The skin of any age is prone to acne. Acne involves areas where there are no sebaceous glands like the neck, cheeks, and forehead. This becomes more prominent with age because the sebaceous glands secrete excess oil, which can clog pores and cause an increase in blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, redness, scarring, or brown spots. The reasons for acne are not fully known, but hormonal changes may play a role in its formation.
Though specific topical gels are available for treating acne breakouts, it is preferable to use natural remedies that treat acne without side effects, heal scars faster, and prevent further outbreaks. These remedies also contain antioxidants that delay the aging of the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Four different treatments for aging and acne-prone skin are discussed below. Different cultures have used some of these remedies for thousands of years, while other remedies have only recently gained popularity. They are all versatile in their application and help benefit the whole body and the skin.
§ Shea Butter – This butter is extracted from the nuts of the African shea tree that grows in the dry savannahs of West Africa near the Sudan border. The butter has a unique composition consisting mainly of olein triglycerides, similar to fats obtained from animal sources but without cholesterol; hence it is safe to use on damaged or aged skin. Shea butter contains several fatty acids, including oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, and arachidic acids. Shea Butter soothes acne-prone skin and reduces wrinkles by increasing elasticity. It has a high concentration of antioxidants, including vitamin E, which help to soothe sunburn, heal scars, and reduce age spots and fine lines caused by the sun. Vitamin A present in Shea butter is also good for cleansing pores, healing pimples, and preventing further breakouts. The use of shea butter has been embraced by different clinics offering skin treatment, such as Is Clinical. Other benefits include anti-aging effects due to antioxidative properties, relief from irritation caused by acne-prone skin, reduce inflammation associated with eczema and skin allergies.
§ Coconut Oil – This oil is obtained from fresh coconut meat by pressing or extracting solvents. It contains high amounts of saturated fats, which are not harmful to damaged skin. Coconut oil is highly penetrative and helps to prevent moisture loss in the epidermis layer of the skin. It is also widely used in repairing damaged tissues like the dermal layer of skin.
§ Carrot Seed Oil – This is an essential oil derived from carrot seeds that have been steam distilled to release the volatile compounds found in carrots. Carrot seed oil can be applied topically on any skin, but it may not give the desired results if there are existing internal conditions or imbalances within the body. Pregnant women or nurses should consult their physicians before using this topical application because no studies confirm its safety during pregnancy or lactation.
§ Grapeseed Oil – This is a vegetable oil obtained from the seeds of grapes. It has antioxidant properties due to vitamin E, which is one of its most important constituents. Grapeseed oil penetrates the dermal layer of skin and does not clog pores, making it suitable for acne-prone skin. It also reduces age spots by inhibiting an enzyme that causes hyperpigmentation, lightens scars, and helps in removing excess facial hair.
There are several forms of treatment for acne and aging skin. Clinically, the most important factors in treating both conditions include identifying possible triggers (i.e., diet) and using ingredients that promote exfoliation of the stratum corneum without causing irritation or exacerbating either condition.