Setting up the right skincare routine

Waking up with an outbreak can be a girls’ worst nightmare. However this can be avoided by setting up a skincare routine before going to bed. I know it isn’t easy, I know it’s hard, however it’s important that you are consistent. The best way to avoid blackheads coming back or you waking up with an outbreak is by following the ritual below to the teeth.

Step 1: Washing off all make-up before going to bed

skincare routine

 

This sounds like an easy one but it’s usually the one that gets neglected the most. Washing off all make-up means literally getting it all off. Not because make-up causes blackheads. No. You need to wash it off as having some make-up left on your skin is indicative of an unclean face. It means you’ve missed a few spots. And those spots can turn into real spots when you wake up again.

 

Blackheads and acne are caused by the same thing; a mix-up of dead skin cells and oil in the pores. These pores get clogged by this gunk and a so-called “Comedo” is born. If the pore stays open, the gunk in the pore oxidizes and turns black. Hence “blackheads”! If the pore however grows a thin layer of skin over the blockage, the gunk doesn’t oxidize and stays white. That is how a zit is made.

 

So to prevent these you need to tackle the main causes of “Comedos”, which are excessive skin oil and dead skin cells.

 

In this first step we tackle dead skin cells, as they are the easiest to manage.

 

When you wash your face, make sure to do so by using lukewarm water. Using too hot or too cold water can have the opposite effect, especially if you have sensitive skin. If the water temperature is too extreme, your skin might try and protect itself by either producing more oil or restricting the pores respectively. Which is the last thing we want. This can be a rookie mistake in setting up your skincare routine!

Step 2: Steaming the skin

skincare routine

 

Professionals will use a face steamer before any skincare routine. “Because it opens up the pores” I hear you think. No. Pores do not have a muscle and therefore cannot open or close. Contrary to popular belief, steaming the skin simply makes sure the skin is more pliable before the treatment. This makes it easier for the patient to receive the treatment, and makes the beautician more confident they aren’t hurting anybody.

 

If you don’t have a professional face steamer you shouldn’t worry. What you can do as an extra treat for your skin is simply wrap a very warm damp towel around your face. Covering your eyes, nose and mouth and leave it on for several minutes. That way the dampness and steam coming from the towel will nicely soak in to your skin. Also on a cold winters’ day it could be a nice thing to do anyway!


Step 3: Gentle exfoliation

skincare routine

 

Another important step in your daily cleansing routine will be to twice a week do a gentle exfoliation. There are several scrubs you can use but more often than not a simple wash cloth can do the trick. Make sure it’s a nice and clean one before you use it. With the wash cloth, gently go around your T-zone. This is the zone starting from the tip of your nose to between your eyebrows and forehead. This is usually the area where people suffer outbreaks the most.

 

By gently using the washcloth you are basically scrubbing the outer layer of your skin, dragging dead skin cells with it. In this way you prevent them from blocking pores in the future.

Step 4: Use the right cleanser in your skincare routine

skincare routine

 

A lot of people get very confused when they hear terms like AHA or BHA cleansers. However this is nothing to be confused about. As a general rule you could say that if you have oily skin, use BHA cleanser. If you don’t use AHA. So in all cases but oily skin, AHA is the way to go.

 

If you are blessed however with excessive oil producing glands, you’ll love BHA cleansers! The BHA and AHA stand for Beta-Hydroxy-Acid and Alfa-Hydroxy-Acid. They are acids that further help exfoliate the skin, while at the same time provide a deep pore cleanse.


If you are reading this article however I’m going to go ahead and assume you have oily skin. As do I. I use a BHA cleanser on a daily basis in my skincare routine. The acid in BHA cleansers usually is salicylic acid. This is an acid that has been shown to penetrate the pores and flush out the gunk in an effective way. As a result my blackheads have diminished after incorporating BHA cleansers into my routine.

 

Salicylic acid also happens to be the active ingredient in the common aspirin. So if you’re desperate for a cleanse but don’t have the right gear around, you should try and make your own aspirin mask!

Aspirin mask instructions

They are super easy to make. All you need are 5-7 aspirin pills, some bottled water and a mixing bowl. Mix everything together to form a paste. If the paste is too dry, add some more water. If it’s too wet, add a pill. However make sure not to add more than 7 pills. If you feel like after 7 pills it’s still too wet it’s maybe better just to throw that batch away and start a new one.

 

After the paste has been made, spread it over your face and let it sit for a few minutes. After it has soaked in, wash it off again with some lukewarm water and you’re done!

Step 5: Aftercare

If you want to be a skin-care professional, you’ll have to get familiar with toners. Toners are so-called astringents. Remember when I told you pores don’t have muscles and can’t contract? Well I didn’t lie, but there is a way to make them appear to be smaller than they are. And that is where the astringents come into play. They have the power to constrict a pore to some extent, making them appear smaller.

 

Especially after you’ve exfoliated and did your cleanse , then it’s a good time to break out the toner. As you apply it, the pores will constrict, making it more difficult for any new gunk to fall in. Also you’ll understand that if you’d apply toner at the beginning of the routine, it would be a lot more difficult to get the gunk out!

 

 

 

Once you’ve gone through all these steps, all that’s left to do is add some moisturizer, thank your skin and yourself for being who you are and go to sleep, knowing you now have a fully functional skincare routine! You’ll wake up refreshed and looking  years younger in the morning!

Red Light Therapy – What It Can Do For Your Skin!

red light therapy, best red light therapy, best red light therapy device, best red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy, at home red light therapy device, at home red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy devices reviews, at home red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy devices reviews

Shining red light on your skin. It sounds a little far-fetched but there is evidence that red light therapy works. And it works well. Red light consists of long wavelengths of light. These wavelengths can penetrate deeper into your skin than any other light source can. These light sources will naturally stimulate the production of collagen. Collagen is important as it can fill out any cracks or …wrinkles… that may exist in your skin.

If you’ve never heard of red light therapy before, you might already be familiar with other terms that are used to describe this treatment, such as low level laser therapy (LLLT), biostimulation (BIOS), photonic stimulation or simply light box therapy. Red light is considered “low level” because it works at an energy density that’s low compared to other forms of laser therapies.

Red light therapy sounds admittedly like something a snake oil salesman would try and sell but it has recently been FDA-approved for treating conditions like chronic joint pain and slow-to-heal wounds.

Quick overview of the best red light therapy devices

Name
Score
Price
Tendlite 4.2/5  $$$
LED Photon Therapy 3.9/5  $$
Pulsaderm Red LED 4.2/5  $$
Nova Red IntraDERMA 5/5  $$
 Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask  3.3/5  $

Click here to skip below to the reviews

 

What is red light therapy?

Basically when you have red light therapy you are allowing yourself to be shined upon by low-power red light. You don’t need to worry about pain or heat as red light in itself does not produce or induce any heat whatsoever. So the therapy sessions go completely painless. The red light can be absorbed by the skin to a depth of 10 mm, which means it has an excellent effect on a cellular, metabolical and neurological level.

Red light therapy has been shown to have positive effects on wrinkle reduction and acne-scar reduction. More so has it shown positive results in arthritis pain relief. This is due to the collagen stimulating effect of red light. In just the same way as it boosts collagen production in the skin to reduce wrinkles, so does it stimulate collage production in the joints. As a result people who have joint pains can benefit greatly through this therapy.

