Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Acne Sufferers

Tea tree oil is increasing in popularity as a proactive and reactive acne treatment. Here’s some of the lowdown on tea tree oil:

There are several products on the market for acne care that contain tea tree oil. You can find cleansers and lotions that contain this ingredient as a primary or as an additional ingredient. You could also opt to apply tea tree oil to your skin full strength. It’s available in many natural health stores and online, too.

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil comes from an Australian plant called the Melaleua Alternifolia. It’s well known for medicinal properties and for strong antimicrobial results and has been used for a number of ailments for many generations. It’s not an Australian secret, though, and many people throughout the world now keep tea tree oil in their medicine cabinet. Not only can it help clear up existing acne, many say that it prevents new breakouts, too.

Are There Side Effects of Using Tea Tree Oil for Acne?

Side effects can occur with any item that’s put on your skin. It might be wise to do a spot test to make sure you’re not sensitive to a particular substance and wait 24 hours to make sure you’re not going to have a reaction. There have been studies comparing tea tree oil side effects to that of benzoyl peroxide and many feel that tea tree oil is less harsh. That’s one of the difficult aspects of fighting acne — dealing with the painful healing process as many acne treatments significantly dry out your skin. Tea tree oil doesn’t do that. It does, however, have a strong odour that can take some getting used to.

There are strong warnings against taking tea tree oil internally. It’s also toxic to some animals so please be careful with it. Use extra caution and research before mixing tea tree oil into other products.

Besides Acne, What Else Can You Use Tea Tree Oil For?

Many call the Melaleuca plant an all-purpose medicine tree because the oil can be used for a variety of things. Many people use it on their scalp to fight dandruff and to repel head lice. It can be used on an insect bite, to fight candida infections, to fight athlete’s foot or nail fungus, and some mouthwashes and toothpastes contain it for treatment of periodontal disease and halitosis. Some aquarists will often use tea tree oil in aquariums in specific concentrations for fighting bacteria, too. There may be other uses as well. If you choose to try tea tree oil for your acne, it can take a bit of time to work but many report excellent reviews of tea tree oil for acne. Feel free to share your experience here in our comments section.

Want to know more about acne natural remedies Products, foods, and lifestyle can all have an impact. Browse our site for more information about acne causes and solutions as well as acne natural remedies.

conceal a pimple

Tips for Covering Up Pimples

Want to hide an ugly zit that has turned up unexpectedly? They always show up at the worst possible times, don’t they? Sometimes it happens due to hormonal changes, it could be that you’ve used something on your skin that triggered a pimple, or that you’re stressed to the max (stress can cause acne, too!)

We recently talked about the fact that choosing the right cosmetics is important, especially if you’ve got problem skin. We promised some tips on covering up blemishes so that you don’t simply plaster make-up on them and make them look even angrier! Here are some ideas.

Concealing Pimples:

  • Put a Band-Aid on it. No, not permanently, but for a few hours with a dab of honey. Many women say that this can dramatically diminish the look of that zit. Honey has significant antibacterial properties. If you’ve got time, use a strong blemish fighter. Even 24 hours can help make a difference in how noticeable it is.
  • Exfoliate and then moisturise before putting make-up on. This can help brighten your skin and slough away dead skin, especially around the area that you’re trying to not draw attention to.
  • Avoid the urge to squeeze!
  • Use a concealer — but sparingly. Apply with the tip of a clean finger. There are some great ones on the market. Avoid putting too much makeup in that spot or it could look cakey and flaked and draw even more attention to the zit. Some skin clearing concealers exist, too, that contain ingredients that can help clear up the pimple while diminishing the look of it. (Tip: Apply your cover-up agent after foundation. Foundation often does a good job of concealing on its own so you can then see how much more concealer is needed. It’s a good idea to read reviews of the best concealers so you can figure out which ones to try)
  • Go for smoky eyes. Smoky eyes or something else that’s dramatic can draw attention away from the pimple on your forehead, cheek, or chin.
  • If your pimple is on your cheek, go with a more neutral blush than usual. If it’s near your mouth, go with a lighter shade of lipstick than usual. These can help diminish the look of it rather than draw attention to it.

Take comfort in the fact that it probably sticks out like a sore thumb to you much more than it does to the people that you’re with. Try not to stress too much about it!  And, make sure to experiment and look for cosmetics that won’t irritate your skin whenever possible!

Do you have any pimple concealing tips? If you have any to add, please add your suggestions in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Earthly Delights, Flickr.

Choosing the Right Cosmetics for Problem Skin

If you’ve got sensitive or acne-prone skin and you’re a female, cosmetics can be a problem. You make-up could be making things worse. Many of us use cosmetics to cover up blemishes, too. It’s a tricky balance! Read on for some tips for choosing the right cosmetics for your skin:

Avoid Oil Based Make-Up

If your foundation is oil based, this can clog your pores. Not all oil-based products will clog pores but it’s often the culprit. Look for non-comedogenic products if you have particularly sensitive skin. There are many great water-based cosmetics out there.

Is Your Blush or Lipstick a Culprit?

