Spots and Acne? Pick or No Pick?
Saturday, 12 March 2022 | Admin
I was watching a little bit of television one morning and my ears pricked up when I heard somebody talk about the applying-toothpaste-on-spot myth.
It reminded me how popular (and wrong) this still is and I thought to myself that I have to sit down and sum up some important points around acne and spots. So here we go:
Acne - First of all, there is no miracle cure for Acne. Acne can be caused by Hormones (teenage, period, menopause), Bacteria, Inflammation (food, stress, illness), Sensitivities (allergies – food or product). It is most likely also on the chest and back (apart from face). If it is cystic and debilitating you definitely need to see a dermatologist.
The toothpaste and nappy cream myth
If a spot could be treated with just Colgate all our problems would be solved - so, NO, toothpaste does nothing for a spot.
Nappy Cream contains a tiny amount of Zinc so might take the redness away but not what’s inside the spot.
Things that may help
Keep your skin clean - use only good quality natural Cleansing Oils and balms when cleansing your skin, not mineral oils (they are petroleum derived and clog pores).
There is absolutely no reason to avoid oil when you have acne. A good quality Cleansing Oil does not clog pores, quite the contrary, it nourishes and ph balances the skin as it loosens "bad" oils (on the basis of oil-dissolves-other-oil).
Alcohol in cleansing products can destroy the acid mantle and make the perfect breeding ground for acne. It dries your skin too much and drying skin means that a vicious circle begins, where your skin stresses and attempts to repair itself. Same goes for foaming washes or harsh hand soaps.
Avoid any foaming washes as they break down the acid mantle (delicate matrix that creates a healthy skin barrier) too.
You want to use products that contain acids like Salicylic, Lactic, Glycolic Acids. Used topically they help with unclogging pores, removing dead skin cells and trapped hair follicles.
For example, Salicylic Acid (maybe the gentlest of the 3 acids and perfect for acne) penetrates and breaks down the ‘glue’ that causes breakouts and oily, uneven skin. Use acids just on the spot not all over the face as they can be irritating and drying! That's why you want to calm your skin with for example Jojoba Oil or Olive Squalane afterwards. See below
After you have used acids, which dry the whole area around the spot too, apply a natural oil to calm the area. Massage in a minute amount of it, ie Jojoba Oil or Olive Squalane as they are the closest to our own sebum and don't clog pores. They are also affordable and very light.
You can have acne in areas and be really dry/dehydrated in others so hydrate your skin with light moisturisers too!
Probiotics are a must. They don’t cure the spots but give you a good head start by keeping your stomach and intestines as strong as possible.
Avoid sugar, bread, pasta, red meat (including bacon, sausage, salami etc), dairy (dairy contains hormones that can alter our endocrine system and contribute to acne), fried foods, bad fats (ie margarines)
If you must pick, cleanse with a clean hot-ish flannel and use clean fingers (not nails) and tissue! Use acid toner on cotton pad after. Apply it firmly to the skin It will sting but it will also kill bacteria and help with healing. Massage in a drop of Jojoba Oil afterwards to calm the skin and prevent it from drying and scarring.
Please join me over at my new Facebook Skin Care Chatroom
https://www.facebook.com/groups/gerlindenaturals where I open up the dialogue around skin care and offer a way to post your question/ results/ experiences/ ideas and anything that might interest you about natural or botanical skin care in a friendly and welcoming environment.
I am always happy to delve into my 15 years+ experience in the skin care industry to answer your questions as best as I can.