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...

Humidity and Acne

Warmer days are making a welcome return this time of year, but along with the added sunshine also comes an increase in the air’s humidity. Not only do the more humid conditions leave some feeling sluggish and sticky, but they also have the tendency to stimulate your skin’s oil production, and cause clogged pores and acne breakouts. Year-round you may find yourself in consistently humid situations, like working in a hot kitchen or breaking a sweat at the gym. You can prevent humidity related breakouts by making a few adjustments to your everyday skincare routine. View image | gettyimages.com Wash your skin after you perspire. Avoid touching your skin with your fingers and wiping your face with your hands. Using your hands to wipe away sweat spreads oil and bacteria. Try blotting your skin with a clean tissue. You can also use an oil-absorbing, skin-blotting cosmetic paper, often sold in cosmetic stores. Use oil-free lotion and skin care products that won’t clog your pores and create acne. Stash a package of oil free cleanser wipes in your purse, desk, or gym bag, for easy cleansing on the go. Keep your hair away from your face with headbands and secure hair elastics. Sticky and sweaty hair spreads germs and oil. Always change out of your gym clothing or sweaty work clothes within 30 minutes after your workout or job. Your clothing can trap bacteria and oil that you don’t want sitting on your skin! Avoid wearing heavy makeup or creams while working out or if you know that you will be in a humid situation. It may sound counter intuitive,...
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