Shahnaz Husain on how to keep acne away


Acne occurs on oily skin. What many people may not know is that a blackhead is the primary acne lesion. In other words, acne starts with a blackhead. Oily skin is prone to blackheads as the pores get clogged with hardened oil. Neglected blackheads irritate the surrounding tissues of the skin, resulting in inflammation. This sets the stage for pimples and acne.

Cleansing is the key for acne-prone skin. The oiliness needs to be reduced and the pores kept free of hardened oil. Use a face wash or medicated cleanser specially formulated for oily skin. Cleansing at night is a must. Use a rose-based astringent-toner or buy astringent lotion and mix it with rose water in equal parts. Keep it in the fridge in an airtight bottle. Use this to wipe the face after cleaning it. It can be used several times a day to refresh the skin. Avoid the use of excessive soap and water as this makes the skin too alkaline and predisposes it to further eruptions. Go for salon clean-ups for the removal of blackheads and prevent the onset of acne.

Avoid oily creams and moisturisers and use protective creams and medicated lotions. After cleansing at night, apply anti-acne lotion on the eruptions.

Avoid facial scrubs on pimples to minimise scars.

Apply sandalwood paste on the pimples.

Mix together one teaspoon cinnamon (dalchini) powder, half teaspoon methi (fenugreek) seed powder, lemon juice and a few drops of honey. Apply this sticky paste only on the eruptions for a couple of hours.

Boil a handful of neem (contains organic sulphur compounds) leaves on a low fire in six cups of water for half an hour. Leave overnight and strain the water the next morning. Make a paste of the leaves and apply the paste on the eruptions, rinse the face with the neem water.

Make a paste of multani mitti, rose water and lemon juice, and apply on the face two or three times a week; wash it off when it dries.

Ensure that your hair and scalp are free of dandruff. Keep the hair away from the face when you sleep. Wash pillow covers and towels in warm soapy water with a teaspoon of antiseptic lotion.

There are peel treatments for scars, but where acne is concerned, prevention is better than cure.

Care by Skin type

✦ A healthy skincare regimen, 
according to its type and needs, is essential. Skin-type depends on the activity of the oil-producing glands. Normal skin is 
balanced and needs a normal 
facial of cleansing, toning, 
moisturising and protection 
with sunscreen.

✦ Dry skin lacks both moisture 
and oil. This needs cleansing creams/gels, nourishing cream and protection.

✦ Oily skin has large pores and is prone to blackheads and 
eruptions. The pores need to 
be kept unclogged with 
astringent-toners, facial scrubs and oil-free products.

✦ Combination skin has an oily 
T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and the rest is dry.


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