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Hormonal Acne

21 Feb

Huhh!! My first zits of 2013, just great!!! It has been a while and mind you, im not even done with its evil sister-the scars! At 34 and still breaking out, not funny you guys!  Must be my recent insomnia, that time of the month and stress, occuring at the same time and all gang-up against me. 1,2 and …another one, 3..sigh!!

I blame those whacky hormones!! I know some people feel that it is a misconception that hormones cause acne, I really believe so anyway. Of course, it may not be a direct trigger, but it is somehow related.

The thing is, my skin is no longer as oily . In fact, I have combination skin now and sometimes, it gets dry. So how does hormones affect our skin? In simpler words, hormones are powerful substance in our body, it does so many things (people can even be cuckoo because of hormones okay, and then you guessed them right – PMS :p) . There is a surge of androgens, the male hormones during premenstrual stage. It affects the sebum productions and even increase the number of Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes acne ) in our skin apart from causing skin inflammation (Amercan Academy of Dermatology).

Unlike acne caused by oily skin, hormonal acne tends to occur over the chin and along the jawline. Exactly what Im having!

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Oily Skin

9 Feb

I remember that I was 16 when I had my first breakout. And I blamed my oily skin for that. I whined to my mom about how I hated my oily skin, the acne that it caused and  my overall complexion. Suprisingly and interestingly, although my mom had been supportive throughout my battle with the ‘famous beauty enemy’, she said this 18 years ago…”You should be grateful that God gave you oily skin”. And I was like, WTH?? ( silently in my head of course!! Duhhh  :p ) My mom told me then people with oily skin age slower and have less wrinkles because of the skin’s natural oil. The oil helps to lock and seal the moisture in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Of course, at 16, ageing and wrinkles were foreign.

Oily skin is a result of over-active sebaceous gland. It produces sebum, which naturally by right, is a healthy skin lubricant. However, when the sebum is excessive, the pores get clogged causing blackhead, acne and visible pores. This is the downside of oily skin. In fact, it’s a common fact that oily skin is typified by blemishes, pimples, grease and shininess, although acne can occur in dry skin as well ( more commonly seen in adult acne).

I realised that, over the years I had wrongly treated my oily skin. I avoided moisturiser at all cost previously, used a strong mattifying product, slathered a high percentage of over-the-counter acne treatments and cleansed my face several times a day in the hope for an acne-free and less oily skin. In my simple mind, the oil has to go as it is the root of all of my skin problems. But of course, that backfired!

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Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire