Healthy Beginnings

7 Tips for Combating Adolescent Acne, Naturally

By Joyce Pontillas, N.D.

Teenagers go through hormonal changes during puberty. This is the time when hormones called androgens increase the production of sebum (oil) from the sebaceous glands. These glands are found just beneath the surface of the skin on the face, back and chest. When these glands become clogged with oil and dead skin, the glands become inflamed causing acne, blackheads and whiteheads. Teens will experience some form of acne no matter what. The following are helpful tips in preventing acne from getting worse and becoming acne scars:

1. Diet. “Diet is the answer to the acne problem,” says Dr. Gustave H. Hoehn, M.D., author of “Acne Can Be Cured.” Avoid and, if possible, eliminate chocolate, soda, salted nuts, oily foods, processed foods, TV dinners, animal fats, fried foods, sweets and any foods with chemical additives and preservatives.

2. Sleep. Teens are at the stage of active growth. Their bodies are going through many chemical reactions from childhood to adulthood. Lack of sleep causes havoc within the hormones and hormone imbalance will cause acne.

3. Hygiene. Acne is caused by bacteria, most commonly P. acnes bacteria. Cleansing with gentle and mild cleansers morning and night will prevent acne buildup.

4. Exfoliate. Removing dead skin will prevent the pores from being clogged. Let the skin “breathe” at night after exfoliating rather than applying it with a night cream.

5. Toners. Use toner after cleansing. Toners are useful in removing any residue to brighten and refresh the face. Witch hazel as a toner acts as an antiseptic on acne bacteria.

6. Moisturize. Use moisturizers with natural ingredients, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Products with chemicals, additives and parabens can cause the acne to worsen. Non-allergenic and non-comedogenic products are recommended.

7. Nutrition therapy. Teens with acne could bene t from taking zinc and homeopathic remedies based on the type of acne.

Sunscreen Tips for Healthy Summer Skin

Sun protection is key to preventing skin damage and skin cancer. To keep skin protected, look for an SPF20 of mineral- based sunscreen with a blend of titanium and zinc oxide fillers. This offers a broad- spectrum protection against UV light. Mineral-based sunscreen is recommend for children and those with sensitive skin. Avoid sunscreens with synthetic chemicals such as cinnamate and benzophenone. SPF in a moisturizer usually wears o by lunchtime. It is recommended to reapply every two hours during prolonged exposure to the sun.

For more information, call Joyce Pontillas, N.D., at 775-409-3301 or visit