The skin care mail bag: Alcohol and Acne, Popping Pimples, Tanning and Acne

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The skin care mail bag: Alcohol and Acne, Popping Pimples, Tanning and Acne

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Posted: 10/17/2012 Skin Care Q & A with , , , , ,

My team of skin care professionals and I have received some great questions about acne over the past few months from the SkinReading blog, our Bioelements Facebook and Twitter pages, and from skin care professionals across the country! Questions about the connections between acne and alcohol, tanning and acne, and why popping pimples is bad. You’ve got questions… we’ve got answers:

Alcohol and acne:

Q. I see acne breakouts after a night of drinking alcohol, probably from dehydration and sugary drinks. Which is better to drink to help with this situation: beer, or liquor?

A. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes dehydration, and dehydration can wreak havoc on the skin. Since most alcohol is packed with sugar, neither beer nor liquor is the right choice in excess, so limit how much you drink of either during a night out — and make sure you also drink lots of water during the evening. Your skin will thank you in the morning.

There are also things you can do for your skin the morning after a night out. Give it a soothing and hydrating mask, such as our Gel Therapy. This mask will hydrate and feed your skin with essential minerals. Leave it on for 10 minutes, remove with water and follow with several spritzes of Calmitude Hydrating Solution, our calming toner. Finally, apply Stress Solution over your entire face to comfort, smooth and lock in moisture with green tea extracts and vitamins E and A.

Popping pimples:

Q. If popping pimples is bad then why does the esthetician I go to pop my pimples?

A. There’s a big difference between a trained skin care professional performing extractions in a treatment room environment and someone “popping pimples” at home. I’ve written about this in other posts (see here), but 1. A professional esthetician is working in a sterilized environment which therefore greatly reduces the chance of infection. 2. She has access to pro-use-only products to treat the skin for maximum results. 3. She’ll use professional equipment to prep the skin for easier extractions, greatly reducing the chance for skin injury. 4. She has years and years of training – specific training on extractions, and knows particularly what can and cannot be extracted. This is invaluable knowledge that simply cannot be underestimated when it come to your face.

I often say “the easiest way to get more pimples is to pop one at home.” When you pop a pimple, you increase the spread of infection and bacteria. Leave extractions to the professional estheticians.

Tanning and acne:

Q. Is there any truth behind tanning beds being good for acne? I’ve had nurses and cosmetologists suggest this. What are your thoughts? I’d like to set the record straight! Thank you.

A. This is an excellent question. It is a complete misconception that tanning beds – or any UV exposure – is good for acne. Many people feel that tanning can improve their skin because it can temporarily dry up surface oil and mask redness. However, despite these temporary results (and yes, they are only temporary) – UV exposure only weakens and damages skin, significantly increasing the likelihood that it will be left with red, brown or black pigment marks where skin tried to protect itself from the UV rays. In addition, ultraviolet light will only increase the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin.

Have a question for me or or my team? Ask us on Facebook, Twitter or right in the comments below!


Barbara Salomone

One of the first-ever licensed estheticians in the U.S., Barbara is an architect of the modern American facial. Her point-of-view is that a balance of nutrition, fitness and daily skin care is the only realistic way to great looking skin. Since launching the Bioelements line in 1991, she has trailblazed the skin care industry, incorporating nutritional supplements into topical skin care products including antioxidants, calcium, probiotics and lutein.

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Comment (1)

lou@shaimus.com'
Lucy M. says:
Jul 28, 2013

Though, tanning can cover up acne formations on the skin, tanning can actually make acne much worse. It is important to understand the difference between good tanning and bad tanning, especially when you’re getting ready for your wedding. I found this article on tanning and acne super interesting and helpful. I recommend it: http://theclearskinproject.com/acne-article/tanning-and-acne/

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