Monday, December 20, 2010

Defeat Acne - Without Breaking the Bank!

Acne used to be something that only plagued teenagers, but these days more and more adults are developing the problem. But not all of us can afford to visit a dermatologist and pay for expensive prescription medications and creams. So here are some tips for fighting acne inside and out.

Treating Acne From the Inside

For years doctors have debated whether or not acne is caused by the foods we eat. But now there is evidence that eating processed carbs like sugary cereal and white bread can make acne worse. So avoid the junk food and eat more foods that have healthy omega 3 fatty acids. According to doctors, omega 3 fats help control inflammation all throughout the body, which includes acne. Some good foods to eat include fish, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Vitamin A also helps prevent acne so be sure to eat foods rich with vitamin A such as sweet potatoes and carrots. You might also want to take an over the counter supplement.

Zinc deficiencies have also been linked to acne, so taking a zinc supplement can also help. Also, be sure to eat foods with zinc such as low fat roast beef, cashews, lima beans, and peas

Treating Acne From the Outside

Exfoliation helps get rid of the layer of dead skin cells that build up on your skin. Removing this layer of dead skin helps keep your pores clear so pimples don't form. This is something you need to do even if you have sensitive skin. Experiment to find out how often you need to do it. Most women need to exfoliate two or three times a week. Make sure you don't scrub too hard. That will only cause your skin to become irritated which can make acne worse. You can find great exfoliaters at any drug store. They don't cost a lot and they're just as good as the more expensive ones.

Retinoids help treat acne because they clean pores, chemically exfoliate, AND kill bacteria. Retin A is the best retinoid cream out there, but you can only get it by prescription. But there are several retinoid creams that you can buy over the counter. Unless your acne is severe, any retiond cream will work great. And another great thing about retinoids is that they're also used to prevent aging. So you get to kill two birds with one stone.

Salicylic acid is another thing you might want to add to your regimen. Like Retinols, salicylic acid chemically exfoliates and kills bacteria. Did you know salicylic acid is also the same thing as Aspirin? So just like Aspirin, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties.

Benzoyl peroxide is another great thing you can use to fight acne. It does the same thing as the other creams, but bacteria never become resistant to it, so it will always work.

A Few Extra Tips...

A common myth is that sun exposure helps acne. It might seem to help at first, by drying oily skin out, but that is only temporary. So in the long run you'll just cause your skin to age prematurely and over exposure to the sun can even lead to skin cancer. So always use sunscreen, even on cloudy days.

Most women already know these other tips, but just in case, I'll mention them anyway. Wash your pillow case regularly. Also clean your cell phone often because germs, oil, and dirt build up on it and then you press it against your face everyday. Not good! Also clean your makeup brushes and sponges regularly.

Experts say you have to stick to a regimen for at least 6 weeks to really see results. And remember to stick with it. A lot of women see their skin improve and then they start to slack off on their routine, but that only lets acne come back.

If your acne is truly is severe, then you will probably have no choice but to see a dermatologist. But for the majority of us, these tips will prevent acne break outs and best of all...these tips don't cost a fortune to do!

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