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Try these natural skin treatments for acne and rosacea

Acne doesn't always end at adolescence, and rosacea, the rosy-red facial skin disorder, is becoming more and more common as the populous baby boomers enter the most susceptible ages.

Women get the worst of it: About 54 percent of adult females are afflicted with acne, compared with 40 percent of adult males. Chalk up the difference to age-related hormonal changes, birth control, pregnancy, stress, and menopause. To add inconvenience to injury, the pimples may act the same, but the skin does not. Drier and less resilient, an adult woman's skin can easily be damaged by some of the treatments she may have relied on during her adolescence. In addition, treating adult acne harshly can create problems such as redness or broken capillaries.

Treating Adult Acne
Acne is typically caused by the interaction of bacteria, hormones, and sebum (oil from the hair follicle). A conscientious skin care regime can combat some of these causes. Acne treatments usually work by reducing oil production, speeding up the growth of new skin cells, removing dead skin cells, and fighting bacterial infection.

Use a weekly facial scrub for oily skin, followed by a facial mask. Tone your skin with witch hazel, a natural astringent that is anti-inflammatory and effectively controls excess oil. Spot-treating blemishes with a formulation of bacteria-fighting essential oils such as tea tree, neroli, or lemon oil ran help them heal faster.

Anyone with a tendency toward acne should apply only noncomedogenic preparations to their skin. "Comedone" is the medical term for whiteheads and blackheads, so "noncomedogenic" simply means not causing breakouts. Noncomedogenic products will not feel greasy if rubbed between the fingers.

Getting the Red Out
Rosacea may occur between the ages of 30 and 60, and is often seen in women experiencing hormonal changes associated with menopause. Women are more frequently affected than men, although men tend to suffer more severe symptoms.

Women are more likely to get rosacea on the cheeks and chin, but men are more likely to get rosacea on the nose. It typically begins as redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead that may come and go. Rosacea may also show up on the neck, chest, scalp, or ears. Over time, the redness becomes ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue.

Although what causes the disorder is unclear, it is known that rosacea is aggravated by extremes of temperature, sun exposure, alcohol, hot drinks, spicy foods, and emotional stress. All of these cause the already congested and weakened blood vessels lo dilate even further and the skin's sensitive surface to become irritated and inflamed.

Treat rosacea-prone skin gently. Choose skin care products that contain calming chamomile, calendula, and rose or green tea extracts. Avoid products that contain harsh synthetic chemicals and alcohol, which disturb the pH level of your skin, leaving it dehydrated. Also, speak with your doctor about using azelaic acid cream for rosacea and acne. Azelaic acid is derived from oxygenated olive oil and is an FDA-approved treatment for rosacea. It's available as a prescription and in over-the-counter natural beauty products such as MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin Serum.

(Products shown below, left to right)

Calm irritated skin with DERMA E PYCNOGENOL REDNESS REDUCING SERUM. Pycnogenol, the antioxidant derived from pine bark, works to stabilize the capillaries, improve circulation, and increase skin's resistance to inflammation.

DR. HAUSCHKA SKIN CARE ROSE DAY CREAM features biodynamically grown rose flowers and rose hips (rich in vitamin C) to strengthen skin, reduce the appearance of red, weakened capillaries, and protect against dryness

Reduce shine while hydrating and calming sensitive skin with HUMPHREYS ORGANIC BOTANICALS OIL-CONTROLLING DAILY MOISTURIZER, a lightweight, nonsticky cream with witch hazel, jasmine, green tea, white tea, and arnica.

Zap zits with NATURE'S GATE NATURAL RESULTS ACNE TREATMENT SYSTEM, a three-step treatment that contains acne-fighting ingredients and skin-nourishing botanicals for clear, acne-free skin.

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By Sherrie Strausfogel

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