Salicylic Acid: How Does it Work?

Salicylic acid, is an acid, just like the name implies. The mild version of salicylic acid used in products like ThatZit! help exfoliate away dead skin cells before they clog the pores and create acne breakouts. You can find salicylic acid in a variety of forms, including lotions, ointments, and facial toners. Salicylic acid is great for giving your skin a healthy glow and busting through dead skin that can linger on the surface of your face, making your complexion look dull. And we love glowing skin, so that is why we use this little miracle acid. Another great thing about salicylic acid is that it is nice and gentle, unlike some other more harsher acids out there. It works by softening the keratin, which is the outer layer of the skin, where rough, dead skin tends to collect. Depending on what is being treated, different levels of salicylic acid may be more affective. The acid is available in strengths that range from the most gentle concentrations (0.5%) to very strong concentrations (up to 30%). For acne, concentrations are usually less than 2%, to protect delicate facial skin. Salicylic acid may also be used to demolish warts, the stronger concentrations are usually used for that sort of thing. Some precautions to consider when using products with salicylic acid are as follows… Now, since we are talking about acid, you want to keep this stuff away from the eye area- because- O-M-G- it will sting them eyes! If you do get salicylic acid in your eyes- rinse them out with cool water ASAP! Keep it away from your mouth- it...

Sunblock & Acne

Everyone should use sunblock, every day, especially those who are using acne fighting products. Sunscreen protects the skin, and keeps it looking healthy and young. On the downside, some types of sunblock may contain additives that irritate or cause breakouts. Check out this list to see ingredients to avoid, and which ones to look for, to keep skin looking its best! First and foremost, never use a sunblock that makes your skin feel irritated or tingly. This probably goes without saying; if your skin does not feel good when you apply a certain brand of sunblock, wash it off ASAP! Natural oils can be used as sunscreen. Red raspberry is one of the most popular oils to use as a sunscreen substitute because it provides remarkable broad spectrum protection against the sun, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Depending on the quality, red raspberry oil can provide anywhere from SPF 28 to SPF 50. The oil also has wonderful healing properties for those who suffer from eczema and psoriasis. Waterproof sunscreen is not helpful to those who breakout. Even though it may seem convenient, ingredients that make the sunscreen waterproof usually cause breakouts, especially for those who are prone. Ingredients to avoid in sunscreen are: avobenzone, benzophenones, oxyphenonium, methoxycinnamate. Look for sunscreen that is “PABA-free”. Luckily, many sunscreens are labeled as such, so navigating the sunscreen aisle is easier. PABA is an ingredient that absorbs UVB rays, but it may lead to skin irritations for those with more sensitive skin. Regardless of skin tone, sunblock is a must-have for everyone. People with light or dark skin...

Cystic Acne Treatment

A pimple is one thing; but the painful, large, red bumps that indicate cystic acne, is a whole different animal. Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. These breakouts are deep and can last for years, so its best to see a dermatologist for guidance when suffering with cystic acne. View image | gettyimages.com When cystic acne occurs, a pore in the skin gets clogged with dead skin cells or bacteria, which causes the skin to become inflamed and painful to the touch. These cysts may itch, and if they burst, infection can spread to cause a larger breakout. Most people develop cystic acne in their teens or early 20s, but it can strike at nearly any age, on any part of the body. The exact cause of cystic acne is unknown, but it may be attributed genetics or changes in hormone levels. Over-the-counter medicines have little effect on cystic acne. However, there are some other treatments that may help clear cystic acne. Oral Antibiotics Oral antibiotics work from the inside out, killing an excess skin bacteria. Common oral antibiotics for cystic acne are clindamycin or erythromycin. Birth-Control Pills Cystic acne can be a side effect of an internal hormone imbalance. For some, taking the right birth control daily may help balance these hormones. Spironolactone Spironolactone is also used for treating cystic acne when hormones are to blame. Spironolactone is primarily used as a diuretic, but for cystic acne, a doctor will prescribe it for its anti-androgenic properties, which basically means, the drug stops the body from producing the...

Zits: To Pop or Not to Pop?

