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The ABCs of Skin Care

acneYour skin is one of the most essential parts of your body, however it is also one of the most often abused. In fact, it is the body organ that gets most affected by the harmful rays of the sun.

While the sun provides many benefits, it however consists of ultraviolet rays that are responsible for many skin problems, including skin cancer. Therefore, knowing how you can protect yourself from the sun is essential in order to avoid or reduce the severity of such problems.

Between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, cloudy or not, the sun is at its fiercest.

Around this time, it would be best to stay in the comfort of your home or under a shade.

If you are enjoying the day at the beach, you are likely to get sunburn at this time.
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How To Beat Acne Naturally

acne-naturalAccording to statistics, almost 60 million people in the United States alone have acne, and 85 percent of teenagers are suffering from it. The numbers will tell you that acne, while fairly common, is no laughing matter.

Following are some of the natural ways you can beat acne as recommended by no less than the skin experts and practitioners themselves.

If you have facial acne, wash your face two to three times a day using a gentle and fragrance-free cleanser.

Do not use soap on your face because soaps usually have harsh chemicals and ingredients that can worsen the state of your skin.

You must also avoid touching your face with your hands to avoid getting bacteria from your hands to your face.
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Different Types of Acne Lesions and Treatments

acnetreatThere are various treatment options for acne. The first thing that should be understood though, in order for treatment to be successful, you need to research the various acne types. There are natural antioxidants in the market place which proves to be a promising cure for skin lesions such as acne.

A Lesion can be defined as a physical change in the body tissue secondary to an injury or disease. It may be external such as acne, psoriatic plaque, skin cancer or a cut caused by a sharp object such as a knife. It can also be classified as internal such as lung cancer, atherosclerotic blood vessel and liver cirrhosis.

Acne Lesions vary in severity. Blackheads and whiteheads are described as comedones. There are also bigger lesions such as cysts and nodules. The following are some terms that are used to define acne lesions:

1. Comedo / Comedones

Comedones are referred to as sebaceous follicles that are plugged with oil or sebum, dead skin cells from within the follicle, tiny hairs and even bacteria.

An open comedo is what is termed as blackhead due to the plug’s surface in the follicle appears as a blackish appearance. Acnezine helps in regulating the sebaceous glands thereby controlling the secretion of oil. As a result, acne’s growth is permanently stopped.

Whiteheads and blackheads should not be pricked open or squeezed due to risks of serious scarring of the skin and spread of bacteria. A dermatologist’s expertise is needed for treatment of comedones to ensure a sterile procedure.

2. Pustule

Pustules have dome-shaped appearance. They are also considered fragile skin lesions due to the presence of pus that is usually composed of white blood cells, dead cells of the skin and bacteria.

When a pustule forms above a sebaceous follicle, it typically has a hair along its centre. Pustules that resolve without progressing into cysts usually do not leave any scars.

The Right Kind of Soap For Your Type of Skin

acnesoapAccording to dermatologists and skin experts, washing the face with soap should be done twice daily. This has been contested before because most bar soaps in the market used to contain harsh ingredients which can strip the skin of the essential oils. Nowadays, though, there are many different kinds of soaps mild enough to use on the more sensitive parts of your body, like your face.

You must understand, though, that not every kind of soap, though mild it is, is right for your skin, so when choosing the right kind of soap, you must first know what your skin type is.

Is your skin oily, dry, normal, or a combination of oily and dry?

If you have no idea what your skin type is, take this simple test. Take a mirror and look at your face in natural daylight.
Take particular attention to the various areas of your face. If you have oily skin, the area along the T-zone which includes the forehead, the nose and chin), will look shiny. Large pores also suggest that you have oily skin. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, your skin will feel tight and dehydrated and the pores will appear very fine. Your skin will have a flaky appearance and is rough to touch.

You will know if you have normal skin if your skin is uniform in tone and texture. If you have a combination of dry and oily skin, the T-zone area is likely to be shiny or blemished but the cheeks will be sort of scaly.

Now that you know your skin type, you will be able to figure out the kind of product to look for. For oily skin or acne-prone skin, choose soaps that have salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that helps to unclog the pores, preventing the formation of pimples and/or acne blemishes, while benzoyl peroxide dries up your pimples.

For dry skin, go for super-fatted soaps, 1/3 of which must contain moisturizers. Pure glycerine soap also makes a good choice as it helps retain moisture, but deodorant soaps should be avoided.

