Natural Beauty Care Guide
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Acne is one of the biggest challenges to women of color who seek clear, glowing complexion. Though acne pimples are often associated with teenage skin, many adult women complain about unattractive whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and large acne cysts.

What is Acne?

The term acne, or acne vulgaris, applies to a range of skin eruptions that begin below the skinís surface. Beneath each skin pore lays a follicle that contains sebaceous glands that produce oil, or sebum. The follicle is also lined with a number of cells that are normally shed and brought to the skinís surface by the sebum and washed away. However, when the cells stick together instead of shedding, they form a plug or blockage. Beneath the plug, a sac is formed (known as a microcomedone ) that contains dead skin cells and oil. Bacteria grow freely in this environment, feeding on dead skin cells and oil for fuel. As the sac continuous to grow, either a whitehead (known as a closed comedone), a blackhead (open comedone), or a pimple forms. In more serious cases, the sac will become larger and a painful nodule or cyst will develop. Now imagine a tiny sac in the very early stage of forming. If you rub and scrub the overlying skin, the sac will break and spill its contents beneath the surface of the skin. Inflammatory cells in your body will then rush into the area and release chemicals that produce a very large, red, and inflamed bump. Thatís why itís important not to scrub acne-prone skin.

Many different factors contribute to the development of acne. The skin condition tends to run families, so there is a hereditary component. Teenage acne is triggered by the fluctuating hormones produced during puberty. These hormones thicken the lining of skin follicles and stimulate excess oil production by the sebaceous glands, thus plugging the skin follicle and providing food for the bacteria.

Acne commonly occurs in many women during the week before menstruation and during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Acne flares may also be precipitated by heavy oli-based makeup, oily hair pomades or sprays, friction, and even stress-related hormonal changes. Contrary to popular opinion, eating fatty foods or chocolate cannot give you acne. Nevertheless, a healthy well balanced diet with lot of fresh fruit and vegetables is without doubt better for skin.

Acne Activators

Several internal and external factors contribute to the blocked, inflamed pores that are known as acne. They include:

Hormonal fluctuations
Oily makeup
Overuse of topical corticosteroid creams
Oily pomades, gels, mousses, or hairsprays

Acne most often appears on the face, particularly in areas where sebaceous glands are abundant, such as the T-zoneóthe forehead, nose, and chin. Often in adult women it occurs along the jawline and lateral cheeks. But depending on the source of the acne, pimples or cysts can also appear on your neck, shoulders, chest, and back, adding to frustration and embarrassment.

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