Although there is still controversy over this treatment and more research needed, according to the company Light Therapy Options LLC, there are virtually “no known adverse side effects” of red light therapy treatments, rather a growing list of many anti-aging benefits.

Some scientific proof about the effect of red light therapy are the following studies:

Red light has been shown to increase the energy levels on a cellular level by promoting the release of ATP from the cell’s mitochondriae. Secondly it stimulates DNA/RNA synthesis.

Red light activates the lymphatic system, which is an important part of our immune system that helps carry waste out of the body. It also increases blood flow, which as a result helps oxygen and nutrients to get to our cells. As a result your skin will look and feel much younger. In addition new capillaries are more easily formed under the influence of red light.

As mentioned already several times, collagen production is boosted by red light therapy, which can help in arthritis pain relief and will help reduce wrinkles.

 

5 Benefits of Red Light Therapy

1. It can reduce the side effects of Cancer treatment

Nasa and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital did research together that shows that red light technology can be successful in reducing symptoms caused by cancer treatment. The side effects of radiation- and/or chemotherapy can be extremely painful. So it pays to look for ways in which to reduce these side-effects. However during this study red light therapy was a proven way to stimulate cells in order to promote healing.

NASA tested whether red light technology could treat oral mucositis in cancer patients, a very common and painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. The study concluded that 96 percent of patients experienced improvement in pain as a result of the red light treatment.

2. Wound Healing and Tissue Repair

Red light is proven to be useful in wound healing, tissue repair and skin rejuvenation. However the mechanism in which this works is different than in for example laser resurfacing treatments. Most laser therapies used in dermatology offices use intense pulsed light to promote skin rejuvenation by inducing secondary tissue repair. In other words, they cause intentional damage to the skin in order to trigger healing.

Red light therapy actually bypasses this initial destructive step and instead directly stimulates the cells into healing.

3. Anti-Aging Effects for Skin and Hair Loss

Increasingly popular in red light therapies is wrinkle reduction. Results from a 2014 study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery demonstrated both the efficiency and safety of red light therapy when the goal is to reduce wrinkles. Researchers concluded that red infrared therapy “provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal, atraumatic photobiomodulation treatment of skin tissue with high patient satisfaction rates.”

Yet another anti-aging effect of red light therapy is reversing hair loss and stimulating follicle growth. The way in which this happens is similar to how red light therapy works for wound healing. Results have been mixed according to studies, but at least a moderate portion of both male and female patients have had positive results for reversing baldness/hair loss when using LLLT.

4. Improved Joint and Musculoskeletal Health

Red light therapy is now being used to treat arthritis symptoms thanks to its capability of stimulating collagen production and rebuilding cartilage. A 2009 Cochrane review of red light therapy for rheumatoid arthritis concluded that “LLLT could be considered for short-term treatment for relief of pain and morning stiffness for RA patients, particularly since it has few side-effects.”

Even in those who don’t suffer from arthritis but have other signs of tissue damage or degeneration due to aging, LLLT can still be beneficial. A 2009 study published in The Lancet showed, “LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.” Other studies have found that even when patients with musculoskeletal disorders don’t experience less pain from red light therapy treatments, they have a high chance of experiencing “significantly improved functional outcomes,” such as better range of motion.

Cellular rejuvenation and increased blood flow due to red light therapy are two key aspects of improving joint and tissue health. Decreasing oxidative damage, which degenerates joints, and modulating inflammation are other ways that LLLT benefits soft/connective tissue.

5. Reduced Depression and Fatigue

Another way to explain the benefits of red light is through the lens of Eastern medicine. Ask a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner how light helps improve health, immunity and recovery, and he or she will likely compare it to acupuncture’s mechanism of action:

  • Light is a form of energy, and our bodies are just big energy systems. Light has the power to stimulate specific meridian points and chakra zones in the human body.
  • Red is said to stimulate the first chakra because it correlates most strongly with our survival instinct (hence why it gives us energy and makes us act quickly, in order to motivate us to pursue things like money, food, sex, power, etc.).
  • While acupuncture uses tiny needles to achieve bodily harmony through stimulating certain points in the body’s energy system, light therapy uses focused, visible, red wavelengths in much the same way.

Red light has been shown to be naturally energizing and correlated with improved moods by increasing self-confidence, positivity, passion, joyfulness, laughter, social awareness, conversation skills and sensory stimulation. While results vary from patient to patient, there’s reason to believe that LLLT has mental and emotional perks in addition to physical benefits.

Red Light Therapy devices reviews

First up is the Tendlite.

red light therapy, best red light therapy, best red light therapy device, best red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy, at home red light therapy device, at home red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy devices reviews, at home red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy devices reviews, TENDLITE® The World's Top Red LED Light Therapy Joint & Muscle Pain Relief :: Chosen by Sufferers of Neck, Back, Shoulder & Knee Pain, Arthritis, Bursitis, Fibromyalgia, Tendonitis & More

The reason why we choose to rank this device at our number one spot is simply to the fact that it has over 800 reviews on amazon that are absolutely positive. A score of 4.2 out of 5 with 800+ total reviews is something you simply cannot contend with.

It can be used to complete a total of 3 functions. The first one is an analgesic action. In simpler terms this simply means that it reduces muscle aches and promotes muscle relaxation. This is what botox achieves as well. The toxins in botox promote muscle relaxation which ultimately leads to less wrinkles. As such this red light therapy device can be used to get a similar effect, painlessly and for a lot less money!

Secondly it has an anti-inflammatory action as it increases lymphatic activity and blood circulation. It also reduces swelling and stiffness.

Lastly and more importantly, it stimulates the production of collagen. Thanks to collagen any dips, wrinkles and cracks in your skin will be fully filled up. As a result you can use this device to treat any acne scars you might have.

Service

If you are not completely satisfied, Tendlite offers you to return the item within 60 days for a full refund of the purchase price. This means you just pay the cost of having it shipped back to them. Luckily they offer free shipping within the US. It is also made in the US using imported parts and you get a 1 year warranty.

For more info on the FDA approval, simply google “FDA Cleared K-100213”.

 

Then we have the more extravagant looking LED photon therapy

 

red light therapy, best red light therapy, best red light therapy device, best red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy, at home red light therapy device, at home red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy devices reviews, at home red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy devices reviews, LED Photon Therapy Red Blue Green Light Treatment Facial Beauty Skin Care Phototherapy Mask

In second place we have the skin rejuvenation photon mask by Project E beauty.

In contrast to other red light therapy devices this one gives you green and blue as well! The reason however as to why it is placed second in our review is due to some reported quality issues. It seems that in some cases the blue lights on this device stop working after 2 months of use. Therefore it wouldn’t be right for me to recommend this any higher than second place.

In addition the red light that it gives off does not feature the much needed infrared pulse lights that are beneficial to permeate below the dermal layer of skin and significantly reduce wrinkles. While the the constant red LED light is still good for the dermal layer, it might prove ineffective for wrinkle treatment. But of course every person is different and how it affects will vary from person to person.

With over 100 reviews on Amazon and a near 4/5 star review it does seem though that for most people the device does what it says on the box. You should see the rejuvenating effects already after 5-6 treatments.

