Effective Medical and Home Remedies to Reduce Acne Scars

Acne Scars

Everybody likes a smooth and supple face that has a glow from within, but everyone is not blessed with a soft face. Acne is a nightmare, especially for teenagers and this concern could continue until adulthood. Pimples, acne and redness are commonly found skin conditions on both men and women. Around 80 percent of the people who have acne are between the ages 11 to 30.

Acne is caused when bacteria, oil and dead skin fill up and inflame pores, the tiny openings in your skin through which oil and sweat rise to the surface. Another cause for acne is hormone changes. Stress, the environment, exposure to harsh sun, menstrual cycles, oil-based products and birth control pills are also other causes for acne.

Types of Acne

  • Pustules: These are pus-filled lesions that are red at the base and white or yellow at the top.
  • Papules: These acnes are in pink to red bumps that hurt when you touch them.
  • Nodules: These are solid lesions which are larger than papules and pustules. They extend deeper into the skin are painful too.
  • Cysts: Cysts lie deep within the skin which are painful, full of pus and likely to cause scars.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and it protects you from harmful UV rays and bacteria. The areas that have sebaceous glands are prone to acne like the face, back and chest. Acne scars are caused by the inflammation of acne blemishes. The acne pore swells and a breakdown occurs in the wall of the pore. Some acne blemishes are small and the scars created are shallow and heal quickly. Sometimes the contents of blemishes spill into the surrounding tissue and cause deeper scars. Some acne scars fade with time but some do not. So here are some tips to remove acne scars:

  • Home Remedies:
    • Retinoids: Topical retinoids prevent inflammation, reduces acne lesions, and quicken regeneration of cells. It also helps to lighten hyperpigmented acne scars, including those in people with darker skin tones. Remember, retinoids can make your skin sensitive to sun, so take necessary measures like sunscreen lotions etc.
    • Salicylic Acid: It is a naturally occurring compound that is often an ingredient in acne skin care products. It helps to clears dirt, skin cells, and other debris that leads to acne from the pores of the skin. It helps to minimize swelling and redness that reduces scarring. So use products that contains salicylic acid in your skin care routine.
    • Lactic Acid: It acts as a gentle peel to pull away dead skin cells and minimizes the appearance of scars and smoothen the overall texture of the skin. It lightens scar and hyper pigmentation. It is also present in diluted apple cider vinegar.
    • Alpha Hydroxyl Acid: Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) helps to get rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Doctors may recommend AHAs for treating acne and reducing the appearance of acne scars. It mildly scraps out the outer layer to reveal the fresh skin underneath.
    • Natural Remedies: These include honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, aloevera gel, shea butter etc.
  • Medical Treatments:
    • Chemical Peel: A chemical solution is applied by the doctor to remove the top layer of skin and minimize the appearance of deeper scars. This process can be repeated to maintain the results. There can be some side effects like change in skin colour.
    • Laser Resurfacing: This is a popular treatment that is usually performed on scars that were once treated with dermabrasion. This technique has an increased risk of side effects for people with darker skin or a history of keloids.
    • Soft Tissue Fillers: Injecting collagen or fat or any other similar substance under the skin to make it plumper and make the scar less noticeable. This is a temporary treatment, so you will have to repeat the treatment when required.
    • Dermabrasion: This procedure is ideal for severe scarring. The doctor removes the top layer with a rotating brush. Surface scars may be completely removed, and deeper acne scars may appear less noticeable.
    • Surgery: This is a minor surgery called punch excision. In this procedure the doctor cuts out individual acne scars and repairs the wound with stitches or a skin graft.
    • Skin Needling: Your doctor rolls a needle-studded device over the skin to stimulate collagen formation in the underlying tissue. It’s a safe and simple process for acne scarring with minimal risk of discoloring the skin. Results are subtle, and you may need repeat treatments.
    • OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox): Sometimes the skin around acne scars puckers. Injecting Botox helps to relax the surrounding skin that improves the appearance of an acne scar. The results are temporary, so repeat treatments may be needed.

All the above-mentioned tips help to remove acne scars and for medical treatments, you can reach out to a reliable plastic surgeon who can provide the right treatment for your acne scar.

