Acne & Other Skin Problems

We all want clear luminous skin yet it is so illusive. It seems like an endless battle to stop acne, breakouts and redness and help our skin look clearer and more even toned. Here is a bit info and some remedies that may help.

Pimples and blackheads will still happen even though you wash your face.  The breakout problem lies with the skin's oil production, then a build up of dead cells which results in clogged pores then, bacteria grows within the pores resulting in pimples. Washing with a face cleanser that contains salicylic acid will help reduce dead cell build up helping to unclog the pores.  Wash twice a day, AM and PM, but no more. The more you wash, the more the oil glands are stimulated making the skin even more oily.  Don't try to scrub the blemishes away with a grainy scrub. The scrub will only aggravate the skin making it look more inflamed! A non grainy light skin peel used weekly will provide you with a gentle exfoliation. I love Yon Ka Gommage. It is gentle and effective.

A new treatment for acne may be on the horizon! A recent study from UCLA found that there are both good and bad strains of P. acnes bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) that live on the face and elsewhere on the body. Researchers believe that the good bacteria strain may protect the skin against the bad bacteria strain that causes acne. 

The study isolated more than 1000 strains of P. acnes. 101 volunteers, 49 with acne and 52 with clear skin, provided bacteria samples by using pore cleansing strips to extract bacteria from their noses. Two types of P. acnes were found in 1 out of 5 of the volunteers with acne. Those 2 types were rarely found in the volunteers with clear skin. 

There was a 3rd P. acnes strain found that was common on the clear skinned volunteers but was not common on the acne volunteers. This leads researchers to believe that this good strain protects against the bad acne causing strain.  This is good news because it could lead to a new probiotic acne treatment. It also means that researchers can target the bad bacteria with new drugs that kill the bad strain but leave the good bacteria unharmed.

Till then, we need to exfoliate the skin with salicylic acid, glycolic acid and oral and topical retinoids to help prevent blocked pores to minimize acne infections and use anti-biotics and benzoyl peroxide to help kill bacteria.
How to heal a blemish ASAP!

First, wash the area with an acne cleanser.

Apply ice or a cold, wet chamomile tea bag to reduce swelling.

Apply a salicylic spot treatment to the pimple such as Alba acne dote invisible treatment gel. Or you can use an aspirin to make a healing paste. Crush an aspirin, add a little water to make a paste, apply it to the blemish, let it sit 10 -15 minutes. Rinse.

Some people say toothpaste applied to a pimple helps dry it up overnight.  Just use a non-whitening toothpaste.  It will be less irritating.

Just before makeup application, a little Visine gets the red out!  Apply a few drops of Visine to a cotton swab.  Hold the swab on the blemish for a minute. Then, let it dry.  Apply concealer and foundation.  Be sure to use powder to set it. Have your makeup done by a makeup artist if you are afraid you won't be able to cover it.

Note: Allergic to ragweed? No chamomile!  Allergic to aspirin? No salicylic acid!

Do you have a pimple that never seems to heal? Maybe you have had it for a couple months. Head to your dermatologist to have it checked. It could basal cell carcinoma. It is a slow growing, easily treated cancer that appears in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, arm and hands. The doctor will do a biopsy on the suspicious pimple to determine if it is basal cell. If it is, a minor surgical procedure will remove it.

Q. My wedding is in a couple months. I want my skin to look better. Is it too late to reduce the redness and breakouts on my face and make my skin look more glowing?

A. It's not too late! Start by running to your drug store to purchase a facial cleanser containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid removes pore blocking dead cells and reduces redness and breakouts. I like Yes to Tomatoes and Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Cleanser. Use the cleanser morning and night. Also use a sensitive skin moisturizer such as Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizer.  Schedule a deep cleansing facial asap at your salon or spa! The peel used during your facial will remove dull dead cell build up that can block pores and cause breakouts. This will also give you more glowing skin. The extraction section of your facial will gently remove blackheads with minimal irritation.  A deep cleansing facial will also increase circulation promoting healing and a rosier skin color. Your esthetician can prescribe a specialized skin care regimen for you to follow at home. Your skin should quickly respond to the TLC!

