Causes of Acne: Soy

Posted under General Information on Adult Acne by swright on Wednesday 31 March 2010

source: flickr by:stuck in customs

Is My Acne Caused by Soy?

Many people believe that acne is caused or exacerbated by diet. One of the most common foods which is rumored to produce acne breakouts is soy, whether it’s in a pure or processed form. Soy and soy derivatives are found in many foods, including boxed snacks, treats and, of course, soy milk and tofu. Soy is often found in chocolate, which may be one of the reasons some believe chocolate to be an acne trigger. But, can soy actually cause breakouts, or is this belief yet another acne myth?

When researching the relationship between soy and acne, a lot of conflicting information is found. Many claim to experience worse acne when consuming soy products, while others promote soy as a natural acne treatment. Some say they made the switch from dairy to soy after experiencing acne seemingly caused by cow’s milk and other dairy products and see clearer skin while using soy as a dairy alternative. Cow’s milk is actually more likely to be an acne trigger, as most milk contains hormones and/or stimulates androgen production, both of which can lead to acne blemishes. However, the facts are easy to see; some people do find a connection between soy and acne breakouts.

While soy surely causes breakouts in some people, that does not mean it is a cause of acne for everyone. Soy is one of the most common allergens with reactions ranging from very mild to very severe, including reactions that present themselves in the form of acne. Soy-caused acne does not appear the first time one consumes soy. Because soybeans contain proteins that do not break down with regular cooking temperatures, soy often triggers the immune system to respond defensively.

The first time one eats soy, the immune system reacts badly and creates antibodies. When the immune system responds this way, the sebaceous glands become inflamed and produce too much sebum. The sebum gets trapped in the inflamed hair follicles and creates a clog, keeping bacteria and the excess oil under the skin. As the sebum and bacteria build up, the walls of the hair follicles are ruptured, creating a papule or blackhead. If the hair follicle does not rupture, a whitehead is created instead.

If you seem to break out after consuming soy products or using acne treatment products that contain soy, you may have a mild soy allergy. The only way to know for sure if soy is the root of your acne is to eliminate all soy from your diet for one to two weeks. If in that time you find that your breakouts are less severe or more infrequent, you’ve likely found the culprit. If a soy-free diet does not help to improve your acne, it is probably safe to resume the moderate use of soy products, though soy does have other health risks that should be discussed with your doctor.

Adult Acne Treatment During Pregnancy

Posted under Acne Causes,Acne Treatments,General Information on Adult Acne by swright on Thursday 25 March 2010

source:flickr by:shutter daddy

Treating Acne While Pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful stage of life that produces the most incredible miracles — sweet babies. However, along with the beauty of pregnancy comes some unwanted changes, including increased hair growth, widening feet and adult acne. While these temporary crosses are easy to bear when thinking of your little one within, they are certainly not preferable. Although there’s not much you can do when it comes to unwanted hair or feet that will only fit in flip-flops, many adult acne treatments are safe to use, even when pregnant.

Acne during pregnancy is all hormonal. Even if a woman didn’t experience acne in her teens or before becoming pregnant, she is not immune to the occasional androgen- and estrogen-caused breakouts during her pregnancy! Most pregnant women suffer from blemishes during her first trimester when her hormones are most unruly. After the first trimester, many of these women will see a natural decrease in their acne. Unfortunately, a few women will continue experiencing acne throughout her pregnancy and even into the few weeks following the delivery of her baby.

One of the easiest ways to treat acne during pregnancy is to follow the dietary recommendations of your OB or midwife. Most diets recommended for pregnancy are full of anti-acne antioxidants and nutrients that help keep your skin healthy, radiant and clear. While deviating from your healthy diet to indulge in some ice cream (pickle optional) won’t cause your skin to erupt in inflamed red bumps, sticking to healthier options most of the time is generally the best way to go for you, your baby and your skin.

