Usually acne is something that most associate with the teen years, but to many people's surprise, it can affect people at all ages. Check out these natural solutions for dealing with acne. I've also included a homemade blend at the end for helping with the scars left from past acne issues.
More often than new parents realize, babies will often breakout with small red pimples all over their face and back. It can almost look like a rash and will often appear almost overnight. This is completely normal and will go away with time, but there are a few natural things you can do to help the body flush and heal whatever is causing the breakout.
Breastmilk is one of the best things to help heal your baby's skin. Add a few drops of breastmilk to any affected areas and gently rub in. Also, if you are breastfeeding, be sure you are drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated.
Be sure that your baby is not getting overheated and that his skin has time to breathe. After bathtime is a great time to let your baby air out, so to speak! And be careful what lotions and soaps you are applying. You want to be as natural as possible with baby, which is why a nice rub down of coconut oil and a drop of lavender is soothing for baby, as well as his skin.
Before knowing how to best care for teen acne, it is important to know how it starts and what causes it. Acne occurs when the pores of the skin get clogged. Multiple things can cause the pores to become clogged. It can come from oil that is naturally produced by the sebaceous gland, moves through the follicles and is then discharged on to the surface of the skin. Its purpose is to lubricate the skin and hair. During the teen years, increased levels of hormones stimulate the gland to grow and in turn, produce more oil. Also during this time, the skin cells of the follicle lining shed more quickly and can form sticky clumps. The increased levels of oil, mix with the dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria to create a clogged pore.
While this is a completely normal process and part of puberty, it is mostly unknown why some will get extreme acne while others will only have a mild case. But taking a few steps early on, can help to minimize the acne for all cases. When attacking acne, it is important to view it as a whole person problem. It must be dealt with both internally and externally. Here are some important things you can do to keep your skin healthy:
- Plenty of Sleep
- Regular Exercise
- Healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and protein
- Avoid excessive sugar and caffeine
- Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleaner and warm water
- Change your pillowcase often
If you find that acne has returned or never fully left, once you reached adulthood, there are other things to consider. Sometimes a hormone imbalance can create an issue and also food sensitivities. Try ruling out types of food, such as dairy to see if things clear up. You can also add a few essential oils to your daily routine to see if they help. These oils can also be used by teenagers, along with the suggestions listed above.
Following are a few top skincare essential oils. Always mix with a carrier oil and be sure to test before use on your face. You can try it on a small patch of skin on your neck or chin to make sure you won't be too sensitive to it. Also, be cautious of using any citrus oils on your face if you are going to be in the sun. Although lemon might be a great antiseptic, there are other oils which will work as well and not put your skin in danger. Try one or more of these and see which blend helps you the most:
Why Not Medicated Treatments?
- Frankincense--has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits to the skin, making it ideal for acne-prone skin. It reduces the appearance of blemishes and rejuvenates skin. It also helps to sooth chapped, dry skin.
- Geranium--supports hormone balance and oil production. It also promotes clear healthy skin.
- Lavender-- Widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities. It can soothe occasional skin irritations and help skin recover quickly. It eases muscle tension supporting relaxation and assisting your body as it adapts to stress. This is a great oil for all skin types and needs.
- Myrrh--greatly benefits aging skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help improve skin tone, skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It soothes the skin; promotes a smooth, youthful-looking complexion.
- Patchouli-- Helps skin recover quickly and reduces the appearance of blemishes. It also soothes minor skin irritations and promotes a smooth, glowing complexion. Because it also has antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, it can also benefit many skin conditions.
- Melaleuca-- Renowned for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin. It promotes a clear, healthy complexion and is soothing to the skin. Its antibacterial properties help ward off acne-causing bacteria.
Sometimes it can be tempting to turn to over-the-counter treatments or prescriptions to relieve acne. I remember after I graduated from high school being so self concious, I went to the doctor and put myself on accutane. I just didn't feel confident in myself and having acne didn't help. No one would have guessed it, but it was really painful and dating was a nightmare. I didn't care about the long term side effects, at the time, but I'm paying for them now. I experienced weight gain (not great for someone who was also struggling with self esteem issues). It contributed to depression, which I wasn't even aware could be a side effect at the time. And now, all these years later, I'm paying for it through my teeth. It weakens teeth and increases the chances for long term problems. I've had 4 root canals, 3 crowns and one bridge and it continues . . . I brush, floss, and limit sugar, but there is nothing I can do for the damage it's caused.
As you can tell from my personal experience, many of the medicated creams and pills come with risk of side effects and sometimes are not as effective as they portray. Knowing what some of the dangers are with these, can help you make the best decision for you. Here are just a few of the side affects listed on the medications themselves:
Accutane--(taken as a pill) severe, life threatening birth defects if taken while the mother is or becomes pregnant, depression, hallucinations, sleep problems, sudden numbness or weakness, blurred vision, seizures, etc.
Adapalene/Differin--(used topically and must avoid sun exposure) redness, dryness, scaling, burning, itchiness.
Benzoyl Peroxide--(used topically) dryness, redness, itchiness, possible inflammation and crusting of the skin.
These are just a few of the many products available, but it is important to always read and ask questions about the side affects before going this route.
And last of all, I have a recipe for making your own blend to help your body heal the damage from past acne: