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January 1, 2010, last updated July 1, 2014
By the Editors of MangoBoss
Acne is caused by a combination of bacteria and excess oil in your skin.
While certain foods can trigger release of hormones, in general foods
are not to blame for acne. Instead, the most likely culprits are stress,
bacteria and using products with too much oil.
According to studies, between 79% to 95% of all teenagers suffer
from acne at some point. And about 40% to 54% of adults have acne
during their adult lives.
Men suffer more from acne than women. The reason is that acne
results from a combination of 3 factors, according to a 2009 study from
the Institute of General Physiology and Chemical Biology at the
University of Milan:
-obstruction of the sebaceous follicles in your skin
caused by the abnormal peeling off and scaling of certain follicular cells;
- the over stimulation of the production of an oily substance called
sebum by the hormone androgen; and
-invasion of skin by Propionibacterium acnes, which is the bacteria that
causes inflammation, resulting in redness and pus.
It's that second factor --overstimulation of the sebum caused by the
hormone androgen -- that explains why we men have more acne than
women. We have more androgen and our skin tends to be oilier than
the skin of women. It's teh reason we don't get as wrinkled as we age
but the downside is that we experience acne more often.
Here are the acne tips that work, based upon research:
1. Microwave Your Face Cloth. Acne is caused by a combination of
bacteria and oil produced by the pores of your skin. When the oil
reached the surface from the base of the pores, it combines with
bacteria that happens to be lying around on the surface, and the result
is an outbreak. What's the major source of bacteria on your face? Your
facecloth. Face cloths are like happy breeding grounds for bacteria.
They are moist and , after they've been used just once, they are dirty.
A single bacteria cell multiplies to 4 million bacteria cells within 72 hours.
Unless you plan on using a new face cloth every day, the best way to
keep the bacteria under control is t pop it in the microwave for 2
minutes. According to the International Scientific Forum on Home
Hygiene, microwaving your face cloth for 2 minutes on full power will
kill almost all bacteria, save one (bacillus cereus), and microwaving for
5 minutes will kill that stubborn one as well.
Make sure your face cloth is wet when you microwave it. Otherwise it
can dry out and catch fire.
2. Open Your Pores. You have to open up the pores of your skin to
wash them thoroughly. Otherwise, the bacteria just stays in the pores.
To open your pores, just use warm/hot water from your shower or
from the faucet. Just wipe your face with a clean face cloth after you
run hot water on it. Then, wash with glycerin (clear) soap.
Article Continues Below.
3. Use Lemons. Lemons are one of your best allies against acne. All
effective acne treatments use some form of acid. Read the labels and
you will see that every single one contains some type of acid (often
salicylic acid, bezoyl peroxide or glycolic acid ). Lemon juice contains
citric acid. The citric acid in lemon juice is just as effective as the acids
found in most acne treatments for killing the bacteria that cause acne.
Don't pour it all over your face. Any acid can irritate sensitive skin.
Take a cotton tip, dip it in fresh lemon juice, and apply it to each out
break. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Finish with a cold rinse to re-close the pores against any further
invasion by bacteria.
4. Tooth paste. Tooth paste is a tried and true remedy for acne
outbreaks. Just dab it directly on the outbreak. It may take a few days
but it works.
5. Go Low Carb and Very Low Sugar. There are several research
studies, including one from the 2009 study conducted at the University
of Milan mentioned above, which have found a link between what you
eat and your risk for acne. This study observed that in societies where
sugar is not consumed as much --- such as the Inuits and the Japanese
of Okinawa--- acne is rare. The researchers looked at all other existing
studies on the subject and inferred that eating a low glycemic diet, one
that does not trigger a rise in your insulin levels, will avoid setting off
the "hormonal cascade" that results in acne.
A simple low glycemic diet would feature greens and other vegetables
(except starchy ones such as carrots and potatoes) as well as lean
meats, fish and poultry. Eating low-glycemic means avoiding refined
carbohydrates such as white bread, french fries and potato chips as
well as most desserts.
A new study has cast doubt on the role that sugar plays in causing
acne. The 2014 study was led by doctors at the Kecioren Training and
Research Hospital, Ministry of Health, in Ankara, Turkey. The study
looked at 35 patients all of whom were over 25 years old and suffered
from acne (acne vulgaris). After comparing the insulin and fasting
blood sugar levels of the patients, the doctors could find no correlation
between having a normal blood sugar level and your risk for acne.
We are cautious about throwing out all the previous research warning
against sugar's role in causing acne. The study from Turkey was small,
only involving 35 patients. A larger study would give us more
confidence in its conclusions.
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