Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is your cotton pilowcase causing acne breakouts?

The pillowcase you lay your head on at night is covered with oils, dead skin cells, saliva, sweat and dust from your face and hair. A nasty bacteria buffet and a breeding ground for clogged pores and, acne. Even if you washed the pillowcase every day, the tight weave (high thread count) of most pillowcases still end up suffocating your pores while you sleep.

Monday, February 15, 2010

DON"T POP THAT ZIT!

The Best Way to Remove Zits

Professionals in the medical field do not agree on the practice of popping zits. Some say that popping zits will not scar you, but others believe it is a large contributor to more infections and increased tissue damage. Either way the decision to rid your body of the lesions should be done with care and knowledge. If you choose to pop the zit, here is the best way to do it:

  • Wait until the pimple is fully developed on the surface and the white center is nearly bursting on its own.
  • Wash your hand thoroughly, especially the fingertips and under the nails, to get rid of any bacteria that could contaminate the already infected pimple. You may want to consider using sterile gloves or a gauze square.
  • Take a sterile, finely tipped needle and lance the center. Sterilizing a needle is simple. Run the needle tip through an open flame such as a match or lighter for a few seconds and keep it free from touching anything on the counter or table.
  • Next gently squeeze the zit taking extra tissue from around the zit. Give equal amounts of pressure on every side. Continue until a clear liquid or blood comes out. Do not squeeze after the cleansing clear liquid is visible. The pimple cells should heal in a day or two.
  • Use a clean, napkin, toilet tissue or Kleenex to dab away the liquid. Be careful not to spread it beyond the open zit.
  • Wash your hands again and prepare for the next step.
  • If there is swelling, you may want to apply a cold washcloth in which ice has been wrapped and hold it against the open zit for a few minutes.
  • When your squeezing procedure is finished, dab a good amount of hydrogen peroxide on the open pore and use an ointment containing a healing agent such as 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide as a topical solution.
  • It is imperative that you wash your fingers between squeezing each zit if you want to bring your acne under control. Bacteria will implant itself under your nails and carry those germs to the next pimple or blackhead.
  • Attempting to squeeze a pimple or a blackhead that is not mature and below the surface will lead to flare-ups. The most important thing to understand is that if a zit is under the surface and you dig at it, you will push bacteria further down into the pimple causing more infection and usually a larger breakout in a few days.
    If you have a stubborn zit that you simply cannot leave alone there are a few steps you can take to rush along its maturing process.
  • Sterilize your hands to the best of your ability or use sterilized gauze pads.
  • Prepare a mixture of 1/4 tsp. salt in about 1/2 cup of hot water. Use a gauze pad to dip into the hot water and then place the soaked cloth on your pimple or blackhead holding it there for several minutes. The heat will soften the blemish and draw the liquids to the surface. You may need to do it more than once. It is best not to squeeze until the white center is visible and appears to be ripe.
  • Once popped, be sure to use a 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Restoring lotion to kill as much bacteria as possible. We recommend a highly effective 5% Benzoyl Peroxide product as part of a acne fighting and prevention kit.
(thank you to acne-resource.org for the above article)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New for 2010: The Fresh Pillow

It's a pillowcase which is made of out bamboo, a natural, sustainable material which grows without pesticides of any sort in the mountains of China. The Chinese have been using bamboo in building construction for thousands of years because of its resiliency in all forms of weather.

I see this "acne-fighting pillowcase" as part of an holistic system. The most interesting points are the reminder which tells you when to flip the pillow over (haha), and the fabric which resists benzoyl peroxide bleaching.

I like the reminder because I consistently forget whether I'm sleeping on the clean side of the pillow. Usually I end up smelling the pillowcase, which is not scientific or constructive at all.

The bleaching resistant fabric is nice sine I always to to sleep with at least a 2.5% to 10% acne cream containing benzoyl peroxide.

Be sure to check it out: the Fresh Pillow

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The importance of open pores

While I hate my acne, I like to give it some love. That's right. To keep my acne at bay, there are a few things I like to do which help keep my pores clean and my body acne free. First, I maintain a healthy exercise regimen which keeps my stress level down (stress is medically proven to increase acne) and by sweating a bit, it keeps my pores open and breathing.

The next thing I do is remain diligent in which cosmetics, lotions, and hair products I use. It's important to check the labels of any product, to ensure that they won't clog my pores and are oil-free. Another step in treating myself, and my acne with love is my diet. To do this, I make sure I take my vitamins, eat vegetables and try to stay away from oily foods that can increase my acne.

Lastly, and probably the most important one, is my hygiene. I make sure I scrub and wash my face and problem areas at least a few times a day. Oh, and I almost forgot... a few months ago a woman in my book club suggested I consider changing my pillowcase. Little did I know that the Egyptian cotton one I had been using for years was actually restricting my pores and holding in nasty bacteria while I slept. After a bit of research, I found a lovely all-natural bamboo pillowcase which has taken my acne level down and is actually more comfortable than my old one. Good luck with your acne treatment and remember, give your acne some love.