If you suffer from acne you may feel reassured to know that you are not alone and that it is one of the most common skin conditions. Although it commonly affects teenagers, 51% of adults aged 20-29 report still having acne. The good news is that for most people acne can be straightforward to treat.
Along with diet and fitness, vitamins play a vital role in overall skin health. They are involved with reducing inflammation in the body, replenishing vitamin deficiencies, the maintenance of the protective barrier of our skin, and for the nourishment of our skin cells. In general, they are needed in the body for essential biochemical reactions and processes, but in relation to acne, vitamins are extremely important for maintaining a healthy complexion.
In the last few years, experts are recognizing vitamins as a relevant treatment for acne. As more and more studies come out showing that acne sufferers are deficient in various vitamins, the more clout that vitamins are given as a viable alternative in the treatment of acne. Combine that with all of the acne sufferers who have cleared up their skin using the right combination of vitamins, vitamins are something that must be looked at seriously in the treatment of your acne.
Here is a list of the most beneficial vitamins in the treatment of acne:Vitamin A
Vitamin A is responsible for growing new skin cells, strengthening your skin’s protective tissue, and reducing the amount of oil your skin produces. This means that when you don’t have enough Vitamin A in your diet, dead skin cells, bacteria and oil (from the sebaceous gland) can build up in your skin. According to studies, a large percentage of those who suffer from acne problems have vitamin A deficiencies.
An important antioxidant, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s, but as drugs have become the favorite of most doctors, vitamin A is used less and less.
The best type of vitamin A for treating acne comes from fish liver oil. This type is a retinoid and is biologically active in the body. The other kind of vitamin A available is beta-carotene, which is a much cheaper form. However, it is not true vitamin A, it is a precursor to vitamin A and needs to be converted into vitamin A by your body.
This study shows a relationship between acne and low levels of vitamin A:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. It helps improve digestive health, plays an important part in growth and energy levels, and is a stress reducer. High stress levels can cause breakouts due to hormonal imbalances, and acne can be a symptom of B2 deficiency, so it’s important that you have enough vitamin B2 in your diet.Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B5 is truly the juggernaut of acne vitamins! It helps metabolize skin oils, counteracts hormonal imbalances, increases your blood circulation and reduces your stress levels! All four of these things cause acne breakouts when they’re out of whack. Most acne supplements contain pantothenic acid, just watch out for the ones that are basically only pantothenic acid without much else.
Here are two studies relating pantothenic acid and acne:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24831048Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
Vitamin B12 boosts your metabolism as well as your red blood cells and nerve cell count. It also happens to improve your blood circulation, which helps regenerate your skin cells to give your skin that glowing, healthy look.Biotin (Vitamin B7) – Not recommended
Biotin is a tough one. It is touted for it’s benefits to hair and nails, and often for the skin as well, but there is not any strong evidence that it helps with acne. Biotin is necessary for cell growth and the metabolism of fats and amino acids and it may help with maintaining a steady blood sugar level. It is very rare for someone to be deficient in biotin as it is produced in excess of our body’s daily requirements by our intestinal bacteria. Many cases have been reported of people’s acne getting worse when supplementing with biotin so we do not recommend it as an acne treatment, and it really should be avoided if you suffer from acne.Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, which means it slows the rate of free radical damage to your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules and cause damage to collagen, which is an amino acid that keeps your skin smooth and supple. When too much free radical damage occurs, you get dry skin, fine wrinkles and lines.
Taking Vitamin C not only helps halt and reverse free radical damage, it also speeds up tissue growth and repair, and reduces your risk of developing skin cancer from long-term sun exposure.Vitamin D3
Popularly referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D3 actually acts as a defense system for your skin by activating a special kind of white blood cell called macrophages. These macrophages directly attack acne-causing bacteria, making them a kind of ‘knight in shining armor’ for your skin.
Vitamin D3 helps with insulin response, reduces inflammation, helps to boost your immune system, and helps to improve your mood. Vitamin D3 also works cohesively with vitamin A, and taking vitamin D3 increases the amount of vitamin A your body can tolerate. Vitamin D3 deficiency is very common in North America, and if you have acne, you are probably deficient in vitamin D3 as well.Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps defend your skin from free radicals, helps prevent damage to cell membranes, and helps keep your skin soft and moisturized. Vitamin E also supports your immune system, and it helps fight against acne bacteria too.