6 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Blackheads

Blackheads

The skin’s pores accumulate dirt, sebum, oil and dead skin cells on a daily basis. This accumulation of grime results in clogged pores and hair follicles, leading to concerns like blackheads, whiteheads, acne and so on. Blackheads are a mild type of acne in which the acne lesion is not closed. No matter how well you take care of your skin, this pinhead-like black lesion on the skin – that can affect face and body – just shows up sometimes.

Blackheads – tiny, raised bumps on the surface of the skin that mostly black in color – occur if your skin is not cleaned properly. When oil, dead cells and sebum block the pores on your skin, it settles in the pores over time and when these materials are exposed to air, they get oxidized and turns black, forming blackheads.

In addition to lack of proper skin cleaning, other factors that cause blackheads include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Excessive production of skin cells
  • Excessive use of cosmetics
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shaving parts of your body – it expose the hair follicles.
  • Health conditions like stress, PCOS, and even PMS

Though frequently seen on the nose, corner of the nose, cheeks, forehead and the chin area, blackheads can appear on other parts of the body as well.

If blackheads are not tackled in the early stages, it can cause your face to look pigmented. Here are some highly effective natural ways to get rid of blackheads.

  1. Lemon Honey Mask: Applying a simple lemon-honey mask is an easy and effective way to get rid of blackheads. For this mask, take one teaspoon of lemon juice and add half a teaspoon of honey to it. Mix it well and apply this mixture on to your blackhead area. After 15 minutes, check if it’s dried. If it is, wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this 3-4 times in a week for best results. Lemon has astringent properties which open the clogged pores, while honey has antibacterial properties that can tackle bacterial action which causes blackheads and nourish and hydrate the skin.
  2. Egg White and Lemon Mask: Mix three egg whites with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and apply the mask to clean skin. Once the mask is dried apply a second layer. Rinse off after 20 minutes. Egg white has skin-tightening properties that can reduce the appearance of blackheads.
  3. Baking Soda: To remove blackheads, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste. Apply this on the concerned areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Baking soda has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also helps in exfoliating dead skin cells and extra sebum.
  4. Cinnamon Lemon Mask: Mix 2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder with 2 tablespoon of lemon juice and make a smooth paste. Apply this mask on concerned areas and leave it on for 20 minute. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Apply this mask 3 -4 times a week. The cinnamon powder helps tighten pores and improves blood circulation, whereas lemon has anti-bacterial properties that aid in fighting blackheads, whiteheads and acne.
  5. Charcoal Peel Off Mask: Mix half a tablespoon of activated charcoal and a teaspoon of gelatin with warm water. Apply the mask on the affected areas and leave it to dry for about 20 minutes. Gently peel off the mask and rinse and moisturize your face. Charcoal is one of the best skin care ingredients. It not only removes blackheads from the roots, but also tones the skin, removes toxins and deep cleanses the skin.
  6. Oatmeal Scrub: Exfoliating skin helps to get rid of blackheads. An oatmeal scrub is a great exfoliator. It acts as a mild cleanser and can quickly remove blackheads and dirt. Oatmeal unclogs pores, removes blackheads and leaves your skin moisturized and radiant. For oatmeal scrub, mix 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and 1 tablespoon yogurt with a few drops of olive oil. Add some lime juice for better cleansing. Apply this mask on a clean and dry face, and leave it on for 10 minutes. Once the mask has dried, remove it by rubbing it off gently in a circular motion. Rinse and moisturize.

Here are some tips to prevent blackheads forming:

  • Change clothes immediately after engaging in any sweat-producing activity. Sweat that sticks close to your skin can clog the pores on your skin and cause blackheads.
  • Wear loose clothing made of natural fiber such as cotton. It allows the skin to “breathe” and avoids irritating friction.
  • After a workout, wash your sweaty face.
  • Drink a lot of water to hydrate the skin’s surface and keeping the potent oil blocks at bay.

If these at-home measures to reduce blackheads don’t work within 8 weeks, the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) recommends consulting a dermatologist.

How To Keep Your Skin Healthy And Prevent Premature Aging?

Skin Healthy

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and a barrier to prevent pathogens and other harmful agents from entering your body. It protects your from several virus and bacteria. It also protects you from the harsh rays of the sun that can harm your cells. Therefore, taking good care of your skin is important.

