Acne

Discover more about acne and how to fight it!

Causes of acne are multiple. Your trusty cellphone, for example, keeps you close to your friends, but also to your enemies as it’s a propagator of nasty bacteria and dirt. Learn more with us on what causes acne, and pick up quick tips and solutions to help keep it at bay for clear, radiant skin from within.

Did you know your skin weighs twice as much as your brain? That its even heavier than your intestines? Many of us take our skin for granted, but we really should take better care of it. Here are some fun facts about skin.

1. The Skin Is The Largest Organ

Fun facts about skin: It's the largest and heaviest organ

Credit: Milada Vigerova

Skin covers all body surfaces. The skin of an average adult weighs 8-10 pounds and has an average area of about 22 square feet. The purpose is to protect the body from injury, infection, heat, cold, and store water, fat and vitamins. The human skin is rejuvenated about once every four weeks.

Thinking of your skin as an organ, rather than something that we can use and abuse, puts things in proper perspective. Your skin is a wonderfully resilient organ and for the most part, can survive virtually any form of punishment. The skin is the body’s boundary: tough enough to resist all sorts of environmental assaults, yet sensitive enough to feel a breeze.

2. Your Skin Is Made Up Of 3 Layers

Fun facts about skin: It's made of three layers

Your skin has three major layers – epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.

The epidermis is waterproof, preventing unnecessary loss of water across the body surface. The skin’s rich abundance of blood flow and sweat glands regulate the loss of heat from the body, helping to control body temperature.

The dermis is the second major layer of the skin. It is a strong, flexible connective tissue. The dermis is richly supplied with nerve fibres and blood vessels. The blood vessels of the dermis are so extensive that it can hold 5% of all blood in the body. When organs need more blood, e.g. exercising muscles, the nervous system constricts the blood vessel located in the dermis. This shunts more blood into the general circulation, making it available to the muscles and other organs.

The hypodermis is also called the subcutaneous layer. It consists of both areolar and adipose connective tissue, although the adipose tissue normally dominates. Besides storing fat, the hypodermis anchors the skin to the underlying structures (mostly to muscles) and allows the skin to slide relatively freely over those structures. Sliding skin protects us by ensuring most blows just glance off our bodies.

3. Dusty House? That’s Your Dead Skin

A large amount of the dust in your home is actually dead skin. Your skin loses about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells from the surface almost every minute, even though you do not see it happening. This is why exfoliating is so important to keep that healthy glow! It sheds a layer of these dead cells every 24 hours and renews itself about every 28 days. Unfortunately, this process slows as you age.

4. Your Brother Isn’t Heavy, But Your Skin Is

The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as their brain.  After the skin, here are the five heaviest organs in the body:

  1. Intestines – 7.5 pounds (4 pounds for the large intestine, 3.5 pounds for the small)
  2. Lungs – 5 pounds (2.5 pounds each)
  3. Liver – 3.2 pounds
  4. Brain – 3 pounds
  5. Heart – 0.6 pounds

5. The Skin On Your Lips Is Very Sensitive

Fun facts about skin: The Skin On Your Lips Is Very Sensitive

Credit: freestocks.org

The skin on your lips is 200 times more sensitive than that on your fingertips. Receptor cells in your body give your brain information — about the world around you and about what’s going on inside of you. Each type of receptor cell is able to give you a different type of information.

So, the greater the number of receptors a body part has, the more sensitive it will be. It is also true that the lips do have many of these touch receptors. When scientists list the top areas of the body in terms of sensitivity, the lips and fingertips are often ranked as the areas with the highest concentrations of receptor cells.

Taking good care of your skin today is going to benefit you not only for now, but for the many years to come. Here are some tips to a healthier, glowing skin.

Drink a little bit of honey water each morning. Honey can benefit your skin. Try changing your morning caffeine to honey water and it will help make your skin appear shiny and keep it smooth.

