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.

Blackheads can get really unsightly, affecting your overall skin appearance and making it look dull and congested. But not to worry, you’re not alone in this battle against blackheads. It is a very common problem, among both males and females. So we’ve decided to compile some easy to prepare face masks which helps you say goodbye to blackheads…

Here are some DIY face masks that aid in blackhead removal: 

1. Baking Soda 
This is such an easily accessible ingredient, but yet so effective when it comes to removing blackheads.  Here’s how you can use baking soda to remove blackheads – mix baking soda with water to form a mixture of paste. Then apply it to your face and leave on for around 5- 10 minutes, before you start gently massaging and exfoliating your skin. Rinse off with warm water and say hello to a cleaner and smoother skin!

2. Lemon Juice & Sugar
Mix a few drops of lemon juice into a tablespoon of sugar, then gently spread the mixture on the affected areas of your face while massaging in circular motion. (Remember to be gentle as sugar is quite coarse and you don’t want to hurt your skin). Rinse off with warm water. Try to use this mask at night before you sleep as lemon and lemon juice may be drying for your skin, making it more vulnerable to sun damage. Also, always remember to use sunscreen after that and avoid sun activity for the next day.

3. Egg White
Add a teaspoon of honey into your egg white and apply the mixture onto affected areas. Leave on for about 5-10 minutes, then gently scrub it off using a warm damp cloth. Other than removing your blackheads, it also tightens your skin, so you can use this mask for your entire face as well 🙂

4. Oatmeal & Yoghurt
Mix 1 tablespoons of plain yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of oatmeal (finely ground) and a few drops of honey together. Apply the mask on your face and leave it on for around 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and voila, you’d have softer skin!

You can use the recommended masks once or twice a week (except the lemon juice & sugar mask as it may over dry the skin, so you might want to stick to 1 application per month) for best results! 😀

Here are some quick and easy DIY remedies compiled for you to use at home everyday. Choose a few that suit your skin’s needs and reveal more radiant, youthful, smoother and softer skin!

For dry skin

Plain Yoghurt & Oatmeal Masks

yogurt-300x300wheat

Ingredients:

–        2 tbsp of plain yoghurt
–        1-2 tbsp of cooked oatmeal
–        1 tbsp of honey

Steps:

  1. Mix everything into a paste
  2. Apply on face and leave on for 10-15 minutes
  3. Rinse off with warm water

Apple-Honey Mask

Khasiat-Kulit-Manggishoney

Ingredients:

–        1 apple
–        1 tbsp of honey

Steps:

  1. Blend both apple and honey in a blender until smooth
  2. Apply on your face and leave on for 15 minutes
  3. Rinse off

 

For oily skin

Lemon Sugar Scrub

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Ingredients:

–        ½ lemon
–        ½ cup sugar
–        1 tbsp of honey
–        1 tbsp of olive oil

Steps:

  1. Add all ingredients together and mix, then place your mixture in a jar
  2. You may concentrate application on rougher and duller areas like elbows and knees
  3. When applying on face, use in gentle circular motion
  4. Best to use once or twice weekly

 

For acneic skin

Plain Yoghurt & Aspirin Masks

yogurt-300x300aspirin_2945793k

Ingredients:

–        2-3 tbsp of plain yoghurt
–        5 crushed aspirin
–        1 tbsp of honey

Steps:

  1. Mix everything into a paste
  2. Apply on face and leave on for 10-15 minutes
  3. Rinse off with warm water

 

For dull skin

Honey-Fruit Mask

peeled-bananahoney

Ingrediens:

–        1 Banana
–        1 tsp of honey

Khasiat-Kulit-Manggishoney

or
Ingredients:
–        1 apple
–        1 tsp of honey

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or

Ingredients:

–        1 lemon
–        1 tsp of honey

Steps:

  1. Mix the juice of your selected fruit with honey
  2. Apply on face and leave on for 10-15 minutes
  3. Rinse off with warm water

 

For dark circles

  egg-white

Egg white eye mask

Ingredients:
–        1 egg white

Steps:

  1. Beat 1 egg white and apply it under your eye
  2. Leave on for 15 minutes
  3. Rinse off with warm water

Good luck! And remember to be diligent in your skin care routine, it will certainly pay off 🙂

Cleopatra once said that aloe is ‘the very last present from God’, and Queen Nerfertiti, the most beautiful women in Ancient Egypt, was a huge fan of aloe vera gel. Today, we’ll tell you why, and you could look just as amazing as them!