Everyone desires youthful-looking plump skin, but with aging, the skin becomes loose and saggy. This is because the production of collagen slows down overtime. This can lead to wrinkles, fine lines etc. Skin dryness is also a common issue that occurs with age because the sebaceous (oil) glands decrease in size. Apart from biological factors, there are other factors that can damage your skin like exposure to sun, pollution, stress, obesity, too much facial movement, and even sleep position.

Common Changes in Skin

As you age, changes occur in the skin. The most common changes are rough skin, lesions, dryness, thinning of epidermis that makes the skin transparent, get easily bruised and fragile. Loss of fat below the skin may also result in in loose skin, sunken eyes, etc.

Tips to Prevent Wrinkles

To avoid getting wrinkles, it is important to take precautionary measures. Wearing sunscreen lotions, washing the face every morning and night, gentle massaging, etc., are simple things one can do on a daily basis to prevent aging of the skin. Other things you can do to maintain the quality of your skin and prevent wrinkles include:

  • Use Retinoid: Retinoid or retinol is derived from vitamin A that is the most popular anti- aging element. It has the ability to increase the collagen that can prevent your skin from sagging and make it look more plump and youthful. Retinoid helps in skin regeneration and helps to generate new blood vessels that can enhance the overall appearance of the skin. This element is now available in face creams, gels, facewash etc. Using a very small amount of retinoid helps to prevent skin peeling.
  • Protect your Skin from Sun: Continuous exposure to the harsh rays of the sun and pollution can lead to premature aging of the skin. To protect your skin from getting damaged from UV rays, make sure to apply sunscreen lotions with SPF of 30 to 50 on every day, irrespective of the weather. You can also wear a hat, scarf or sunglass for extra protection.
  • Drink enough Water: Drink enough water to stay hydrated. This helps to avoid dryness and aging of your skin. Drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins from the body and also helps with digestion, regulates your body temperature, boosts skin elasticity, corrects tissue damages and keeps you skin glowing and hydrated.
  • Eat Healthy: Applying creams and gels are all outside aids. For your skin to glow from within, it is important to eat a vitamin rich healthy diet. A Dutch study from 2019 showed that people with diabetes had facial wrinkles and premature aging of the skin. Likewise, women who consumed high volumes of red meat and other unhealthy food items also faced the same skin issues. So, maintain a healthy diet that includes items like green tea, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc., that have high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may also improve the skin’s elasticity and protect against skin damage and premature aging.
  • Use Moisturizers: Apply moisturizer every time you wash your face. It helps keep your face very hydrated and nourished. Make sure to use moisturizer that has hyaluronic acid and vitamin C that can help prevent wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Sleep on your Back: A study conducted in 2016 suggests that sleeping position has an effect on the formation of wrinkles. People who sleep on their side or stomach are prone to mechanical compression forces, which can speed up the formation of wrinkles, and also distort facial skin. Sleeping on your back instead of on your side or stomach is one way to prevent aging. Using silk pillow covers is recommended as silk causes less friction and abrasions on the skin.
  • Relax your Face: Continuous facial movements like frowning, squinting, etc., can quicken the formation of wrinkles. If you find yourself frowning too much, then practice relaxing your facial muscles to avoid getting wrinkles. You can also do deep breathing, yoga, and meditation to keep yourself calm and stress free.

We lose thousands of dead cells off the surface of the skin on a daily basis. Even if your skin is glowing and beautiful today, there is no guarantee that you will have a healthy skin tomorrow. Therefore, taking care of your skin is essential to avoid premature aging and keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Foods to Avoid & Foods to Include in Your Diet for Good Skin Quality