Blush seems very light, compared to liquid or pastes but it, too, can cause clogged pores. It could take some investigation and trial and error to find blushes and shadows that don’t irritate your skin.

Lipstick can be very greasy and if you’re breaking out close to your lips, it may be a sign that the brand you’re using could be disagreeing with your skin.

Mineral Make-Up and Acne

Does mineral make-up help you avoid acne breakouts? It can. It can contain a lot of natural ingredients and typically doesn’t contain parabens, which many people prefer, but not everyone agrees on which is best or whether it’s preferable over liquid foundation. If you’re interested in trying it, research various options to help you decide which one to use and see how it works for you. Prices can vary greatly.

Some say that mineral make-up collect in your pores and doesn’t give you the same flawless finish as a liquid make-up. Various elements will factor into play for whether or not mineral make-up is the right solution for you, such as: the condition of your complexion, the colour of your skin, whether you have wrinkles or scars, whether you’re looking for a natural look or not, etc.

Be Wary of Hair Products, Too!

Many hair products, such as glosses and varnishes can contain substances that will irritate the skin. Be wary of the hair products you use, especially if you have a fringe and find that your forehead is susceptible to breakouts.

What about Cosmetics that Help Your Skin?

Certain cosmetics will suggest that they offer benefits, such as sun protection, anti-aging properties, and ingredients to promote skin clarity. It could be helpful to experiment with these products to see how they work for you. Many cosmetic companies will offer trial sizes to let you test drive one of these products.

How’s Your Skincare Regimen and Are You Using Dirty Brushes?

Regardless of the lengths you go through to choose the right make-up that will be less likely to irritate your skin and cause breakouts, it’s important to always remember to wash that make-up off every night and to avoid using dirty brushes or sponges. If your blush brush or your powder puff isn’t changed regularly, then you’re going to face breakouts as a result.

Covering Up Blemishes

Despite your best efforts, zits and blackheads will turn up from time to time. Some products are great at helping you draw attention away from a blemish, too. Be careful, though, because some efforts to hide a zit actually make it stand out like a sore thumb! In our next post, we’ll cover tips for hiding pimples so please consider subscribing to Acne Information so you’ll be notified of future posts.


Stress Is Bad For Your Skin

Are you wondering if stress is causing your acne or making it worse? It might be a contributing factor for breakouts and increased severity of acne.  Topical creams can help clear things up faster than leaving pimples to clear up on their own but stress acne is the sort of acne has deeper roots than the surface of your skin.

Stress does a number of negative things to your body and your immune system and the body responds in a number of ways. One of those ways is that your body responds is with extra release of hormones, extra oil secretion in skin, and inflammation. All of these things can cause acne or exacerbate symptoms for people who already struggle with problem skin.

We all get stressed out from time to time. It’s a fact of life. But chronic stress can wreak havoc on your body.

Here are some things to do to minimize the impact stress will have on your complexion and the rest of your life, too:

Get enough sleep – How are you sleeping? Sleep is rejuvenating and restorative and it’s also essential to all our functions — mind and body. Not getting enough sleep, particularly when you feel like you’re under stress, will exacerbate the problem of acne breakouts and will leave you less able to cope with and eliminate the things that are causing stress for you. Don’t think you can get away with catching up on sleep later, when things settle down. Your body needs a consistent amount of sleep daily to enable you to function at your best.

Eat well – Do you eat poorly when you’re feeling under pressure? There are foods that could also make acne worse.  Stress eating won’t help your problems and could worsen skin breakouts (along with increasing the self-loathing feeling that typically follows stress eating) and bad food choices can make you feel worse. A healthy body can better combat a stressful lifestyle and eating well will increase your body’s immune system.

Reduce caffeine – Don’t burn the candle at both ends and drink extra coffee or caffeine-laden carbonated beverages to help you keep going. Caffeine doesn’t typically help when feeling stressed. Don’t cut yourself off completely if it’s something you’re accustomed to having but curb your caffeine intake. Consider increasing your water intake instead as it will help you feel better. Increased water consumption is often linked to a clearer complexion.

Exercise daily – Exercise can help acne. It can also help you increase your focus and energy so that you can reduce your stress.

Boost immunity – Strive to boost your immune system. Many people increase their vitamins, eat foods that are known immune system boosters (yogurt, garlic, tea, sweet potatoes, fish) and find that this helps them better manage stress and keep their skin in optimum condition.

Make an action plan to battle your stress– If stress is plaguing your life, what are you going to do about it? Look for the source of your stress and make an action plan to improve things. If needed, talk to your doctor for advice.

Take care of your skin – Keep a solid skincare regimen to keep acne at bay at all times, especially when feeling like you’re under stress!

photo: Alan Cleaver, Flickr



Does Milk Cause Acne?

If you suffer from acne, you might be wondering whether or not something in your diet is the cause of your bad complexion. The topic of dairy products causing pimples is a controversial one with differing opinions but read on for some information that could help you get informed.

Can Food Cause and /or Cure Skin Problems?