Some studies have shown vitamin E helps the skin recover and reduce the appearance of acne scars. This study shows a relationship between a vitamin E deficiency and acne:
This once-obscure vitamin has been getting a lot of attention for all kinds of health benefits, including fighting cancer and heart disease. But one of the lesser-known facts about Vitamin K2 is that vitamin A doesn’t work properly without it. This means that even if your Vitamin A levels are normal, you could still have acne problems if you don’t have enough Vitamin K2. There are no studies showing a direct relationship between vitamin K2 and acne, however it is an extremely important vitamin to consider for overall health. In addition to its supportive relationship with Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 prevents our skin from calcifying (hardening) so it stays smooth and elastic, and is also potentially beneficial for smoothing out lines and wrinkles.Zinc
Several scientific studies show that acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. Zinc helps regulate the activity of your oil glands, so when you don’t have enough zinc, the oil glands can get out of control and produce too much sebum, which can lead to acne. Zinc also helps heal wounds and strengthens your skin tissue to prevent scarring.Turmeric
This yellow-orange spice is most commonly known for its use in curries and other Southeastern Asian dishes, and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory, so turmeric plays a role in reducing redness as well as killing off acne-causing bacteria for a clear, smooth complexion.Magnesium
It’s been estimated that around half of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to constipation, which causes acne breakouts because your digestive system isn’t ridding your body of toxins the way it’s supposed to. A lack of magnesium can also cause skin inflammation, which doesn’t do anything to help your complexion!
Getting enough magnesium into your diet will not only handle these things, but also lower your stress level, which also affects acne breakouts.Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil is rich in GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid that balances the hormones responsible for your acne breakouts and inflammation. It also helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and promotes skin elasticity. Translation: it’s anti- acne AND anti-aging!Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry)
Commonly used by herbalists to treat hormonal acne. Vitex contains no hormonal compounds but acts on the pituitary gland to help normalize and regulate hormones. Also widely used to treat PMS symptoms. Vitex has been used for centuries to treat acne and inflammation.Alpha Lipoic Acid
Lipoic Acid is one of the body’s crucial antioxidants and it is helpful with acne due to protection from free radical damage and inflammation. Two separate studies have shown lipoic acid to be twice as low in the blood of acne sufferers as those without acne. Alpha lipoic acid has also been shown to help the body control its levels of sugar and insulin as well.
In all cases, increasing the intake and absorption of certain vitamins through diet and/or supplements can eliminate the symptoms of a vitamin deficiency. Supplements can provide a more immediate reversal of symptoms because they deliver the needed vitamins in high doses. Vitamins are important to skin health, they are needed for the production of collagen, for the maintenance of the protective barrier, for the nourishing of the skin cells, and for reducing oxidative stress on the skin.
So if you’re wondering if you should look into vitamins for acne, then the answer is yes!
There are numerous skincare regimens that center around the theory that “less is more”. We’ve discussed the Oil Cleansing Method here, showing that most of us use far too many products in our daily skincare regime that strip the skin of its natural oils and encourage breakouts. But what happens when you don’t use any skincare at all on a daily basis? That theory is referred to as the caveman approach to skincare and we’re here to explain what it is, how you implement it, and the results many people are receiving.
What is the Caveman Regimen?
Most people have heard about the Paleo diet, where people are choosing to eat like our ancestors (natural food of the Earth) and this diet is also associated with the caveman approach to skincare that focuses not on what you put on your face, rather what you don’t put on your face. The Caveman Regimen is a skincare routine that isn’t much of a routine at all. The idea that “less is more” is the basis on which those that use this method practice the maintenance of their skin. By not washing the skin or applying any serums, creams, or topical treatments, this is said to allow your skin to ‘heal’ and ‘rebalance’ naturally, without interrupting it’s pH and oil balance with products that weaken and dry out the skin. Since we can’t know for sure how exactly caveman looked, this theory considers that perhaps they never struggled with acne. In present day, we are faced with an abundance of ointments, treatments, and literature on how to keep our skin clear, but what if these chemicals and face creams are the exact reason why modern day man has a problem with acne? There’s only one way to know for sure and testing the “caveman approach” to skincare is exactly what we wanted to discover.
How To Implement the “Caveman Approach” to Skincare?
Much like this blog post discusses, this approach centers around our skin’s “acid mantle”, which is essentially our skin’s protective barrier. This is made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells and contains a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria. Modern day man has been encouraged to strip the skin of its natural oils with drying agents and oil fighting cleansers advertised at most drugstores. If the skins outer layer, or acid mantle, is temporarily removed by harsh soaps, the skin then becomes susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and infection. Instead of treating your skin with wipes, creams, and ointments to prevent acne, you’d literally leave your skin alone to take care of itself. We know what you’re thinking “Gross! So I just let all the dirt and bacteria sit on my skin?” Essentially in this method, yes.
Does It Actually Work?