Skin Quality

It is important to first realize that skin is not just an aesthetic entity. It is the largest organ in the body that covers your muscles, bones, and other organs. When any problematic changes happen in your skin, that means something is happening beneath the skin surface and you need to alter your beauty routine. Effective face creams and treatments are available to help you maintain the beauty of your skin, but beautiful, healthy skin always starts from within. When healthy, the skin layers work hard to protect you, but if it is compromised, its ability to work as an effective protective cover is impaired. The food you consume has an impact on the health of your skin. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid some foods and include the right food in your diet to improve the health and beauty of your skin.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Coffee: It is important to avoid too much caffeine as it is very dehydrating, or cause dryness to the skin. Some coffee drinks contain more caffeine than others. So, it is good to avoid consuming a lot of it, or if you are going to have a cup of coffee or more than that, then make sure you follow up with some hydration to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Cheese: It is actually a superfood, so it is healthy; but consuming dairy products like butter, cheese, milk chocolate, etc. will increase oil production and lead to blocked pores that cause blackheads and breakouts. If you are experiencing some acne, avoiding these products may benefit you.
  • Fruit Juice: Though fruit juice is a great option for kids and a cleansing agent for adults, it is actually loaded with a lot of sugar. All the fiber from the fruits got extracted leaving behind a dense concentration of insulin-spiking sugar. Fruit juice contains high glycemic index and it could cause acne to flare up. Research finds that people who consume foods that has low-glycemic index will have half the amount of acne of those who eat high-glycemic index foods.
  • Chips: Most chips are covered with tons of salt. Salt might not directly cause acne, but it leads to other unfavorable outcomes for your skin. It causes your skin to dry out, which causes a host of problems like tired, dull skin and dark under-eye circles. Too much salt will cause water retention, puffiness, and swelling particularly around the eyes.
  • Burgers: Saturated fats like fatty beef, cheese, and butter may cause acne. It is because these foods are associated with high concentrations of insulin growth factor, which stimulates acne production.
  • White Bread: White bread has a glycemic index of 70. Foods that contain a high-glycemic index will boost hormones that increase the activity of oil glands in the skin and lead to acne formation. Breads also contain sugar, which instantly causes your insulin levels to spike up and cause inflammation, weight gain, etc. and also result in acne.

Foods to Include:

  • Salmon: The omega-3 fatty acids present in it reduce inflammation and help to keep the skin moisturized. They are a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin E, and zinc. It helps to break down collagen and elastin and keep your skin looking youthful. When your body has a high level of good fat, it feeds your skin and allows the skin to make healthy oil to stay healthier, and this makes your skin glow.
  • Eggs: Protein-rich foods like eggs or meat contain amino acids and are the building blocks of collagen production. Eggs, especially the yolks are packed with two nutrients choline and biotin help promote good skin. Choline helps in cell membrane production, while a biotin deficiency (however it’s rare) can lead to rashes and hair loss.
  • Oranges: According to a research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat foods that are rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin compared to those who don’t. So, including great sources of vitamin C like strawberries, red peppers, etc. can benefit your skin.
  • Avocados: Avocados are packed with vitamin E. The natural oils in avocados can penetrate deep into the skin to nourish, soften, and hydrate. The hydrating properties reduce wrinkles and fine lines and keep your skin smooth. It boosts the skin’s immunity against stress and environmental factors. Particularly, the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin E and C protects the cells from radical damage, i.e. one of the best anti-aging methods. It also contains lutein (a carotenoid) that improves skin elasticity, and oleic acid and chlorophyll reduces redness and inflammation.
  • Spinach: Spinach contains different vitamins and minerals. The vitamins A and C present in spinach cleanse the skin and provide a flawless and glowing look. It also contains antioxidants that aid in fighting off bacteria that cause pimples and acne. The presence of vitamin B helps protect the skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays of the sun and prevent premature aging. It helps to reduce acne, dark circles, inflammation, dry skin, etc. and also helps to repair skin by promoting the growth of new skin cells. Along with the essential vitamins, the nutrients and antioxidants in spinach will work to provide a clear and radiant skin.
  • Carrots: Carrots are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Eating foods high in beta-carotene and carotenoids impacts skin coloring, and those who consume these, look more attractive than those who don’t. According to healthline.com, one cup (250 ml) of carrot juice provides over 20% of the DV for vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that is necessary for collagen production. It is the most abundant fibrous protein in your body, and it helps to provide elasticity and strength to your skin. Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant helps protect your skin from free radical damage. A carotenoid-rich diet could protect your skin from UV damage and improve the appearance of the skin.

Everyone has a favorite face cream or treatment, but healthy, beautiful skin starts from within. That means what you consume will reflect on your skin. It is important to remember that you should take care of your skin by giving it enough nutrients. Eat the right food in the right amount and drink lots of water, so that your skin will stay soft, supple, and blemish-free.

