Thursday, September 23, 2010

What about my face?

What about my face?                                                                   
Do you remember when your skin was flawless? I mean all the time, maybe when you were ten or eleven years old. The good old days!!

Now you’re grown and your skin does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants. There is no control and say as to how it reacts to the environment and what you want to eat.
There are days my skin is flawless and then a pimple, maybe one or two creeps up no me. I believe that the face maybe one of the most sensitive areas on your body, so it is my job to protect my skin. I also do not believe that not eating junk food will keep it away, everyone’s skin is different. However, I believe everything must be done in moderation.
Make sure you use a daily sunscreen to protect your skin. You can use natural sources such as Shea butter which has a natural sunscreen to protect your skin. Wash your face daily to get rid of excess sebum that clog pores, eat healthy, exercise and drink lots of water. Yes, these are all things you’ve heard before!
What if I can tell you there is more? keep in mind that many natural home remedies aren’t necessarily for severe causes and may not work for everyone. There are many reasons as to why you get acne, dark spots and you must know your body to try and treat it.
Pimples and Acne
A pimple is a small papule, inflamed skin. They are oil glands (sebaceous glands) that are infected with bacteria. Sebaceous glands which are located at the base of the hair follicles become overactive. Pimples are signs of acne when a breakout occurs. For more on sebaceous glands Click here
What causes pimples and acne?
Pimples can be caused by dead skin cells that are left behind and stuck together due to sebum, this causes pore blockage. If too much sebum is produced in the sebaceous glands this causes blockage. This blockage of sebum has bacteria and is linked to acne. Acne can exist harmlessly on the skin but can become a problem and feed off sebum.  Acne can be heredity and almost everyone I know has had some form of acne at some point. 
There are several types of pimples and acne:  whiteheads, blackhead, papules, nodules, cysts
What to do?

Healthy living:  you are what you eat! If you eat healthy your skin will reap the benefits. Our body will react in relation to what you put in your mouth or what you keep out of it. Drink lots of water, eats lots of fruits, vegetables and avoid using harsh chemicals on the skin. Be gentle with your skin, do not pick at your pimples, this will leave scarring and bring about additional pimples. Try not to touch your face with oily hands and dirty hands this can lead to the development of pimples. Use light products or natural homemade remedies to cleanse your face and maintain healthy skin. You can apply ACV (apple cider vinegar) to combat oily skin that maybe a result of hormones. Use cosmetics that are water- based or oil free.
Foods: almond, sunflower seeds, beans, sweet potatoes, yams, raw honey
Natural Remedies:
Salt water: washing your face with salt water dries up excess acne-inducing oils. This is less likely to aggravate acne or your skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar: apply a small amount of acv to a cotton ball and apply it to the infected area this will reduce swelling.
Steam: blackheads do not go away on their own, use steam to assist in cleaning your face. You can place your face over the vapours of a boiling pot to open pores.
Health Store finds:
Vitamin A-strongest anti-oxidants, it protects lipids or fats from oxidation. If you are getting to much Vitamin E which can cause inflamed skin for acne sufferers red palm oil is rich in vitamin A and vitamin E.
Some others included: Wheat Germ (rich with omega 6 fatty acid),  Vitamin E,  Cod liver oil  (rich with omega 6 fatty acid,  Flax seed (rich with omega 6 fatty acid). For acne sufferers excess omega 6 fats can cause severe acne reactions.  So you should rely on many forms of food for vitamin E and Vitamin A
How to prevent pimples and acne?
Foods to eat: Bright red, orange fruits and vegetables. Our bodies will convert the beta-carotene from these foods to oil-reducing Vitamin A. Greens rich in Vitamin B6 will help reduce swelling, and the size of pimples. Avoid salty foods, and things that will stimulate oil glands
Dark spots
Dark spots is a very common skin problem also referred to as hyperpigmentation
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Pockets of discoloured skin that remain after your pimples or skin bumps have disappeared. This can be caused by many internal or external factors. When the skin has been in-flamed melanin in the skin may increase for those of us with dark skin tones. Melanin is what gives our skin a darker tone.
What causes dark spots?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one of the major causes of dark spot. This occurs after some type of trauma has happen to the skin (i.e. acne). It can also be caused by medications which may sensitize your skin to the sun, although this may occur without sun-exposure for some people. UV light is also another cause of dark spots and skin damages.
Other Causes of dark spots: Liver disease, Pregnancy, Hemochromatosis, Addison’s disease, Pituitary tumours, Too much iron, Hormonal changes, Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals (i.e. calcium and vitamins A, E, B

Removing dark spots

Citrus fruits
Lemon is the best citrus fruit to use to treat dark spot. Use your fingers to apply it directly on your spots. Gently massage in a circular motion and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Citrus is rich in Vitamin C which is a natural bleaching agent. Citrus fruits like grapefruit can aid with fluid circulation.

Vitamin E
Apply Vitamin E oil to the area as your daily routine. It can be very greasy so you can also try only using it at night. You can also apply Vitamin E for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with cold water

Apply honey to the area and leave it for 15-20 minutes. For more ideas

Oils for Dark spots

Carrier Oil I recommend : Grape seed oil, Almond oil, Apricot Kernel, Avocado oil, Hazel nut oil

Essential Oils I recommend: Rosewood oil, Jojoba oil, Tea Tree Oil, For essential oils and carrier oils refer to my article In the Natural Hair Care section.

Tea tree oil is antiseptic oil which will dry impurities out leaving your skin flawless. Apply a small amount of tea tree oil to the skin before heading to bed, you will notice while you sleep the blemishes will dry out and it will just fall off while you sleep. Tea tree oil does have a bad smell; so many people aren’t able to put up with the smell on their face. It may also cause more problems if not added with carrier oil

Solution:  Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to a carrier oil, and then try testing on a small area of your body first. You can also add tea tree oil to a face homemade rememdies. This can be found in my Mind, Body and Care  DIY Page.

Eating Well
Drink an adequate amount of water daily
Vegetables and fruits
Use powerful antioxidant such as broccoli
There are many other ways you can remove dark spot but as always I prefer to give you the natural way.

What to do?
If you use Vitamin E on your face use cold water to wash it off.
Exfoliate your skin and wash to remove excess oils
Do not over wash your face as it can become dry
Avoid constant consumption of baked goods, pre-packaged and soy sauce

Stay Beautiful!!

Articles to come:
Skin Care-Growing up in the Caribbean
Oily Skin
Dry skin-