The Caveman Routine is practiced in many different ways. Some believers in this method think that splashing water on the face is an acceptable form of skincare maintenance, while others don’t allow anything to touch their face since water is said to dry out the skin. That means no makeup, no shaving (except beard trimming is allowed), and anything else that touches the skin that can disrupt its acid mantle. It is said that not allowing water to touch the face builds up dead skin cells over time and that acts as a protective mask to heal and restore the skin. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that not everyone’s skin is the same and the second is that we aren’t living in an age where environmental influencers are identical to cavemen’s time. Cavemen lived in entirely different climates without dealing with pollution. They also didn’t sleep on pillows or use cell phones, some of which can attribute to acne in today’s society. They also didn’t wear makeup.
Although some fads go to extremes, the caveman approach is on the right track. While most people run to their drugstore to find an instant cure in the form of topical treatments for acne, the caveman approach suggests that these options only dry out and weaken our skin, opening us up to more breakouts. Using a simple, chemical free oil cleanser and moisturizer is often enough to maintain clear and healthy skin.
*See testimonials here.
After reading hundreds of reviews about apple cider vinegar toners for acne, we decided to put it to the test and see if what people were saying rings true. Apple cider vinegar is said to improve your overall complexion and reduce irritations to the skin due to it containing malic and lactic acids that are found in vinegar. These acids help soften and exfoliate the skin’s tissue, tone your skin to the proper pH level, and treat acne on the face and body. But isn’t that what most toners are said to do? We will explain why this unusual ingredient that’s often found in your kitchen pantry is a beauty secret used around the world to help maintain glowing, blemish free skin.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar Works
ACV not only has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, but it’s main benefit for acne prone skin is that it helps balance a person’s pH levels. Like we described in our acid mantle article, the protective acid mantle is the most important component to keeping your skin clear. The skin’s surface is made up of a thin layer of oil, which if stripped with harsh oil fighting cleansers or over cleansing, can disrupt the acid mantle and cause the pH levels of your skin to be disturbed. Under normal circumstances, healthy skin will revert back and rebalance on its own, but when your acid mantle is disturbed regularly, your skin becomes vulnerable to infections and other irritations, causing redness, blemishes, and dryness. This is where the ACV toner comes into play. ACV has a pH level of 3 and when diluted with water, the acidity from the toner helps restore your skin’s pH level back to normal. By restoring your skin’s levels, ACV helps your skin function optimally, warding off bacteria and shedding dead skin cells at the proper rate so pores are unblocked and skin remains healthy.
Here Are Some Pros and Cons to ACV toner for acne:
Pros:Decreases the amount of pimples on the skin Give your body and hair a natural shine Regulates the pH balance of your face Encourages hair growth Targets age spots Soothes sunburns
Cons:The less diluted the vinegar is, the stronger the smell ACV can burn if used in strong concentrations People may experience purging-aka, your skin can get worse before it gets better
How To Make An Apple Cider Vinegar Toner At HomePurchase your apple cider vinegar. Make sure it’s unfiltered, organic, and unpasteurized. We recommend Bragg’s. Depending on your skin, you will then need to dilute the ACV. A ratio of one part apple cider vinegar to two or three parts water is most common but, if you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to use a little more water. To use your apple cider vinegar toner, pour some onto a cotton pad and apply it to your skin after cleansing. Wait until the toner has dried and then use any moisturizers or creams that you have in your routine. Do this once a day.
Apple cider vinegar works for clearing acne because it returns the acidity to your skin and revitalizes the acid mantle. It also kills bacteria, removes excess dirt, oil and makeup and dissolves dead skin cells. If you’re looking for a cheap, easy to make acne treatment, apple cider vinegar is one of the better at-home remedies out there.
After topical treatments, antibiotics are often the second stage of acne prevention. The real question when considering if antibiotics really work for acne is what happens after you finish treatment? Acne forums are filled with posts explaining how acne flared back up after the last round of antibiotics. Is this a sign that antibiotics may make us more prone to future breakouts? Recent studies have shown that acne bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotic treatment so that old medications don’t work and the risk of complications from antibiotic treatment is real. Discovering the truth about antibiotics and acne may be the solution to fighting off acne for good and maintaining clear, blemish free skin as a result.
Although the short term results are that antibiotics help kill acne bacteria and reduce inflammation, the long term effects are that they only work for about half of the population and often times only for a short period of time. Just like the body builds up an immunity to certain drugs if taken over a long period of time, acne becomes accustom to both oral and topical antibiotic treatments.
How Antibiotics Work
Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, are types of medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. They are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, which are microscopic organisms, some of which may cause illness. Antibiotics shut down the metabolic machinery of bacteria and while some antibiotics kill acne on contact, others just cause them to go dormant.
There are two ways antibiotics work in our bodies:
1. A bactericidal antibiotic kills bacteria directly by interfering with the formation of the bacterium’s cell wall or its cell contents.