Color treatments:

Here’s what they state regarding the effectiveness and purpose of each of the treatments:

“Red(630 nm)— One of the most powerful colors to increase blood circulation. Stimulate skin cells to excrete collagen to achieve firm and smooth texture. The red light penetrating 8-10mm is suitable for any type of skin; it can reach derma to stimulate fibre cells. Heating can improve blood circulation and collagen albumen hyperplasia to reduce wrinkles and make skin more elastic and smooth. The mild wave length is suitable for surrounding eyes and forehead.

Blue(415 nm)—Excellent effect of kill bacteria, improve sensitive skin The blue light penetrating about 0.5mm has the function of calming against skin rashes; suitable for the skin which is sensitive, oily and with skin rashes. It can adjust skin sebum secretion, effectively get rid of whelk to reach the aim of beautification. Besides, the blue light can astringe and tighten loosened skin.

Green(525 nm)—Anti-aging, smooth wrinkle and fine lines, cure wounds The green light between red light and blue light is suitable for mixed skin. It can improve the function of alternating use of cells and oxygen and activate the microcirculation function of body surface. Meanwhile, calming the skin can make both body and skin relax, and reduce the pain of skin.”

Be aware that only the Red light therapy has been FDA approved as of today and no scientific evidence exists yet of the effectiveness of green or blue light treatments that I know of. Let me know in the comments below if you have other information!

 

Thirdly the elegant Pulsaderm Red LED

 

red light therapy, best red light therapy, best red light therapy device, best red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy, at home red light therapy device, at home red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy devices reviews, at home red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy devices reviews, LED Photon Therapy Red Blue Green Light Treatment Facial Beauty Skin Care Phototherapy Mask, Pulsaderm Red LED - Light Therapy Technology - FDA Cleared

 

As with all red light therapy devices, this one has also been FDA- cleared. Clearly the industry is struggling to believe that shining a light on your skin can actually do something to enhance it. However several studies have shown this to be the case!

This device uses a NASA® developed light therapy technology that activates skin cells. It employs a wavelength at the optimal power intensity that’s medically proven when it comes to alleviating the skin problems caused by aging and sun damage.

The Pulsaderm Red LED should ideally be used in 3 minute treatments 3 times a week. Before use, make sure that your skin is clean, free from any makeup, oil, or dirt. Use the included safety goggles as a precaution to shield your eyes from the light. The non-coherent light is not harmful to the eyes. Gently place the device over the desired skin area and hold it in place! No other tools or products are needed.

Unlike laser treatments or IPLs that require long healing periods, Pulsaderm Skin Renewal is gentle, painless, and non-abrasive. It utilizes red, non-coherent LED light waves that are designed to penetrate deep into the skin. Some may even find the treatment to be comfortable and relaxing.

This product activates skin cells to promote collagen production. The energy delivered by the LEDs enhances cellular metabolism in order to accelerate the repair of damaged skin cells and stimulate the production of structural proteins.

 

The best-rated Nova Intraderma

 

red light therapy, best red light therapy, best red light therapy device, best red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy, at home red light therapy device, at home red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy devices reviews, at home red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy devices reviews, LED Photon Therapy Red Blue Green Light Treatment Facial Beauty Skin Care Phototherapy Mask, NOVA RED INTRADERMA Professional Grade Intensive Red Light Therapy Machine

 

This device looks much sleeker than the Pulsaderm. You might wonder why this one features so low in our review list as it has a 5/5 rating on Amazon.com. Unfortunately this device is relatively new and untested. The 5/5 review simply comes from 2 different buyers and it is just too small a sample to draw any real conclusions from. However it looks extremely promising for this Nova red light therapy device.

Contrary to the photon therapy LED mask at number two in our list, this device DOES have infrared light emission as well. As a result this device is excellent in reducing any wrinkles you might have.

In addition it has the same collagen boosting technology as all the other devices in our list have. As a result this will only aide in the soothing of acne scars and withering of wrinkles.

 

Lastly the Neutrogena Light therapy Acne mask

 

red light therapy, best red light therapy, best red light therapy device, best red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy, at home red light therapy device, at home red light therapy devices, at home red light therapy devices reviews, at home red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy device reviews, red light therapy devices reviews, LED Photon Therapy Red Blue Green Light Treatment Facial Beauty Skin Care Phototherapy Mask, Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne MaskAnyone who has read the posts on this site will be familiar with Neutrogena. As one of the leading brands in the fight against blemishes, they had to be on this list as well. Anything Neutrogena will stake their name on must be good.

Not so in this case.

For one you have to buy an “activator!” with this device. It is basically a device that limits the use you can get out of this machine. However without the activator this machine won’t work. Per activator you get about 30 uses out of the machine. Each session lasts about 10 minutes and you can’t change this either.

So once the activator has run out of its 30 uses, you need to buy a new one in order to keep using the machine. This clearly is a way Neutrogena will try and squeeze the most out of its customers it can. Hence this is also the reason they feature so low on our countdown.

As for the mask? If you have extremely bad acne you will see a benefit from this light therapy device. It will dry some of the worst spots and will lessen inflammation. However the complete un-user friendliness of this device is reason enough to go shop somewhere else!

 

Still doubting whether or not red light therapy is for you? Send us an email with your concerns or let us know in the comments below and we’ll try and sort you out!

Lighten acne scars: how-to guide!

lighten acne scars

One of the most common problems in skincare and people suffering from acne are acne scars. These scars can be quite visually distracting when meeting someone for the first time. Therefore it is not surprising a lot of people want to know how to lighten acne scars.

Lighten acne scars: How do they form?

To understand the root problem lets talk a bit more on how they form. Acne scars are most often caused by an infection of a pimple.

The pore in which the pimple resides is already under stress due to the buildup of skin debris and sebum in the pore. In addition to this if this gets infected then the follicle wall may break.

If this break happens near the skin’s surface, you’ll probably be alright and the skin will heal relatively quickly without too much concern. However the real trouble starts when the break happens deeper in the skin.

The infected material will in this case spill into the dermis and destroy healthy tissue.

Of course the skin has some mechanisms in place to recover from this. If the infected material does happen to kill healthy skin tissue then the skin will form new collagen fibers in an attempt to fill up what has gone.

Collagen is the fibrous protein that gives skin its strength and flexibility. Unfortunately its only job is to fix the damage, not make it look good. As a result you often see an uneven skin, hence the so-called acne scars.

Types of scars

When the body produces too much collagen, it will show as a raised mass of tissue on the skin’s surface. This is called hypertrophic, or keloid, scarring.

lighten acne scars

 

More commonly however, acne will cause so-called atrophic, or depressed, scars. Just as hypertrophic scarring was caused by a raising of the tissue, atrophic scarring (the opposite) is caused by a loss of tissue. These type of scars are also known as ice pick or boxcar scars.

lighten acne scars

 

The greatest measure to know whether or not you will form acne scars is the level of inflammation. The deeper the inflammation occurs and how violent the infection is will determine the length and breadth of the scarring. The deeper the breakout, the longer it will take for your skin to heal, increasing your chances of scarring.