Given that aloe is a desert plant. It absorbs and stores water extremely effectively, and can survive for 7 years with minimal water intake from its own leaves, making it an extremely effective hydrator. Besides its strong hydrating ability, it contains an extensive list of nutrients like Vitamin A, B, B1, B2, C, E, niacinamide, choline, 18 amino acid, copper, iron and etc. Now, if this is still not able to ‘wow’ you, we’d share with you the wondrous benefits that aloe brings to your skin.

  Benefits of Aloe

1.       Aloe Fights our Common Enemy –Acne

The culprit of acne is likely to be Androgen hormones. Androgens increase the rate of cell turnover, thickening the skin around the opening of the follicle. This increases blockages in this area. Androgens also increase the flow of sebum. When your skin’s pores are clogged and the sebum is not cleared properly, acne is formed.

This is when aloe comes in to ease our skin situation with two hormones called, Auxin and Gibberellin. These hormones heal wounds and reduce redness and inflammation. Gibberellin also stimulates cell growth. This is how aloe fights our common enemy, acne, by introducing Auxin and Gibberlin hormones, and deter the secretion of Androgens.

2.       Aloe Helps us Turn Back the Clock

Aloe has a lot of anti-ageing ingredients. It contains Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene which improve skin firmness and keep our skin hydrated. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen and is an antioxidant that helps to deal with skin damages caused by free radicals. Vitamin E and beta-carotene are also packed with antioxidants slowing down the ageing process. With these anti-ageing properties, aloe helps you turn back the clock and look youthful and rejuvenated once again!

 3.       Aloe Quenches our Skin

Aloe is a perfect hydrator for our skin because it is able to penetrate into the deepest layer of our skin, quenching it from deep within. It does not give a greasy feeling, making it suitable even for oily complexions.

 4.       Aloe Heals our Skin with its Amazing Healing Powers

Aloe’s healing properties, together with the ability to penetrate deep into our skin, helps to speed up the healing process. It forms a protective layer on top of the epidermis and replenishes our skin’s moisture level, enhancing the healing system. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal functions also stimulate our skin’s immune system, relieving tightness, redness and peeling.

Now, the amazing benefits of this Miracle plant can be optimized with the following tips.

Useful Aloe Tips

1.       Add oil

Aloe is mostly comprised of water. Thus, adding facial oil to aloe vera gel before application will balance water and oil better. Oil makes aloe vera gel a more effective moisturizer for dry skin.

2.       Face Mask

Put refrigerated aloe vera gel on a dry mask sheet and apply the mask on your skin. Gently remove the aloe facial mask after 15 minutes. It will hydrate and soothe your skin immediately and create a protective layer of moisture preventing fine wrinkles from appearing. It also whitens overall skin and reduces dark spots. Owing it to anti-bacterial effect, this mask also helps to treat pimples.

If you like, you can add other ingredients such as honey, sugar, egg etc. to make a facemask suited to your skincare needs.

3.       Eye Mask

The eye area is the most sensitive area on our face and gets dry and irritated easily. Aloe, being a mild and natural ingredient, is capable of hydrating and treating even the most vulnerable areas and most sensitive skins. Put aloe vera gel on a cotton pad and place it on your eyelids. Remove the pad after 10 minutes. It will reduce dark circles and the appearance of fine lines.

4.       Hair Essence

Enzymes and nutrients in aloe vera promote hair growth and destroy excessive dead skin cells. Its moisturizing properties also help condition your scalp and hair, reducing the appearance of dandruff. Simply apply aloe vera gel to your hair and scalp, and feel the difference!

5.       Aloe Vera & Oatmeal Exfoliation

Exfoliation is an important step in your skincare regime. It removes dead skin cells, which will lead to better absorption of your toner and moisturizer.

