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Easy, DIY Remedies Could Be Worsening Your Acne
Acne is a skin condition that plagues the faces and bodies of millions of people worldwide.
The unsightly product of these breakouts are known by numerous names, but the effects of acne remain the same. Typically surfacing during the pubescent years, if left untreated, acne can persist throughout adulthood.
In the past, people relied upon a list of treatment options they could whip up in the comfort of their own kitchens. Unfortunately, not all of these treatments are safe or effective and, for generations, misinformation has been inherited.
There are many natural acne remedies that successfully address acne concerns but some actually work against your objective, possibly exacerbating the issue in the long run. Here are some well-known acne remedies to avoid.
1. Popping Pimples
It’s an ugly habit most children and adults look to for a pimple quick fix. Picking at (or popping) your acne only multiplies your risk for developing scarring and encouraging the acne to return in the very same spot. Dirty hands introduce new bacteria into the sore, aggravating and inflaming it while encouraging an infection.
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“It dries the pimple out.”
That was the claim made by an infinite number of teens seen with specks of toothpaste dabbed around their face. Although it’s unclear if anyone has ever experienced real results from this remedy, one thing is certain today: you should avoid it.
The chemicals added to toothpaste to aid with tartar control serve as a source of nourishment for the bacteria that actually causes acne. Placing toothpaste on top of your pimples inadvertently feeds and spreads the bacteria.
Aside from this, toothpaste is also known for causing inflammation around the affected area, irritating it, turning it red, and in some cases, leading to perioral dermatitis, a condition that produces red, itchy patches around the nose and mouth.
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The antibiotic properties Neosporin contributes to cuts is assumed to spread when used on pimples. Unfortunately, the same rules do not apply.
Neosporin only sits on top of the skin, further clogging your pores without coming anywhere near acne-forming follicles. If you’ve tried this remedy in the past and noticed slight improvements, it was likely due to the emollients found in Neosporin. They can moisturize and soften the skin surrounding the pimple, reducing the severity of its appearance but they cannot cure the underlying issue.
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Keeping your pores clean is a primary factor in reducing and eliminating the appearance of acne. Check the ingredients in your products to see if they are safe to use on acne-prone skin.
Alkaline bar soaps, harsh facial washes, and products with an alcohol base can actually worsen acne problems. Instead, look for non-comedogenic products that clearly state they’ve been designed for use on acne-prone skin.
Avoid products that contain butyl stearate, isopropyl myristate, isopropyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate, isocetyl stearate, isostearyl neopentanoate, myristle myristate, decyl oleate, acetylated lanolin, cocoa butter, and red dye (C and D). These are found in a variety of products from sunscreen to cosmetics to moisturizers.
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5. Overdoing It
“Acne comes from a dirty face,” is yet another myth that causes treatment issues. You only need to wash your face once, maybe twice per day. Overwashing your face is an acne remedy that dries your skin cells, triggering even more oil production. More oil leads to clogged pores, worsening your acne over time.
Washing with extremely hot water can produce similar effects. For best results, limit your face washes to no more than twice per day only using lukewarm water.
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6. Excessive Exfoliation
This remedy yields results similar to frequent washes — only considerably worse. Handheld exfoliators can cause whiteheads to burst onto the pad and spreads bacteria all around your face. If you exfoliate your skin too often, you may irritate sensitive areas and prolong your recovery.
Using a complete arsenal of acne-fighting products may be worsening your acne. On its own, each product is created with a measured amount of active ingredients that aid in drying out your skin. When piled on top of each other, the intensified efforts work against your skin’s healing.
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7. Tanning to Clear Acne
Adding some color to your skin may reduce the red appearance of acne, but this remedy doesn’t help anything improve. These false reports have driven far too many people to the beach or tanning bed in a desperate attempt to rid themselves of their pimples.
Rather than heal your skin, tanning only increases your risk of dryness, irritation, burning or inflammation. Tanning is also responsible for increasing your risk of premature aging and developing skin cancer later in life.
Those who have been prescribed acne medication, topical or oral, are advised to stay out of the sun and refrain from tanning due to the risk of extreme skin sensitivity as an effect of their prescription.
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8. Avoiding Moisturizer
Since oil is the main culprit in the creation of acne, it is rumored that breaking up with oil entirely will help speed your recovery. Eliminating sprays and moisturizers is not a proven acne remedy.
In fact, neglecting to moisturize your skin after using drying acne products will only rob it of necessary hydration. Cracks, sores, and irritation will worsen if you adhere to this myth. Instead, look for oil-free moisturizers that won’t clog your pores. Find products with SPF to further your acne prevention efforts.
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9. Non-Virgin Coconut Oil
Some acne remedies are only safe with proper use. Coconut oil is an acne remedy that aids the liver’s ability to flush toxins and prevent buildup in the blood.
Coconut oil energizes your cells and removes dead skin cells that clog pores. It penetrates the skin’s surface, oiling acne plugs and encouraging them to dislodge with gentle massage. Coconut oil also balances bacteria and yeast production, reducing inflammation and terminating the development of dead skin hyperproliferation.
Each of these are incredibly beneficial factors, but they only apply when using virgin coconut oil. It contains fatty acids, which provide cells with an energy boost. Only virgin coconut oil can fight the growth of candida and other germs and microbes caused by acne. When doubled as a topical and internal treatment, coconut oil presents even more benefits.
The non-comedogenic and antioxidant properties in virgin coconut oil are destroyed during the refining process. The oil is stripped of the intrinsic antimicrobials and detoxifying components your body needs. Should the coconut oil go through hydrogenation as well, harmful trans-fatty acids may be mixed with it creating more skin and facial issues.
Be advised that some acne sufferers have reported worse acne flare-ups after using coconut oil topically. This is due to the oil’s ability to purge the body of bacteria lying dormant beneath the skin’s surface. Taking coconut oil internally will speed up this cleansing process and make the healing transition much smoother.