You’ll read many contradictory articles stating that something causes acne and then read another article saying it doesn’t cause breakouts. The official jury might be out on the matter but the fact of the matter is that food and drink does impact every aspect of our health and poor dietary habits can lead to skin breakouts. If we’re in toxic environments or consume foods and beverages that aren’t ideal for our health, our skin can show signs of being unhealthy.  Conversely, if our bodies are healthy, it can show in every facet of our appearance, including our complexion.

But Isn’t Dairy Healthy?

Many people do rely on dairy products like milk for calcium and vitamin D, cheese for protein (especially if they are vegetarian), and yogurt for their probiotics. But dairy could be the culprit of your acne and for this reason, it might be advantageous to tweak your diet and see if it makes a difference to you.

Tip: Tracking your nutrition is wise. Keeping track of your food in a food journal on your computer or smartphone could help you ensure you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals, especially if you  eliminate dairy from your diet.

Some Studies Reveal Dairy Could Cause Acne — But Why?

  • Milk consumption could trigger hormonal changes in your body, such as telling your body to produce more sebum than average, which can lead to acne breakouts.
  • Dairy can also lead to skin cell growth stimulation and insulin production and both of these can lead to breakouts as well.
  • Another issue is that dairy consumption can cause inflammation in the body as your body fights off bacteria  in that dairy food and this can lead to larger and more painful pimples.

Dairy may or may not be a trigger for you but it could be worthwhile for you to consider reducing it to see what impact the elimination of dairy does for you. This is especially the case if you’ve tried various prescription and /or over the counter acne medications and seen little to no reduction in breakouts.  Some people state that reducing dairy results in much fewer breakouts and less severe acne as well. It’s wise to keep a food journal for this reason, too. It can help you see correlations between specific foods and your skin’s reaction. Beyond keeping track of what you eat, consider keeping track of the appearance of your skin. Do this for 30 days or more and then analyse the results. Do certain foods seem to have an adverse effect? Maybe it’s worth avoiding them.

Finding Dairy Substitutes

There are many dairy substitutes on the market. Some do take some getting used to but when many acne sufferers see the difference in their skin, skipping a milkshake and /or switching to soy or almond milk for their coffee can be a small price to pay.

If you decide to test a dairy-free diet to see if your acne improves, we’d love it if you’d share your results in comments here.  And please consider signing up for the Acne Information Newsletter to be kept informed about news and information related to helping you get and keep clearer skin.

Overweight Teens More Likely To Have Acne

Although it has been established that hormones are the main reason for acne, everyone knows that a healthy diet is vital to maintaining good skin. A recent study shed some light into how much diet can be a factor in someone having acne.

Over 3,600 people from Oslo, Norway, provided information about their acne, weight, diet, health and lifestyle. 10% of girls and 15% of the boys who took part were considered obese due to their BMI (Body Mass Index). 19% of the overweight girls experienced a lot of acne compared to only 13% of girls with normal weight.

Dr. Nanette Silverberg, the director of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at St. Luke’s and Beth Israel Medical Centers in New York, noted that physiological factors could be a big influence on these results. I have no doubt that physiological issues are a big factor in whether young adults get acne though I still believe that these figures highlight the difference that acne can make to someone’s skin.


Daily Regiment for Healthy Skin

No one wants to be haunted by acne troubles at any point in their lives. Whether you are a teenager or an adult, acne can chip away at your confidence on a daily basis, creating a divide between the face that you expect to see in the mirror and what is actually there. While there are numerous treatment regiments that are very effective in combating acne, there are also small things that can be included in your daily routine that can be quite effective in preventing or treating this ailment.

The first step towards a healthy skin routine is washing your face before bed at night. During the day a large amount of natural oils along with dirt and toxins from the environment around you get caught in the pores on your face. When these pores get clogged with this debris, inflammation often occurs leaving us with the unfavorable symptoms of acne; red swollen pimples, dry and damaged patches on your skin, whiteheads, and blackheads. The condition itself can be quite uncomfortable, but the worst aspect for most people who suffer from acne is the social stigma. They often feel that they are looked down upon, as if they are unclean or unhealthy. Washing your face at the end of the day clears out all of the messes that cause these afflictions, and can go a long way towards improving your skin health. For those with excessively oily skin it might be beneficial to wash their faces in the morning as well.

A good daily regiment starts with a good cleanser. There are usually cleansers designed to cater to the different skin types. Those with dry skin should use a cleanser that is meant to moisturize while cleansing. Those with oily skin would benefit from something slightly different. A toner can also be used, and should be applied after cleansing.

Those people with dry skin might benefit greatly from using olive oil as a natural moisturizer that can be applied after the cleanser. You only need to use a small amount, a few drops will do, and the best part is that it is all natural with no side effects. It is also an item that most people have sitting around the house as well, making it that much more convenient.

Finally, diet can go a long way toward healthy skin. Proper hydration is essential. Drinking 6 bottles of water each day will have immediate results in making your skin look healthier, and will benefit the rest of your body at the same time. You should avoid smoking cigarettes as well as these leave a wide array of toxins on your face. Coffee and alcohol should be generally avoided as well.  Most important is to eat naturally. That means less fried or processed foods, more fresh fruits and vegetables, and organic meats. With all of these things combined, you will have a great head start towards healthier looking skin.