  • Ingredients: Aloe vera gel 2 tsps, Oatmeal 2 tsps, Brown sugar 2 tsps, Lemon juice 1 tsp

Steps:

  • Grind oatmeal and mix all ingredients together.
  • Wet your skin with warm water and put on the mixture.
  • Massage your face for a while and wash it off.
  • Oatmeal is a natural exfoliator that does not dry your skin, while aloe will soothe and hydrate your skin.

The Stabilization Process

In order for aloe to be utilized as an ingredient for cosmetic products, it must undergo a stabilization process. Like all other vegetables and fruits, oxidation process occurs from 30 minutes after aloe harvest. Therefore, stabilization ensures the quality and preservation of aloe gel.

Aloe Vera: The Last Present from God

Aloe Vera: The Last Present from God

 

Porcelain’s Soothe, Aloe Recovery Gel, A Summer Must – Have

Made up of 99% stabilized Aloe Vera, Porcelain Aloe Recovery Gel is a feathery light, ultra soothing gel that heals and hydrates the skin. Perfect for skin suffering from sensitivity due to acne and dermatological procedures, it eases skin irritation, reduces inflammation and works quickly to repair delicate skin.

During the summer climate, after staying under the scorching heat for a few hours, it is common to suffer from a sunburn or skin irritation. Aloe Recovery Gel calms stressed skin and shields it from environmental aggressors, making it a summer must-have!

 

For every strand of hair on your body, there is a corresponding pore. We can’t see all the skin pores, and the same holds true for hair. While we share the same number of hair as apes, human hair is much less coarse, and most are so wispy they can’t really be seen.

Skin Pores: How Do They Work?

Credit: Gabriela Mendes

The average adult has around 5 million hairs on his or her body. If you think you suffer from large pores and feel low about it, take heart! 4.9 million or so of them are nice and tiny.

Maintaining clean, healthy skin pores is important for maintaining healthy (and healthy-looking) skin. Dirt and oil collect around them like leaves and debris collect around a storm drain. When these get clogged, it creates a pile-up of oil and dead skin cells in the follicle. Soon, bacteria make their way to the blockage, and the growth in bacteria causes inflammation.

Now, if you keep squeezing, poking and rubbing the blocked pore, it doesn’t help one bit. It only adds more oil, dirt and unwelcome physical pressure — everything a zit needs to flourish. Worse, you may just make those pores stretch more.

While there isn’t a permanent solution to shrink skin pores, there are ways you can make them look smaller.

To learn more about skin pores, read on!

The Function of Skin Pores

The Function of Skin Pores

Credit: Tookapic

Our skin is abundant with hair follicles, tiny shafts through which hair can grow.

“Follicles” and “pores” are sometimes used interchangeably, and other times referred to as two different things. In truth, the pore is simply the opening on the skin of the hair follicle, which extends downward through several layers of skin.

If a hair follicle were a tall chimney, the pore would be the opening at the top of the chimney. Instead of emitting smoke, the follicle emits a shaft of hair. Skin cells are constantly dying inside the follicle. Additionally, small sebaceous glands located inside the follicle (picture a cul-de-sac located to the side of an otherwise straight road) produce oil called sebum. Sebum is a mixture of fats, proteins, cholesterol and inorganic salts. It travels up the follicle and (in a perfect world) exits through the pore. It also carries dead skin cells found within the follicle up to the skin’s surface.

What about sweat — doesn’t that come out of the same pores? No. Sweat is produced by separate glands that also heavily populate your skin. However, it does still affect your skin’s appearance. Once it reaches the surface, it dries and leaves salts behind that can block your pores.

This mixture of oil and dead skin cells helps to coat your skin, protecting it from bacteria, viruses, wind and rain. Sometimes, though, the pore is occluded (blocked) and the materials trying to get out can’t, resulting in acne.

If you have large pores, here’s some good news. As we age, our skin produces less oil, leading to dryness. This dryness, coupled with environmental damage to the skin, causes the skin to age and wrinkle. Large pores produce more oil, and this comes in handy later in life when your skin needs it most.

