Saturday, January 23, 2010

Olive Oil Acne Face Wash

"Hum, olive oil acne?" The look of confusion was priceless, as he mustered up the courage to continue. "I'm sorry Ms. Tuesday. But, I just don't see how adding more oil to my face is going to help me get rid of my blackheads? You just said oil was the cause of my acne."

Yep, that was the response from my adorable anonymous high school teen acne author who "volunteered" for the previous post. Bless his heart. He's the spitting image of Zac Efron only better looking. Bangs over his forehead, flawless complexion and an ever present skull cap under a hoodie that I guess makes a seventeen year old boy "fit in" nowadays. Anyway when he came by after school and dropped off my teen acne request. We made some small talk (I was dying to see what he had written. But it was sealed in an envelope so I left well enough alone figuring he would have been embarrassed by me to read it in front of him) and while I thanked him as we walked to the door, he drew back his hoodie, removed his skull cap and whispered "how do you get rid of a blackhead" as he brushed back his hair.

What stood before me was a child with a porcelain complexion from the temples down and a forehead that resembled a pair of dice rolled box cars on a Las Vegas craps felt, there were so many blackheads. Fortunately, the cause of his forehead acne was a classic example of self induced hair acne aggravated by a skin hugging skull cap. I explained to my young friend that he was walking around with a pimple Petri dish for a forehead. The bacteria, grease and oil from his hair was fermenting under the dark, unventilated cover of his form fitting cap.

But not to worry because there was a quick acne fix for his self induced environmental condition. First, he needed to always make sure his hair was squeaky clean. If it wasn't, then get it off the forehead until it was. Next, he needs to stop sleeping in the skull cap. Like any other part of the body. The skin needs good old oxygen, air, it needs to breath. Trapping the toxins and holding them against the skin by way of a skull cap and hoodie was a zit train wreck in the making. The cause of his blackhead problem was really as simple as that. I didn't need to spend 4 years at the University of Acne, Pimples and Blackheads to see the solution to his problem. And if he simply pays attention to these two factors he would virtually do away with the growth of any new blackheads. Now, all we need to do is to get rid of the blackheads that are there now.

Enter the olive oil acne face wash. Once my Zac Efron look-a-like heard those words in the same sentence he responded in the manner in which I opened this post, "hum, olive oil acne". I have to admit, I was not totally surprised. I fully understand the stigma that is attached to using olive oil to get rid of acne. We have been conditioned to think that some things are just downright nutty. It seems perfectly logical to think that if one of the cause of acne is the over production of oil by your sebaceous glands, then how in the world is adding more oil to your face (and olive oil at that) going to help? Of course your natural response to an olive oil acne face wash is going to be "don’t be ridiculous! That’s almost as stoopid (sic) as using chocolate to get rid of acne".

Yet open your eyes and look around. There are thousands of commercial skin care products that are made from and promoted because they contain the oil of olives. Everything from soaps to creams to facial regiments and they charge an outrageous price to boot. Why olive oil helps particularly with the removal of black heads is beyond me. I heard the theories that like most things in the natural world "like things attract". When viewed in that light it makes perfect sense. This would also explain why the first time I ever used olive oil; my blackheads were literally drawn to the surface of my skin right before my eyes.

There are many ways to apply olive oil. But the one that has always worked best for me and the one I relayed to my young acne patient was simply this. Pour about a quarter sized portion of olive oil in the palm of one hand. Dip two fingers from the other and apply to the face in a circular motion. Don't be afraid to use as much oil as you feel is necessary. It's great at removing dirt, grime and even make up. If your face was fairly clean to start with you can leave it on for a half hour or so and enjoy the benefit of an olive oil acne face mask. Or simply rinse with plenty of warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. If your skin still feels oily repeat the rinse. That's all there is to it. No need to spend big money on some fancy high priced commercial products. Chances are you have some olive oil in your kitchen right now. If you feel wrong using such an inexpensive acne product, splurge and buy (EVOO) Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It really won't make a difference when it comes to your acne. But your salads and other dishes will taste better.

