Stay away from “high androgen” foods. These are found in peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, corn oil, wheat germ, shellfish, organ meats (i.e. liver, sweetbreads and heart). These contain hormones that exacerbate acne. Stay away from foods, vitamin supplements and sports drinks/bars containing iodides. Iodized salt, seafood, fish, seaweed, fast foods and dairy products (cows lick iodized salt licks) and especially kelp tablets (some people take these for thyroid support) are a part of this list. Contrary to popular notion, chocolate and greasy foods (unless they contain salt, which most do) do not aggravate acne.
Some swimming pool disinfectants contain Iodides and Chlorine, which can remain in the water, causing skin problems for frequent swimmers. Many swimmers find that the combination of hot and humid weather, the physical exercise of swimming and the chlorinated pools, can cause major acne flare-ups. An acceptable solution is to apply a layer of Vaseline all over after you have applied SPF and let it absorb. It will protect your skin but will not clog your pores or exacerbate acne.
Don’t pick! Instead of picking, rub ice on pustules and pimples for about five minutes, twice a day and apply the M.A.D. Zinc and Sulfur Mask, Redness rescue or Delicate Mask.
Zinc has been shown to be useful in treating acne. Research indicates that the form of zinc taken maybe important . Studies have indicated that zinc monomethionine is more easily used by the body than either zinc sulfate or zinc gluconate. It is usually best to take zinc with food to avoid an upset stomach . Recommended dosage for supplements vary (50-100 mg) – but some research suggests that it is probably best to take no more than 100 mg per day as a dietary supplement (excessive zinc intake may lead to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals). An online source for zinc monomethionine is www.starherb.com
Use fragrance-free detergents such as Cheer Free, All Free & Clear, Tide Free or Arm & Hammer Free. Do not use fabric softeners and/or fabric softener sheets in the dryer, especially on pillowcases as they cause a waxy residue that can clog pores on acne-prone individuals.
Avoid low-estrogen birth control pills, Norplant, Provera, and Depo-Provera. Also progesterone hormone replacement Premarin can be problematic. If you have polycystic ovaries, they will cause hormonal changes and breakout. Also, the taking of birth control pills may delay the onset of acne and once off them, you may experience the acne you would’ve had before taking them.
Do not use cosmetics OR hair products that contain pore-clogging ingredients. These ingredients cause micro comedones to form in certain individuals resulting in various lesions ranging from clogged pores and blackheads to inflammatory pustules. Hair product will also transfer to your pillowcase then to your face. If you have doubts about yours check the ingredient listing. Isopropyl myristate, cetyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4, natural Vitamin E, most natural oils, cocoa butter and D & C red dyes all agitate acne. Benzoyl Peroxide medications found at cosmetic departments may contain isopropyl myristate and laureth-4 or oils that impede the active ingredient of benzoyl peroxide. Watch out for “oil-free” products. They contain synthetic oils (fatty acids), D&C red dyes and detergents that can aggravate acne.
Limit sun exposure and use a sunscreen. Although sun exposure causes desirable scaling and drying, it also damages the follicle, exacerbates hyper pigmentation. Be aware that warm climates with heat and humidity can exacerbate acne. Let your esthetician know if you plan on visiting a humid or HOT climate so she can recommend some strategies to help you maintain your progress.
Heres a list of ingredients to avoid in food as well as hair care and skin care products.
Laminaria Digitata Extract
Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol
Laminaria Saccharina Extract (Laminaria Saccharine)
Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20
Chondrus Crispus (aka Irish Moss or Carageenan Moss)
PEG 16 Lanolin
PEG 200 Dilaurate
PEG 8 Stearate
Cotton Awws Oil
Cotton Seed Oil
PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate
D & C Red # 17
D & C Red # 21
D & C Red # 3
D & C Red # 30
Propylene Glycol Monostearate
D & C Red # 36
Sea Whip Extract
Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate
Shark Liver Oil (Squalene)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Glyceryl Stearate SE
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Stearic Acid Tea
Sulfated Castor Oil
Sulfated Jojoba Oil
Wheat Germ Glyceride
Wheat Germ Oil