Q. Now that the weather is warmer, my skin is breaking out like crazy! What can I do?

A. The oil glands in your skin are stimulated by the warm weather. Change your skin care routine.

1. Use a salicylic facial cleanser such as Biore Ice Cleanser.
2. Use a spot treatment on the blemishes such as Alba ance dote invisible treatment gel.
3. Use an oil free moisturizer with a sun block sun as Biore Nourish Moisture Lotion SPF 15 or Clinque City Block Oil Free Daily Face Protector.
4. Use a blemish healing concealer such as Almay Clear Complexion Concealer.

My Favorite Acne Fighting Products
Yes to Tomatoes
 We have been using the Daily Clarifying Cleanser and the Repairing Acne Lotion. Both contain skin clearing salicylic acid, aloe and tomato extract.The cleanser also contains watermelon seed extract, red tea extract and dead sea mud. The lotion contains witch hazel, bisabolol and ginger to help soothe irritation and redness. Bisabolol is an anti inflammatory ingredient derived from chamomile. We are finding that our skin is less blemished and feels softer without being dried out. We are not crazy about the smell of the cleanser, though. But, we are dealing with the smell because the products are defiantly helping to clear our break outs! Don't expect a miracle over night. You need to give it at least a 2 week trial as with any other acne treatment.

Okay, so some of you just couldn't get used to the smell of the last acne wash I suggested which was Yes to Tomatoes.  I have a new one for you to try. It is Alba Botanical Natural Acnedote Deep Pore Wash. 

It contains 2% of the acne fighting ingredient salicylic acid, botanical extracts, orange oil and peppermint oil. It contains 100% vegetarian ingredients and, of course, is not tested on animals. Best of all, it smells like refreshing peppermint! So far, it is working to clear our skin and is not causing dryness. Find it at Walmart for $7.49.

Calm rosacea

Rosacea causes excess inflammation in the capillaries. It is commonly seen on the nose, on the cheeks, on the chin and on the center of the forehead. The cause of rosacea in not known and there is no cure. Certain foods can cause flare ups. People with rosacea should avoid spicy food, alcohol (especially red wine) and hot beverages. Some people find that certain foods cause a flare up for them personally. Cheese, soy sauce, sour cream, yogurt, citrus fruits, chocolate and vinegar are among the foods that people have reported as rosacea triggers. 
Blackberries, blueberries and cherry are vascular constrictors therefore, they may actually  improve the look of rosacea.

Keep a food diary to help you pinpoint foods that cause flare ups so you can avoid them.

Use a soothing anti redness creams and prescription treatments to calm Rosacea but not cure it. Read your product labels! Skin care ingredients that may irritate rosacea include alcohol, eucalyptus, fragrance, menthol, peppermint, witch hazel and salicylic acid.

My favorite skin calming treatment cream is Yon Ka Creme 11. It is a botanical cream containing Horse Chestnut, Feverfew, Arnica, White Nettle, and Wheat Germ Oil to soothe and calm redness and irritation.  It also contains Yon Ka's signature blend of essential oils Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Cypress and Geranium.  It has a light clean fragrance and feels good on irritated skin. It's great after a waxing , too!

I love this botanical moisturizer for sensitive skin. Yon Ka Creme 83. This a high quality French product. It is a daily moisturizer that calms and soothes skin that over reacts to cosmetic products and the environment. Great for rosacea. Has a light fragrance and doesn't feel heavy on the skin. 


Aspirin has been used to treat heart disease for years. Now a new study from Stanford University shows that aspirin can also reduce the risk of the skin cancer melanoma. Over a 12 year period, 60,00 post menopausal Caucasian women who took aspirin at least twice a week had a 20% lower risk of melanoma. It is thought that the anti inflammatory and the anti blood clotting effects of aspirin are the reason. It is recommended that only high risk people take aspirin due to the stomach side effects that aspirin can cause. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid. It is a derivative of salicylate which comes from the willow tree and myrtle and has been used since 3000 BC as a medical remedy. Read more about study on the link below.

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