By Golly, it’s BACNE!

BLEH! Summer (aka swimsuit and less clothing season) is right around the corner! The “cold shoulder” style is still trending like crazy – so, why me? Why bacne? *sighs* More sorrows of a woman in her late 20’s, because seriously? I’ve gone my entire life without a single blemish on my back! However, like the breakouts on my face, I’ve had to come to the realization that if I want a clear back – something in my skin care routine HAS to change. Whether that means cutting something out or adding something new, SOMETHING has to be done.

WHAT IS BACNE?

Like acne, bacne forms when pores are congested with dead skin and oil. Your back is a much larger area of skin, and therefore has even more sebaceous glands and hair follicles that produce sebum. Although sebum is meant to help keep our skin moisturized, too much of it combined with bacteria, oil, sweat, and dead skin cells, clogs up your pores and creates those wonderful pimples we all know and love.

BAD NEWS FIRST:

What I find to be the most complicated factor about treating bacne is that the skin on your back is covered by clothing most of the time. Unless you live in a nudist community (no judgement here!) then you probably wear a shirt, sweatshirt, workout top, suite, backpack, etc. on a daily basis. The problem is your back never has a chance to breathe. Unlike treating your face, which is probably never covered by clothing, our backs are constantly confined up against material.

So what’s happening under our clothes? The answer is: heat followed by sweat. Even if you’re a person that’s “cold all the time”, it doesn’t change the fact that the natural oils from your skin are trapped under tightly fitted sports bras, cotton t-shirts, warm winter coats, etc. But HEY, clothing isn’t exactly going out of style anytime soon. So, what’s next?

LIFE’S NOT FAIR:

Quick reminder before we get to the good news. It’s important to remember that treating acne and bacne is a trial and error process. Yes, your friend may be able to fall asleep in her workout clothes after a hot yoga class, and NOT breakout…but that doesn’t mean YOU can. Maybe the cheap, drug store soap brand works for your sister, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you! Having clear skin is A LOT of work for some folks. Moving forward, keep this in mind when considering the changes you may have to make to your daily regimen.

THE GOOD NEWS:

I’ve found a routine and product that is slowly clearing up my back!

Process:

  1. I took a long, hard look in the mirror and reminded myself that I am too old for the fruity-perfume filled body washes I’d been using. I KNOW. They smell good and we’ve all been using them for years! However, I’m sure most skin experts would suggest cutting these types of washes from your routine (especially those with acne-prone skin).
  2. I invested in a back scrubber and acne fighting body wash WITH salicylic acid. The salicylic acid is key here because it drys out your skin preventing the oils from building and starting the pore clogging process. The back brush helps to remove dead skin particles (also a factor in the pore clogging process).
  3. I started washing my back twice a day.

This process may not work for you – below I have attached some thoughts from an earlier post about acne, as they also relate to also fighting bacne. There are many causes of acne/bacne, so the best way to figure out how to conquer it is to start your trial and error process!

What works for you? Is there a particular product you love? Share it on our Facebook page!

ASK:

