Troubleshooting Troubled Skin

By K im Erickson

C ontrary to popular belief, pimples and blackheads are not reserved for teenagers. Acne can crop up later in life as a response to fluctuating estrogen levels, particularly during pregnancy and menopause. Maintaining scrupulously clean skin is vital to controlling acne. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory herbs can also be useful in treating the occasional blemish. Applying a dab of tea tree, lavender or chamomile essential oil can reduce swelling and redness and aid in healing. Astringent herbs such as bergamot, lemongrass and sandalwood may also be helpful in controlling oil production. For more severe cases, the antibiotic properties in goldenseal and echinacea can be helpful when applied topically.

Babyboomers may be fighting a duel battle. Not only are we still subject to the periodic pimple, we may also notice the beginnings of fine lines and wrinkles. While AHAs are well-known for their potential to reduce visible lines and wrinkles, products containing antioxidants, particularly vitamins A, C and E, may also help reverse these signs of aging. “The antioxidant properties of these three vitamins may work when applied topically to fight the signs of photoaging,” says Karen Keller, M.D., author of a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology . “Many patients note improvement in skin texture, wrinkles and age spots while using these products.”

More tips on natural skin care – and formulas for making your own non-toxic cosmetics – can be found in Drop Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics.

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Kim Erickson.
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