2. A bacteriostatic antibiotic stops bacteria from multiplying or slows their growth by interfering with bacterial protein production (DNA replication). These antibiotics must work together with the immune system to remove the microorganisms from the body.
How Antibiotics Initially Work For Acne
In the short term, antibiotics work in severals ways. The most important is to decrease the number of bacteria in and around the follicle. They also work by reducing the irritating chemicals produced by white blood cells and reduce the concentration of free fatty acids in the sebum, which decreases inflammation.*Most frequent antibiotics used for acne: Clindamycin,Doxycycline, Minocycline, Erythromycin, and Tetracycline.
Why Antibiotics Do Not Work Long Term
The phenomenon of antibiotic resistance is the main reason why antibiotics do not work long term. Many times individual bacteria can develop a resistance to an antibiotic by whats called “random mutation”. While most times mutations kill bacteria avoiding reproduction, other times they give a single bacterium the ability to resist a medication. This wouldn’t be a problem if bacteria didn’t reproduce as often as every 20 minutes, giving the bacteria in your body the ability to swap genetic material through the horizontal gene transfer process. Since a bacterium can share its mutation with its neighbors through direct transfer of DNA, one resistant bacterium can become millions or billions and spread from person to person, unhindered by treatment with the antibiotic to which it has acquired resistance.
The Harmful, Long-term Effects of Antibiotics
Short and simple: Antibiotics kill the beneficial, or probiotic, bacteria from your gut. How do they do that? The digestive system is colonized by billions of bacteria that are call gut microflora. This type of probiotic bacteria in your gut is beneficial in the digestion and creation of nutrients. That’s why the biggest long term effect of antibiotics are that they indiscriminately kill both harmful and probiotic bacteria. The damage done in the gut varies from person to person and also the length of the treatment. However, most antibiotics are said to cause some damage to the beneficial bacteria and since most probiotic bacteria can’t resist antibiotics, it’s a very serious aspect of antibiotics to consider.
The Natural Solution To Acne
Antibiotics are effective short-term treatments, but in the majority of cases acne comes back with a vengeance. That is why Innate Skin focuses on these three main factors when preventing and fighting acne:
1. Taking care of the skin’s surface layer. Often times this can be the sole reason your skin is inflamed and irritated. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is upset the pH balance of your acid mantle when using products that are too alkaline for the healthy function of the skin. We suggest trying out the oil cleansing method (read how here) that helps balance the amount of oil on the top layer of your skin.
2. Focusing on vitamin deficiencies within your body. Taking supplements like our Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ with a combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbs known for their benefits to the skin can fight off unwanted blemishes from the inside out. Read more about the vitamins inside our supplements here.
3. Leading a healthy lifestyle. Reducing stress levels, eating natural, unprocessed foods, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding dairy are a few areas to focus on that can have a huge impact when it comes to preventing blemishes. Read more here.
The bottom line is taking antibiotics only sets yourself up for the potential of getting more acne in the future because it increases the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gut. Taking antibiotics are a short term cure with long term harm. Doctors prescribe antibiotics and those that suffer from acne use it until their skin is clear, not until all the bacteria has been killed. The antibiotic just wipes out the most susceptible bacteria and leaves the resistant bacteria. When the patient stops taking the antibiotic, the resistant bacteria are free to multiply unchecked by competition from other microbes, and acne can be worse than it was before treatment. Clear skin is nice for a few weeks, but after the treatments come to a halt, you’ll be faced with inflammation and infection.*It’s important that if you are currently on a long term antibiotic prescription that you do not stop your course before consulting with your doctor. If you are taking an antibiotic do not take other medicines or herbal remedies without telling your doctor first. OTC (over the counter, non-prescription) medicines might also clash with your antibiotic.
If you haven’t heard of the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) before, allow us to introduce it to you. OCM is a method of skincare where oil is used to clean your face. I know, shocking, right? Though we’ve all been told that any kind of oil on the face is the root of all skincare woes, that idea isn’t really necessarily true. Let us explain.
Oil is an essential part of our bodies and when we use stringent cleansers and chemical skincare products that dry our skin out everyday, our skin suffers the consequences. What we need to understand is that our skin lubricates itself with oil— it needs it. Our natural oil heals, protects and moisturizes our skin in order to ensure proper functioning. Harsh products strip away the natural oil in our skin, leaving our skin to repair itself by replacing the missing oil. Each time we remove the oil, our skin overcompensates for the lack of moisture by producing more oil. This causes a vicious cycle to form where our skin becomes tight and dried out by cleansers and then becomes overly oily and greasy as our skin attempts to restore balance.
