Tag Archives: Breakouts

Can Your Pimples Shed Light On Your Gastrointestinal Problems?

Woman checking pimple

“CNotes” started having really bad problems with his skin about 8 months ago. He noticed that his breakouts came in conjunction with hits stomach problems which lead him to believe that his nausea and indigestion may be the cause of his constant breakouts. He wonders if anyone has gone through a similar experience, and says, “There are so many treatments and so much information, I don’t know where to start.”

Well, CNotes, you are definitely not alone. A study investigation 13,000 adolescents found that those with acne were more prone to gastrointestinal problems like heartburn and constipation and that abdominal bloating was 37% more likely to be linked with acne. As for where to start, try here:

Clues that Your Acne Is Caused By Digestion
If you suspect that your digestion may be at the root of your acne problems, here are some clues to look for:

  1. You breakout after eating certain foods.
  2. There is no cyclical pattern to the timing of your breakouts.
  3. You are breaking out mostly on your forehead.
  4. You have frequent stomach aches.
  5. You tend to break out before, during, or after periods of gut problems.

Gastrointestinal Problems and Acne
Keep in mind that skin is an elimination system in your body and that acne is a result of the skin doing its job. Therefore, increased toxicity in the blood can lead to an increase in acne. Diets high in processed foods, sugar and trans fat can create imbalances in the body and acne can be a symptom of this.

drinking water

Lack of digestive juices in the upper GI can also lead to acne. Active digestion starts with the saliva, and if there are not enough digestive secretions to break down the food in the upper GI, food will travel undigested to the lower GI. Undigested fats in food store toxic waste, minerals, and vitamins. If fats aren’t completely broken down, they can get into the liver, intestines and bloodstream, causing the liver to go into overdrive. Eventually this slows down systems that feed the body and the body creates “collateral veins.”

When the liver is overtaxed, the body creates collateral veins to help the blood keep flowing. Collateral veins are extra blood vessels in the intestinal tract that allow the body to bypass the liver and, as a result, unfiltered, impure blood enters your body causing imbalances; acne is among these.

Healing Digestive Problems

  1. Drink Water: Water will help to carry nutrients through your body and flush out toxic buildup.
  2. Keep a Journal of What You Eat: Write down what you eat and how you feel for a wok, noting patterns. Analyze your entries to see if you notice more of less breakouts when you eat a certain food.
  3. Increase Digestion in Upper GI: Consuming bitter herbs can help increase digestion in the upper GI, as can consuming probiotic foods. Lemon balm is a recommended herb and fermented foods likekimchi, yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut are all probiotic.
  4. Heal the Lower GI: Taking demulcent herbs, such as marshmallow, can coat the lining of the intestines that are subject to damage associated with lower GI distress. Herbs that help the liver include burdock and milk thistle.
  5. Keep Track of Fats: Fat is a vital part of building energy in our body, so its important to eat good fats to sustain us.

Do you think your acne is related to your gastrointestinal problems? Let us know how you handle your challenges. Your comments and opinions can help!

Foods That Prevent Breakouts

So you really did it. Last night, you were watching SNL and you heard the siren’s call of the Ben and Jerry’s fudge core ice cream and you went to town. You walked over to the freezer- one person, one spoon, one mission: to eat the whole thing. And that’s exactly what you did, and now you’re staring at it. That big old zit -right in the middle of your forehead.

You heard that food doesn’t cause acne, hormones do, and you believe it, but every time you eat chocolate, there it is, the huge pimple serving to remind you and your friends how you spent your Saturday night for the rest of the week. If only you could undo it! Well, acne sufferers, while food may not cause acne, some foods may actually prevent it? While there is no evidence that you can make that pimple go away by gorging on the following, there is some proof that certain foods can lead to clearer skin.

1. Flaxseed Or Fish
Not to be confused with omega-6 fatty acids which can cause inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids can actually reduce inflammation and reduce acne breakouts. Omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, and fatty fish.

woman drinking green tea 2. Green Tea
Green tea contains the powerful antioxidant EGCG. Researchers in South Korea applied an EGCG containing cream to rabbit ears and found it decreased the size of the sebaceous glands, which are commonly enlarged in acne sufferers. The antioxidant also was proven to reduce the production of sebum. A follow-up study on humans found that EGCG noticeably improved acne in a split face, 8-week trial. If drinking green tea throughout the day seems a bit challenging, try applying cool, moist tea bags or a green tea moistened cloth to affected areas for 10-15 minutes.

3. Oysters
Good for more than one thing, it seems. Oysters contain zinc, a mineral that has been shown in studies to reduce acne. It is recommended that acne sufferers get zinc from food rather than supplements, which can provide more that 100 mg of zinc per day, a dosage which may result in side effects. You are best off getting your zinc from oysters, veal liver, roast beef, roasted squash and pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds and toasted wheat germ.

woman eating a juice 4. Juice
Juicing is the new black, and it can also clear up your acne. Dark, leafy green veggies, found in some juices, contain beta-carotenes which are anti-inflammatory and help reduce oil while clearing toxins to form the body.

5. Probiotics
Mostly known for their ability to reduce inflammation in the gut, it has now been hypothesized that probiotics may also reduce acne. Research has proven that those who suffered from reactions to toxins found in the gut were also likely to display acne symptoms. Because, prebiotics and probiotics are effective in fighting oxidative stress and inflammation, scientists think that they may also be effective against acne. Probiotics are most often found in kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and yogurt.