As for topical acne treatments, most are safe for use during pregnancy. There are, however, some that should be avoided during those 40 weeks. They include:

  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
  • Differin (adapelene)
  • Oral forms of Accutane
  • Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin)
  • Retinoic acid
  • Retinol
  • Retinyl linoleate
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Salicylic acid
  • Tazorac and avage (Tazarotene)
  • Tretinoin

It is also important to steer clear of any leave-on acne spot treatments, masks, peels, lotions, gels or creams. Any acne products you use should be able to be rinsed off soon after application without neutralizing its benefits. Remember, if in doubt, always consult your OB or midwife for advice regarding your acne treatment products.

As a rule of thumb, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are safe to use during pregnancy. Some common AHAs used in pregnancy-safe acne products include glycolic acid and lactic acid. Lactic acid is especially beneficial for use on extra-sensitive skin as it won’t cause or exacerbate irritation. Check out Belli Skin Care’s Acne Clearing Facial Wash for a pregnancy-specific acne treatment that features a fresh lemon scent that won’t upset sensitive tummies.

Natural Treatments for Acne: Supplements

Posted under General Information on Adult Acne by swright on Wednesday 17 March 2010

source:flickr by:hitthatswitch

Supplement Your Acne Product Regimen

Attacking acne from the inside is extremely beneficial when done in conjunction with your acne product regimen. By targeting breakouts with topical and internal products, your acne heals faster and is less likely to reappear. Plus, taking natural dietary supplements will benefit your entire body.

There are many supplements that are believed to provide benefits when used as a natural acne product. However, not many of them have been proven to provide real anti-acne results. Rather than list all of the supplements that might help clarify your skin, I’ve included the few that truly provide actions that will improve the appearance of your acne.

Zinc is the most proven acne treatment supplement. Many studies have shown that zinc can reduce the appearance of acne lesions by up to 40%. Zinc provides antioxidants, helps speed wound healing and is antimicrobial. When used topically, zinc is able to help treat and prevent sunburn, windburn, diaper rash, dandruff and more. Please keep in mind that zinc taken internally is toxic at more than 100mg per day.

Fish Oil
Fish oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. The anti-inflammatory effect is what makes it a great treatment for acne, but fish oil is also well-known for its abilities improve the health and function of the heart. Some of the lesser known benefits of fish oil are its effects on cancerous growths, mental health and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

A multivitamin is great for your basic health, as well as the health and clarity of your skin. Most people don’t eat as healthfully as they should, which means their body isn’t getting all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs. Taking a multivitamin helps your body stay in tip-top shape by supplying these essential nutrients. Keeping your body healthy in its entirety is a very important step to take in your quest for clearer skin. A healthy body is more likely to produce and maintain healthy, clear and radiant skin.

Before adding any new supplements to your diet, be sure to consult with your doctor for his approval. In addition, be sure to do your research into the best brands to ensure that you’re getting high-quality ingredients and top-notch formulations. Supplements can be the best acne products when used correctly, in addition to improving and maintaining the general health of your entire body.

Heated Acne Spot Treatment Devices

Posted under General Information on Adult Acne by swright on Monday 15 March 2010

Hot Acne Treatments

There are always new advances in the skin care industry, particularly treatments for acne. One of the newest acne treatments is heat therapy, a treatment designed to kill acne-causing bacteria by safely and gently heating the skin to 121oF. The leading FDA-approved heat device, Zeno, is a sleek, easy-to-use hand held zit-zapper that applies comfortable and comforting heat to your blemishes. By doing this, Zeno claims to promote faster healing of the blemishes, thereby restoring clarity to your complexion. It can also help reduce the pain of deep, irritated blemishes.