  • Am I maintaining a healthy diet? Although Americans are notoriously known for turning to medication to solve their problems, it couldn’t hurt to first start with considering a natural fix. Maybe the zits on your face is your body trying to say, “hey, stop feeding me greasy food” or “I need more fruits and vegetables, please”. Try to be sure you’re maintaining a balanced diet.
  • Am I not taking vitamins? Not everyone has the time or means to prepare 3 nutritious meals every day. If you must cut corners, vitamins can be a great way to ensure your body has some intake of the basic nutrients it needs to function properly.
  • Am I still smoking and drinking heavily? Our bodies are constantly changing over time. Consider how your 21-year-old self felt after a few glasses of wine versus now. Yeah…. The same difference can be said for the toll smoking and drinking takes on your skin and overall appearance! AWFUL. Both combined is a double whammy when it comes to dehydrating your skin – ie. could be the reason for breakouts.
  • Am I washing my face with the correct products for my skin type? Like our bodies, our skin also changes over time. There’s a good chance the face wash that kept your skin “clean, clear, and under control” in your teens doesn’t work anymore. Unfortunately, this will have to be a trial and error process. To add insult to injury, you can probably expect to go through the same process years from now once your skin changes again. Yes, maintaining healthy skin IS a lot of work.
  • Am I practicing proper hygiene for my skin type? There was a time when I could get away with only washing my face in the morning. Not anymore! Now, by the end of the day I can start to see my face getting greasy and needing to be washed again before bedtime. Everyone’s skin is different and like me, you may need to start new habits in order to ensure a healthy look.
  • Am I feeling stressed, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly? All of these factors can play a major role in controlling acne! Everyone knows the mental benefits of getting a sufficient amount of rest and exercise daily. If your body is stressed, lacking sleep and exercise it will not function properly, neither will your skin.
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HOW TO: Get More Sleep at Night

In our last post, we reviewed the importance of getting a full night’s rest in regards to skin care. Annet King, Director of Global Education Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute states: “If you’re not getting enough sleep — an average of seven hours a night — you are depriving your body of its requisite downtime. This accelerates the skin aging process and, as King says, “If your body is chronically deprived of sleep, the effects become physically and visibly noticeable.”

I hate to agree with science, as I’ve NEVER believed I needed 7-8 hours of sleep a night to be productive and look great. Instead that sleep is truly the enemy of my hyperactive mind. I mean, think about how much you could get done if you didn’t have to spend one third of your life asleep! In an interview written by Technologist, I luckily discovered Hans Förstl, director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) – who happens to agree with me. He explains, “some people claim that we – as a society – are not sleeping enough due to all the modern temptations like TV and the Internet, but in my view our modern life is just too interesting to sleep longer. And before we compare ourselves to our ancestors and their “healthier” sleeping habits, we should remember that they had to climb up trees and cling to branches in order to avoid the worst – but not all – of the imminent dangers. Generally, I believe that it all depends on preferences, demands and satisfaction. If someone is satisfied with his or her personal sleeping pattern – however unconventional – it’s fine.”

Although I agree with Hans, there are definitely a few counterpoints to be made regarding the difference between us and our ancestors. Unlike them, society has become vain and eager to show the world and all social media how great their lives and appearances are. Sure, we might climb trees and cling to branches too….as long as we’re “doing it for The Gram”. As a country and new generation, people are striving to maintain their appearance for a much longer portion of their lifetime. Less sunbathing and smoking – more sleep, facials, and Instagram filters.

So, fine! If we’re going to maintain our best appearance for a longer period of time, then more sleep WE MUST. After searching the internet for ways to accomplish this, I found a select few that work best for me.

Try them! Head to our Facebook page and share what works best for you!

YOGA/MEDITATION: If you work at a desk all day you probably know the painful effect it has on your neck and back. For me, this pain can make it hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. I remember a Yoga teacher explain that our time in her class would be the most uncomfortable we felt throughout our day. If you’ve ever taken Yoga, you know that some of the positions involved with the practice are challenging, exhausting, and miserable to maintain. However, while uncomfortable, your muscle are being worked and stretched while your brain is also exercising control and focus. This can be your exercise for the day and assist in making falling asleep easier.

DOWNLOAD FREE SLEEP APP: Instead of falling asleep watching TV or Netflix, try closing your eyes and listening to white noise, nature sounds, or soft stories told by a voice over actor with a soothing voice. The glare from your TV or computer screen may be what’s bothering you! Not to mention, depending on what you’re binge watching, certain scenes may be louder than others which can create disturbance. Many times I’ve tried falling asleep to Shameless – a drama filled series with a lot  yelling, screaming children, gunshots, and loud music. Not really the best choice of background sound while trying to doze off.