Lastly one of the most common mistakes people make is mistaking post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) for acne scars. As the pimple is inflamed, the skin area around it will temporarily look reddish due to the inflammation. However this irritation and discoloration will eventually fade on its own. Retin-A may speed the fading time.

lighten acne scars

Example of PIH

Lighten acne scars: Scar prevention

As we previously discussed, the level of inflammation is the biggest gauge for the level of scarring you will have. Therefore reducing this inflammation will be your biggest key in reducing the level of scarring.

The way to do this is by controlling acne as soon as possible. As soon as you have a breakout or as soon as acne appears, go see a dermatologist. He or she will provide you with a cleaning routine that you must follow to the letter. Only that way will your acne be less, and thus also the scarring.

Also if you are prone to acne, don’t attempt to squeeze anything. Squeezing pimples might lead to you pushing the inflamed debris deeper into the skin. As a result your chances of scarring will increase drastically.

Don’t pick at scabs either. Scabs help the wound underneath heal better. If you pick at the scabs, you’ll only prolong the healing process which has an impact on your chances of scarring.

Lighten acne scars: At-home treatments

First of all PIH will be the most common cause for concern among you readers. Therefore I suggest buying a cortisone cream or lotion such as this one. These lotions will help reduce the redness and swelling. They are cheap and easy to use and if you don’t have one in your medicine cabinet yet, get one. They should be a staple just as band-aids.

Secondly you might want to focus on lightening any dark areas left from the acne scar as an at-home treatment method as well.

Look for skin lightener creams that have kojic acid as an active ingredient. Kojic acid is a natural ingredient that is extracted from certain types of mushroom. Kojic acid has been shown to produce skin lightening effects and can work great in lightening darker spots in the skin. It’s a better substitute for hydroquinone as it hyrdroquinone has been rumored to cause irritation and possibly cancer. This is a good option for a skin lightener with kojic acid.

Other good options for skin lighteners are Arbutin, aka bearberry extract, and vitamin C.

Vitamin E

In the word of Flava Flav: Don’t believe the hype! Putting Vitamin E on scars in the hopes of lightening them or curing them is just an urban legend. Studies have shown using vitamin E has no effect at all or even worse; it can cause a worsening of the inflammation. In 90% of cases where people used vitamin E for scar reduction it had no effect. In 33% of cases even people developed contact dermatitis, which is further inflammation of the skin. Referenced study.

Lightening acne scars: Medical treatment

If the above remedies do not offer any resolve to your acne scars, your next step is to go see a dermatologist. They will most likely provide you one of two options: either laser therapy or filler therapy.

In one to three sessions, depending on how severe your condition is, laser skin resurfacing using fractionated laser technology can even out the skin surface and increase and stimulate the formation of new collagen.

Ablative lasers vaporize your scar, allowing smoother skin to take its place. Non-ablative lasers help activate the production of collagen without damaging the surface of your skin.

Filler injections can help fill in the indentations left behind from deep acne scars, but the downside to fillers is that they need to be repeated every 4 to 6 months, as the product reabsorbs into the skin over time.

Patience when trying to lighten acne scars!

Unfortunately all these options require one thing above all: patience!
Usually a few weeks after you break out and scar, new blood vessels move into the injured area to give nourishment to the skin, which is why most early scars look pink.

Months later, collagen will start to form, filling in the injured section of skin and it should fade out.

Unfortunately in the case of cystic acne, the acne destroys skin and fat and it can take up to a year for the scars to fade.

In addition to seeking treatment it’s also important to stay out of the sun as much as possible as UV radiation causes the scars to darken and actually slows down the healing process. In the same way your body reacts to sunlight by producing a tan, in scar tissue this can lead to discoloration with your normal skintone, making scars even more prominent. So make sure to lather up the sunscreen when going outside!

Going dairy-free. The blackheads diet #2

blackheads diet

Recently I asked on Reddit if people had ever tried to adapt to a blackheads diet to see what the effect would be on their skin as I wrote in my previous blogpost on the blackhead diet. I was curious to see if other people had seen the same effects as I had.
Currently as part of my blackheads diet I have been leaving refined sugars where they belong, still on the shelf in my local grocery store. I have completely dropped all sweets and refined sugars. I still allow myself some honey and fruits, however I barely use honey anyway and I’m more a savory person than suffering from a sweet tooth anyway so I generally eat more veggies than fruit anyway.

Anyway it seemed people did see a correlation between their diet and the condition of their skin. However not just any change in their diet. Overwhelmingly people were commenting on the effects of dairy on their skin:

People’s comments on dairy and skin quality:

“[–]rgrwilcocanuhearme

If I have even just a little bit of dairy my skin breaks out. I’m Caucasian and developed lactose intolerance in my early 20s. I had very bad acne in my teens, acutane took care of it for maybe 7 years or so before it came back. My skin is “mostly clear” as long as I avoid dairy completely.”

“[–]Crapapalouza 

Cut out dairy. Within one day my skin cleared up.”

[–]SailorPlanetX

Not /u/hapinat, but I’m this close to having completely cut dairy out of my diet. The only thing holding me back is that my SO has a sweet tooth and frequently brings home non-dairy-free sweets, but thankfully I don’t have much of a sweet tooth anymore.

I realized a few months ago that dairy is a big acne-trigger for me. If I went overboard one day, I was almost guaranteed to wake up the next morning with a zit. I’m a HUUUGE cheese-lover, so cutting it out has definitely posed a challenge. Recently I’ve been trying out the non-dairy alternatives in grocery stores to get my fix. Thank the skincare gods for vegan cream cheese!”

So why is it that milk seems to have such a deep impact on acne levels in some people?

milk-is-not-part-of-blackheads-diet

 

Milk causes acne because…

  • There is abundance of a hormone called IGF-1 in milk, which is really good for baby cows, but not for you. IGF-1 is a growth hormone. It makes baby cows grow up big and strong, but in humans, it tends to make your acne grow big instead. IGF-1 is one of several factors that cause inflammation in humans, and which eventually lead to acne (and the ugly redness and swelling that makes acne so annoying).
  • Milk and dairy products cause an insulin spike in humans that cause the liver to produce even more IGF-1, leading to even more acne.
  • Dairy causes your skin to produce excess sebum (oil), leading to – you guessed it! – more clogged pores, more acne, blackheads and a breeding ground for P. acnesbacteria, which feed on your sebum and spew out inflammatory by-products.
  • Dairy glues together dead skin cells inside your pores, so they can’t exit naturally, leading to clogged pores (and thus more acne).

The milk and acne effect is well documented in the literature. In the last decade or so, a number of studies have found a strong link between the consumption of milk and increased occurrence of acne. For example, one such study found that teenage boys who drank milk broke out more often, and more severely, than those who didn’t drink milk.  At least five other studies have confirmed that, in general, the more milk you drink, the worse acne you’ll get. So in our blackheads diet, unfortunately dairy has no place!

Alternatives to Milk in the blackheads diet:

There are a few great alternatives to milk if you’re still hooked on liquid white stuff. Here we go:

  • Unsweetened, organic almond milk
  • Unsweetened, organic coconut milk (“So Delicious” or similar brand)
  • AROY-D 100% Coconut Cream
  • Organic full-fat coconut milk

You have to be a little careful with milk substitutes as they tend to have a bunch of added sugar and sometimes vegetable oil (both of which negatively affect your hormones and can worsen acne).

