What Causes Acne & How to Fight It

By Kyleen, age 15, Arizona

I am a 15 year old and have had acne problems since I was 10. Can you believe that?! I have tried Proactive. It didn't work. I have tried Clearasil. It didn't work either. I finally looked into the newest thing - Neutrogena skin iD. I have been using it for about a week now, and my largest breakout areas have completely vanished!

If you look into skin iD and find it isn't right for your skin, then keep your eyes peeled for new products, and always be open to trying new ones. It took me 5 years to find a product that actually works for me. I am pretty positive that it will work for you like it has for me. Best of all, there is entire line of skin iD products, each suited to different needs and types of skin, so you can choose what's right for you!

Here are nine major causes of acne:

1. Stress and Anxiety. Both have the potential to lift hormone levels, worsening the condition of your skin.

2. Genetics. Now everyone knows that your genes make up everything about you and your characteristics. Let's say Mom had horrible acne in high school, and still struggles with it today. If the acne characteristic is traced back to your great grandmother, the chances of you having the same struggle are very high. If your mom passes on that one gene you could deal with it. But then let's say Dad has had no acne problems and that characteristic carries back to your great grandfather. You have a high possibility of having that characteristic too. Based on your family's characteristics that have been passed down you could possibly have just as bad a case of acne as one of your family members. Genetics is one of the biggest factors for acne.

3. Excessive scrubbing kills your skin. Your pores are damaged during this. This causes them to be less protective of what gets inside them. The harder and more you scrub the worse you're killing those pores. You should keep it simple and sensitive. Your skin is full of cells. Those cells are irritated very easily. Irritation causes almost 50% of facial acne and breakouts. Be careful and gentle with your skin.

4. Poor Sleep. Similar to stress, this can raise hormone levels and decreases the body's ability to fight against conditions and diseases of the skin.

5. Make Up. This makes the skin dirty and susceptible to bacteria. I know we girls want to look pretty and get the boys to notice, but repeatedly packing on pounds of liquids and powders is horrible for your pores. When you pack these chemicals onto your skin, you suffocate your pores and kill the skin cells on your face that are used to protect your skin. Be sure to always wash makeup off before bed, and look for products labeled nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic.

6. Moisturizer. Oil-based moisturizer isn't horrible, but it isn't the best thing for your skin. It aggravates your skin and weakens the immune system from fighting acne. Sun creams create the same problems. You should use moisturizer on your face every day, but look for light, oil-free moisterizers.

7. Dry skin, of course. Whether you have makeup on or not make sure to always put sunscreen on. It doesn't have to be the strongest one out there, but at least some protection helps your skin not dry out from the heat or be damaged by the sun's UV rays. Whether you're in a hot area or if it's cold, dry skin happens very easily.

8. Very hot or cold water. Many people say that taking hot water to open your pores then cleansing them, and following up with cold water to close pores helps clean out your pores. WRONG!! It only damages them. While applying the hot water you "freak out" your pores, and the cold water is like giving the pores goose bumps. This spazzes out the cells in your face and weakens them.

Finally, the worst cause for us girls is #9.

9. Periods. Now girls, I am sorry to say this, but acne treatment during your period is the toughest. This time of month doesn't help us fight acne; it worsens our chances of preventing it. All I can say about your period is that you should keep up on your facial cleaning schedule - don't slack off. Don't change your cleaning schedule especially during your period. This causes your pores to go into spasm.

Keeping your skin healthy and acne free not only makes your skin look healthier and cleaner, it makes you feel better about yourself. Take it from someone who has dealt with acne for a while. Once you get rid of your acne issues, you will love your skin. You won't worry about a sudden pimple on the day of a date or picture day at school. You will be able to get up every morning and be able to be proud of your skin and what you have accomplished with it.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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