Archive for the ‘sun damage’ Category

Battling Acne – Part I

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Millions of people suffer from acne, both teenagers and adults. Yes, even adults. I always thought when I became an adult my acne would disappear, but instead it became worse. If you’re battling acne like so many other people, don’t worry because there is hope. With so many products available today, you may not be able to prevent acne entirely, but you can help keep it under control.

First, let’s talk about your options: dermatologist remedies, over-the-counter remedies, and home remedies. If you have health insurance or can afford a visit to a dermatologist, I would recommend you go this route. A dermatologist is a professional doctor that is trained to diagnose and treat your acne.

However, if you are on a budget or don’t have health insurance, which is common in today’s society, there are over-the-counter options which are also effective. Some of these include Oxy acne products, Clean and Clear, Clearasil, Neutrogena and Noxzema. I personally break out in an allergic reaction whenever I use Neutrogena products, but my sister and many other people really like the products that Neutrogena offers.

Additionally, if you have a little more in your budget to spare, many people like the Proactiv product line; which is endorsed by several celebrities, including Jessica Simpson. I have two friends that tried Proactiv. They both thought it dried out their skin too much and made it “flake.” However, my one friend said, if she just uses one of Proactiv’s products, like maybe the face-wash, but not the toner too, that her skin doesn’t dry out as much and it does help keep her acne under control.

Now, if you only use organic products like I do, there are several different products that contain natural and organic ingredients, like Burt’s Bees, which can be ordered online and can also be found at Wegmans, Target and CVS. Burt’s Bees makes an herbal blemish stick that contains Tea Tree Oil. While I have never used Burt’s Bees blemish stick, I have used pure Tea Tree Oil for acne, and I was disappointed in the results. I felt the Tea Tree Oil was too greasy and didn’t really help my acne at all. However, everyone is different, and many people use Tea Tree Oil for their acne and it works great for them because Tea Tree Oil helps fight bacteria and calms inflammation.

Also, I know from personal experience, that trying to find organic and natural health and beauty products in stores can challenging; which is why I frequently go to Wegmans for these products. The Wegmans that I shop at has an entire section dedicated to natural and organic beauty products, where you can purchase many different varieties of natural acne products, face-washes and lotions, etc…

Finally, if you are stuck at home and don’t have time to run to the store or visit a dermatologist, there is an old myth that applying toothpaste on your acne will help clear it up.


Battling Acne – Part II

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

So, now that you’ve learned about products to help your treat your acne, I am going to share with you a few tips to help prevent acne. Some of these measures include:

1. Washing your face before going to bed, especially if you have makeup on;

2. Believe it or not, moisturize, even if you have oily skin. When skin is denied moisture, it over compensates by creating even more oil and clogging your pores;

3. As tempting as it is, don’t touch your face and acne. If you notice a blemish, place a warm compress on it, and then apply acne medicine. Hopefully within a few days, the blemish will clear up;

4. Wash your makeup brushes and pillow cases regularly. A lot of unhealthy dirt, oil and bacteria can build up on your makeup brushes and pillow cases;

5. Stay out of the sun. At first it will appear the sun is clearing up your skin, but the sun actually dries out and damages your skin; so your skin will once again over compensate for the loss of moisture and will create more oil causing acne flare-ups;

6. Don’t over cleanse and scrub your skin. While is it is important to cleanse your skin at night before bed and in the morning, don’t over-scrub your skin with harsh cleansers, this will only irritate your skin and possibly cause even more acne flare-ups.

7. Additionally, it hasn’t been proven, but I think eating a lot of unhealthy and fast foods contribute to acne. These types of food are filled with grease and fat, and it is hard for your body to process all of those unhealthy ingredients. I personally notice that when I don’t eat well, my acne flares up.

8. Also, taking Vitamin C has positive effects on your overall health, so I am sure it can help minimize the effects of acne as well.

By following all of these steps, I am not able to prevent my acne by 100%, but I am able to keep it under control a little bit; which is a lot better than doing nothing at all. I just keeping hoping that one day, someone will come up with a magic cream that prevents acne and wrinkles in one small and simple step.

Why You Shouldn’t Tan

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Tanning is a double-edge sword, it makes your skin look nice at the present moment, but it is slowly and surely killing your skin and its appearance for the future. Growing up as a redhead in a family of redheads, I was shunned from the sun by mother throughout my childhood and most of my teenage years. I remember the one time she forgot to slather on sun-block for a Father’s Day BBQ at the lake and I took home the lucky prize of sun poison on my forehead and shoulders. I was 10yrs old and still remember the teasing from other kids, the pain and the blisters. However, that didn’t stop my irresponsible tanning as a teenager and into my early 20s, which I now regret.

I still remember the first time I tanned at a tanning salon, without my mother’s knowledge of course. I was 16yrs old and it was right before my Junior Prom, all of my friends were tanning, including one of my redheaded friends, who was the darkest out of all of us (she was also 100% Italian). I convinced myself that if she could tan as a redhead, so could I; silly me. So, I snuck off to a local tanning salon for several quick sessions and to my surprise, I didn’t burn too much; but the key word and unhealthy word being, I burned. Then by next summer, I had my license and a car, so I began tanning every single day, Monday through Friday after work. Never mind the fact that I was a day camp counselor and was already out in the sun every day. Before I knew it, I was in my 20s and was not only tanning during the summer, but was also tanning every single day all year round. I didn’t want to tan every day, but being half Irish, if I missed a few days, my tan would start to disappear. I noticed that I lost my tan, even quicker then I burned.

Then came my “wake-up call.” I had just turned 25yrs old and was tanner than ever, due to the high pressure tanning beds that I discovered at my local tanning salon. During this time I was on a tanning mission, I had 3 weddings that were 3 months apart, and a Miami vacation to attend to. I attended all of the weddings and then went to Miami with my mother (who is a fair skinned, blue-eyed, redhead). I remember laying on the beach for about 20 minutes with not a single ounce of sun-block on, and then I looked over at my poor mother who was slathered head to toe in sun-block and about to break out in tears because her feet were burning; yes her feet. She quickly covered herself up in a blanket, but I couldn’t let her sit out in the sun and burn, so I suggested we go back to our hotel.

It was shortly after our Miami vacation that I realized I was getting premature wrinkles. I was shocked and mortified because my mother who is in her 50s doesn’t have any wrinkles and even my grandmother, who passed away in her late 70s, barely had any wrinkles. So, why was I getting wrinkles? Easy, unlike me and so many other women of my generation, my mother and grandmother stayed out of the sun. It was at that very moment that I realized being tan wasn’t worth the sacrifice of having unhealthy and wrinkled skin.

So now that I am in my late 20s, almost approaching 30, I find that I am paying for my tanning mistakes of the past. I use wrinkle creams daily and I am starting to look into chemical peels and other facials to help fight wrinkles and sun damage (which I wouldn’t need at the moment if I stayed out of the sun when I was younger). Now when summer comes each year and I am as pale as Casper the Ghost, I just laugh off the comments from my friends and family suggesting I should “get some sun.” Instead, I lay in the shade and wear sun-block.