Now the basic concept behind this method of cleansing is based on the chemistry rule which states that “like dissolves like,” which means that one substance can break down substances similar to it. So in this case, the best way to get rid of the sebum and oil in your pores is by using substances that are similar to them in composition. Oil dissolves oil. By using the right kind of oils, you can rid your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively. In turn, you can also replace bad oil with good ones extracted straight from nature, which can heal, protect, and nourish your skin instead. Oil cleansing is meant to replace the daily routine of washing your face with harsh cleansers and is meant to restore balance to your skin. When done properly and regularly, the OCM can get your skin to a place of true functioning and health.The Oil Blend
With so many oils out there, it’s also hard to figure out which one you should use. The first step to creating your personal blend is to understand what kind of skin you have. People with generally dry skin will want less Castor Oil, and those with oily skin will want to blend in more. Finding the perfect combination of oils for your own skin will probably take some trial and error, so it’s definitely a good idea to start with very small batches. Once you figure out what your ratio of oils looks like, you’ll be able to blend much more at a time.
Here are some suggestions for oil blends:Dry skin: 10% Castor Oil and 90% Grapeseed Oil Oily skin: 30% Castor Oil and 70% Grapeseed Oil Balanced skin: 20% Castor oil and 80% Grapeseed Oil
You can of course vary these percentages to adjust to your own skin’s needs.
So how does the OCM work? Well it’s simple. All you’ll need is a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and some hot water. You can even do the cleansing in the shower.How To Oil Cleanse: Pour a quarter size amount of oil into the palms of your hands and rub hands together to warm it up. Thoroughly massage the oil into your dry face. Wipe the oil gently away with a warm washcloth. Make sure the washcloth is warm so as to open the pores. Gently pat dry, leaving a thin film of the oil on your face to help retain your natural moisture barrier.
*Oil cleansing also replaces the need for makeup removers that can sometimes irritate the skin and cause breakouts. These natural oils gently dissolve even the most pigmented of makeup products like waterproof mascara or concealer.
The oil cleansing method is the best at home way to restore your skins pH balance while protecting its acid mantle. The reason over the counter cleansers don’t seem to cure unwanted breakouts are because these products strip the oil from the skin, leaving the skin in a cycle of being tight and dry followed by an oil slick. Every time we strip the skin of its oils, it has to overcompensate for the lack of moisture by producing more oil. That combined with most products being scented, can cause irritation and dryness. Try the oil cleansing method to heal, nourish, and restore balance to your skin!
Understanding your skin’s basic needs can be confusing when you often see phrases like “the acid mantle” or “pH balance” being thrown around, making it seem like a firm grasp of chemistry is necessary to obtaining clear skin. However, having a basic understanding of the acid mantle is crucial when determining what to treat your skin with and how it can react to different environments. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is upsetting the pH balance of your acid mantle when using products that are too alkaline for the healthy function of the skin. Lathering up with these foamy, oil fighting cleansers weakens the skin’s immune system and increases dryness, leading to the dreaded dry skin and acne combo. Drying out the skin with these products only makes the sebaceous glands produce more oil. This works in a counter productive way, leading to a vicious cycle of drying out the skin, treating it with harsh topicals, and adding moisture back onto the surface. Re-evaluating your skins daily regimen and following the proper skin chemistry is the first step in achieving a healthier, blemish free complexion that can protect your acid mantle from bacteria and restore it to it’s natural form.What Is The Acid Mantle?
The acid mantle is essentially our skin’s protective barrier made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells and contains a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria. These secretions of bacteria work together to provide a number of essential roles in the breakdown of the skin that guard the skin from adverse environments such as pollutants, UV rays, or temperature changes. Many include protecting the outer layer, boosting the immune system, adding moisture that helps skin elasticity, and most importantly, secreting enzymes to help break down oil. Sebum is also an important factor that contributes to the acid mantle. It is an oily secretion that spreads over the hair and skin. Sebum’s main role is to waterproof the skin and hair, but when combined with sweat, excess sebum can lead to oily, acne prone skin and lack of sebum can lead to dryness and wrinkle formation.Why Should You Care About Your Acid Mantle?
Stripping the skin of its natural oils with drying agents and oil fighting cleansers does the opposite of reducing oil and preventing irritation. If the skins outer layer, or acid mantle, is temporarily removed by harsh soaps, the skin then becomes susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and infection. In order for the acid mantle to protect the skin and kill bacteria before it gets inside the body and provide moisture to the skin, natural sweat and oils must be allowed to occur. Sometimes excess sweating can alter the acid mantle and pH levels, throwing them off balance. This combined with the tendency to use oil-fighting soaps can worsen pH levels. That’s why focusing on certain acne treatments that restore the skin’s pH to acidic levels can help prevent breakouts and irritation.How To Protect Your Acid Mantle?