There are hypoallergenic soaps for sensitive skin. If you have this type of skin, avoid perfumed and deodorant soaps as they can be very irritating to your skin. Use as little soap as possible, and do not scrub your face too hard. After washing, rinse your face well with cool water. Do not use warm or hot water as it can dry your skin.

You are lucky if you have normal skin because then you will have a variety of options — plant-based soaps, triple-milled soaps, gentle face bar soaps that are non-comedogenic.
If you are suffering from windburn or sunburn, use the kind of soap that contains glycerine and aloe vera. These products have a cooling and healing effect to the skin, relieving you therefore of pain and discomfort.

In order to have beautiful, glowing skin, it is essential that you take pains in caring for it. No matter how tired or stressed out you are, you must never forget to cleanse your face. Wash your face two times a day, tone up and moisturize immediately. Never sleep with your make-up on or without washing your face first.

Nonetheless, if you think it is such a hassle to this ritual daily, you can use a multi-purpose cleanser that can do everything all at once — scrape off dirt and oil and makeup. You can also use disposable cloths which you only need to moisten and then smooth over your face to remove the dirt.

Care for your skin — it can be your best asset. If you have skin that glows, you wouldn’t need to wear makeup at all.

The Different Kinds of Vitamins For Skin Health

Vitamins are important not just for the body, but for the skin as well. To ensure healthy skin, you must have an abundance of the essential vitamins such as Vitamins A, B Complex, C, E and K.

Vitamin A or beta-carotene is especially good for the eyes, but it also works well to improve your skin.

The key function of Vitamin A in the skin is to repair and protect the skin tissues.

Dry complexion and flakiness may be attributed to the lack of Vitamin A in the body, as are the swelling and scaling of the skin such as in the case of psoriasis.

To prevent these from happening, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are particularly rich in Vitamin A.

You can also apply topical lotions and creams with Vitamin A to prevent acne breakouts, and the signs of aging — wrinkles and unwanted facial lines. Aging can be delayed with the use of retinol, an over the counter drug that has Retin-A, a derivative of Vitamin A. When topical retinol combines with Vitamin C, skin changes caused by photo aging and chronological aging can be reversed.

Vitamin B, particularly Vitamin B Complex, is another vitamin that is recommended to improve skin health. Biotin, the most important form of Vitamin B in skin health, takes a primary role in the formation of the nails, hair and skin cells. You can get biotin from several food sources such as eggs, rice, oatmeal and bananas. Your body, too, creates biotin on its own.

Such be the case, you may think that you do not need to take in foods that contain a great amount of Biotin or any of the other components of Vitamin B complex. You should know that if you lack Vitamin B complex, you can suffer from dermatitis, a sort of skin inflammation with accompanying itchiness and redness, and even hair loss.

Creams with Vitamin B may now be found in the market. You can apply them topically on your affected area to moisturize your skin and improve your skin tone. Niacin, another form of Vitamin B, can restore the moisture of your skin in less than a week. This therefore serves as the answer to dry and chaffed and blotchy skin.

Vitamin C is also good for overall skin health as it protects you from skin cancer when you expose yourself too much to the sun.

Vitamin E is also good for the skin in that it reduces wrinkles and photo damage. In fact, if you take around 400 mg of natural Vitamin E everyday you improve the texture of your skin and you reduce the chance of developing wrinkles and photo damage.

If you take both Vitamins C and E together, you can lessen the DNA damages in the skin cells as well as those caused by free radicals. These free radicals which are brought about by pollution, smoke, and sun exposure can destroy the elastin and collage fibers which are important to the skin’s structure.

Lotions and creams with Vitamins C and E can make your skin look healthier. You must also embark on healthy Vitamin C-rich foods like broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, cauliflower and certain green leafy vegetables. Another way you can have Vitamin C in your body is by taking 500 to 1,000 mg of Vitamin C supplements.

Eat plenty of nuts, olives, asparagus, vegetable oil and spinach, too, because from these food sources you are able to get Vitamin E. However, you must also use creams and lotions with Vitamin E, and take no more than 400 units of Vitamin E supplements.

Aside from these vitamins, another vitamin, Vitamin K, is also said to improve your skin’s condition. In fact, if you combine Vitamin K with Vitamin A, you can bid dark circles around the eyes goodbye.