Maintenance of Skin Pores

Maintenance of Skin Pores

Credit: Kevin Laminto

Many people don’t like having noticeable pores, but there are steps you can take to minimize their appearance:

  • If you use makeup, wash it off every night with a gentle cleanser to prevent pore blockage.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. The sun and ageing thicken the outer layer of skin, and as the tide of skin cells rises, they form a tiny volcano rim around pores. This makes pores seem bigger than they really are.
  • Oily-looking skin tends to make pores look larger. Wash your face regularly with mild, hydrating cleansers.
  • Debris, such as dead skin cells, collects around the edges of pores, making them look bigger. Topical Vitamin A treatments can prevent skin cells in the pore from sticking and clogging it up, and help reduce the ridges or rims that develop around pores.
  • Exfoliating treatments like microdermabrasion (where tiny particles are blasted against your face and immediately vacuumed back up) remove dead skin layers with the goal of making your skin look smoother. Some people opt for chemical peels or laser resurfacing, but these are more intensive procedures and carry the possibility of unwanted side effects.

As frustrating as it can be to have large pores, you can minimize their appearance — and your frustration — through regular care and maintenance.

Understanding acne (or misunderstanding it) is a common thing. Acne is a skin problem that affects almost all teenagers. The action of hormones on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) causes the condition. The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that empties onto the skin surface through the hair follicle opening (pore). The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria that normally live on the skin to grow in the follicle openings. When this happens, pores become clogged and pimples develop.

Understanding Acne: Acne is a skin problem that affects almost all teenagers, especially males

Pimples can be one of the following kinds:

  • Comedones: Non-inflammatory papules that can be open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads).
  • Papules: Lesions that are inflamed and can be tender to the touch. These usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin.
  • Pustules: Lesions that are inflamed and filled with pus. They may be red at the base.
  • Nodules: Solid lesions that are large, painful, and lodged deep within the skin.
  • Cysts: Pus-filled lesions deep under the skin. These may cause scarring and pain.

In most cases, pimples occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne does not present a serious health risk, but severe acne can result in permanent scarring. In addition, acne can have significant physical and psychological consequences, such as poor self-image, social inhibition, and anxiety.

Why Do Some People Get Acne and Others Don’t?Understanding Acne: Difference between skin with and without acne

It is not clear why; the exact cause of acne is not known. But one important factor is an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. These increase in both boys and girls during puberty, and cause sebaceous glands (oil glands) to enlarge and produce more sebum. Androgens also can increase during pregnancy due to hormonal changes or starting / stopping birth control pills.

Another cause of acne is genetics. Researchers believe that the tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents. In addition, some drugs (for example, anti-epilepsy medication, prednisone, androgens, and lithium) are known to cause acne. Cosmetics that have a greasy consistency may change the cells of the follicles, causing them to stick together and resulting in a plugged pore. Water-based products are less likely to cause acne.

Things that can make acne worse include:

  • Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin; harsh scrubbing
  • Picking or squeezing blemishes
  • Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
  • Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2-7  days before the start of the menstrual period
  • Stress

Other factors that were previously thought to make acne worse do not seem to have an effect on the development of acne. These factors include chocolate, greasy foods, and dirty skin.

What Does Acne Look Like?

Acne can appear as one of the following:

  • Whiteheads: White dots. Basically pores impacted with oil and skin covered by skin layers.
  • Blackheads: Black bumps. Basically impacted pores out of which congestion pushes from the follicles. The black color is not from dirt, but rather, bacteria and matter that react with oxygen.
  • Papules, pustules or nodules: More serious lesions that appear red and swollen due to inflammation or infection around the clogged follicles. Often painful and feel hard.
  • Cysts: Deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.

Acne Prevention Tips

  • Don’t over wash or use harsh scrubs. Remember, acne is not caused by dirt. Two gentle washings a day is sufficient. Too much cleansing can leave skin irritated and dry, triggering increased oil production and increasing the likelihood of pimples.
  • Use oil-free, non-comedogenic products (these won’t clog pores)
  • Don’t squeeze or pick blemishes. Popping pimples can drive acne bacteria deeper into the skin. Picking can lead to more inflammation and permanent scarring.

Don’t let acne define who you are. Do the things you can to improve your skin, and then get back to doing the things you enjoy.