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New Acne Clients:
10 Things You Can Do Right Now
To Help Prevent Breakouts
1. Avoid haircare products, cosmetics and skincare products that contain acne aggravating ingredients.
What are acne aggravating ingredients? They are ingredients that aggravate pre-existing acne (make it worse) and can cause breakouts in non-acne prone individuals. Some common acne aggravating ingredients: Isopropyl myristate found in RetinA, coconut oil, certain algae and shea butter found in many natural products, soy-based ingredients, sodium laureth sulfate found in many facial cleansers and shampoos.
2. Reduce or Omit foods, vitamin supplements and sports drinks & bars that contain iodides (You can keep chocolate in your diet). What are iodides? Iodides are a type of salt. Iodized salt, soy, shellfish, seaweed, fast foods and dairy products( including whey, milk, yogurt, and cheese) and kelp are high in iodides.
3. Stay away from “high androgen” foods. High androgen foods are high in testosterone and boost testosterone levels in both men and women. They exacerbate breakouts. Androgens are found in peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, corn oil, wheat germ, shellfish, organ meats, corn, whey protein, and dairy products.
4. Wash off after swimming. Swimming pool disinfectants contain Iodides and chlorine, which can remain in the water, causing skin problems for frequent swimmers. This can cause major acne flare-ups. Make sure to cleanse thoroughly after swimming.
5. Do not pick. Ever. Picking exacerbates acne. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. You will never clear if you pick. Instead, at first notice of a new breakout, try ice therapy. Massage ice on inflamed breakouts for 2 mins, twice a day. Try to catch them when they are first forming. You can also apply benzoyl peroxide to further calm the inflammation.
6. Use fragrance-free & SLS-free detergents and avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets. Laundry products often contain acne aggravating pore cloggers left behind on sheets and pillowcases! Choose detergents that are free of fragrance and sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS), such as Cheer Free, All Free & Clear, Tide Free or Arm & Hammer Free.
7. Avoid Clarinoics and scrubs. Manual exfoliation has its place but not at the beginning of a clearing protocol. They are too stimulating. Skip the scrubbing.
8. Avoid low-estrogen birth control pills, Norplant, Provera, and Depo-Provera. Not all birth control benefits acne sufferers. Some can actually aggravate it. Low dose BC pills or devices such as the implant, Mirena IUD (Paraguard is ok since it does not have any hormones), NuvaRing and injections all have low amounts of estrogen and high amounts of androgens (a form of testosterone). High androgens promote breakouts. Progesterone hormone replacement Premarin can be problematic. If you have polycystic ovaries, they will cause hormonal changes and breakout.
9. Use a non-pore clogging, “acne safe” (free of aggravating ingredients) SPF. Though may help initially to clear existing blemishes, the sun can exacerbate acne afterward. Sunscreens can be one of worse offenders of pore-clogging ingredients often having coconut oil, shea butter and other oils in them. The best sunscreen is a pure mineral, zinc and/or titanium dioxide SPF.
10. Avoid supplements for hair and those that contain Biotin. Biotin is an acne aggravator. Biotin helps with cell proliferation. Since acne is a condition where too many skin cells are produced daily, this supplement can worsen acne.