9 Simple Ways to Reduce Bruises

Bruises

Bruising is a normal response to an injury to an area of the skin. Bruises are caused when you fall, or someone hits you or you bump into something hard and the small blood vessels under the skin are damaged. Bruises occur because blood leaks out and has nowhere else to go. As the body heals and breaks down the hemoglobin, bruises will change in color. Generally, there are four phases of colors to a bruise before it fades away and the changing colors are a regular part of the healing process. Once the bruise has turned a light brown, it starts to fade.

Most bruises will go away after 2 weeks without treatment, while others will fade away after some time, depending on the damage. Here are some helpful tips to speed up the healing process and minimize the visibility of the injury:

  • Use an ice pack: Placing an icepack or something frozen immediately on the injury helps reduce the amount of blood that leaks from the blood vessels into the tissues surrounding it. Wrap the ice in a piece of cloth or in a paper towel and place it on the fresh bruise. Ice the bruise for 10 minutes at a time, and wait for 20 minutes before reapplying. Applying ice can prevent severe discoloration.
  • Heat application: If the bruise has already formed, applying a heating pad or a hot water bottle can help clear away the trapped blood and boost blood circulation. This will increase blood flow. Applying heat can also help to loosen tense muscles and relieve pain.
  • Rest: When you are injured, stop what you are doing and take some time to assess the damage. If you bang your knee in the middle of a workout, stop doing it and rest. It will slow down the blood flow to your bruise and prevent the bruise from getting worse. Do not massage the sore spot as it can break more blood vessels under the skin and make the bruised area appear larger.
  • Wrap it up: Placing pressure on the affected area can help ease any swelling caused by the bruise. It is best to use an elastic badge. Wrapping up the bruise firmly will squeeze the tissues and prevent the blood vessels from leaking. Take care not to wrap it up too tight.
  • Raise the affected area: Raise the area affected to a comfortable position. This will helps relieve pain, drain fluid away from the bruised area, and prevent the bruise from getting bigger. Doing this can also reduce pressure and compression, and help the healing process as you rest and relax.
  • Vitamin K cream: Vitamin K ointment can be bought over-the-counter. Vitamin K has properties to promote blood clotting and prevent blood loss. It can be used for subcutaneous bruises, especially on the face. Gently rub the cream onto the bruise at least twice a day.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Apply pure aloe vera gel directly on the bruise.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a great option to treat inflamed, injured skin. Wash the ginger thoroughly, and crush and apply it on the affected area. Hold it with a plaster and keep it overnight for the best results. Repeat this for a day or two.
  • Follow a bruise-healing diet: A person’s diet has a great impact on his/her health. Eating a balanced diet with specific foods that keep you healthy can strengthen the body’s blood vessels and minimize bruising. The following foods can promote the healing process:

    • Fresh pineapple can heal the bruise faster due to the bromelain content in pineapple.
    • Apples, citrus fruits, red-onion, dark colored berries and cherries, and leafy green vegetables contains high amount of quercetin that promotes healing.
    • Spinach, broccoli, lettuce, soybeans, and blueberries are sources of Vitamin K that can reduce bruising.
    • Crab, lobster, legumes, spinach, and pumpkin seeds are sources of zinc and can strengthen the tissues and help the body heal.
    • Eat protein-rich foods. Stick to those that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol like tofu, poultry, fish, etc.

Bruises usually heal on their own. However, if you continue to experience pain after three days, or if you develop a lump over your bruise or notice bruising for no reason, consult your doctor.

November is Celebrated as National Healthy Skin Month

Healthy Skin

November is observed as National Healthy Skin Month in the United States. Sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), this public health awareness campaign aims to educate people about the importance of having healthy skin.

Sometimes people don’t realize the changes in skin can be a sign of serious issues like autoimmune disease, infection, or skin cancer. Raising awareness and educating people about skin health will help them notice any unusual changes that happen in their skin. This helps detect the skin problem early when it is highly treatable. According to Pharmacy Times, more than 1 million Americans are living with melanoma. If detected early, melanoma is highly treatable. National Healthy Skin Month reminds people to review common skin problems and the treatments for them.

As winter sets in, the skin will tend to turn dry and dull due to the lack of moisture. This is the right time to make people think about skin care. This campaign also provides the opportunity to promote skin care in general. Basic skin problems like dryness, acne, etc. can be treated by taking proper care of your skin. For instance, using product that is not suitable for your skin can damage it. It’s very important to know your skin type and buy a product that suits it.