SPLASH COLD WATER: Can’t get your mind to stop chattering? Having mental or physical anxiety can be the absolute worst when trying to relax at the end of the day. When your basic breathing exercises don’t seem to be working, I found folks suggesting to submerge your face in ice-cold water! Although this may not seem like the most comfortable idea, it’s a natural way to reset your nervous system. The goal being to lower your heart rate and blood pressure (which naturally happens when you’re falling asleep).

AROMATHERAPY: What can’t essential oils do? They’ve been proven to help relieve headaches, dry skin, anxiety, soothe sore muscles, reduce toxicity, and the list goes on! So, why not try scent as part of your sleep regimen? If you’re not interested in purchasing a diffuser or dropping oils directly on to your pillow, maybe give Dermalogica’s new product a try! As described in our last post, Sound Sleep Cocoon is a revitalizing treatment gel-cream filled with motion-activated French Lavender Essential Oil (with Sandalwood and Patchouli).

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INTRODUCING: Sound Sleep Cocoon

INTRODUCING: Sound Sleep Cocoon

Dermalogica just dropped a new product! Not only could it be our next blessing, but a fresh reminder: To ensure we look our very best…..we need 7 hours of sleep every night. Folks these days are working harder than ever and finding it more and more difficult to put the phone down, calm the mind and fall asleep. Not only are we mentally our best with a good nights rest, but also LOOK our best. If we’re going to look great (and use photoshop less) with age, we have to make a strong attempt to revert back to the basics of health and skin care. SO, here is your healthful reminder along with introduction to Derma’s new blessing.

WHILE WE’RE AWAKE:

On a daily basis our skin is at risk for damage! Sure, you may of cut smoking and sunbathing from your lifestyle, but the unfortunate truth is that you’re still very much at risk. For example: pollution filled with free radicals that we can’t see or avoid AT ALL are also to blame for aging and dull skin. How is that fair? We didn’t pollute this Earth! Well, actually we did. Maybe this is Mother Nature’s way of repaying us?

ALSO, the everyday use of “irritants” are a common factor. These being your household cleaning supplies – bleach, detergent, ammonia, etc. If you haven’t hopped on the organic cleaning product train, now may be the time to do so. This also seems less than fair, as these products have been deemed safe for human use.

So, how can we avoid the unavoidable? We can’t walk around in plastic bubbles to avoid free radicals OR completely stop cleaning our homes! The answer is: we can’t. However, we CAN do our skin a solid service by considering it to be a “nocturnal being”. Like our other organs, the skin is working to protect us and maintain our lives all the time. BUT, it’s said to do it’s best work at night while we’re asleep.

WHILE WE’RE ASLEEP as told by DERMALOGICA:

DNA repair, cellular detox and cellular production all rev up while we lie idle between the sheets. “The body uses sleep time for internal housekeeping,” explains Annet King, Director of Global Education Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute. “This is when we process nutrients, detoxify, renew and recharge, so giving your body ample time to accomplish all this is critical for keeping your skin — not to mention your overall health — in peak condition.”

Bottom line: If you’re not getting enough sleep — an average of seven hours a night — you are depriving your body of its requisite downtime. This accelerates the skin aging process and, as King says, “If your body is chronically deprived of sleep, the effects become physically and visibly noticeable.”  

Sound Sleep Cocoon – transformative night gel-cream

  • Revitalizing treatment gel-cream transforms skin overnight by optimizing nighttime skin recovery.
  • Tamarind Seed Extract creates a nourishing cocoon of comfort for softer, more hydrated skin while encapsulated,
  • Motion-activated French Lavender Essential Oil (with Sandalwood and Patchouli) work all night to promote deep, restful sleep for healthier-looking skin by morning.
  • Other key ingredients include Persian Silk Tree Extract which reduces signs of skin fatigue and restores vitality while Wu-Zhu-Yu Extract provides visibly radiant skin by the a.m.

Having trouble falling asleep at night? ME TOO. Next blog will be filled with organic, natural and healthy ways to catch some extra Zzzz’s.

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