EXCLUSIVE: Skincare tips for teenagers to control acne issues according to Shahnaz Husain

Acne usually occurs on oily skin. That is why it is common during teenage when the body goes through hormonal activity, which also activates the oil glands.
Acne,skincare,teenagers EXCLUSIVE: Skincare tips for teenagers to control acne issues according to Shahnaz Husain
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What many people may not know is that acne starts with a blackhead.  Neglected blackheads irritate the surrounding tissues of the skin, resulting in inflammation. This sets the stage for pimples and acne. A single pimple does not mean an acne condition. Pimples occur on the surface and may just mean inflammation. But, in acne, there is bacterial activity and infection, with many kinds of eruptions, like blackheads, whiteheads, cysts (lumps), eruptions with pus, etc.

Cleansing is the keyword for healthy skin. Daily cleansing and skincare, with appropriate products, is the only way of protecting the skin from eruptions and oily skin conditions. The pores must be kept free of hardened oil and the oiliness of the skin surface should be reduced. If the skin is oily, an astringent toner should be used after cleansing. Wipe the face with it, using cotton wool. Astringents help to reduce the oiliness of the skin and tighten pores. Apply an astringent after cleansing. If the astringent lotion you buy is harsh on the skin, mix it with rose water in equal quantities. Keep in a bottle in the fridge.

Some natural ingredients, like cucumber, have an astringent effect. Apply cucumber juice by itself on the face and wash it off with plain water after 15 minutes. Or, mix cucumber juice with a little rose water, for an astringent toner. Green tea works well as an astringent toner. Soak green tea leaves or a teabag in hot water for half an hour. Cool and strain and use the liquid on the skin. You can make your own astringent toner by mixing rose water with witch hazel in equal quantities. Look for witch hazel at a pharmacy or cosmetic store.

Night-time cleansing is a must to get rid of make-up, stale oil and sweat deposits and pollutants. For acne, medicated soaps and cleansers are also available. If the skin is oily and prone to eruptions, avoid the use of oily creams and moisturisers. If the skin ever feels dry in winter or after washing, mix one teaspoon pure glycerin with 100 ml rose water. Keep in an air-tight bottle in the fridge. Apply a little of this lotion to relieve dryness.

Sandalwood paste can be applied to pimples, acne and boils. If there is a rash, mix sandalwood paste with a little rose water and apply it on the entire face. Wash it off with plain water after 20 minutes.

Mix one teaspoon cinnamon (dalchini) powder, half teaspoon methi seed powder, lemon juice and a few drops of honey. It should be a sticky paste. Apply it only on pimples, boils or acne and leave on for a couple of hours, or even overnight.

Boil neem leaves in enough water over a low fire. Cool and strain. Make a paste of the neem leaves and apply daily. Wash it off after 30 minutes. Another important ingredient for such eruptive conditions is Tulsi or Basil. It has germicidal and antiseptic properties and also helps to soothe the rash. Apply it the same way.

Mix Multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on the face. Wash it off when it dries, to reduce oil and clarify the skin.

Add a little haldi to curd and apply on the face. Wash it off with plenty of water after 15 minutes.

I am often asked if girls are more prone to acne than boys and whether shaving will aggravate an acne condition. Actually, boys are more prone to acne than girls. Male skin is thicker than female skin. It is also oilier and has larger pores, which get more easily clogged with oil, leading to pimples and acne. Shave after cleansing and use aftershave lotion. If there is any bleeding from an eruption, apply anti-acne lotion or medicated ointment.

Acne points to congested skin and system. Therefore, one should have a diet that helps to cleanse the system and keep it flushed with toxins and wastes. The diet should be high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts, whole grains, yoghurt, fresh fruit juices, clear soups, buttermilk and lassi in the diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. Take some daily exercise, after consulting your doctor. Do deep breathing exercises to control stress.

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