Monday, September 8, 2008

Acne and Skin Care

Good skin care practices play only a minor role in whether a person develops acne. But they are essential to treating it, and to good skin health in general.

Some believe, mistakenly, that a thorough scrubbing will help prevent acne. Actually, washing has little effect on whether acne develops or not. The effects occur mostly afterward, once acne has occurred.

Scrubbing doesn't help, in general, though. It merely roughens and often dries out the skin. Harsh treatment of skin exposes lower layers, which then have to develop a protective coating of oil and outer dermis. In the interim, the skin is exposed to airborne and contact bacteria. The skin is our first defense against pathogens of all kinds. Removing multiple layers of it doesn't promote good skin health.

Instead, a gentle washing with a mild cleanser is the answer. Be thorough. Since acne can occur on shoulders, back and chest as well as the face, take care of those areas in the shower. During mid-day and in the evening, a mild cleaning from underneath the jaw to the hairline is helpful.

While natural skin oil (sebum) plays a role in developing acne, removing every trace of it is not beneficial. Sebum helps keep skin flexible, which discourages microcracks from forming. These can provide a pathway for bacteria. It also keeps the skin from becoming excessively dry, which can again lead to small cracks in the outer layers.

Astringents that remove oil should be used sparingly. Over the counter acne treatments are specially formulated to achieve the right balance. They should be used according to the directions.
Shaving is always a challenge, of course. Men's faces are the hardest problem to solve. Electric razors help solve it, but even they can nick the skin, especially when it contains blemishes. There's no substitute for patient, careful movements. Use of a pre-shave softener can help, too.

Use of a manual or safety razor is possible. It plays a negligible role in developing acne. An ingrown hair and clogged pores that produce acne follow from different causes. Don't backshave against the direction of hair growth, though. Softening the beard before shaving with warm water and soap can help smooth the process.

For women, there are other helpful recommendations.

Makeup selection is easier these days. There are numerous formulations that specifically address the possibility of acne. They are designed not to clog pores. Going light on the foundation can help. Subtle cheek blush is better than slathering it on. Look for makeup labeled 'non-comedogenic'. 'Comedones' is a general term for the most common types of mild acne, including blackheads and whiteheads.

An over-the-counter antibacterial can help prevent acne, but is most helpful after it has developed. But follow the directions. Over medicating can lead to clogged pores and damaged skin, exactly the conditions that tend to promote acne.

Keeping pores open in order to allow for natural oil movement and shedding dead skin cells is key to minimizing outbreaks. Proper skin care practices aid both.

: article by Bryan [ Find out what the best acne products ( http://internet-business-world.com/acne/best-acne-products.html ) are and how you can be acne free in 3 days ( http://internet-business-world.com/acne/best-acne-products.html ) ]