Skincare is important because skin is the largest organ and outer covering of the body. It plays a vital role in protecting you from outside pathogens, holds all your internal organs together, holds body fluids to prevent dehydration, keeps your body temperature even, and more.

With all this in mind, here are some tips to help you achieve healthy skin:

  • Know your skin type and choose skin products based on that.
  • Avoid taking a long steamy shower. It is better to take a lukewarm shower for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Choose a cleanser based on your skin type. Use moisturizing cleanser or gel to cleanse your skin every day. Avoid products that contain chemicals such as alcohol, added fragrances, etc. as they strip away natural oils.
  • Choose moisturizer or body lotion carefully. Oil-based products are recommended over water-based products as they retain important hydrating oils. To lock down as much moisture as possible, apply the moisturizer immediately after washing your skin.
  • Don’t forget your lips – applying moisturizing balm on your lips can keep them from getting dry and chapped.
  • Whether it is summer or winter, wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection and protective clothing whenever you step out in the sun. Even if it is winter, the sun’s UV rays can damage the skin and cause wrinkles, liver spots, dryness, and cancer. Make sure you reapply sunscreen after two hours and after heavy sweating.
  • Always stay hydrated and eat right. A healthy diet can help a lot when it comes to maintaining healthy skin.
  • Avoid smoking as it contributes to wrinkles and makes the skin look older.
  • People tend to crank up the heat inside when it is chilly outside, but central heating can make the air in the house even drier. Keep the setting cool yet comfortable (68°F to 72°F) to maintain healthy skin.
  • Change wet clothes quickly to avoid itching.

Develop a skincare routine that will keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Celebrate National Healthy Skin Month by sharing these tips and spreading awareness about skin health.

Try these Home Remedies to Eliminate Whiteheads

Whiteheads

Whiteheads are a mild form of acne that is formed when the dead skin cells, bacteria, or oil become trapped within the pores. Understanding how whiteheads are formed would be helpful to prevent breakouts. Clogged pores occur due to hormonal changes and increased production of sebum or oil from the pores in certain stages of your life such as puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. The over-production of oil causes the pores to get clogged, leading to whiteheads and triggering acne.

Factors contributing to the formation of whiteheads include:

  • Intake of contraceptives that contain progesterone only may increase hormone levels and cause acne
  • Genetics
  • Constant friction in areas like the chin due to a chin-strap on athletic gear

Some evidence suggests that consuming omega-3 fatty acids and reducing the consumption of dairy products including milk, cheese, cream, and yoghurt, and foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can reduce/prevent acne breakouts.

Foods to avoid: According to American Diabetes Association, the following foods that are high in GIs:

  • White breads and bagels
  • Sweetened breakfast cereals such as corn flakes, puffed rice, and bran flakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruits and vegetables including pineapples, potatoes, and pumpkin
  • Enriched pastas, such as rice-based pasta
  • Short grain white rice
  • Snack foods like pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn etc

Food to include in your diet: Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and improve the symptoms of acne are:

  • Fish such salmon, mackerel, and sardines
  • Pastured eggs
  • Soy products
  • Spinach
  • Navy beans
  • Mustard seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Wild Rice

To protect your skin and keep whiteheads at bay, it’s important to wear sunscreen with SPF 15. Here are some home remedies to fight whiteheads:

  • Vitamin A and mild retinoid creams: Many facial creams and face washes contain Vitamin A which promotes skin growth, reduces inflammation, and is also a strong antioxidant. It can be purchased as a pure oil and applied directly to the skin. Retinoid creams contain stronger forms of Vitamin A. They can be applied all over the face. Start using the cream every second night for a week before increasing treatments to once daily. As the cream makes the skin very sensitive to sun, experts recommend applying it before bed rather than during daylight hours.
  • Facial Steam: Exposing the skin to steam will open up plugged pores. After steaming your face, gently the skin using a facial tissue to remove toxins and whiteheads
  • Tea Tree Oil: This is an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial oil. Tea tree extract is contained in many facial cleansers, washes, and toners. It can be applied directly to the skin using a cotton pad or a clean finger.
  • Honey: The powerful anti-bacterial properties of honey will cause the bacteria to dehydrate and die off. Clean your skin and apply a tablespoon of honey that has been heated until it is slightly warm to the touch. Leave the honey pack on for about 15 minutes.
  • Witch-hazel: This anti-inflammatory herb has astringent and pore-opening qualities which may help to heal whiteheads. It is more convenient to use in astringent form. Apply it to the skin twice a day using a wet cotton ball.