That's pretty much my olive oil acne face wash. And that's pretty much how I explained it to my teenage acne student.

That night my phone rang and low and behold before I could say hello, it was “Ms. T, Ms. T, that's the best acne advice anyone has ever given me. When I was applying the olive oil to my forehead it felt gritty as the blackheads started pop n to the surface. Thank you, Thank you and oh yeah I am going to do the other things you told me about too"!

God, life sure is great when enthusiasm comes back at you like that.

Guess there is nothing else to say about that but - Tah-dah another acne problem solved, this time with a whole lot of common sense and the tried and true acne olive oil trick. Next!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Teen Acne: A Teenagers Perspective

Life sure can be a funny thing. When I started this "getting rid of acne" info blog, which has now taken on more of an acne community sounding board, I would have bet you dollars to donuts that my very first post would have been something about teen acne. I mean really, if I am honest with myself, kids and teenagers were and are where my passion has been all along. When I think how acne affected my teenage years and how fast the world changes today. It breaks my heart picturing what teens with acne must go through.

The heads of kids in high school have to be spinning like a top, social pressures that come at them from all angles on top of a relentless sophisticated media/advertising behemoth that pitches those manipulated images of who the cool kids are. And they can sell you anything you need to be cool too. Should you happen to be prone to acne they have just the right teen acne treatment to take you to nirvana.

But somehow life just got away from me and the acne topics that seemed appropriate at the time just got my attention while teenage acne issues got put on a back shelf. I could always justify to myself that as long as I was staying on topic I didn't need to get age specific.

But a couple of days ago my conscience got the better of me and I had made a determination that come hell or high water I was going to write something about teen acne. But when I sat down to bang it out on the keyboard, I had nothing. Well maybe a little more than nothing but it wasn't anything new. It was the same old tripe that you can find on a thousand sites about teen acne treatments and cures for teenage acne that are nothing more than jump pages to retailers. So what's a person to do?

Well it occurred to me since I am some years removed from my teen years and hanging out at high school football games and pep rallies would be too embarrassing. I would just find a teenager and let them tell me about their view of teen acne.

So what follows is a response from a 17 year old boy. He is a junior in high school and since he wishes to remain anonymous. I'll just say he is an attractive doll. The question I put to his is "tell me about teen acne", that was it, nothing more nothing less.

Here's his reply;

I'm 17 and was asked the other day what my take on teen acne was. It took some time for me to think about, but I think I have finally come up with a response to the question. I dislike it, greatly. Although I do not have severe breakouts with acne, I still have problem areas from time to time. My worst problem area is my forehead. Every now and again my forehead will break out, either due to stress from school or the things I have been eating or not eating. Even when the pimples and blemishes cease I still always seem to have a constant problem with black heads there. I hate blackheads! I have tried absolutely everything known to man to rid my face of this pest, but alas I haven’t come across a remedy for the situation. From my experience with them I found that they seem to become immune to whatever regimen I use. For a while I used a mix of a prescription ointment I had had and a Clearasil brand spot remover (I would mix the both of them in the palm of my hand). It worked for about a week until the blackheads came back in stronger force, not to mention that my forehead had become dried out and flakey. So to remedy the dry skin, I reverted to bar soap and a moisturizer, and then after that I would make sure to wipe away and excess oil in hopes to keep my pores from clogging. Alas this helped my skin. My skin was back to normal, nice and smooth, but during the course of the week my black heads stayed. So my point is this. If anyone knows of or can come up with a black head annihilating regimen please share it. The world will thank, I know I will.

Well there you have it kids, a teenage perspective on teen acne. After reading what he had to say I realized high school and kids really haven't changed that much. Oh sure, they have game boy, X box, cell phones and instant messaging. But they are really the same kids that we were. Learning who they are. I realize I don't need to go back to high school to remember teen acne. I lived it and have the acne scars to prove. I think teen acne better watch out; cause if I have anything to say about it will soon be relegated to the dust bin of history.