That’s why I recommend unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

(Note: by “vegetable oil” I mean canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and cottonseed oil. These oils are highly processed and/or contain high amounts of inflammatory omega-6 fats.)

You can also make your own nut milks, of course! Almond milk, Brazil nut milk, hazelnut milk – you name it. Google around a bit if you’re curious about this – you’ll find tons of great recipes and how-to’s out there. That way, you know you’re getting just pure, healthy nuts and no funny stuff added.

My personal favorite these days is AROY-D 100% Coconut Cream. It’s prized by Thai master chefs (so I’ve read) as the best-tasting coconut milk / coconut cream around. It’s incredibly rich and loaded with healthy medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and stable saturated fats. It mixes great into green smoothies and curries and is unmissable in your new anti-blackheads diet!

Final tips:

  • Watch for food triggers that may seem to aggravate acne.
  • Keep a food diary and share it with your dermatologist.
  • Be patient. It may take up to 12 weeks of a diet change to determine if certain foods are contributing to acne.
  • Continue following your regular acne treatment routine. Diet changes are only a small part of an acne treatment plan and are meant to be used in conjunction with proven medical therapies for acne.

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY EXPERT ADVICE:
“Based on the studies we now have available, the evidence suggests that diet does play a role in acne,” said Dr. Bowe. “More studies are definitely needed in this area, but they are not easy studies to execute. Patients can be their own best detectives in determining possible food triggers for acne, and I encourage them to make an appointment with a dermatologist if they have any acne concerns.”

Hopefully this has given you some more insight on what to do to keep your blackheads diet going and keep blackheads at bay!

The blackhead diet: What to eat and what not to eat!

Overview

In order to get rid of blackheads and acne and in your pursuit for a glowing skin, you have to take a good hard look at what you eat as part of your blackhead diet. The best diet against blackheads is a well-balanced and varied diet. Eating fruits and veggies, packed with antioxidants, eating lean protein meats and fish all help in your battle against pimples. a recent study in the 2009 issue of “Dermato-endocrinology” confirms this belief. Overhauling your lifestyle by incorporating more of these foods into your diet will not only lead to a healthier skin but also lead to an overall increase in your health!

So why wait?!

Vitamin C-rich Foods

The Best Foods to Eat to Get Rid of Acne & Blackheads
Fresh strawberries. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

The best foods against blackheads and acne are packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C is vital in the repairing and growing of all tissues in your body. So you can see how it can play a vital role in maintaining collagen levels in your skin, making your skin look and feel 10 years younger.

The antioxidant helps to protect your skin while healing it. All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C, states the NIH.

Especially berries seem to be a prime source of vitamin C. It’s a welcome change o oranges and other citrus fruits.
Suitable berries include red and black raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. Other vitamin C-rich fruits include cherries, apples, mango, papaya, pineapple, pears, melons and of course citrus fruits.
Citrus fruits include grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines and oranges. Juices made from these fruits can also contain large amounts of the skin-healthy nutrient. Vegetable sources of the nutrient include tomatoes, varieties of potatoes such as sweet and white, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens. Dark, leafy greens include spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens and collards, according to the American Heart Association.

Protein-rich Foods

The Best Foods to Eat to Get Rid of Acne & Blackheads
Red kidney beans. Photo Credit spaxiax/iStock/Getty Images

Swapping out unhealthy, high-glycemic foods for lean protein may have a positive effect on your skin, according to a study in the July 2007 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” The study reports that protein also increases your feeling of fullness, which prevents you from overeating and helps prevent weight gain and obesity, so other than the blackhead diet working against acne and blackheads, it seems you could lose some weight as you go as well!

Replacing fatty meats with lower fat protein may also help to get rid of acne and blackheads. Lean protein includes plant-based sources including legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, split peas and other beans. Fish that can help your skin health are those classified as heart-healthy by the American Heart Association. These include fatty, cold water fish such as salmon, herring, trout, sardines, mackerel and albacore tuna. You can eat fresh fish or canned versions to get your lean protein.
Start eating skinless poultry such as turkey and chicken to help your skin’s health.

Foods to avoid in the blackhead diet

Basically in he blackhead diet there are several main groups of food you would like to avoid due to their comedogenic effects. Simple carbs, dairy products and unhealthy fats (yes there is such a thing!).

High glycemic index carbohydrates (aka “simple” carbs)

High glycemic index and refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, flour, refined cereal products and white potatoes, are the main culprits for causing acne and blackheads, among other diseases related to a more western lifestyle, such as diabetes. These so-called “simple”-carbs are very easily digested by your body, causing a reaction which causes your insulin levels to spike.
High insulin levels are a risk for acne and blackheads as it:

  • Promotes inflammation.
  • Stimulates the production of new skin cells. Insulin is a type of growth hormone (not the one that will give you giant muscles!), so one of its most important jobs is to stimulate cell growth and reproduction.
  • Raise androgen levels. Androgens are the so-called “male hormones”, such as DHEA (dehydroepiandosterone) and testosterone. They are naturally present in males and females (but normally at much lower levels in women than in men). They stimulate sebum production, so if you eat too many fast carbs, your androgen levels may run too high, which can put your oil glands into overdrive.

Dairy products

Milk and most other dairy products contain two main types of proteins: casein and whey. The proteins in dairy products, are designed to grow a baby cow. Unfotunately we are all not baby cows so we have to suffer through the adverse effects of dairy on our skin. Dairy should be avoided a per the blackhead diet for the following reasons:

  • Whey proteins trigger insulin spikes just as powerfully as pure sugar does, and as a result have the effects on your skin as described in the above paragraph.
  • Whey proteins contain a growth factor called betacellulin. This growth factor binds to a special receptor on human skin cells called the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) like a key in a lock. When betacellulin binds to EGFR, it can trigger the skin follicle to make too much sebum, basically pushing your oil glands to go into overdrive.
  • Casein proteins raise IGF-1 levels by about 30%. IGF-1 stands for “Insulin-like Growth Factor.” IGF-1 is a growth hormone similar to insulin that stimulates excess sebum, skin cell, and androgen production. Nothing we would like to happen really.

You might think low-fat and non-fat dairy products, such as fat-free yogurt and skim milk would be healthier options for the dairy addicted blackhead-and-acne sufferer and thus would fit the blackhead diet, but actually they contain a higher concentration of dairy proteins than high-fat dairy products, and therefore are even better at triggering acne breakouts.

Omega-6 fatty acids

When there is too much omega-6 in the diet, and not enough omega-3, the scales tip too far in the direction of inflammation. Seed oils, such as canola, soybean, and corn oil, are high in omega-6’s, whereas certain fish oils are higher in omega-3’s, which promote healing. For more information, click here.

Be careful with current salmon species nowadays as the salmon of today isn’t any longer the salmon it used to be. Farmed salmon may have higher levels of Omega-6 fatty acids running through its veins than wild, Atlantic salmon. To keep with the blackhead diet make sure that the salmon you buy for the recipe below is wild, Atlantic salmon, to make sure you get all those Omega-3 fatty acids your skin (and your brain!) so desperately desires.