Before you apply anything on your skin, do a patch test for a reaction. If you are dealing with a mild case of whiteheads and acne, these tips may help you manage it. If it doesn’t work, consult your dermatologist. Physicians may prescribe medications or alternative treatments for whiteheads.

Important Tips to Maintain Healthy and Glowing Skin in Summer

Skin in Summer

In summer, your skin is prone to many problems like sunburns, itchy rashes, fungal infections and so on. The summer season can really dehydrate you, because you sweat so much. When the skin gets dehydrated, it becomes more sensitive. It makes your skin acne prone, dry, and what not.

So here are some things you should focus on to maintain a healthy and glowing skin in summer.

  • Stay Hydrated

    Hydrate yourself in two ways,

    1. By drinking lots of water, be sure you drink more water than usual and schedule regular “water breaks” during the day. Hydration can help avoid heat stroke and other debilitating heat-related illness. People having certain health conditions should speak with their doctor, and know the amount of water to consume to avoid dehydration.
    2. Apply a water-based moisturizer at night which is very light, even if you have oily skin. This will help to maintain moisture on your skin. Do not use heavy moisturizers that you use in winter, those won’t work during summer.

  • Apply a Sunscreen (Preferably use a pharmaceutical sunscreen)

    It is very important to wear a sunscreen or sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30 in summer. Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by absorbing them, while a sunblock literally blocks UV rays by forming a physical shield. It minimizes the penetration of UV rays into the skin and the triggering of a variety of skin disorders. It also reduces the risk of skin cancer, keeps the complexion even, protects essential proteins in the skin like keratin and thus maintains healthy skin.

  • Personal hygiene

    Maintain good personal hygiene. Try to wear loose, airy cotton clothes in summer and always keep your genital areas clean and dry. You tend to develop a lot of fungal infections because of sweat. So, before leaving the house sprinkle anti-fungal powder (like candid, absorber), because it prevents the growth of fungus.

  • Eat foods that have high water content

    Healthy eating is a must in summer because this will help to detox your body. Apples, Oranges, Cucumber etc are high water content foods. Try fruits that are rich in vitamin C because they contain essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that boost collagen production which fights ageing and wrinkles, and helps to maintain younger-looking skin by protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

  • Exfoliate

    Rub gently on your skin with a scrub in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells. It helps to speed up the skin’s rejuvenating process and make it look younger. Without proper exfoliation, dead skin cells can get trapped on the skin’s surface leading to clogged pores, dark spots, dullness, and dryness. So, exfoliate for about 30 seconds and rinse off with lukewarm water. It will brighten the skin, soften skin texture, unclog pores, reduce blackheads, enhance skin clarity, and control excess oil.

  • Carry a thermal water mist

    In summer, carry a thermal water mist, so that you can spray it on your face whenever you are sweating. This will help to restore moisture to your skin and leave your skin hydrated. If you have a problem skin, you must consult a doctor and get reputable brands; otherwise it could be any brand.

  • Minimal makeup

    Avoid heavy and high coverage foundations. This is because your skin needs to breathe when the weather is super-hot. You can use tinted moisturizers that have medium coverage which helps to cover darks spots and other imperfections. Keep your lips moisturized with a lip balm or use more of a gloss than matte lipstick.

  • Wash your face

    You perspire more in summer, so wash your face more than usual. Do it at least twice a day. Before going to bed wash your face well because all the makeup, dirt, oil and sweat clog the pores in your face. When pores are clogged, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads and acne.

  • Care for your feet

    Give yourself a pedicure at home. You can use a scrub to remove dead and dry skin cells. Apply moisturizer in the morning after your shower and at night. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher whenever you go out, to secure your feet against skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin on your feet.

  • Resting time is important

    During summer, the days are longer and most of us tend to be active for longer. Getting enough sleep will help to repair and maintain healthy skin. It prevents signs of ageing, improves skin barrier function and makes you look fresher and more attractive.
    It lowers your risk for serious health problems, reduces stress and improves your mood. It helps you to stay at a healthy weight.

