Acne afflicts 9 out of 10 people today. Its not just a skin condition related to teens and puberty. Acne can cause severe and permanent scars both physically and mentally. There are thousands of products hawked on various infomercials on TV that claim to cure acne, but according to the American Medical Society and leading dermatologists 99% of these are ineffective at best. So, what really works? Here are five guaranteed acne care and treatment tips that will leave your skin cleaner, healthier and less susceptible to acne.
1. Hydrate – The fact is that 70% of Americans are not properly hydrated. When our bodies are not given enough water, the skin loses its elasticity and ability to quickly heal and repair. This can cause the follicles to become blocked and make the skin a breeding ground for bacteria. It is recommended that the average person drink 6-10 glasses of water every day. To test for proper hydration, pinch, pull and release the skin between your forefinger and thumb. If you are properly hydrated the pinched skin will quickly return and show elasticity. Dehydrated skin is similar to aged skin and will show less elasticity. It is a clinically proven fact that proper hydration will help any acne care or treatment.
2. Proper cleansing. Grocery and drug stores have hundreds of brands of soap on display and most are too harsh for your skin. These harsh soaps can dry out your skin, worsen acne, and increase the skins production of sebum or oil (which will attract acne causing bacteria in clogged pores). It is best to use a mild cleanser like Cetaphil or its cheaper generic equivalent (available at Target and Walmart). These cleansers will leave you with fresh, clean skin and are recommended by virtually every dermatologist in America.
3. Moisturize. That’s right, moisturize. Even for oily, acne prone skin. Proper moisturizing will actually result in healthier skin which is less susceptible to most acne conditions. Make sure you use a non-comodogenic moisturizer as it will not clog pores. As everyone has different and unique skin you should try several different moisturizers to find the one that works best for you. Some may have botanicals and herbs you don’t like or fare well with. There are many moisturizers, so find one that you really like and stick with it. Also, use a non-comodogenic high spf lotion for sun protection. The sun will age and dry out your skin and will increase production of acne causing oil.
4. Treat excess oil and clogged pores. For treatment of pimples and blackheads most dermatologists recommend benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid solutions of 5 – 10% strength. They can also be used on very light acne. They will actually inflame and worsen moderate or severe acne and are not recommended for this – regardless what any infomercial may claim. In severe and moderate acne benzoyl peroxide will dry out the skin too much and have an irritating effect. Salicylic is more effective for deep cleaning of pores.
5. TCA skin peels. TCA peels have been clinically proven to be as effective as isotretinoin (trade name Accutane) in treating moderate to severe acne without the side effects. They are also used in almost every dermatologists and plastic surgeons office (They are usually referred to as the Obagi peel, blue peel, or Estheticians Choice TCA peel). TCA peels are a deeper skin peel and will increase skin regeneration (through increased skin exfoliation), return the skin pH or acidity back to normal (excess oil can alter the skins pH and make it a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria). In the past TCA peels were only available in dermatologists or plastic surgeons offices as a very expensive outpatient treatment. They can now be obtained through the internet for in home use at very reasonable prices everyone can afford. The best thing is that a TCA peel only needs to be applied once every 3-6 months depending on the depth desired and strength used.
David Maillie is a chemist with over 12 years experience in biochemical research and clynical analysis. For more information on TCA peels for in home use and great anti-acne products and ideas please visit http://www.bestskinpeel.com