Gluten

Gluten is quite often a favorite bad-guy in many diets, and unfortunately we are going to include it into the blackhead diet as well!
Let me explain why:
Gluten is a protein in wheat and other grains (oat, barley, rye, spelt) that makes bread dough sticky. Now because of he fact it makes so many things feel and taste gummy, it’s in a wide variety of other items you would never expect it to be in (some ketchups and ice creams for example)!
Some people react really badly to gluten and are known to have what’s called celiac’s disease. Some symptoms include diarrhea, intense abdominal pain, fatigue and bloating.

This however is not the same as gluten sensitivity, in which symptoms are similar to celiac disease but not as immediate and arise over time. People with gluten sensitivity also complain of headaches, muscle and joint weakness, skin problems, and neurological issues like brain fog and depression. There is no way to definitively diagnose it, but a recent study led by University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research confirmed that gluten sensitivity is distinct from celiac disease in the type of immune response it elicits from the body, providing direct evidence of its mechanism and existence. Even though you wouldn’t be following a blackhead diet specifically, all this doesn’t sound too good in general to have around in your day-to-day diet anyway :)!

This is all very nice info, but how does this tie in to acne?

Researchers behind the Maryland study claim that the inflammatory response that begins in the gut’s reaction to gluten then spreads to other parts of the body. More investigation is needed on gluten sensitivity’s direct impact on the skin, but the connection between the gut and skin has been studied extensively.

In sensitive individuals, gluten acts in two ways. First, it alters the integrity of the gut, creating cracks in the gut lining that allow toxins to recirculate back into the system. Second, because gluten-sensitive people cannot properly digest gluten, these large molecules enter the bloodstream, and the immune system recognizes them as invaders, activating an immune response that increases inflammation, which in turn can result in acne. This kind of immune response also triggers the release of insulin, which results in raised hormone levels, another cause of acne.

Check out this infographic I found from pinterest:

blackhead diet

 

Some good recipes to fit the blackhead diet:

Blackhead diet recipe #1: Smoked salmon with prawns, horseradish cream & lime vinaigrette

blackhead-diet-recipe

This recipe is excellent against blackheads and acne as it has no sources of excess unhealthy oils, it features lean protein in the shrimps and salmon and is just overall yummy!

 

Ingredients
1 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp horseradish sauce
4 slices smoked salmon
10 large cooked prawn, peeled but tails left one
For the salad
juice 1 lime, finely grated zest of ½
1 tsp clear honey
½ tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
2 tbsp light olive oil
2 handfuls small leaf salad

Method:

Mix the crème fraîche with the horseradish and a little salt and pepper. For the dressing, whisk the lime juice and zest with the honey, ginger and seasoning, then whisk in the oil. Lay the smoked salmon and prawns on 2 plates, then top with a dollop of the horseradish cream. Toss the salad in most of the dressing and pile on top. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the plate and serve.

Blackhead diet recipe #2: Cheesy Autumn mushrooms

blackhead-diet-recipes

 

This hearty autumn dish contains plenty of earthy products such as nuts, mushrooms and a fair amount of cheese. The earthy ingedients give nutrients to your skin making sure the balance within your sebacous glands remain as they should, causing blackheads and acne to disappear and thus fitting the blackhead diet prefectly.

 

Ingredients
4 large field mushrooms
100 g gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled
25g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
4 thyme sprigs
knob butter, in small pieces
rocket leaves, to serve

Method

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Arrange the mushrooms on a baking tray. Scatter over the cheese, walnuts, thyme sprigs and butter. You can do up to this stage a day in advance.

Pop in the oven and cook for 10 mins until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are softened. Arrange some rocket leaves on plates and place the mushrooms on top.

Let us know in the comments below if you’d like to see a weekly meal plan to fit your blackhead diet!

Best cleansers for oily skin: which one?

In the guide below we will show you 3 products that for you might be the best cleansers for oily skin.
As we all know oily skin is more likely to suffer from pimples, acne and blackheads. Unfortunately oily sin can be more high maintenance than other skintypes. Oily skin is characterized by enlarged pores and overactive sebaceous glands. It’s the sebacous glands inside hair follicles (or otherwise known as pores) that produce so-called “sebum”. The oil that naturally keeps the skin flexible.

However not all is lost if you are dealt the hand of oily skin by mother nature. You can still handle it as long as you take proper care of your skin.
One of the most important things in oily skin care routine is cleansing.

How to choose the best cleansers for oily skin?

The market is flooded nowadays with a plethora of different kinds of cleansers that all claim to be THE best cleansers for oily skin. However not all of them do as it says on the label. I’m going to show you 3 products I know have worked wonders on many of my clients.

1) Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion for Normal to Oily Skin

best cleansers for oily skinOne of the best cleansers for oily skin out there is this Cetaphil product. It is tried and tested by many and has been found to be very effective in treating oily skin.

PROS:
– It is gentle on the skin
– Effectively washes off all dirt from your face
– It is non-comedogenic meaning it does not stimulate the production of pimples or blackheads.
– Great for people with a sensitive, oily or acne-prone skin.
– Doesn’t dry out the skin
– Doesn’t break the skin

CONS:
– Is not as effective as a makeup remover. Some spots remain.
– Has parabens.
– Has a subtle medicated fragrance.

2) Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Face Wash

best cleansers for oily skin
This Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash  might be a bit more expensive than the Cetaphil cleanser, however this is not a product that should remain missing in your morning cabinet.

PROS:
– It contains salicylic acid as an ingredient which is a boon for oily skin.
– Helps in controlling oil and fights against acne.
– Cleanses the skin effectively. Every spec of dirt leaves!
– Doesn’t dry out the skin.

CONS:
– None!

3) Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash

best cleansers for oily skin

Lastly but definitely not the least, this Himalaya Neem Face Wash is the cheapest of the bunch, AND due to its natural products it is the best cleansers for oily skin using nothing but natural products.

PROS:
– Removes all dirt and impurities.
– Makes the skin squeaky clean.
– It is herbal.
– The smell is subtle and relaxing.
– Removes every speck of non waterproof makeup.
– Contains neem and turmeric as ingredients which are great for oily, acne prone skin.
– Doesn’t dry out the skin.
– Doesn’t leave any residue behind.
– It’s cheap!

CONS:
– Doesn’t lather much.

I hope now you know more to select your best cleansers for oily skin.

Blackhead infographic: false blackhead info!

blackhead myths blackhead info

blackhead info

Above is an infographic containing some blackhead info I found from a competitor’s website blackheadexpert. And it just kept bothering me as I do feel there is some misinformation here.

Providing correct blackhead info:

Let’s start with the beginning. In here it is claimed that bacteria cause blackheads and whiteheads to form. However this is not necessarily the case. The reason blackheads form is that pores get clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells and sebum, the natural oil that is produced in the hair follicles (otherwise knows as pores).
After this then the formed “Comedo” has two ways of developing further.

Either the pore grows over with a tiny layer of skin, or it doesn’t. If the pore doesn’t grow over, the clog in the pore oxidizes due to exposure to air, after which the mixture turns black and becomes a so-called blackhead.
However option number 2; If bacteria sneak in to the pore and the pore grows over, then the pore evolves to a whitehead.

