Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blemish Monsters: The Bad, the Worse, and the Grotesquely Ugly…

There’s nothing worse than feeling a little something developing on your face.  I’m not talking about the little hormone zits you get before your period or a pesky white head that pops up with some friends after a long session at the gym. I’m talking about a full-on painful, red pimple that starts hurting before it’s even a bump.  I’m talking about the kind of pimple that gets so big and ugly you’re sure that an alien life-form may hatch from it during the night.

Your first instinct is to panic.  You furiously douse the area with every topical acid and acne fighter you can find. You don’t care that your skin will be chapped and peeling. You just want it gone.  Nothing works, so you panic some more and it gets large enough that you figure it’s ripe for the picking.  BAD!!

I know you’re going to want to throw something at me, but the one thing that will make your monster go away without a fight is PATIENCE (and a few tricks, of course). Before we get to the tricks though, let’s talk about the last paragraph and review why both over-medicating and picking are terrible and could permanently scar your face:

–  Okay, so you’re one of the overmedicating punishers.  Once an hour you apply several different topical solutions to the problem area blatantly ignoring the scalding burn that gets worse with every application.  Well, guess what… you’re little molotov cocktail is doing more harm than good.  A blemish is an irritation and all you’re doing is making it more irritated, if not downright angry (and good luck covering up that bad boy)!

– Or let’s say you wait until the monster gets big enough that it should have it’s own zip code and then you squeeze it with your greasy little fingers or you stab it with a needle.  Do I even have to say why this is a bad idea?  Not only is there a good chance you’re spreading the bacteria, but you most probably will leave  a permanent mark!  I know it’s ugly and it’s all you can look at, but resist the temptation to kill it and walk away from the mirror.  That’s right, put the needle down and walk away from the mirror.

Try to channel a little patience and invest in a Tanda ‘Zap’ Light Therapy Device ($49), which “uses powerful blue light to destroy acne-causing bacteria while subtle vibration and gentle warming help to open pores so bacteria is exposed to the zit-zapping light.”  The TANDA only works if you do it religiously and couple it with a gentle anti-acne solution (gentle being the operative word). As soon as I feel the something, I do the TANDA sometimes every few hours if I’m home.  The minimum would be three times a day.  Trust me, it really works and it doesn’t irritate your skin in the least.

After I TANDA, I immediately apply Naturopathica Moss Blemish Treatment ($38),a highly concentrated treatment that uses Kaolin and Bentonite Clay to absorb oil and Moss Extract to clean affected pores and reduce redness. It’s also packed with a bunch of natural anti-inflammatories and oil busters, and minimizes the blemish without drying. Genius.

Now keep in mind that none of the above are miracle treatments.  That something isn’t going to go away over night and may even take the form of a monster, but at least it will be a smaller, less scary monster that doesn’t live forever.


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