Reducing Forehead Breakouts

Woman having a breakout

Picture this: you get up one morning, ready to start your day, happy and energetic, you eat breakfast, shower, and whatever else you do in the morning before your skincare routine, and then you look in the mirror and…oh, is that a pimple on your forehead? Wait…is that…another one? And another? Ugh. Insert your favorite swear words here. Loudly.

Why the Forehead?
It’s never a fun surprise to find you’ve broken out overnight, and the forehead is one of the most common areas for this to happen. Several of the tips we’re about to give can apply to pretty much any of your face, but we’re specifically focusing on the forehead because it’s incredibly common to think you’re doing a good job on your skincare, and manage to dodge pimples everywhere else on your face, only to find a bunch of ugly, pus-filled bumps on your forehead one morning.

The reason for this is that a lot of sweat and debris collects on the forehead. It can be especially bad if you have bangs, if your hair gets uncomfortably oily, or if you spend a lot of time outside (especially in hot weather), but even if none of those are true, the forehead is still a prime candidate for breakouts simply based on the curvature of the human head and distribution of sweat glands.

Woman cleansing her face

Cleanse, but Don’t Cleanse Too Much
Obviously, you want to cleanse your face for various reasons, and obviously, one of those reasons is preventing breakouts. But did you know that over-cleansing can actually cause breakouts? Sounds weird, but let’s take a moment to examine what causes breakouts in the first place, and it might make a little more sense.

Pimples form when there’s some kind of blockage in a pore, and the pore swells up with sebum (skin oil) and often gets infected, which is why it fills with pus, too (a rush of white blood cells to fight the infection). While the pore can be clogged by many things, it is often clogged by its own sebum, when it over-produces. If you remove excess sebum, but don’t strip all of it, you’re good, but if you strip it all away, the body responds to the lack of oil by churning out a bunch of it to compensate, and there you go, recipe for a breakout. So cleanse, but don’t do it too harshly.

Also consider ingredients like salicylic acid, designed to fight the infection at the root of a breakout, functioning as both cure and preventative.

Try a Sweatband
If you spend a lot of time outside or in warm buildings, etc, etc, and especially if you practice any sports, slap on a headband. It keeps hair out of your eyes, sure, but it also pulls double duty and protects the breakout-prone forehead from getting the brunt of the accumulated sweat and gunk.

Exfoliate
Exfoliation is a good idea regardless, but it’s especially recommended for breakout prevention, because removing dead skin cells before they flake off one by one and risk clogging pores is a pretty good tactic when it comes to pimples.

Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid

You can spot conceal the occasional small blemish, but what happens when your face is effected by full-blown acne? Many have struggled with acne at some point in their lives and the common misconception is that acne is something you will grow out of. Acne can affect anyone at any age for a large variety of reasons. Some face hormonal acne while others may have painful cystic acne. If you are taking the fight against acne into your own hands, you probably already know the two major over-the-counter medications used in acne treatment:  benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. However, what you may not know is which medication is the correct one for your face. Vine Vera Skincare did some digging to discover how each of these acne medications work and how to tell which one is right for your skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide chemical formula

Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial and a keratolytic, meaning that it dissolves keratin. Acne can be caused by a bacteria, P. acnes bacteria, which can not survive in environments that are oxygen rich. When benzoyl peroxide makes contact with your skin, it transforms into oxygen and benzoic acid. The oxygen attacks and destroys bacteria causing acne while benzoic acid makes skin dry and peel. As the skin becomes dry and peels, the skin is exfoliated and the plugs of dead skin cells are removed from your pores. Benzoyl peroxide can be incredibly powerful, which may irritate sensitive skin and cause redness, dryness or skin flaking.

Benzoyl peroxide is sold in a variety of concentrations, the highest being 10%. However, studies have shown that the 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide is just as effective as a 10% benzoyl peroxide treatment and the 2.5% concentration will be less harsh on the skin than a higher level of benzoyl peroxide. Generally, benzoyl peroxide is most beneficial for people struggling with whiteheads. Benzoyl peroxide should be avoided by those with extremely sensitive or already dry skin.

Salicylic acid chemical formula.

Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) produced from the bark of willow trees. Unlike benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid does not kill any bacteria. On the skin, salicylic acid corrects any abnormal shedding of skin cells and penetrates deeply to unclog pores and exfoliate the skin. Salicylic acid is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can be good for reducing redness. Salicylic acid helps remove debris from pores and often provides less irritation than benzoyl peroxide.

Concentrations ranging from .5% to 2% are the most commonly used in salicylic acid acne products. Often, salicylic acids is most effective for those who have issues with blackheads and spots of inflammation. Salicylic acid is generally used by those with mild to moderate acne, oily or red skin and tends to cause much less irritation or dryness than benzoyl peroxide

Both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are both effective acne treatments, though each works in its own unique way. These acne fighters are available in a large assortment of skincare products from spot care creams or gels to cleansers and moisturizers. It is important to remember that both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid must be used continually, even after acne has cleared up. Discontinuing the use of these products will result in the return of acne. If you are still on the fence about whether benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid is best for you, or if you suffer from severe acne, it’s a good idea to head to your doctor or dermatologist to find out which medication will be most beneficial to your problem.