Unless you take good care of your skin, the rashes and patches will stay on your skin for a long time. Keep in mind that taking a warm shower is more effective than cold shower, because cold shower leads to decreased blood flow and the heat is conserved in the body, and minutes later you feel hot again. But taking a warm shower helps you to increase the blood flow and the heat is lost to the environment.

Follow these tips to help restore your skin’s natural balance and keep it well protected from the heat of summer.

Common Skin Care Myths and the Facts [INFOGRAPHIC]

We are exposed to lot of skincare information, especially on the Internet. There are plenty of misconceptions about what should and shouldn’t be used on skin. Knowing the difference between myth and fact can lead to better decisions when caring for your skin.

Here are some common skincare myths that you need to stop believing.

Check out the infographic below

Skin Care Myths and the Facts

Can Facial Exercises Preserve a Youthful Look?

Facial aging is a natural process and halting this is beyond us. However, there are ways to improve telltale signs of aging and even delay their appearance. Yes, you heard right! Harvard Health reported on a new study published in JAMA Dermatology found that routine facial exercises showed promising results and may slow the unrelenting tide of time.

In addition to external factors such as skin type, sun exposure, facial movement, and routine skin care, changes in facial skin such as sagging and wrinkles are caused by loss of fat and soft tissue or muscle. The researchers assessed whether facial exercise could address the loss of fat and soft tissue and improve skin appearance.

Facial Exercises Preserve a Youthful Look

The main objectives of the study were to:

  • Determine the association of a facial muscle exercise program with the appearance of the face and neck
  • Measure participant satisfaction with facial appearance before and after completion of the exercise program

The researchers enrolled 27 women between the ages of 40 and 65 to perform 30-minute facial exercises every day for eight weeks, and then continue every other day for a total of 20 weeks. Following this, the participants’ before and after photos were reviewed by dermatologists who did not know the participants. The dermatologists:

  • Reported an improvement in cheek fullness
  • Estimated the age of the participants at 51 years of age at the start of the program and 48 at the end of the 20-week study.

All the participants themselves felt that their facial appearance had improved at the end of the study.

Your face has over 50 diverse muscles which might be rarely used. Regular facial muscles exercises promote the circulation of blood to the different areas of the face, replenishing the oxygen supply in the muscles and the skin, which in turn, results in a bright complexion and beautiful healthy glow.

Here are five anti-aging facial exercises that experts recommend:

  • The V: Press both middle fingers together at the inner corner of the eyebrows. Then, apply pressure to the outer corners of the eyebrows using the index fingers. Look to the ceiling, and raise the lower eyelids upwards to make a strong squint, and then relax. Repeat this activity six times and finish by squeezing eyes shut tightly for 10 seconds. This facial exercise may help with drooping eyelids, crow’s feet, eye bags and puffiness and serve as a great alternative to Botox and eye surgery.
  • The Smile Smoother: This exercise start by hiding your teeth with the lips to make an ‘O’ shape with the mouth and then smiling widely while keeping the teeth hidden. Repeat six times. Next, hold the smile shape while placing one index finger on the chin. Then start to move the jaw up and down as the head tilts gently back. Relax and repeat twice more. Being an excellent alternative for lower face lift and fillers, this exercise is good for cheek lines and sagging skin.
  • Smooth the brow: Place both hands on the forehead facing inwards and spread all of the fingers out between the eyebrows and hairline. Gently sweep the fingers outwards across the forehead, applying light pressure to tighten the skin. Relax and repeat 10 times. This exercise is good for horizontal forehead lines.
  • Flirty eyes: An alternative for eyebrow lift, this facial exercise is good for deep eye hollows and drooping eye brows. Start by placing an index finger under each eye, pointing towards the nose and hide the teeth and tease the top lip and bottom lip away from each other at the mouth. Flutter the upper eyelids while gazing at the ceiling for 30 seconds.
  • The giraffe: Looking straight ahead, place the finger tips at the bottom of the neck and lightly stroke the skin downwards with the head tilted back. This facial exercise is good for correcting lines and loose skin on the neck.

Facial exercises are free and almost certainly not harmful. However, they could be too time-consuming, and might not work for some people. Fortunately, there are various minimally-invasive cosmetic surgery treatments that can address facial aesthetic concerns safely and effectively, and help take years off your face. Using broad-spectrum, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen daily can protect the skin from harmful UV rays.