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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Winning the Fight Against Acne

Acne can be a frustrating problem to deal with, whether you’re a hormonal teenager or suffering from adult acne. Being an esthetician, as a general rule I like to recommend trying out natural treatment options before getting on an antibiotic straight away. Although antibiotics certainly are effective and are often needed, there are other changes you can make to improve the appearance of your acne. There are many different options depending on each individual’s specific needs and preferences.

If you are tired of struggling with annoying pimples, here are some changes you may take into consideration. I recommend implementing these changes for a minimum of three months for best results.

Home care
Proper home care is the foundation to success with getting rid of acne. The fundamental skin-care routine is to cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice daily.

• Make sure you remove any makeup prior to your cleansing process. This allows the cleanser to really penetrate to the skin and do its job. I like to use makeup-removing wipes because they are fast, cheap, and efficient.

• Cleansing your skin is necessary to remove any dirt, sweat, and oil. These substances clog the pores and reduce oxygenation to the skin, leading to breakouts. An oil-free, gel-based cleanser is best for acne-prone skin. One with a little salicylic acid would be even better!

• Toner is necessary for balancing the pH level of the skin. This keeps the skin’s acid mantle intact. The acid mantle is the skin’s first line of defense and helps prevent pimple-inducing bacteria from forming on the skin. It also helps the skin retain moisture. An alcohol-free toner is ideal as it is less harsh on the skin. I like to spray my toner on. It is faster and easier! If your toner does not come in a spray bottle, most stores have a travel section where you can find an empty sprayer to pour it in.

• Moisturizing is absolutely vital for acne-prone skin. Many acne sufferers make the mistake of skipping this step because they fear it may make them more oily. This is a common misconception. Oily skin can still be dehydrated. In fact, when oily skin is lacking hydration, it will overcompensate by producing even more oil! Make sure you’re using a light, oil-free moisturizer to keep it under control.

• No picking! Honestly, this can be the hardest part of your home care. Picking the skin may seem like a good idea and can certainly be entertaining, but it really does spread bacteria to other areas of the skin. It will further inflame the acne and make the situation worse. Avoid picking at all costs! It will be worth it.

• Drink plenty of water. More than half our bodies are made up of water. The recommended daily water intake is eight 8-ounce glasses a day. Water will hydrate your body from the inside out, remove toxins, and help to reduce oil production.

• Limit dairy intake. Hormones found in milk and milk-based products can interact with our own hormones, confusing our body’s endocrine system and leading to breakouts. If you are lactose intolerant, your breakouts could be because of a lactose sensitivity or an allergic reaction.

• Reduce carbohydrate intake. Consuming food with high carbohydrate content like rice, bread, or pasta releases sugar into the body, causing spikes in insulin. The increased insulin level can increase oil gland production, leading to breakouts.

• Vitamin B6 is good for hormonal or stress-related acne flare-ups. It works by stabilizing the hormone levels in the body so that they don’t fluctuate. This vitamin can be found pretty much anywhere. It’s not difficult to get your hands on.
• Pantothenic acid works to control inflammation from the inside-out. It also reduces oil production, which helps prevent pores from clogging. This is more of a “specialty” vitamin and is a bit harder to come by, so you will likely need to visit a vitamin shop.
• Also of note, keep in mind that any supplements being introduced into the body systemically can take up to three months before they become fully effective. Try to be patient and keep with it. You will start to see improvement.

In-office treatments
• Microdermabrasion combines manual exfoliation with suction to remove excess oil, blackheads, and dead skin. This will allow better oxygenation to the skin and help your home-care products to function more efficiently.

• Both salicylic and glycolic chemical peels are excellent for acne skin. Chemical peels can penetrate deeper than manual exfoliation techniques like microdermabrasion. They are applied topically and work to correct the abnormal shedding of cells. They can also work to unclog the pores.

• Adding a chemical peel to microdermabrasion is one of my favorite treatments for acne! The microdermabrasion removes the surface layers of dead skin, allowing the chemical peel to penetrate deeper into the more active skin, thus becoming more effective.

Consult your dermatologist
    If you have exhausted these options with little to no improvement, you may need to consult your dermatologist. Sometimes, medication is necessary if your particular case is more severe and ongoing. If that is the case, you can rest easy knowing that you tried every other option and can feel confident that you are making the right choice.

Prioritize and be consistent
    Acne can be a persistent problem, but with a consistent routine in place, you can start to see improvement. You have to make the commitment to implement some healthy changes for the benefit of your skin. If you make it a priority, you can make it happen!

Bless These Brows is located in Suite 3-101, at 2310 East Oakland, Bloomington, and is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00am to noon. Their website can be found at bless-thesebrows.com and offers information on services, fees, promotions, referrals, and special events, as well as an intake form link and an appointment-scheduling link. You can also reach Jennifer Solis by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at 309-831-7433.


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