When a pimple crops up, it’s usually at the most inconvenient time: before a dance, a job interview, a special holiday. Rather than face everyone with a seemingly enormous zit, you weigh your options, and the idea to pop that zit comes across your radar. But, before you take another step closer to the mirror, consider these reasons you may want to leave that zit alone. View image | gettyimages.com   Cuts, Scabbing, Bruising Zits don’t always pop on the first try, and with repeated poking, and jabbing you’re bound to break or bruise the skin. A millimeter size pimple is much less noticeable than a larger, crusty, red scab, that will last over a week. Scars After a crusty, red scab is healed from a pimple-popping attempt, the skin will probably be left with a scar or hyper-pigmentation. Scars can take several months or even a year to fade. That original pimple would have only been around less than two weeks! Doesn’t sound so bad now, huh? More Pimples Pimples are filled with oil and bacteria. So when a zit is popped, that bacteria and oil oozes out, and spreads across your skin, leading to additional clogged pores and inflammation. Infection Popping a pimple, breaks the skin, creating an opening for bacteria to enter the body. Your skin can develop an infection and may require topical antibiotics from a doctor. Pain Pimples can be painful even without being touched. Now, imagine how much that pimple will hurt after being poked and irritated. Avoid the pain- leave that pimple alone! Harder to Cover The key to covering a pimple...

Do you need to Breakup with your Makeup?

Is your makeup hindering your skin from clearing up? You’ve probably heard at some point that wearing makeup is bad for your skin and causes breakouts. The average foundation alone can contain as many as 24 chemical ingredients- add that to your daily skin and haircare products- and you’ve got a lot of substances going on! View image | gettyimages.com   Studies have shown that each day our bodies come in contact with hundreds of chemicals. A majority of chemical exposure comes from the health and beauty products we use on a daily basis, so knowing how to use these chemicals is vital to keeping your skin clear. Why do people say that makeup is bad for your skin? Many formulations of makeup contain heavy oils, which can get stuck in pores, causing inflammation. This inflammation may irritate current acne or kick-off the development of new pimples. Avoid trying several different types of makeup or products at once. This way you can easily recognize a new element that may be causing your skin to breakout. If you notice a pimple develop after adding something to your skin regime, stop using it ASAP! To avoid acne flare-ups from makeup, use products that are oil-free and fragrance-free. Also look for terms like hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic. Like healthy food, healthy makeup should have an expiration date. Know when to throw away makeup. Look for the expiration date, or write the date of purchase right on your makeup, so you know its age. When foundation has a funny smell, thickens or becomes chunky- that is a sign that it is harboring bacteria. Powder...

Fact or Fiction: Junk Food & Acne

Everyone knows junk food is not healthy, and for a long time there has been a media attack against my favorite food group of all time. Rumors that chocolate, pizza, and french fries are responsible for acne. Researchers continue study the link between foods we eat and the appearance of acne, and the jury is still out on some specifics, but before I give up eating my beloved chocolate cupcakes and pizza nearly everyday- I need some cold, hard facts about my favorite foods. View image | gettyimages.com Chocolate Chocolate induced acne is probably the longest running urban myths of skin care. It’s not so much the cocoa (the actual essence of chocolate) but it is actually the sugar that is to blame. A diet high in sugar triggers your body to produce more insulin, which then ramps up your skin’s oil production, contributing to clogged pores and clogged hair follicles. Ehk! Now that we know it’s the sugar, be weary because sugar is hiding everywhere! Replace sweet snacks with something like carrots or cucumber slices. Try to avoid sugary drinks and instead drink water or naturally flavored, no sugar seltzer. Chocolate is ok to eat, but opt for a small piece of high quality, dark chocolate to appease your cravings. Pizza, Pasta, and Bread Ummmmm. That’s basically all I eat- so you’re telling me I can’t eat? These foods contain “simple carbohydrates”. Your body reacts the same way to simple carbohydrates as it does with sugar. Try to limit these items in your diet, instead of heading for chips, try a handful of almonds. Substitute starchy pasta with...
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