Pimples are one of the banes of our existence. Almost everyone gets them at some point in life and because of this, there are many topical creams to handle them. But how do you know the right one? This buying guide will show you how to buy a good pimple cream.
As tiny pustules, pimples develop from oily or dirty glands that get clogged and swell up or get infected.
Over-activity of the hormones that cause excess secretion of oil often occur during the teenage years or the menstrual period. This is one reason pimples occur more for these two groups of people.
The areas of our bodies where we secrete more oil are usually the chest, back, shoulders and of course, the face. Teenagers make up more than 85%, while only 13% women and 2% men are affected. In all, there is no known reason why some people get it and others don’t.
What Causes Pimples?
Over-secretion of Sebum
The skin has a gland called sebaceous gland that excretes sebum intended to lubricate the skin and hair naturally.
These are glands found everywhere on our skin, except on our palms and under our feet. But they occur more on the face.
As the skin goes through the normal process of growing new skin, the old skin is constantly shed. Sometimes, especially when we don’t cleanse regularly, they remain on the surface and stick together. So they end up blocking the pores thereby causing pimples.
The high amounts of oil secreted during teenage years is why the skin is likely to get more pimples during this stage of life.
Dead skin cells and sebum gather together and cause the pores to block, promoting the growth of bacteria. One of the bacteria is Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), a bacterium that causes pimples.
Propionibacterium acne can live on the surface of the skin without causing any harm. However, in some conditions it acts on the sebum and produces a substance that leads to zits and spots.
The cause of pimples may be by bacteria but they are not contagious, and cannot be passed from one person to another.
To learn more about zits and how to handle them successfully, take a look at this article.
Yeast infections are another cause of pimples, zits and spots. A condition called Pityrosporum occurs when a certain type of yeast, called Pityrosporum, appears in the follicles of the hair.
The presence of this pimple-causing yeast is normal. But some people have it in higher quantities which lead to breakouts. And it’s common from teenage years to about fifty years.
Yeast thrive in humid environment. Wearing clothes made with fabric that produces heat may aggravate the situation, leading to more breakouts.
Oily skin also tends to promote the growth of this pimple-producing yeast.
It is best to treat with an anti-fungal cream. Using antibiotics may have a negative effect.
Scientific finding links the presence of high levels of testosterone with acne. Activity of testosterone in the male (and sometimes female) hormones jump-start the activity of sebaceous glands, which lead to clogged pores and acne.
Whether diet actually contributes to breakouts or not is uncertain. The assumption is that a good and balanced diet promotes good health, which can help keep pimples in check.
Good high-in-fiber oils such as nuts, olive oil and cashew nuts help control swelling. These oils provide strong barrier and raise immunity that block infection.
Lack of Vitamins and Healthy Fats
Well nurtured and healthy skin uses a good dose of Vitamins A, D and E to promote good chemicals and help control the break out of zits, spots or pimples.
Consumption of milk is associated with acne. If milk does play a role, this could be due to the hormones in milk. However, findings have been inconclusive.
Studies have linked a low glycemic-index (GI) diet with lower levels of insulin in the blood, lower levels of androgen, and a reduced likelihood of acne.
Moreover, advocating a low GI diet could discourage people from consuming enough whole grains and other healthful foods that could provide useful nutrients.
Oil increases the possibility of getting acne, but certain healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats promote healthy bodily functions.
A diet that has low fat or is fat-free can increase the chances of the skin drying out and this could lead to more pimples.
Certain medical conditions can increase the possibility of having a pimple outbreak. Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) increases sebum production in the body, thus leading to more pimples.
Types of Pimples
Pimples aren’t all of the same type. They range from white heads to black heads and cysts. Therefore, an effective remedy depends on the type of pimple to determine the pimple cream to use.
Whiteheads are usually small and remain under the skin. They are undetectable because of their flesh-colored nature. Another name for them is closed comedo.
Blackheads look dark and stand out visibly on the surface of the skin. They are also called open comedo.
These occur on the surface of the skin. Cysts often leave scars and are painful to the touch due to pus.
They occur as pimples on the surface of the skin, with pus at the surface. Pustules are bumps that are round and solid, and irritate when touched.
They look like papules but are bigger. They usually stay deep in the skin.
Buying a Pimple Cream Based on Causes
Different cause of pimples could imply that they will lead to different types of pimples. These will need different types of pimple cream.
Type: A Few Pimples Around Jawline and Chin
If these appear about a particular period of each month, then it may be as a result of your menstrual cycle.
Use pimple fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid a few days to your monthly flow. These drugs stop hormonal changes which the body’s natural order may cause.
Type: A Normal-looking White-topped Pimple
Pores clogged by dead skin cells are often the cause of whiteheads.
When oil mingles with bacteria and grime, it causes redness, swelling and inflammation.
Use salicylic acid to reduce excessive oil and remove skin cells that are dead.
Type: Tiny Red zits with No Head
These pimples appear as a result of bacteria on the surface of the skin. The swelling gives them a red and irritated look.
Treat this type of pimples by using benzoyl peroxide. This acne-treating chemical kills the bacteria and brings down the inflammation.
