Tips for How to Get Clear Skin

1. Break out the ice. Ice helps inflamed lesions from getting worse and often can make them go away. Cleanse your skin first, then get an ice cube (better yet – get a Styrofoam or Dixie cup and fill it up with water and freeze it) and ice your zits for a minute or two.

2. Stop eating peanut butter, peanuts and/or peanut oil. Peanuts contain a hormone in them that can make acne worse. If you love peanut butter, switch to unsalted almond butter – it doesn’t have the same effect as peanuts.

3. Stop using fabric softener in the washer AND the dryer (the softener sheets). Fabric softener leaves a waxy residue on cloth – that’s the softness that you feel. Unfortunately, that wax is getting on your skin while you sleep on that soft pillowcase and it’s clogging your pores. And, don’t think that fragrance free is any better – it’s the waxy residue, not the fragrance.

4. Get uniodized salt to use at home. Iodides are the culprit in the foods that you eat – it irritates the follicle walls and breaks you out.

5. Start taking zinc supplements. Research indicates that the best form to take is zinc monomethionine. But, don’t take it on an empty stomach – eat first.

Pore Clogging Ingredients in Skin Care

Do not ever put anything on your skin or your hair without checking the ingredients first, even if it says “won’t clog pores” or “noncomedogenic” on the bottle. No government agency oversees this so skincare companies can claim their products promote clear skin and have pore cloggers in their ingredient deck.

Many professional skin care products, natural skin care products, organic skin care products and even acne skin care products can have pore-clogging ingredients. No government agency oversees this, so skincare companies can claim their products promote clear skin and have pore cloggers in their ingredient deck.

There are many ingredients that sound wonderful for your skin, but can be some of the worst offenders. Natural oils like cocoa butter and coconut oil which are found in many “organic” skin care lines will wreak havoc with acne-prone skin. Other oils such as jojoba, olive and lanolin are mildly comedogenic and can be a problem if formulated with other comedogenic ingredients.

The prescription product Retin A (the cream form) has isopropyl myristate – a potent pore-clogger. Some other prescription products are comedogenic as well. Many over-the-counter acne medications also have pore clogging ingredients. “Oil-free” products are not necessarily safe either.

These are all the ingredients that can aggravate acne. The higher the number assigned to it, the more propensity it has to clog your pore.

It’s Not the Chocolate or the Greasy Fries

It’s the salt on those fries. Yes, it is salty foods and food high in iodides that are the culprit in making acne worse. Below is a list of foods typically high in iodides. Don’t  go crazy around eliminating these foods, just be aware of eating too much of them.

Milk (and cheese) is another BIG culprit – not only does it have iodides, it also has hormones in it that contribute to acne. Many teenage boys love to drink gallons of milk which is contributing to their cystic acne.

Health foods and supplements are not immune – vitamins almost always contain some form of iodide – it could be in the form of iodine, iodide, potassium iodide or kelp. Be careful with protein bars – the often have potassium iodides in them. Whey and soy protein powders for smoothies can be bad for problem skin – try hemp or pea protein powder instead.

You will notice that asparagus and broccoli are on the list. Don’t stop eating these vegetables… just don’t eat them every day. This chart is meant to give you an idea of what foods are higher in iodides than others.

These foods are not the “cause” of acne but they can make your acne worse. The cause needs to be addressed by using the right products in the right way. But it’s good to know what can contribute to your breakouts.

Iodide Contents in Food (parts per million of iodide)

Iodized Salt (1/4 tsp) – 100
Seasoned Salt – 40
Sun Evaporated Salt – 30
Uniodized Salt – 19

Beef/Liver – 325
Turkey – 132

Kelp – 1020
Cod (3 oz) – 87
Squid – 39
Crab – 33

Asparagus – 169
Broccoli – 90

Cheddar Cheese Spread – 27
Milk – 11
Butter – 26
Mozzarella Cheese – 13

Tortilla Chips w/ salt – 80
Potato Chips w/ salt – 40

Dark Spots (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation)

Dark Spots (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation)

Let’s talk about dark spots – that is something we definitely can do something about. Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation, or PIH, is the medical term given to discoloration of the skin that follows an inflammatory wound such as acne or picking at the skin. PIH presents itself as a flat area of discoloration on the skin ranging from pink to red, purple, brown or black, depending on your skin tone and depth of the discoloration.

PIH is very common among acne sufferers. It can occur in all skin types, although it is more common in darker skin tones. Luckily, PIH is not a true scar and therefore can be treated in the clinic quite effectively. The homecare that we give our acne clients not only addresses acne, but starts the process of lifting the unwanted hyperpigmentation left from acne lesions. Some of the active ingredients that assist in the lightening of dark spots include mandelic acid, lactic acid, hydroquinone, kojic acid, vitamin c and azelaic. These ingredients are included in Face Reality Acne Clinic’s in-clinic corrective peels and also the homecare for acne.

The right home care and consistent treatments will clear the acne and lift the dark spots simultaneously. Understand that improvement takes time; and dark spots will take a little longer to fade after the acne is under control.