Acne - We all know it when we see it, and we don't like it! What causes it? And is there anything we can do about it?
Here's a medical/scientific explanation from the Mayo Clinic:
"Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles and form together as a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.
"This plug may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or, the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, aren't normally involved in acne."
Now here's a non-medical/non-scientific response to the problem:
The simple solution is to keep the skin so clean that no follicle can become plugged with oil. Realizing that many factors contribute to the oiliness of one's skin, some people will have acne no matter how clean they are. This post is not intended to make anyone feel that their face-washing (or lack thereof) is to blame for their acne! Still, keeping the face clean and free of oil is a good place to start. If you don't already have a regimen for face-washing, consider this...
Splash your face with warm-hot water. The warm/hot water will cause the pores to open. Lather Beeyoutiful's Milk and Honey Facial Bar in warm, clean hands. Apply the lather generously to the entire face, especially oily areas, being careful to avoid the eyes. The facial bar lather will clean away the excess oil. Then splash your face clean with cold water. The cold water will cause the pores to close. For best results, do this twice a day, preferably at the beginning of the day and again at the end of the day.
Note: It is very important to keep clean skin moisturized. Over-washing can actually cause more acne. More about that in the next post...