As a general rule, acne affects people with oily skin, which is cause by overactive sebaceous glands (oil glands). Your oil glands produce natural oils which keep the skin irrigated in most parts of the body (not the palms or soles), but which oily skin, they tend to overproduce sebum (oil) on the face, neck, chest, and back. Of these areas, the nose is the most affected, followed by the chin and forehead. There is a reasonable explanation for these areas producing more oil than other areas of the body. The nose has the largest pores, followed by both the chin and forehead. Some people naturally produce more oil than others and various triggers increase this oil production.
One of these triggers is hormonal imbalance, which occurs most during puberty, followed by pregnancy. The hormones produced during these times stimulate the oil glands, sometimes causing overproduction of the natural oils. Stress affects oil production in much the same way. The excess oil fill pores and catches debris (dirt) in them. This, in turn, causes a reaction similar to an allergic reaction in the skin. Itching is usually the beginning; this causes scratching which not only adds more debris and bacteria but encourages inflammation. The inflammation (slight swelling in this case) causes the pores to further close, blocking the chance of escape for the entrapped toxins. This requires special care in order to create an optimal environment for the skin to heal itself and begin to regulate oil production.
An important thing to remember is that some natural oil is necessary for your skin to retain moisture like it is supposed to. Over drying the skin causes it to produce more oil in an attempt to replace the much needed moisture that has been removed. Many of the over the counter and prescribed products for oily skin and acne dry the skin too much. It is better to cleanse several times a day with warm water and a mild cleanser than it is to use harsh chemicals on the skin.
Creating an optimal environment for healing means reducing inflammation, unclogging clogged pores, and keeping the pores free of further trapped oil and debris. Obviously, the first step has to be to reduce the inflammation. Cold compresses can help this. First you need to wash well with a mild cleanser. Pure organic honey is excellent for this because it is a natural antibacterial cleanser. This cleansing should be done upon waking and before bed daily; fitting at one or two more honey washes into your schedule is even better.
Begin by putting a damp washcloth in your refrigerator.
Massage about a tablespoon of honey in tiny circles all over the face, giving acne-prone areas extra attention. Let the honey sit for a few minutes and rinse with warm water (hot water irritates and further inflames skin).
Take the washcloth from the refrigerator and lay it on your face for a minute or two. This will reduce swelling and the pre wash has removed excess surface oil and debris, so this will not get added to already-clogged pores.
Remove the washcloth and return it to your refrigerator.
Now get a tablespoon of honey and mix a teaspoon of granulated sugar with it. Rub this mixture all over the face gently, again using the tiny circles and paying close attention to acne prone areas.
Rinse well with warm water.
Get the washcloth and lay it on your face again, removing after a minute or two.
Apply chamomile toner (see our article, Oily Skin Tips, Part II) to your face.
Apply a good organic moisturizer to your face; in this case, good means an organic moisturizer created for oily skin (we have various moisturizer recipes but you can also buy these ready made). This is an important step, even though it seems to contradict the removal of the oil. By applying the moisturizer, you are helping your skin to remain lubricated, which helps your oil production become balanced.
Never use moisturizers and lotions that are alcohol based because these actually dry the skin, creating a cycle of need in your skin.
If you wear makeup, make sure that you are using a water based makeup because oil based makeup tends to clog the pores. Always remove makeup before going to bed; leaving makeup on the face through the night tends to grind it into pores as you rub your face on your pillow during sleep.
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