Pimples, blackheads and cysts are the bane of many an adolescent’s existence, but they don’t just occur during puberty. Studies show that about 50 percent of adults get acne as well and more than half of all women, regardless of age, get pimples or blackheads.
The causes of acne vary, from hormonal changes that lead to increased sebum production and plugged sebaceous glands to sun exposure, medications and oil-based cosmetics. Remember: Don’t squeeze pimples or you could cause scarring.
• Combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) yogurt and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey and spread it on your face and neck. The yogurt has a cooling effect and honey disinfects. Rinse with warm water after 30 minutes. Apply three times a week.
• Dilute tea tree oil with water in a 1:4 proportion and apply with a cotton ball to heal pimples and blackheads quickly.
• Make an astringent with antimicrobial herbs. Steep 2 teaspoons (10 ml) dried comfrey leaves, calendula and thyme in 1 cup (250 ml) witch hazel for 2 weeks; strain. Apply with a cotton ball.
• Have a chamomile facial twice a week to open pores. Pour boiling water over chamomile flowers and position your face over the steam for 5 minutes.
• Soap is too harsh for acne-prone skin but soap-free cleansers with a pH of 5.5 (which matches the skin’s acid-protection coating) can soothe and protect.