Type: A Lot of Huge Ugly-looking Pimples
If the pimples are big and painful, they are likely cystic acne. Hormone-stimulating glands cause these type of pimples.
They are hard to eliminate because they have a way of refilling with oil, even after they’ve been treated repeatedly.
Treat these pimples with acne fighting chemicals like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. If there’s no improvement, you may consider a treatment with cortisone injection or an antibiotics medication.
Type: Tiny Spots with Dark Heads
These are very common and just about everyone gets blackheads at one point or the other. These pimples look like whiteheads, except that they are dark.
When air enters large pores, it oxidizes the oil and makes it dark.
Treat blackheads by exfoliating regularly. Exfoliation is the only way to eliminate these zits on the surface of the skin and leave clean, healthy skin.
Type: Not Prominent but Painful Bumps on Skin Surface
These types of pimples are hardly noticeable on the surface of the skin. This is because they grow under skin surface with no opening.
They should not be pinched or touched as this can make them more painful.
A cortisone injection is helpful because it reduces the inflammation to shrink within a day. But if left alone, they could disappear on their own.
Type: Reddish Pimples with Yellowish Liquid
These pimples are filled with pus, usually due to bacteria.
Eliminate them by using benzoyl peroxide. This will bring relief and will not leave scarring, which may occur if you try to squeeze them.
Why Some People Are More Prone To Pimples
No one has been able to clearly determine why some people tend to pimples more than others. But while hormones could play a part, genes could also be another cause for this.
Zits and spots run more in certain families. But any of several factors may lead to a breakout, including stress.
Since bacteria seems to be the major cause of pimples break out, certain people seem to have more of this type of bacteria. Those with clear skin do not seem to have any of these bacteria.
On the other hand, people who don’t have pimples tend to a certain bacteria which were absent in people who had pimples. This shows that certain kinds of bacteria on the surface of the skin enhance or reduce the tendency to pimples and how severe they may appear.
Pimple Cream – Active Ingredients
Keep these active ingredients in mind when buying your pimple cream:
This is one of the best ways to treat pimples. The pimple cream reverses the growth of pimples and makes the skin smooth. Tretinoin helps reduce scarring after pimples heal. Retin-A formula is an easy tretinoin solution.
This pimple cream contains glycolic acid, which is used for lightening the skin and reducing scars. It evens the skin color out and exfoliates. This ingredient also helps stop future breakouts.
This pimple cream has a formula which reverses the effect of aging, while treating pimples and stopping any further breakout.
Retinaldhyde is more easily available than Retino-A and can be purchased from any drug store. This pimple cream tones the skin and fades away any mark left by pimples.
This is a pimple cream that gets the job done fast. It has been proven to work within two days of treatment.
It works as an exfoliator which removes impurities in the skin, thereby reducing the outbreak of pimples. But it should be used mildly.
This ingredient helps dry pimples up and speed up healing on the surface of the skin. It is good for mild break outs and won’t irritate the skin. Made from natural ingredients, it controls and reduces redness, and is good for every type of skin.
These ingredients include the following: cloves, licorice, lemon and turmeric.The pimple cream made with these ingredients are usually good for all skin types, but are particularly good for oily skin. They cool the skin and dry out the zits, leaving your skin feeling refreshed.
Turmeric plant has been known for many years for clearing the skin and removing scars. Its ideal for chronic pimples and other break outs.
Keeping the Face Clear of Pimples
Dead skin, impurities and oil settle on the surface of your skin. Use lukewarm clean water and mild cleanser that doesn’t irritate.
Do not use loofahs or wash clothes but gently wash with your hands and rinse properly. If you must wash with a cloth, do not use it twice.
A lot of acne-controlling products cause the skin to dry out so look for moisturizers that are suitable for your specific skin type.
Acne-controlling Products Are Everywhere
Drug stores usually have them so you don’t need a prescription. Some of the active ingredients in them stop the development of bacteria but may cause dryness.
Therefore, use a little at a time and increase the amount as you may need it.
Minimize Use of Makeup
If you have to, use minimal makeup that has little or no chemicals or oils and wash your face at night. Make sure you use your pimple cream regularly.
Use Oil-free Hair Products
Hair that’s oily will add grease to your face and increase the possibility of break outs.
Keep Hands Off Face
Don’t touch your face too frequently. This will spread bacteria and irritate your skin, especially if it already has pimples. Touching your zits could leave some scarring.
Avoid Excess Sun Exposure
It increases the possibility of getting pimples, because some acne-regulating drugs make skin over sensitive to the rays of direct sunlight.
When you have to move, do so early in the morning or in the evening. Try to avoid being in the sun from the hours of 10 am to 2 pm.
Avoid oily food; eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Oily foods will only make your skin oilier, making it more prone to acne. Dairy foods, processed foods and sugar-filled foods also promote breakouts.
Exercising, as a part of your routine, promotes healthy skin. It reduces the likelihood of an acne breakout.
Make sure to take a bath immediately after your exercise routine to avoid a build-up of dirt.
Find Time to Unwind
Make sure to find time to do the things you enjoy most.
Your guide to a good pimple cream will get you closer to skin so smooth, everyone will ask ‘what’s your secret?’