Gone are the days when splotchy white zit cream was the cure-all for the pimple blues. Gone also is the notion that you have to sacrifice using natural ingredients for chemicals in order to get the acne-zapping job done. In Sophie Uliano's book Do It Gorgeously, the eco expert has lots to say about how we can go DIY with natural ingredients. Her soothing acne gel recipe is perfect for calming inflammation and preventing breakouts. It includes marigolds (which contain natural acne-blasting salicylic acid), bacteria-fighting tea tree oil, and just a dash of vodka. Get the instructions when you read more.
Facial acne is one thing, but when pimples affect your back, chest, and other areas of the body, that's a whole other ball game. Clearing up body blemishes doesn't have to be difficult, though. Try incorporating these three simple steps into your daily beauty routine, and before long you'll forget you ever dealt with bacne, chestne, or any other type of body acne in the first place.
Benzoyl peroxide is available at most chemists, but remember to talk to your pharmacist to find the right strength for you. It is a spot treatment only — meaning it isn't designed for large areas, just apply on top of the pimple.
But if your concealer can pull a double duty and conceal and heal, to quote Ina Garten, "How good is that?" Formulated with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, sulfur, or tea tree oil, here are a few zit-zapping concealers to put pimples in their place.
Most types of warts are relatively painless and harmless, with the exception of genital warts, which are a sexually transmitted disease (read more about genital warts here). All warts (yes, even the genital kind) are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV), of which there are more than 100 types.
So-called common warts are most often found on the hands, while flat warts can surface on the face or backs of hands. A bit more painful and uncomfortable, plantar warts are warts found on the soles of your feet.
The problem: You have a pimple. You dab some spot treatment on it, go to bed, and wake up with two problems: the pimple's still there and your beloved designer sheets have streaks of telltale orange from your acne product. Blast! Resolved to never have this happen to me again, I consulted New York City dermatologist Dr. Doris J. Day for some answers.
"At any concentration, even 2.5%, benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabric," she says. "Even if you use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser and don't rinse well enough, it'll bleach your towel and sheets (but it doesn't bleach your skin). Retin-A can also stain because it has a preservative in it, but generally, if you're getting stains from using a retinol product, chances are you're using too much." To find out what Dr. Day thinks is more effective for spots than benzoyl peroxide anyway, read more
I kicked off my series on acne by helping you identify your acne type with this quiz. Now that you know what ails you, it's time to talk about what you can do to help clear up your skin.
Keep in mind, no matter how severe you think your acne is, the best way to start treating it is with the mildest products, working your way gradually towards stronger ones until you find what your skin responds to the best. No need to jump right into retinoids when a gentle cleanser will do!
First up are product and treatment options for those of you with mild acne vulgaris. As a reminder, this is the most mild form of acne, consisting of mostly non-inflamed lesions such as blackheads and small whiteheads. These can pop up anywhere, but they are typically found on your nose, forehead, and chin. If this describes your acne, read more
Part of getting a good workout means that I sweat a lot. I don't necessarily need to be sopping wet like when I take a Bikram yoga class, but a little sweat makes me feel like I pushed myself.
The bad thing about sweating when you workout is that it can lead to breakouts, and not just on your face. Blemishes can appear on your back, neck and chest, but they don't have to.
Here are some tips on preventing exercise-related pimples:
- Wash your face before working out to get all the oil and makeup off. Then apply a facial moisturizer that's made for acne-prone skin such as Neutrogena's Oil-Free Anti-Acne Moisturizer.
- Always wear clean workout clothes. Choose a sports bra and tank top that has over-the-shoulder sleeves instead of a racerback or t-shirt that covers your back. Wear the least amount of clothes while still feeling comfortable, since the more your skin is covered, the hotter you'll feel and the more you'll sweat.
- Wear clothes made of breathable fabric. Many sports bras and tops are made of wicking material that pulls sweat off the skin.
There are more tips. To see them read more
The term salicylic acid gets thrown around here a lot on BellaSugar, because it's a common ingredient used in acne-fighting products such as cleansers, toners and especially spot treatments.
It is a topical anti-inflammatory and a beta hydroxy acid. It slows down the shedding of skin cells inside your hair follicles, which clog your pores and often lead to acne.
It is used to treat blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads and even dandruff, psoriasis, calluses, corns and warts in some cases. The drawback of using salicylic acid is that it can be very drying and irritating on sensitive skin. Overall it is highly effective and safe—which is why it's so popular in over-the-counter products targeted at clearing up blemished complexions.
When I get stressed out, it's inevitable that my face will break out. It happens to everyone, but that doesn't make me feel better. When pimples show up, I want them to disappear ASAP.
At the drug store, there are tons of acne treatments, so what really works? There are 2 main ingredients that you'll see listed on zit creams.
Benzoyl Peroxide - It comes in gels or creams with 2.5%, 5%, or 10% concentration. Research suggests that the 5% and 10% formulas don't work better, and the 2.5% is better tolerated by the skin. It commonly causes dryness and irritation. Some people may be more sensitive to it, and suffer from burning, itching, peeling, or swelling.
Salicylic Acid - Blemishes are formed when skin cells inside hair follicles shed too fast and clump together, which plug up the follicle. Salicylic Acid treats acne by causing skin cells to slough off more readily, preventing pores from clogging up. Use a lotion or pad with this ingredient daily to prevent possible break outs.
Fit's Tips: I recommend trying them both out. Our complexions are so different, and one ingredient may work better for you. They both are meant to dry up the offensive area, so if you notice your skin peeling excessively, cut down on your use.