There are a few things that can be done to protect your acid mantle and it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to fully restore the acid mantle after using harsh cleansers.Steps Taken To Protect Your Acid Mantle: Avoiding the use of foaming soaps high in alkaline, shampoo running down the face, and oil stripping toners are effective ways in protecting the skin against unbalanced pH levels. Focus on using oil cleansers that restore the skins moisture and balance its oil production at the same time. Don’t over cleanse. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you’re waking up with skin cleansed the night before. We don’t want to over cleanse our skin as this will only irritate the skin and cause more oil production. Deep cleaning while balancing our skins oil production at the same time is the objective to cleansing our skin properly.
These preventative steps are necessary in balancing pH levels, protecting the acid mantle, and restoring your skins barrier to fight off unwanted bacteria from entering the top layer of your skin.Sources:
http://www.smartskincare.com/skinbiology/sebum.html http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/audrey-kunin-md/chemistry-lesson-healthy-skin http://thenakedchemist.com/understanding-the-acid-mantle/ http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-acid-mantle.htm http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com
Whether it’s moisturizer or a daily face wash, when looking into purchasing any kind of skincare or makeup product, most people almost always look for two words on the label: oil-free. If it has any oil in it, it’s not getting anywhere near my face. The conventional wisdom is that acne and pimples are caused by an excess of oil, which clog pores. Oil makes your skin greasy and shiny, and nobody wants that. So why would oil ever be included in face washes, or any other skincare product, let alone be used entirely on its own as a solution for acne?
Something most people don’t know is that natural oils can actually feed, protect, and support our skin tissue while keeping it hydrated, pimple-free, and balanced. Though it’s not as simple as applying the first kind of oil you see to your skin (no, the vegetable oil in your kitchen cabinet will not work), it’s pretty straightforward once you find the right kind for your skin. Facial oils are usually made up of several different botanical oils, which are oils that are based around a single plant-based extract. Simply put: they’re completely natural. Botanical oils provide your skin with the kind of nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins inherent in nature!Here are a few specific oils that provide solutions to certain skin problems:
Clogged Pores: Clogged pores caused by dehydrated skin. When our skin is dry, its natural oil cannot secrete easily to lubricate its surface. So instead, our oil becomes thick and hardened, getting lodged in our pores and creating plugs out of dried out sebum.Oil Suggested: Using a plant-derived oil like Jojoba mixed with a high linoleic oil such as grapeseed, which helps to restore moisture and prevent clogged pores. Jojoba oil is very similar to our own sebum.
Dehydrated Skin: Easily damaged skin that is prone to bacterial penetration, which may lead to acne. This problem can sometimes be caused by dehydrated skin.Oil Suggested: Oils such as primrose, which are rich in fatty acids that nourish the skin, can strengthen its immunity and keep skin from easily breaking out.
Oily Skin: The skin’s overproduction of oil. The more we wash our face, the more sebum is produced as our skin attempts to maintain proper protection and moisture. This is how acne sufferers can actually cause their own excess oil secretion— by using skincare products that dry out and strip nutrients from the skin.Oil Suggested: Replenishing the skin with oils such as jojoba, which actually has a similar consistency to our own sebum, may stop the cycle. Instead of using a harsh cleanser, or over-washing, the jojoba can be used with a gentle cleanser or the Oil Cleansing Method.
Breakouts: Inflammation of breakouts. Red and blistering pimples need to be calmed and cooled down.Oil Suggested: Oils like coconut and camellia can protect and soothe irritation, as well as ease the redness of pimples.
Many of the oils we see at the grocery store or in the ingredients of our skincare products may cause clogged pores and inflamed faces. So when searching for a skincare oil, the kind of oils you’ll want to be on the lookout for should be of the non-comedogenic variety. Because comedogenic means likely to cause comedones, or clogged pores, you’ll want to choose oils that are non-comedogenic and are less likely to cause clogged pores. The less likely it is to cause pores, the less likely it is to cause acne.
Coconut oil is an example of an oil that some people swear by for skin care, while others swear when it makes them break out! It has a higher level of comedogency but that higher level has been questioned by some. If you want to try coconut oil on your skin, caution is advised initially, try a small test spot and see how your skin reacts to it.Simply selecting any natural oil from a wide list of non-comedogenic oils may not necessarily be enough if you have acne-prone skin.
With so many different oils, and so many equally different skin types out there to treat, not every non-comedogenic oil will be completely effective. To narrow down such a large list, we need to look the chemical composition of natural oils. One key factor that can make certain oils work for some and not for others is the ratio of linoleic acid and oleic acid in each of their compositions.
Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid and also an omega-9 fatty acid, whereas linoleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid as well as an omega-6 fatty acid. Because oily, congested, and acne-prone skin’s sebum is predominantly composed of oleic acid, it’s been shown that acne sufferers have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin. Deficiencies in linoleic acid can cause our skin’s natural sebum to become thick and sticky, and thick sebum leads to clogged pores. It’s recommended for those who have acne-prone skin to create a balance of linoleic and oleic acids by applying oils high in linoleic acid directly to their skin and to avoid oils higher in oleic acid. When our skin’s natural sebum is primarily composed of lipids high in linoleic acid, we have little to no break outs.Reading the chart:
Oil level of comedogency are rated between 1 and 5. The first column rates their comedogenecy. The higher the number, the more likely it is to be high comedogenic (clog pores). Levels of linoleic acid are rated between high and low. Somewhat high/low mean that the levels (linoleic and oleic) are somewhat balanced but still contain higher concentrations of one acid over the other.
Pimples, zits, whatever. Does it really matter what I call the pulsing monster on my forehead, or the endless spots on my nose? Maybe not, but then again, it couldn’t hurt to know what acne types you’re dealing with if you’re serious about treating it as soon as possible. In general, acne and all of its variations are caused by oxidized sebum and clogged pores. Here is a list of the main acne types and a little bit of information on what causes them.
Whiteheads: Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, appear in the form of slightly whitish, flesh-colored bumps or dots. They form when oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped in your pores— they’re basically clogged pores that aren’t inflamed. Because whiteheads are clogged below the surface of the skin, they remain closed and flesh-colored, the top looking more white, thus called a whitehead. They look just like little bumps under the skin, sometimes a little more whitish than your skin color. Whiteheads are a fairly mild form of acne, and can be easily treated, though they can be stubborn sometimes.
Blackheads: Blackheads are another acne type and are almost identical to whiteheads in that they are non-inflamed clogged pores. The only difference is that with blackheads, the blocked pore remains open instead of closed. If a blocked pore’s top is open, the pore is exposed to air where the lodged sebum and keratin are oxidized, turning the whole thing black. Like whiteheads, blackheads are caused by trapped oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria in pores.
Papules: Papules are clogged pores that are inflamed. They appear as tender red bumps, but they’re hard when you touch them. They’re usually fairly small and are somewhat raised. Papules form when a clogged pore (so a blackhead or whitehead) gets irritated, swelling up, turning red, and becoming painful. This is what inflammation is. The defining factor of papules is that they are not filled with pus, though they may get filled up with pus later. To avoid getting papules, leave blackheads and whiteheads alone — fingers off! You should also avoid irritating or harsh cleansers.
Pustules: Pustules are what we’ve come to know as zits. Like papules, they are inflamed clogged pores with the exception of the pus that fills their centers. You can tell if you have pustules if you can see yellowy or whitish heads on your pimples, which feel like blisters. Pustules are essentially even more irritated papules.
Nodules / Cysts: Nodules and cysts are severe forms of acne and are much larger than papules and pustules. When blocked pores get even more irritated, they get even bigger, and can go deeper into your skin, too. Nodules and cysts appear in the form of painful bumps under the skin. They’re usually really stubborn and can take forever to go away, possibly leaving behind scars in the process. Nodules are the hard ones which aren’t usually filled with pus, whereas cysts are filled with pus and are softer, feeling like fluid-filled sacs underneath the skin. You can tell if your acne is nodules or cysts by the size and severity of inflammation. Nodules and cysts are very painful, large, and protruding. You couldn’t mistake ‘em.
There are other types of acne as well, but this covers the most common types you are likely to encounter. Most acne can be helped if not completely cleared up using more natural approach than your doctor or dermatologist would recommend. Despite common belief, diet does play a big role in acne. So does genetics, stress and hormones. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and if it is unhappy, there is a reason for it. Most acne treatments today try and treat the symptom (the actual pimple) and not the problem that is causing the acne. Acne is not caused by a dirty face! Many acne sufferers have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Some of the common deficiencies are vitamin A, C, D, E, zinc and magnesium. By supplementing with the proper amounts and ratios of vitamins and minerals you can have a dramatic effect on your acne and overall skin health. If you think deficiencies of vitamins or minerals could be causing your acne, please visit our website at www.innateskin.com and check out the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™.
You see, there are still some people out there, including Doctors and Dermatologists, who believe that the right combination of vitamins and diet have no effect on acne.
Hopefully today’s story will help change some of those false perceptions.
Her name is Janet, she lives in Mississippi, and she has lived with acne for the last 43 years. That is, until now. Now her face is clear for the first time since she was 12.