Are you a smoker? Research shows that smoking will eventually make your skin look older. To achieve healthier looking skin, a key step is to stop smoking. Smoking constricts tiny blood vessels near skin’s surface and hence, causing decreased blood flow. Thus, smoking ages the skin and causes wrinkles. Smoking dries out your lips and eventually your skin.

If you’re looking for matte skin, follow these simple steps. Firstly, start off your day with a facial cleanser than has sulfur as one of its main ingredients. This will keep oil at bay during the day. Secondly, spot-treat your oily T-Zone with over-the-counter blotting sheets. These oil-bashing tips are especially effective during summertime.

Another important role of taking care of your skin is dealing with the food you eat. Staying away from oily foods will help prevent breakouts from occurring. The oil in the food that you eat can seep into your pores and cause blackheads and acnes to form.

Opt for sunless tanning. Using self-tanner or bronzer instead of sun tanning can reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing. Stay away from tanning pills as there is no scientific proof that they work and most are not approved by the FDA.

Oatmeal

You may be surprised to learn that oatmeal; yes that wonderful cereal we enjoy for breakfast, (or maybe not!), is one of the best natural treatments for dry skin. Plain rolled oats, can be used to make a gentle and very effective natural skin cleanser, facial scrub, and soothing facial mask. An excellent multi-purpose skin care treatment, oatmeal helps to relieve dryness, restoring natural moisture balance to aid in healing minor irritations due to the many causes and sources of skin sensitivities. Minor skin irritations can be caused by sensitivities to the ingredients in skin care products, exposure to chemicals found in household cleaning products, exfoliation with the wrong product, excessive scrubbing or rubbing during the exfoliation process, and many other factors. Cleansing the face with oatmeal helps to soothe skin irritation and reduce discomfort.

Oatmeal, when used as a skin cleanser, actually absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while providing very gentle exfoliation, leaving skin smooth, soft, and clean, without soap. As a facial mask, oatmeal deep cleanses pores without irritating and drying out skin. And as a facial scrub, oatmeal gently but effectively removes dead skin cells, to reveal softer, smoother looking skin. In addition, cleansing and exfoliating with oatmeal provides the bonus of a natural, healthy glow.

To enjoy the beauty benefits of oatmeal skin care you will need:

– Rolled oats (not instant) found in the supermarket cereal section

– Blender or food processor

Directions: Grind oats in blender or food processor until oats have the consistency of flour. Pour into a jar, cover tightly, and use as follows.

Oatmeal Facial Cleanser & Scrub: Pour a small amount of ground oatmeal into palm, and add a little water to make a paste. Apply to face and throat and massage onto skin. Rinse. Follow with moisturizer.

Oatmeal Facial Mask: Pour a small amount of ground oatmeal into palm, and add a little water to make a paste. (For a more moisturizing mask, use milk instead of water.) Apply to face and throat and leave on skin for about 5 minutes. Rinse. Follow with moisturizer.

Oatmeal Lemon Facial Mask: Add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to oatmeal and make a paste. Apply to face and throat and leave on skin for 5 minutes. Rinse. Follow with moisturizer. Weekly use of Oatmeal Lemon Facial Mask can help to bleach dark spots and freckles naturally. Lemon juice contains citric acid and vitamin C that functions as natural alpha hydroxy acids to help dissolve dead skin cells for brighter, more even toned skin.

Caution: Fresh lemon juice can cause a tingling sensation that may become uncomfortable. For sensitive skin, dilute lemon juice with an equal amount of water before mixing into oatmeal and applying to skin. If tingling becomes severe, rinse skin immediately with warm water.

Green Tea

Green tea is has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat many ailments for at least 4000 years; however, it’s not until recently that western medicine has begun to pay attention to the many healing properties of Green Tea.

Green tea is one herbal option that you can be used to treat acne.

What is Green Tea?

Green tea comes from the same plant that produces the black tea most of us are used to, but the difference is in the processing. Green tea is dried, but not fermented. The shorter processing gives green tea a lighter flavor than black tea. It also helps keep all the beneficial chemicals intact, which is why green tea is so good for everyone.

