Jana Meldt – Lifestyle Counsellor
It’s the big day, you look in the mirror and there it is – a whopping pimple. They always seem to appear out of nowhere, unexpected and unasked.
A pimple results when excess oil gets trapped in the skin’s pores. The dreaded bumps are caused by a blockage to the oil gland in the skin. They mostly occur where the oil glands are most numerous, which is the face, chest, and back. The glands are required to keep the skin healthy, lubricated and supple by producing an oily substance called sebum. But if the glands become clogged, bacteria multiply, and infection and inflammation results.
5 Possible Causing Factors for those dreaded Bumps:
- Hormones – As if being a teenager wasn’t hard enough, raging hormones in the body increase during this time of life. This increase is responsible for the higher incidence of clogged oil glands, which can cause an outbreak of pimples. Also, teenage girls and adult women are at risk for pimples as they approach the start of their next period. This is when hormone levels start to fluctuate as well. Another culprit for hormonal imbalances is stress, which also shouldn’t be underestimated.
- Heredity – Family trees are pretty strong and if your parents had their fair share of pimples in the past, chances are you will too, as the skin type you inherit determines its reaction to other factors.
- Cosmetics – The type of moisturizer or makeup you put on your face can clog your pores, which could lead to an outbreak of red bumps and pimples. Avoid products with harsh chemicals (irritate the skin) and mineral oil (puts a film on the skin and doesn’t allow for it to breathe).
- Allergies – We’re surrounded by so much pollution all around us these days and sometimes it’s more than our skin can handle. Watch out for artifical fragrances in perfume, laundry powder, etc. Also, certain foods like dairy, chocolate, peanuts, etc. can trigger skin problems.
- Junk food – A diet high in refined and processed foods, which are usually high in fat and sugar, can worsen symptoms. Try to implement more fresh fruits and veggies as well as wholegrains in your diet, you’ll likely notice a big difference in your skin complexion!
5 Helpful Tips to Improve your Skin:
- Cleanliness – Keep the skin washed and clean (we’re not talking about ‘germaphobia’) and keep your hair off the face, plus avoid touching your face with your fingers. Wash your pillowcases regularly ideally with natural or mild detergent. Make sure you drink lots of pure water (about 8 glasses a day) to clean your body from the inside out which will make it easier for your skin to deal with the toxins and waste products it has to eliminate. Some exercise out in the sun and fresh air will also help with that.
- Hands off! – It’s so tempting to pick or squeeze pimples, I know, but playing with or popping pimples, no matter how careful and clean you are, mostly makes bumps stay redder and bumpier longer. The big question is: Is it an active volcano eruption or a dormant one? You shouldn’t pick unless the pimple is starting to look as if a volcano is erupting and the pimple shows a creamy-white head. These ‘pustules’ (distinct pimples that are red at the bottom and contain a visible amount of pus on top) can be squeezed, but ‘papules’ (bumps that are tender to the touch, which are pink in color) should remain untouched, otherwise you will spread bacteria along your skin even more or, worse yet, force the bacteria deeper into your face.
- Clothing – Avoid tight clothing and clothes made from synthetic fabric, because your skin needs to breathe in order to function properly. The same is for bed linen – choose 100% cotton wherever possible.
- Pampering your skin – Why not invite your friends over for a fun skin-pampering girls party where you can try some of the recipes below:
- Healing Drops: Putting a few drops of tea tree essential oil onto the red bump as soon as you can feel it, often prevents it from turning into a nasty pimple. Once the pimple is there though try to dab some lemon juice on it as this is an astringent and helps to decrease the size and intensity of the pimple.
- Facial Sauna: Cover your head with a towel and steam your face over a bowl of boiling water with an added teabag of chamomile, for 5-10 minutes. The steam will open up the pores and the chamomile is extremely healing and antiseptic.
- Facial Mask: Mix either some bicarb soda or green clay with some water to make into a paste and apply to the face. Leave on for 15min and rinse with lukewarm water afterwards.
- Skin Foods: Apply the juice of some fresh cucumber (soothing), pineapple or pawpaw (contain enzymes that are anti-inflammatory and work as a natural exfoliator). Dab on, leave for 5min, and then wash off with warm water and gently pad dry.
Shine from the inside out! – Our modern society has taken away our womanly confidence in showing our natural beauty by getting us used to an artificial barbie doll-look and to hide our natural beauty under a thick layer of make-up, mascara, lip gloss, and so on. It almost becomes like an addiction: “I can’t live without it or imagine leaving the house without it”, “I feel naked without it”, “I hate looking at myself when I haven’t put any make-up on”, “I’m afraid boys won’t like me”. Always remember that true beauty shines from the inside out – a sparkling heart makes a beaming face: “Wisdom makes a man’s (or woman’s) face to shine, and changes its hard appearance.” (Prov 8:1). Solomon says the wise person is beaming and has so much joy that you can see it on his or her face. What do others see when they look at you? Do you have joy? If not, perhaps it’s because you aren’t soaking in the wisdom of God’s Word. Why not start today and ask God: “Please give me a singing heart, sparkling eyes, and smiling lips.”