In an email correspondence with the company who makes the vitamins she took, her husband said “Amazing results for two family members. You guys have done what the doctors could not.”Here is Janet’s story:
My Name is Janet, I am 55 yrs old. I have dealt with acne since I was 12. My mother also had a lifetime of acne and now my 25 yr old daughter is following the same path. When I saw my daughter in so much pain, I was determined to find something to help her.
The many trips to the dermatologist were not helping with the root of the problem. Antibiotics would help, but as soon as you quit taking them, the acne would return and I can’t imagine being on antibiotics for a lifetime. I searched the web for years, learning and experimenting on myself before i would evergive something to my daughter. I read about testosterone being a cause of acne in some cases, so I searched the internet for a natural product that would lower testosterone levels. I read about chaste tree berry and then went on a search for it on Amazon.
I came across the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack by Innate Skin. I was impressed with all the ingredients in the formula and all the information that was available on it. I loved that it was made in the USA. I saw that chaste tree berry was an ingredient in your proprietary blend, so I ordered some and tried it on myself first. It took about two weeks for me and I was totally free of acne.
I then gave it to my daughter whose acne was much worse than mine. She had deep cystic nodules that were on her face and back. She took the vitamins for a month before she saw any decrease in her acne. Now after several months on your product, she has beautiful skin, I would say about 95% clear. If she forgets to take the vitamins for a few days, she will get a small bump or two, but they are very superficial and will go away in a day or two, unlike the deep nodules that would last for weeks.
I personally do not have to take it every day now, I take it 2 or 3 times a week and have remained clear. I am still in shock that this worked so well, especially after being disappointed with so many other products. I am so grateful to the person who figured out the amazing ingredients in this product and how they would work together to help with acne. I can’t tell you what it feels like to know that my daughter will not have to suffer a lifetime of this like my mother and I did.
I hope one day, dermatologists will learn about this and use it in their practice. We had mentioned to our dermatologist several times whether this could be hormonal, but we were always told to talk to our gynecologist about that. So we went to our gynecologist, and their only option was birth control which wasn’t the answer either.
I know the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ is going to catch on with time. I want to tell everybody! THANKS AGAIN!
Well, that was Janet’s amazing story. What makes it more amazing is that it is a true story. If you have a family history of genetic acne there is hope with the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™. It is available by subscription here: Clear Skin Vitamin Pack – Subscribe and Save.
Your wedding day is fast approaching and you want everything to be perfect. From the flowers, to the cake, to the music, dress or tux, you have everything planned. Everything except for the one thing you can’t control— your acne-prone skin. You never know when a pimple is going to appear, and those suckers just find a way to pop up at the worst possible times. Especially when you add in the stress of planning a wedding.
If you think that all you can do is hope with your fingers crossed for your skin to be on its best behavior on your wedding day, you’re wrong! You can plan ahead by starting to take the Clear Vitamin Skin Pack™ at least 2 months before your big day. To help you avoid throwing a tantrum while seriously considering the idea of wearing a paper bag over your head as you walk down the aisle, take a peek at how the vitamin pack can get your acne under control before your wedding day.
The Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ is a combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbs known for their benefits to the skin. Not only do the vitamins help your skin maintain its health, but it also gives your acne-prone skin a healthy glow. Now that’s the kind of skin you want on your big day.Whether you have acne-prone skin or regular, here’s how it works:
With vitamin A, an essential antioxidant, skin cell growth cycles will speed up, strengthening your skin’s protective tissue, and keeping your sebaceous gland activity in check. This means that pores will be smaller, less oil will be produced, and scars and existing pimples will disappear or fade as your dead skin cells quickly shed. Vitamins C and E will slow down the rate of free radical damage to your body, which means that you’ll have less dry skin, fine wrinkles, and lines. Vitamin D3 will act as a defense system for your skin, fighting the acne-causing bacteria, and keeping any new pimples from finding a way to ruin your day. Undoubtedly your stress levels will be at an all time high, which is what the vitamin B2, in your vitamin pack is there for. Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails because it helps improve digestive health, plays an important part in growth and energy levels, and is a stress reducer.
These are just a fraction of the vitamins included in the clear skin pack, which means that these are merely a fraction of the skincare benefits. Crazy! You wouldn’t think that vitamins could really do all that for something like your skin but they can and they do. Other nutrients include vitamins K2, B6, B12, iodine, zinc, magnesium, evening primrose oil, organic turmeric, and Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry). Better yet, everything is natural. And they all work together to improve your skin’s overall health and complexion. When it comes to your special day, don’t take any chances. If you have acne-prone skin, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Makeup and cover-ups can only do so much, and you don’t want to be checking your face every 10 seconds for uncovered pimples. Skip out on the stress and do your wedding-day-self a favor by grabbing a 60 day supply of the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ today.