Let me just start by saying, acne is natural, normal and nothing to fret over. But, let’s get real – acne can get excruciating for a lot of people, in a lot of ways. No, I’m not talking about the tiny zit that pops up as a by-product of PMS or that gush of blackheads that shows up when you sleep with makeup on; real acne – cystic, papules and pustules as well as bacterial acne – that can be really painful and grueling to deal with.
And, if this phenomenon occurring on the face wasn’t enough, we now have to deal with body acne as well. If you’re looking at reversing your body acne by strategically mapping out a treatment plan for it, here’s a guide that can help you out.
Why, In The First Place, Does Body Acne Occur?
We all know that the skin type of your face and body can be different with certain people. However, what remains constant (in most cases) are the causes of acne. More often than not, it’s that very set of factors (that could have different influences) like clogged pores, sweat and dirt accumulation that usually promote the spread of acne in a particular region of the skin – face or body. Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, celebrity dermatologist and founder, ISAAC Luxe, elaborates on this, “Your skin may act up as a result of poor cleanliness and excessive sweating. While sweating can clear your pores, the presence of dirt, oil, and dead cells that obstruct them can lead to body acne. The best strategy to combat this is to clean your skin on a regular basis with mild foam, salicylic acid body wash.”
There’s More To It
“Body acne is most commonly caused in teenagers due to their fluctuating hormone levels or genetics. Other external factors that may cause body acne could be high levels of humidity and using pore-clogging products. Oily and greasy skin is the most susceptible to body acne flare-outs. It is most commonly observed among teenagers during their adolescence but can occur at any age,” adds Dr Geetika. I was really curious about (if, and) how body acne differs from that on the face; Dr Geetika explains, “Body acne differs from facial acne as it is more difficult to treat because the skin on the rest of the body is thicker than that on the face. It can also medically be known as folliculitis, which is an infection of the skin’s hair follicles.”
Well, What’s The Solution?
Just like facial acne, body acne also demands a specific treatment and care plan that not only combats and reduces present acne but also controls the occurrence of future flare-ups. “Use a non-comedogenic body lotion. A non-comedogenic body lotion is basically a lotion which does not clog the pores but still hydrates your skin. Some lotions which contain small amounts of salicylic acid help to get rid of pre-existing breakouts. Shower regularly to cleanse your skin and wear loose breathable fabrics which do not cause irritation and sweat which can result in acne flare outs,” advises Dr Geetika.
As somebody with oily and textured skin, and random zits here and there, I’ve always relied on the power of AHAs (glycolic acid) and BHAs (salicylic acid) for my skin. So, the next obvious question was whether they’re equally effective for body acne. I was happy when Dr Geetika agreed, “Both glycolic and salicylic acids can be used to treat body acne. They have the ability to penetrate in oil-filled pores and minimise accumulation. Salicylic acid is particularly effective on greasy skin, and when acne breakouts are accompanied by blackheads. They excel in attracting new cells to the skin’s surface. Newer skin cells are healthier, more likely to spontaneously exfoliate, and less prone to clog pores with sebum, debris, or dead skin cells.”
The Most Important Part: Prevention
“Body acne can be prevented with simple steps such as showering twice a day in summer, changing your sweaty clothes after the gym, and using the right products,” suggests Dr Geetika. She adds, “Modifying your diet also goes a long way as your skin is ultimately a reflection of what you eat. Exfoliate your body and skin at least once a week, to unclog pores and remove the stubborn dirt embedded in your skin cells. Moisturise regularly as dry skin can also cause irritation and inflame the skin.”
Struggling With Rosacea? Look For These Ingredients In Your Products!
Rosy cheeks are cute. Dealing with rosacea, however, is not. If you’re suffering from the common skin condition, you’re not alone. More people than ever are voicing their experiences on social media in a sign of solidarity for those suffering from it and to raise awareness of what the skin condition actually entails.
Red, sore skin, unexplained flare-ups and an on-going battle with skincare are just a few of the things those battling rosacea face on a daily basis. And that’s just on the surface. Let’s just say, when you feel like any slight embarrassment is met with the fiery-red flush that conceals your face, you start to avoid certain situations and this could even lead to feelings of anxiety.
We’re told there’s no cure – rosacea begins at birth and follows you through life, but is that really true? Does it only affect those with fair skin? And what ingredients aggravate or calm rosacea?
When it comes to your skin, it’s understandable that you want to know what’s in your products. If you’ve been taking a closer look at your ingredient labels, you’re likely finding it to be a long string of unfamiliar words. We’re here to help you decipher that list and what words you should be looking for.
What Is Rosacea & What Signs To Look Out For?
It is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition which usually occurs on the face and can affect all skin types. It may also manifest itself as persistent redness, blood vessels and spots which can look similar to acne, although the two should not be confused.
There are 4 main symptoms that help identify if you are suffering from rosacea –
- Persistent flushing of the face, most likely around the nose and cheeks.
- Thread veins and visible blood vessels which need laser treatment to remove.
- Red spots which contain pus, easily misdiagnosed for acne.
- Thickening of the skin; visible bumps.
Although, it is not completely known what causes the condition, there are certain triggers that contribute to make it appear worse such as alcohol, coffee and spicy foods. In some cases, the individual can be sensitive to the sun and find that going from a hot to cold temperature, or vice versa, can trigger flare-ups. Then again, some find exposure to sun actually helps reduce the inflammation.
That said, if you don’t have the opportunity to consult a dermatologist or are curious as to what you should be putting on your skin – look for these ingredients in your products!
There has been evidence of barrier deficiency in rosacea and the importance of integrating OTC skincare products into treatment. Ceramides help to repair and strengthen our skins’ barrier, making it a must for rosacea. If your skin feels dry and flushed no matter what lotions, potions and unguents you throw at it, you may be lacking in an important skincare ingredient: ceramides.
Camillia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea)
We know that drinking green tea is widely practiced throughout the world. A cup of warm green tea with its light soothing taste and aromatic scent relaxes the body. Dermatologists say because of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Camellia oleifera is appropriate for skin of all types, especially with sensitive skin like rosacea or eczema. Apply a dime-size amount in the palms of your hands to create a thin spreadable layer to a cleansed face and reap its benefits.
This naturally occurring acid has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are extremely helpful for calming rosacea flare-ups and treating severe acne, quotes Emily Wood, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Westlake Dermatology.
This star ingredient is well researched for its versatility in skincare. It is not only used to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and acne but is also a star ingredient to treat rosacea. Niacinamide assists the barrier function of the skin, which is important in rosacea because it is easily susceptible to irritation. Studies suggest that Niacin increases the production of ceramides, preventing water loss in dry, compromised skin (a.k.a rosacea).
Who isn’t familiar with the calming effects of Aloe! And, of course this could be your best friend for rosacea too. The most obvious way to use Aloe is to topically apply (Slather) it on affected areas. Look for products containing Aloe Barbadensis Gel or Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice as they can soothe, stimulate repair, and even reduce the pain.
This active ingredient, which comes from the chamomile flower, helps reduce redness and irritation during a flare-up. Since bisabolol originates from chamomile, it possesses many of the same qualities, including helping with inflammation. Unlike many chemical ingredients used for rosacea, bisabolol is a naturally occurring oil, non-toxic and tremendously soothing for sensitive skin.
The NO-NO Ingredients
- Glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Witch Hazel