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By: Mildred Bell
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Mildred Bell Gives Us The Expert Lowdown On Breakouts

Anxiety about new classes, new friends, sports try-outs and “fitting in” whether a new job, new school or new relationships - keep hormones (especially testosterone) pumping non-stop. Combine that with a diet of sweet snacks, fast foods and sodas and you’ve got the makings of a breakout that might include, pimples, pustules and blackheads. Changing skin care products can be a start. But when you’re ready to get serious about clearing your skin you’ve got to consider changing a lot more than that.

1. Change your diet – Commit to eating healthy.. Fatty foods, fried foods, cow’s milk, sodas, juice and sweets are all suspects when talking about acne. Make water your drink of choice, switch to almond or rice milk and snack on fresh apples, oranges, blueberries and bananas.

2. Check out your hair care products. If your hairstyle requires heavy oils, gels, sprays or other fixatives, it’s probably sealing your pores as well as smoothing and adding shine to your hair. Wear your hair off your face with a style that’s more skin-friendly. Avoid hair or oil sprays to see if skin clears.

3. Make-up is more popular than ever. Covering up your blemishes will cause big problems if bacteria, sweat and oils are sealed in already congested skin. Focus on clearing up instead of covering-up and change to a light mineral powder. Never cover infected blemishes or open skin with make-up or cover-up.

  • Use a good cleanser that doesn’t over-dry skin. A tonic with zinc and non-alcoholic witch hazel can fight bacteria while soothing irritation from blemished skin.
  • Having acne doesn’t mean that your skin is dirty. Over cleansing skin more than twice a day can actually make acne worse.
  • Don’t rub or scrub your skin. Friction increases irritation. Even shirt collars should be loose to prevent blemishes on the neck.

4. Check medications that may stimulate acne such as certain steroids, oral contraceptives, phenobarbital and high levels of iodine.

5. Friction and sweating caused by tight collars, head / sweat bands, back packs , bike or sports helmets should be monitored and avoided if possible. Keep clothing loose… secure back packs so they don’t rub and make sure helmets are cleaned and wiped down with alcohol regularly.

6. Picking or squeezing blemishes can cause them to spread. After cleansing, use a drop of tea-tree oil on inflamed pustules or blemishes to kill the bad bacteria not the good.

7. Dark spots can make the memory of breakouts last for months. Using irritating skin brighteners or exfolients or overly drying skin can make matters worse. Look for ingredients like kojic acid or other natural skin brighteners and use as directed. Unfortunately whatever you do dark marks don’t disappear overnight, but will fade with time. AM and PM cleansing and hydrating with a light water based moisturizer are crucial in keeping skin healthy.


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