But, does Zeno actually work? Zeno has conducted multiple FDA-reviewed clinical trials on the Zeno Hot Spot to test the safety and effectiveness of the device with stunning results. After a 14-day randomized, controlled, double-blind study, users of Zeno saw that:

• 90% of blemishes disappeared or faded within 24 hours.
• 96% of blemishes disappeared or faded within 48 hours.
• 84% of blemishes disappeared or faded with only two treatments.
Clinical trial results found at

Zeno states that most blemishes require two to three 2.5 minute treatments* during a 24-hour period to be completely eradicated. However, some blemishes need only one 2.5 minute treatment before disappearing, making it one of the most effective acne spot treatments currently available. Plus, Zeno may be used in conjunction with any topical acne products, which is great for those of us who love our serums and creams.

Aside from some mild, short-lived redness around the point of application, no side effects were reported throughout clinical trials. The heat of the Zeno is specially designed to be just hot enough to kill the P. Acnes bacteria, so it won’t burn the skin or cause any discomfort. Because Zeno is ingredient-free, it’s considered a natural acne treatment. This makes the Zeno Hot Spot an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin.

Although Zeno is safe and gentle enough for sensitive skin types, it doesn’t work on every type of zit. Zeno is made for those with mild to moderate inflammatory acne. It will not reduce or remove blackheads, whiteheads or cystic acne, though the sensation of warmth may feel therapeutic on cystic acne breakouts. If you’re not sure if the Zeno is right for your type of acne, speak with your dermatologist before purchasing the device.

The Zeno MD and Zeno PRO are available for purchase at for $175 and $159, respectively. In addition to the initial purchase of the device, Zeno recommends that you replace the device’s tip after 90 treatments. Tips are also available at for $25 for the PRO tip and $55 for the MD tip. Although these prices may seem a bit much at first, the cost is nothing compared to the price of dermatologist trips, prescriptions or even some topical acne treatments.

*When using a Zeno, be sure to read the directions carefully and completely. Misuse may result in burns and other damage.

How to Get Rid of Acne Treatment Reactions

Posted under General Information on Adult Acne by swright on Monday 8 March 2010

source:flickr by:quinn.anya

Acne Treatment Reactions

It’s happened to the best of us: reactions to acne treatment ingredients. The peeling, redness and inflammation is not only uncomfortable, it’s even less attractive than the acne blemishes you were trying to get rid of it the first place! Treating reactions and irritation related to acne treatment products is fairly simple in most cases. Here’s a quick look at the most common forms of irritation and what you can do about them.

Mild Reactions
Most people experience redness, peeling, dryness, stinging and warmness when using a new or more aggressive acne treatment. These slight reactions are somewhat normal, and usually go away as your skin gets used to the active ingredients. Most skin types experience some sort of vague irritation when using an acne treatment; however, sensitive and reaction-prone skin types are definitely more likely to experience these and more severe side effects.

Extreme Reactions
Less common and more worrisome reactions include blistering, swelling and crusting, severe burning, extreme redness, changes in skin tone (darkening or lightening), and skin rash. If you experience any of these side effects while using an acne product, you should discontinue use of your product or regimen and consult with your physician or dermatologist as soon as possible. These signs of irritation could be symptoms of an ingredient allergy, and you could risk permanent damage, such as scarring, if these symptoms go untreated.

In the event of a mild reaction, it’s ok to continue using your clarifying product as long as the irritation clears up within a couple weeks. If the irritation is too uncomfortable, you can try decreasing your treatment dosage by using a less concentrated product or applying the product less often. If your irritation worries you or doesn’t clear up soon after beginning your acne care regimen, discontinue the use of your products and consult your dermatologist or general doctor.

Many treatments for acne that are currently on the market use gentler ingredients in order to avoid causing irritation. However, more severe cases of acne are generally too stubborn to be treated by mild products, making more aggressive ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, a must for these patients.

If decreasing your application frequency or product concentration is not a choice for you, and you are not experiencing symptoms of a severe or allergic reaction, there are things you can do to diminish discomfort. It may be helpful to begin using a more moisturizing oil-free skin care cream or simply adding jojoba oil to your moisturizer of choice. In addition, there are many travel-friendly hydrating spritzes that supply lightweight, non-comedogenic hydration that can help ease the dryness and discomfort associated with aggressive acne clarifying products.