Scientific research shows that green tea provides many health benefits. Green tea is a strong antioxidant which plays a key role in preventing cancer. It also has the same effect as your omega 3 fatty acids have on cholesterol; it increases the good cholesterol while lowering the artery clogging bad cholesterol. It also functions as an antibiotic helping the body get rid of infections, it can reduce inflammation, and rid your body of toxins. There are few medical conditions in which drinking green tea has not been reported to help.

How does Green Tea help in acne?

Green tea also helps to reduce inflammation, hormonal activity and aids in detoxification – which is all good news for acne sufferers. With the added benefit that it is safe, it seems that drinking green tea for acne is a win-win situation. It has many beneficial properties which promote good all-round health with little or no known side effects and for the price, it’s definitely a herbal treatment thats worth trying.

What about wrinkles, skin sag and other signs of aging?

Can green tea help? Considering their well-documented antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, topical green tea polyphenols are likely to slow down the development of some signs of aging. Whether green tea can actually diminish wrinkles and prevent skin from sagging is far more uncertain.

P.s A glass of whisky in Scotland in the thirties cost lesser than a cup of tea. 

Many people actually know that sleep deprivation causes acne — but how?

Sleep Deprivation: How Does It Lead To Acne?

Credit: Vladislav Muslakov

The Importance Of Sleep

It is just like food and air — we need sleep. Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to death, just as surely as starvation does.

Consider sleep as maintenance time. It affects both the mind and body and when you don’t get enough of it, both suffer and eventually break down. Lack of sleep, also called sleep deprivation, can lead to acne and other health issues, some of which are extremely serious. You’ve been there — times when you can’t get out of bed and feel tired and listless the whole day.

There is no magical number of hours you need to sleep. Sleep deprivation has more to do with the quality of your sleep than the number of hours. That explains why some people can sleep 5 hours a night and feel rested and energized, while another can sleep 10 and still wake up tired and groggy.

Sleep Deprivation Causes Acne

Sleep Deprivation Causes Acne

Credit: Rac

When you sleep late, you’ll notice that your skin actually secretes more sebum, and this explains why it probably results in new acne. Lack of sleep promotes stress, causing an increase in the substance cortisol in the body. Cortisol, in turn, causes the skin to secrete more sebum, which results in acne. suggested that stress-related inflammation may be to blame for the breakouts.

“Our research suggests that acne severity associated with stress may result from factors others than sebum quantity. It’s possible that inflammation may be involved.”
– Dr. Gil Yosipovich, Professor of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Another factor connecting sleep deprivation to acne is the increase in insulin resistance, which can contribute to one becoming acne-prone. This is because insulin resistance can increase glucose or sugar, one of the major causes of acne.

Consequences of sleep deficiency

Not getting enough sleep or having sleep difficulties can:

  • Limit your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems.
    You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life
  • Make you more prone to pimples.
    Lack of sleep can contribute to acne and other skin problems
  • Lead to aggressive or inappropriate behaviour such as yelling at your friends or being impatient with your teachers or family members
  • Cause you to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods like sweets and fried foods that lead to weight gain
  • Heighten the effects of alcohol and possibly increase the use of caffeine and nicotine
  • Contribute to illness, not using equipment safely or driving drowsily

But how do you know that you are getting just the right amount of sleep?

A few questions to ponder — Do you:

  • Feel like you could use more energy?
  • Often wake up feeling drowsy and tired?
  • Have problems falling asleep?
  • Have problems staying awake without caffeine or other stimulants?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, chances are your sleep could be the reason you sabotaged your efforts to cure acne. Most people don’t get full benefits of your sleep because they sleep ‘poor quality sleep’. So rather than sleeping more, you need to increase the quality of your sleep.

When you learn to maximize the different phases of sleep and balance your inner sleep clock, you can kiss goodbye to your sleep problems. You get the full benefits of sleep and wake up refreshed and full of energy. And at the same time kick acne where it counts.


Updated 22 March 2018
P.S. We stumbled across this informative site with the low-down on more causes of acne, amongst other things. Definitely worth a visit if you have some reading time!