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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.

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.

 

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.

 

My face has been LOVING these products!
Before I had been using Proactiv and other products that contain Benzoyl Peroxide, which have worked really well. unfortunately they do leave me with another problem though: dry and flaking skin. My skin gets really dry in the morning (after I’ve cleansed my skin), then a few hours later it gets really oily (its ‘normal’ self). by the end of the day my skin is one hot, flaking mess.so for the last 3 weeks (exactly 21 days now) I’ve added both Coral Actives to my skin care routine. Coral Actives is an acne treatment with a moisturizing formulation: the moisturizing formulation minimizes the traditional side effects of benzoyl periode. while trying out the products, I’ve been focusing on two things: has my occasional acne been improved? Is my skin still dry and flaking?

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Coral Actives for Acne and More
Sea Whip Coral is what sets Ermis Labs apart from their many competitors. It’s a soft coral found in the Caribbean, and it is a very potent, natural anti-inflammatory extract that is safe, effective, and environmentally friendly. Sea Whip Extract is also a completely renewable resource. “Colonies of Sea Whip Coral have been researched by independent scientists since before 1990 and consistently monitored since 1996. Their studies, as well as the records of the exclusive harvester, show that the coral extract has been collected in a sustainable manner that has consistently resulted in complete re-growth.”

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Review: CoralActives Acne Treatment
I received these products for free, but I can honestly say that I will definitely be repurchasing them when I run out. For sure! If you have (occasional) breakouts or if you’re just interested in reducing redness/inflammation, you might want to consider Coral Actives. A+ in my book!

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There are many factors which contribute to acne. For example, there are hereditary components which affect the severity of an individual’s acne. Simply put, if you have a parent who has suffered from a severe case of acne, the chances that you will also have severe acne are increased. But there are also dietary and sociological factors that contribute to the development of acne, which if changed or eliminated, may prevent an outbreak of severe acne. Because of the many contributing factors, acne myths have proliferated over the years.

Acne Myth Number 1 – Scrubbing and washing the face often will prevent acne.

While dirt may contribute to the formation of blackheads leading to pimples, many people believe that washing your face three or more times a day, or hard scrubbing of the face and skin can prevent acne. Face washing should be done gently, using a mild facial scrub or exfoliant only twice a day. Frequent washing can actually irritate acne breakouts and it strips the skin of its natural oils. This not only makes the skin dry, but can lead to the sebaceous glands increasing oil production to protect the skin surface. Also, scrubbing can cause inflammations. Gentle cleansing, using the lightest possible touch, is best for all-round skin protection.

Acne Myth Number 2 – Fried food, overeating, and chocolate, causes acne to develop.

Diets heavy in fat do have an effect on the body’s sebaceous glands, but science has shown that moderate consumption of fried foods will not cause acne to get worse. In fact, some oils are necessary for the healthy maintenance of the human body and the “acid mantle” that keeps skin moist and supple. In addition, a seeming connection between certain foods such as chocolate and acne may be due to food allergy rather than to the food itself. The notion that any particular food always causes acne is quite false.

Acne Myth Number 3 – Daily stress will cause breakouts of acne.

Routine, daily stress is not considered to be a cause of acne. Severe stress has been shown to have detrimental effects upon many of the body’s systems but its connection to acne breakouts has not been clearly established. More research is needed in this area before anything conclusive can be formulated. One caveat, though, stress medications may have a side-effect of contributing to acne, but if so, this should be discussed with a physician as an alternative medication may not have this effect. In general though, stress is a normal part of life and is not regarded as a major contributor to acne.