Secondly virtually everybody has had a pimple at one point in their lives. So more than the proclaimed 80%. I don’t want people to think 1/5 people never have o suffer through a pimple :). The 80% pertains more to who has suffered from acne outbreaks. And then even in this instance the 80% pertains only to people in the 11-30 years bracket.

Luckily what they did get somewhat correct is that it is important to have a steady daily routine going if you want to get to perfect skin. Washing, cleansing and moisturizing should be the cornerstones of your daily routine. However as with everything it is important to not overdo things. Scrub only a maximum amount of twice a week. Any more than that will strip the skin of its natural oils. As a result your skin will overproduce to make up for the missing oil, causing blemishes as a result!

Hopefully you got your info straight and were provided with the correct blackhead info. Let me know in the comments below if I have missed something!

Best Pore Strips: Biore, Clari-T and The Face Shop

best pore strips

The 3 Best Pore Strips for Blackhead Extraction

Pore strips are a very valuable tool in your battle against blackheads. Making sure you find the best pore strips is key! When all else has failed and even your daily routine doesn’t do it’s tricks anymore, then pore strips or bands against blackheads might be your very last resort.
Plus you’ll get a great sense of satisfaction from pulling the band-aid away from your face and seeing the blackheads come with it!

Do they work?

There are a lot of steps you can take yourself to make sure pore strips work the way they should. You will not get the best effect out of the pore strips if for example you just sap them onto your nose without wetting your skin first. Most pore strips need at least some for of moisture to activate the glues inside the strip that make it adhere. Once the glue has been activated, it sticks to your open pore and to the gunk on those pore. A combination of under-pressure and adhesion make sure your pores are left behind as clean as possible.

Be aware though that pore strips (yes, even the best pore strips!) will NOT prevent blackheads from forming. That is just simply not how they work. In order to prevent blackheads from forming you’d be better off using a BHA cleanser combined with a toner.

Not all pore strips are created equal though. After testing several among our customers, we have come up with the best three. And as we are so nice, we have listed some of the best pore strips for you down below:

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

best-pore-strips

When it comes to the best pore strips, Biore is currently market leader. After several years of experimenting they have perfected their version of the common pore strip with their Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. At roughly $13 for a pack of 24 there are hardly better deals you could do out there. Also on Amazon over 1000 people have reviewed this product and it has consistently scored a 4/5. So that many people can’t be wrong!

The Deep Cleansing Pore Strips are in our opinion better than the Ultra Deep Cleansing pore strips as these are less irritating to people who have a sensitive skin. These bands do not contain any alcohol or menthol making them more soothing than their ultra deep cleaning counterpart.
The big benefit of these Biore strips is that in one packet you not only get nose strips, as the bands are bigger than usual, meaning these are excellently suited for blackhead extraction from your forehead or cheek area as well!

Biore has also made a special version of the pore strips that is infusd with charcoal. These have as an extra benefit that they absorb some of the skin oil as they suck your blackheads out.
Try the charcoal pore strips instead!

 

Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleansing Nose Strips

best pore strips

If you are in to natural products then this might be the product for you. Another one of the best pore strips on the market are the Earth Therapeutic’s Clari-T Pore Strips contain organic tea tree oil which has an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effect on your pores while the strips get to work locking in the nasty blackheads to be purged clear out from your pores.

These nose strips are excellent for people whose skin reacts kindly to the tree oil present in these strips. However if your skin is a sensitive skin type then these might not be the best suited product for you as your skin might dry out.

The Face Shop Volcanic Clay Nose Strips (w/ Aloe)

best pore strips

The Face Shop’s Pore Strips use volcanic mud from New Zealand’s Rotorua area. It is considered one of the best pore strips that use volcanic mud. It’s a natural detoxifier that soaks up oil, dirt, and impurities from your pores. Not to mention it does a fantastic job of latching onto blackheads and pulling them clean out of your pores.

We love these packs as they’re natural, soothing (thanks, aloe) and detoxify naturally (thanks, mud) as well as do a great job extracting blackheads.

How to Get the Best Results with Blackhead Remover Strips…

  • Use (In)frequently. If you haven’t used one of these before (or it’s been a long time), you’re going to blown away by all the awesome gunk that comes out, and be tempted to do it again the next day, and the next, and the next. Don’t do that! These best pore strips provide a deep extraction that’s best used around once a week.
  • Steam first. Steam has a way of opening up your pores and open pores are easier targets for blackhead extraction. Use the pores after emerging from a hot, steamy shower for best results!
  • Clean after. Sometimes, a little residue from the pore strips will stay on your skin. Not cool. Make sure you clean your face of any pore strip residue afterwards as well as care for those pores that have recently lost their nasty residents (blackheads) with a gentle blackhead clearing cleansing regimen.

 

Hopefully now you have a good idea of what might be the best pore strips for you.

Toner against blackheads: what to look out for!

toner against blackheads, professional blackhead removal

Let’s talk a bit more about toners and what toners should contain if you are going to use toner against blackheads.

What are toners and why are they useful?

Historically toners have had somewhat of a bad rep. Toners used to contain a whole bunch of ingredients of severely poor quality. They had bad formulations and snake-oil salesmen were bringing them to the masses. They were accompanied promises that could never be fulfilled.

Today however toners can change the way you look and feel completely. Toners are great for reducing the size of enlarged pores and restoring the skins natural pH levels.
Tightening the pores will make it much more difficult for blackheads to form as there is a reduced chance of any sebum sneaking in and clogging up a pore.
It is not possible to completely shrink up a pore. However toners do contain a component called astringents, which is used to close pores up.

What your toner against blackheads shouldn’t contain.

toner-against-blackheads

Toners loaded with alcohol or menthol are too aggressive for your skin. If you apply a toner that is too aggressive then the skin cannot revitalize itself properly. As a result your skin will suffer and will more than likely be in an imbalance, bringing blackheads with it. Usually this imbalance comes to be due to the fact that the toner tends to strip your skin of the natural oils that are already present.
Products like Clean and Clear simply make sure no oil is left behind after a few wipes.

Toners to look out for when buying toner against blackheads are toners that are laced with alcohol or menthol, these are the worst in stripping your skin of its natural oils.

Toners for differetn skintypes

Especially toners geared for people with an oily or combination skin type are loaded with the above mentioned ingredients. Toner against blackheads for dry skin types aren’t any better and will still contain these ingredients, albeit to a lesser degree.

For oily skin, I would recommend a very gentle toner like Cetaphil (or a generic brand), or Dr. Bronner’s Baby soap, or an organic castil or olive oil soap. These are all creamy and lotion like and will not over strip your skin, which in the case of oily skin, simply causes more oil production.

Alternatively, if you wish to take a more natural approach, lemon juice may also be used to tighten up the pores. However, lemon juice may have the effect of lightening the skin tone during summer so be careful not to ruin your complexion.

Toner is a must have item for anyone with oily or combination skin types as leaving your pores wide and open is a recipe for disaster. I recommend Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner for oily skin. This toner works wonders for reducing the size of pores and keeping skin feeling fresh and healthy.

Toner against blackheads can be used everyday, twice a day, along side gentle cleansing of the face and moisturizing.

