What is Acne?

Treating acne requires a combination of internal and external measures. The internal refers to the diet, more fruit and vegetables, plenty of water and cutting back on the processed food is a good start although chocolate hasn’t been definitively linked with acne yet.

The external side of things involves what you use on your skin. There are a myriad of acne treatments on the market and it is difficult to know where to start and what is effective. Basically, any effective acne skincare regime will include the following things:

Deep cleansing which might include a cream based cleanser interchanged with a microdermabrasion scrub to refine the pores. Next, apply an AHA based topical acne serum or moisturizer to provide targeted treatment. You may also need an oil-free moisturizer if your skin is combination or on the dry side. Although sun light can cause permanent damage to your skin a little bit of sun exposure can temporarily help an acne breakout by killing the bacteria on your skin.

Overall, it is best to avoid sun exposure however as it may promote scarring when your acne clears. For this reason try to find a cream with added SPF, this is especially important if using medicated treatments on your skin.
In addition to general good health these skin care tips should help to minimize acne and keep it under control.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate in Skin care

I’ve been doing a bit of research on the use of sodium laurel sulfate in skin care recently as it is an ingredient that can potentially irritate the skin, especially with large quantities and prolonged use. For this reason I would not use a SLS containing product on my face for a prolonged period of time, such as a mask or a deep cleanser which I massage into the skin for a few minutes. I would happily use it for quick cleansing however. It is quite a common ingredient in skin care, but at low levels is relatively harmless. However trials of prolonged use with large amounts do produce skin irritation, so if you are currently experiencing eczema, psoriasis or any other type of dermatitis it may be an idea to cut back on SLS containing products to see how your skin responds. I have been looking into SLS free cleansers and skin care, but also SLF free shampoo’s as it is quite a common ingredient in hair care products as well. One of the ’staples’ I recommend for sensitive eczema prone skin actualy does have SLS in it and that’s Cetaphil. I would still use Cetaphil on my body however I’ve stopped using it on the sensitive skin on my face for this reason, although I still think it is an acceptable inexpensive cleanser for most people. Also, I like to leave my cleanser on my skin for extended periods of time, to let them do their thing, and that is exactly the type of use where sodium lauryl sulfate can actually cause irritation. Why is it used you might ask? Well, it is an effective cleanser and since things like shampoos and face cleansers are usually only used for short periods of time, a few minutes a day at most. The studies found that much longer periods of exposure are needed before SLS starts to irritate the skin. People with overly sensitive skin, or skin that is already irritated should probably avoid it though, just in case. I don’t believe there have been any studies on if it increases irritation when it’s already present, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do that study so that’s probably reason enough to avoid it when your skin is troubled. By the way, I’m still on a search for a great sodium lauryl sulfate free cleanser and shampoo, if you’ve found a great one please let me know by leaving a comment.