid concealer.  For best results, dab on with your fingertip or a small brush, and keep dotting on until the pimple is covered.  Then apply foundation or powder.

Today is a time of modern medicine where medical technology has solved many of our health concerns, and even some of our cosmetic ones.  Treating acne can be a long and laborious process; a lot depends on the many factors of the individual.  Another area of treatment is often needed for people who have recovered from acne but still have remaining acne scars that are muddling their otherwise clear appearance.

Acne scar reduction treatments abound the market these days and are offered by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons alike. Essentially the only way to effectively remove an acne scar is to get some serious professional treatments.  Over the counter acne scar removal creams simply do not work on acne scars where there is scar tissue as the ingredients are too weak.

Pitted acne scars are a common type of acne scar that can come in three different shapes; the ice pick scar, the rolling scar and the boxcar scar.  Pitted acne scars appear to be embedded into the skin, and have a “trough-like” appearance.  These scars can be treated in a variety of ways, such as in using laser resurfacing treatments, deep chemical peels and even micro-dermabrasion.  If the pitted acne scar is particularly deep and severe another treatment possibility is called punch excision where a small skin graft may be used to cover up the scar.

Of course one needs to seek medical advice from a professional before knowing which type of acne treatment can best suit them. Seeking a reputable physician without a history of complaints or lawsuits is a good clue that they are competent and successful. Overall, an acne scar reduction treatment is considered very safe and the results can be as good as a 30-80% reduction.  Every person, with a little savings will be able to pursue acne scar treatments and get the scar-free face that they deserve.

 

Your Pores: The Basics
Everybody’s got ’em — they’re the openings to our oil glands.  But whether or not you pay attention to your pores probably depends on their size.

If you don’t spend much time poring over your pores, chances are they’re small and don’t get clogged too often.  But if your pores are on the larger side, you might be dealing with one or more acne-related conditions including blackheads, whiteheads and cysts. Typically, people with oily skin tend to have enlarged pores that secrete excess oil, or sebum.  Larger pores are also more likely to get clogged with dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria.  Dermatologists generally treat acne-related conditions with topical antimicrobials that help disinfect the skin, and topical retinoids to help unclog pores and prevent whiteheads and blackheads from forming.  For more moderate or severe cases of acne, an oral antibiotic like erythromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline, or minocycline may be prescribed.

The fact is you can’t get rid of your pores, or even shrink them, but you can cleanse and care for your skin in ways that make pores less visible.  And that includes staying out of the sun — too much sun exposure (as well as the aging process) reduces the amount of collagen in our skin, and that also causes pores to expand.

Do-It-Yourself Tactics
Try these at-home strategies and you might be able to avoid expensive dermatological procedures and spa treatments.

  • Use a pore-refining cleanser to help break up excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria that can clog enlarged pores.
  • Give yourself a weekly pore-purifying facial treatment.
  • Make your own deep-cleansing mask using ingredients such as honey, yogurt, or basic Fuller’s earth clay (find it at a health food store) and adding citrus, strawberries, banana, apple cider vinegar, or rosewater.
  • Exfoliate a few times a week with a store-bought or homemade scrub, or go for an exfoliating cleansing cloth. More options to try: products that contain chemical or fruit-enzyme exfoliants such as lipohydroxy acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and alpha and beta hydroxy acids, all of which work to dissolve build-up in your pores.
  • Try store-bought microdermabrasion cleansing cloths and/or polishers, which work similarly but more gently than a professional microdermabrasion treatment.
  • Put your makeup to work. Products such as primers, concealers, foundation, loose mineral powder, and blotting sheets can help you maintain coverage and make large pores less visible. Just be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face at day’s end to keep pores from getting clogged with makeup residue.

Get Professional Help
If your issues are more significant, talk to your dermatologist about professional treatments such as:

  • Dermatological Facials: Many dermatologists and licensed aestheticians offer professional facials that include deep cleansing, exfoliation, steaming, extractions, massage, mask, and moisturizing.
  • Chemical Peels: A professional peel performed by a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician can remove dead skin cells, clear plugged pores, eliminate whiteheads and blackheads, correct discoloration, and generate new skin growth.
  • Microdermabrasion: During this deep-cleansing procedure, your practitioner “sands” your skin with a handheld device that shoots a spray of fine crystals onto your face and simultaneously vacuums them up. This non-invasive procedure produces instant pore-perfecting results. (Microdermabrasion is also effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, creases, sun damage, and minor scars.)

A Final Word
Even though people with normal and dry skin tend to have smaller pores than those with an oily or combination complexion, they may still be susceptible to certain pore problems the cause your acne. Plus, skin type can change with age, or as a result of environmental factors, genetics, nutrition, or complications related to other health conditions.  If you’re concerned about any skin changes, talk to your dermatologist.

 

If over-the-counter acne treatments aren’t working for you, it might be time to visit your dermatologist to have stubborn breakouts treated.  Learn which procedures can help severe cases of acne.

While you can find nonprescription acne washes, lotions, and gels to treat acne sometimes it is not enough to control the problem.  For stubborn or severe acne, here are some procedures that can be performed at a dermatologist’s office:

Extractions (also called acne surgery) help remove pockets of oil and dead skin.   A few different sterile instruments can be used to safely drain whiteheads, blackheads, and small cysts.  Extractions must be done carefully by someone with experience or they can turn a small pimple into a festering boil, which can become infected and take weeks to heal. This is the reason doctors usually recommend that pimples not be squeezed; without the right instruments and technique, you can badly scar your skin.