Natural toner against blackheads: Witch Hazel:

witch hazel toner against blackheads

Probably one of the most common uses for witch hazel is in toner form. If you check your already existing toner bottles at home, chances are it has witch hazel already in it.

Witch hazel is a natural product that contains a lot of tannins. That’s an excellent astringent. Astringents are products or chemicals that have a pore-tightening effect on the skin. Not only that, it also cleanses some of the excess oil of the skin. What more could we ask for right?!

So health-wise, those who oppose the use of strong chemicals in toner against blackheads, witch hazel could be a good option for you.

Witch hazel may also be used to treat blemishes or skin irritations that are already present on the skin. Just apply some witch hazel on a cotton pad. Then dab it in and around the irritation that is present. It will help reduce acne, blackheads and even bruises or speed up the healing process!

Natural toner against blackheads: Apple Cider Vinegar:

Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 Ounce - 1 Pack toner against blackheads

Using organic apple cider vinager you can make an excellent natural and home based toner that doesn’t require you to break bank.

Apple cider vinegar toners have been shown to help balance and restore the skin’s natural pH levels. It has also been shown to improve overall complexion.
It can help even out skin tones due to the acidic contents of the apple cider vinegar. Also it lightens out sun and age spots.
Due to the acidity of the toner it can help dissolve dead skin cells. This makes it a great toner against blackheads as we all know a buildup of dead skin cells and oil in the pores is what leads to blackheads, breakouts and blemishes.

All you need to do to make this toner is mix about 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 4 tablespoons of distilled water. Mix it in a bottle and shake well before use.

The mixture can be stored at room temperature.

Also note that the mixing ratio for this excellent toner against blackheads is simply a starting ratio. If you want some stronger stuff, simply mix in more Apple Cider Vinegar. But be careful if you have sensitive skin! Be gentle on yourself :).

 

Best foods to prevent acne and blackheads

professional blackhead removal, Preventing blackheads with diet

Suffering from blemishes and acne outbreaks on a frequent basis? Can’t see your nose anymore due to all the blackheads that are there? Maybe you’re not eating the best foods to prevent acne!
As a common expression goes: “You are what you eat”, nothing could be more true than the relation between the health of your skin and what you put in your mouth. Certain studies have shown that diets high in sugar and trans fats have a negative impact on acne, and thus are not the best foods to prevent acne.
On the other hand, a diet rich in protein, healthy fats and ant-oxidants will make your skin glow again in no time!

What Causes Acne and Blackheads?

The main cause of acne and blackheads is the clogging up of skin pores with a mixture of dead skin cells and skin oil, however various other factors are in play that have an effect on these two blackhead ingredients.
Bacterial infections, bad eating habits, hormonal cycles or even medication all play a role in how your skin functions. They all can have an impact on oil production or skin cell rejuvenation.

Best foods to prevent acne.

Best foods to prevent acne

Eating low-glycemic foods, or foods that take longer to digest, may help you prevent blackheads and acne.

 

Treating acne and blackheads can be done in a variety of ways. Most acne treatment, if it has gone to an advanced state, use medication as a way of treating the most severe cases.

Also mechanical options exist to get rid of single pimples that might pop up. Most dermatologists and cosmeticians use a blackhead extractor or removal tool in order to get single blackheads or pimples out. Other ways people can use at home are pore strips or bands against blackheads. These are basically band-aids that have a special adhesive on them that clings so well to your skin that as you rip it off, most blackheads underneath this band-aid come out right with it.

Prevention:

In general, these products do what it says on the package, but most effective is still prevention.
Consider making the following changes to your diet, and choose the following best foods to prevent acne the results will surprise you!

Just as your eyes are the windows into your soul, your skin is the window into your health. If you eat junk food all day, unfortunately you will look like you do. A healthy diet filled with lean protein and fruits and vegetables (and healthy fats!) will do wonders for your skin.
IF you had any breakouts before, you might see them still, but they will most likely be way less severe. Good nutrition is the key to healthy, clear skin!

blackhead prevent acne do not eat these

Foods not to eat when trying to prevent blackheads and acne.

Skin experts seem to agree, that it is vital you eat foods that help keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Simple carbohydrate rich foods (white bread, bagels, plain flower, ..) will make your blood sugar levels spike right after finishing a meal, after which it comes crashing down one or two hours later. You’ll feel a significant drop in energy levels with it.

Not only does your blood sugar levels spike, so does your insulin, which reacts to blood sugar levels. As this hormone spikes, your whole body gets into a total hormonal imbalance, a perfect breeding ground for acne and blackheads to persevere. So when looking for the best foods to prevent acne, steer clear from the sweets and the good stuff! Beauty doesn’t come easy :)!

Low Glycemic foods:

Focus on foods that have a so-called “Low Glycemic index”. Meaning lean meats, fish, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and low sugar fruits.
Some people also claim that dropping dairy from their diet has made them see significant reductions in acne levels. These are of course anecdotal pieces of evidence but it may well be worth a try. Try leaving dairy products out of your diet for days and see how you feel. If your skin seems better it might just as well be that it was the right solution for you!

Contrary to popular belief, eating fatty foods (if they are the right kinds of fat!), will not necessarily cause weight gain or acne and blackheads to get worse. Healthy fats such as omega-3 and -6 reduce inflammation and boost skin health and are some of the best foods to prevent acne. They also have various benefits for your cardiovascular system and cholesterol and they protect your eyesight. So adding healthy fats to your diet might actually be a thing you might want to try out. Use the 30-day method to see how it affects to your body.

Foods to eat when preventing blackheads and acne

Salmon is a source of good fats that will help you prevent blackheads and acne.

Other than the omega -fatty acids other sources of good fats are fatty fish such as salmon and, to a lesser degree, tuna. Also all plant based oils such as the popular extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, nut oils, are all good sources of monounsaturated fat that will do wonders for your skin.

As mentioned above, you should avoid “high” glycemic index foods such as ice cream, breakfast cereals, and white breads. These food will cause your insulin levels to spike and will cause you acne as a consequence.

Below is a good grocery list of the best foods to prevent acne:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Low sugar fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Brazil nuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Poultry
  • Beans
  • Oysters
  • Dark berries
  • Almonds
  • Green tea
  • Swiss chard
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Butternut squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Raw seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggs

Stock up on foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin E, selenium, essential fatty aids, antioxidants, and fiber. These really are the best foods to prevent acne and blackheads. Recent studies have indicated that people with high levels of vitamin A are less likely to develop acne and blackheads, confirming out suspicions. This nutrient prevents excess production of cells in the skin’s outer layer, which helps prevent breakouts. Vitamin C and selenium, which have powerful antioxidants effects, enhance your body’s ability to flush out toxins.

Dietary fiber, which is found in all plant-based foods, regulates blood glucose, promotes good digestion, and slow down sugar absorption into your body. These factors combined help prevent and reduce breakouts. Researchers have also found that zinc deficiency can lead to skin problems, such as acne and blackheads. Dark chocolate and oysters are high in zinc, so make sure you include them in your diet. Don’t forget about whole grains, which are packed with B vitamins. These nutrients promote healthy skin and hair. If possible, cook your own meals and avoid processed foods.

Hopefully now you have a good idea of what the best foods to prevent acne are!

Let us know in the comments below if you have made changes to your diet and how it has affected your skin.