Large cysts (such as those that result from hormonal breakouts) can be treated with dilute cortisone injections, which shrink the inflammation under the skin, often within a day or two.  The amount of cortisone is very small, but a skilled doctor must do the injection — otherwise it can cause your skin to become pitted.

Acne peels with alpha and beta hydroxy acids can help unclog pores and reduce blackheads, especially if there are lots of little bumps and pimples; dermatologist favor solutions containing salicylic acid and lipo hydroxy acid, which target the oil glands.  Peels generally cause pinkness and flaking for a few days.

Acne laser and photo facial treatments can help kill acne-causing bacteria and shrink pores, although the effect is temporary.  For best results, these treatments are done once every three to four weeks, so they can be very costly. However, there’s little to no recovery time.

 

Most people think of acne as a problem faced only by adolescents and teens.  However, plenty of adults in there 20’s through there 50’s are affected with the occurrence of acne either occasionally or on a regular basis.

Hormones are the most common link to the causes of adult acne.  Increased levels of testosterone and the adrenal hormone, DHEA, have been link to the exacerbation of severe acne.  Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for hair loss in both men and women.

Women in there 20’s and 30’s, sometimes experience premenstrual adult acne.  It is believed this is due to the over-stimulated androgens (hormones that stimulate sebaceous glands and hair follicles in the skin), which cause women’s oil-producing glands to go into overdrive.

Women who are pregnant or going through menopause or post-menopause may also experience an onset of adult acne.  If adult acne coincides with pregnancy, it is crucial that the expectant mother work closely with her physician to obtain appropriate acne treatment.

Another hormonal link to adult acne is estrogen.  Estrogen dominance is a condition where a woman can have deficient, normal, or excessive estrogen, but little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body. Progesterone is a steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle and pregnancy.  Symptoms of estrogen dominance include breast pain and headaches that might be accompanied by other skin complaints.  The use of progesterone cream in some patients has been found to improve acne caused by estrogen dominance.

Many women diagnosed with adult acne, also have a condition known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or POS. This is a condition that involves the overproduction of male hormones, such as testosterone.

If adult acne is accompanied by changes in the menstrual cycle, fertility complications or weight gain, the acne might be linked to a hormonal imbalance.  Oftentimes, dietary changes which include more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates help control this type of adult acne.  Another factor that can cause adult acne are cosmetics.  Whiteheads, blackheads and pimples can actually be caused by cosmetics. This includes the application of foundation make-up, night creams, and moisturizers composed of vegetable oils or oleic acid.

 

When you are living with acne it can be tough to think about anything else.  Your life revolves around getting rid of and concealing your pimples.  This can make other areas of your life suffer.  For a few folks their acne is so bad that they decide to stop socializing, they lose interest in friends and family and they become depressed.

THERE IS HOPE!
These days there are so many varieties of treatments for acne.  Best of all, doctors understand more of the causes of acne and ways to properly treat it. So you can get back to the fun things in life.

FIRST, HEAL YOUR PSYCHE.
Many sufferers learn to deal with acne because they have to.  Not only do you have to make the blemishes disappear but you also need to heal your mind from the trauma they created in the first place. Talk with your dermatologist; they will help you on the road to recovery.

SECOND, TACKLE THE PHYSICAL SCARS.
Living with acne once meant that you had to live with the scarring that it causes.  When acne gets severe and goes untreated your skin begins to develop pits and scars. These blemishes never depart and can stay on your face all your life.  These days there are things you can do to prevent and treat scarring; special facial treatments have been developed and special products have been developed to cover acne scars.

THIRD, DEVELOP LIFE-LONG HABITS.
Living with acne will be rough.  It has lasting effects on many people. The most effective method to combat acne is to prevent and control it before it gets severe.  Watch your diet, your water intake and most of all go to bed every night with a washed face.  Control that oil!  A soft exfoliating cleanser will help your skin feel refreshed and clean.

 

 

Did you know that what we consume on the inside has a direct effect on the outside? Ever think broccoli would help prevent blemished skin? Or salmon would reduce redness? Check out these beauty foods that help brighten complexions, restore elasticity and defy aging in your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR 20’s
Skin can experience excessive dryness and may be prone to acne. Protein, Vitamin A and C, Zinc and Omega 3, 6, 9 for reducing inflammation of skin.

EAT: Whole Grains, Fruits & Veggies, Nuts, Fish, Lean Proteins and Green Tea which contain antioxidants that promote cellular DNA and membrane structure and is great for acne.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR 30’s
Photo damage has already occurred and you may see this effect coming out in the skin in the form of sunspots or uneven skin tone.

EAT: All-natural detoxifiers like broccoli, beets and red cabbage help to minimize toxicities that can build up in the bloodstream causing dull, blemished skin.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR 40’s
Skin resilience may begin to deteriorate as collagen is broken down.

EAT: High quality plant proteins and essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 fatty acids found in nuts, seeds and salmon to reduce redness and irritation in the skin.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR 50’s
Hormonal imbalances may cause further breakdown in skin’s resilience and your complexion may become irritated or inflamed.

EAT: Mineral rich foods found in tofu, soy milk/cheese and soybeans contain all natural phytoestrogens that keep skin resilient and slow down the aging process.