Aug 25

Relieve Your Eczema Symptoms Naturally With Essential Oils

aromatherapy treatment with herbal flowersApproximately 15% of the world’s children have some form of eczema, and while about half of them will have their symptoms disappear as they grow older, the other half will have symptoms throughout their lives. Eczema is a challenging condition, as the exact causes are not known, and effective cures are not available for everyone through conventional medicine. There does appear to be a strong link between environmental allergens or toxins and outbreaks, and it seems one may be genetically predisposed. Many folks have found great relief for themselves and/or their children with natural therapeutics, through natural cleansing, immune support, proper hydration and diet, and with the topical application of natural anti-inflammates found in essential oils. By combining both internal and external holistic healing modalities, one can create optimal conditions for relief from eczema symptoms.

Many people have had great success with using therapeutic essential oil blends topically; essential oils and accompanying carrier oils can be exceptionally healing to a great variety of skin ailments, eczema included. Oils can provide short-term relief for many, though healing chronic conditions will likely require addressing the toxins in one’s environment, modifying lifestyle choices, and employing the cleansing practices of natural medicine. Here we’ll have a look at topical essential oil formulas from the medical aromatherapy literature, and review effective suggestions for internal and holistic natural treatments.

Essential oils have profound healing effects when the right oils are selected and properly applied. The blends for eczema are simple, and can provide nearly immediate relief of symptoms. For dry eczema, use this recipe to make one ounce of your formula:

Eczema Essential Oil Recipe

  • 20 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops of Palmarosa essential oil
  • One-quarter ounce of Tamanu oil
  • Three-quarters of an ounce of Rosehip seed oil

For children under five, use only one drop of each essential oil per year of age, if over five use two drops. Lavender is a wonderful oil for the relief of itching, and is even prescribed ‘neat’ (undiluted) for simple relief of itchy skin. It has a gentle, soothing effect, with anti-inflammatory and regenerative actions. Palmarosa is a pleasant smelling yet potent anti-microbial and anti-viral essential oil often used in skin care. Tamanu oil is a tropical nut oil highly regarded for its ability to calm and regenerate the skin, and Rosehip seed has been extensively studied for its healing and regenerative properties. This is a powerful yet gentle therapeutic blend that can be applied three to four times daily to relieve itchiness and stimulate skin regeneration.

For weeping eczema, the therapeutic blend is modified to use Thyme essential oil, thujanol chemotype (note that there are several types of Thyme available), and Eucalyptus citradora, otherwise known as Lemon Eucalyptus. This is a more potent anti-infectious blend of essential oils, still in the soothing base oils of Tamanu and Rosehip. Again use 20 drops of each essential oil in each one-quarter ounce of Tamanu and three-quarter ounce of Rosehip seed. Again, the concentration should be reduced for young ones.

For long-term relief, finding the true cause of the eczema is important. For many, it can be toxins in their environment they are continually exposed to. One mother reported success in healing the eczema of her seven month old by switching from chlorinated and fluoridated city tap water to distilled water. Another person whom visited a naturopath began filtering the chlorine from her water, and followed the ‘Eat Right For Your Blood Type’ diet (which among other things improves the immune response and lessens inflammation), again with much success. In general, natural health professionals advise the importance of reducing stress levels, improving the body’s acid/alkaline balance, supporting the immune system, decreasing the inflammatory response, and cleansing the liver, kidneys and colon.

It sounds like a lot, but many practices will promote more than one aspect of health. Cleaning up the diet, reducing processed foods and increasing intake of fresh organic vegetables will go a long way. Vegetable juice, when squeezed at home or at the juice bar (rather than bottled or canned varieties) moves the pH to a more alkaline level, and helps cleanse the system. Just drinking the juice of a single lemon in a glass of warm water first thing each morning will alkalize the blood and support the liver in toxin removal. Cleansing may be crucial to eczema sufferers, as the health of the skin is considered an indicator of the body’s toxicity level. Clear skin means a clear liver; allergic skin reaction can mean the internal organs of elimination are overloaded, and response of eczema is really the toxicity ‘spilling over’ to the skin. If you feel your body is in need of a real cleanse, seek the support and advice of a knowledgeable natural health practitioner to learn the most healthful and effective means to do this for yourself.

Consider making incremental changes to your lifestyle, continually moving toward optimal natural health. A naturopath will encourage you to only make one or two changes ever few weeks, so that you’re not overwhelmed with them, and are more likely to make them habits for the long term. A few additional easy changes to consider, that can have a profound impact on symptomatic relief: Adding a significant daily dosage of essential fats from distilled fish oil or hemp oil. These important fats cannot be made by the body, and play a crucial role in modulating immune response — get them in bulk bottles, rather than capsules which don’t really offer large enough quantities. Next, try at least two months worth of a high-quality probiotic supplement, one that offers six or more strains of healthy bacteria for your digestive system. These types of supplements have been shown specifically to help eczema sufferers. If you’re not working out regularly now, take the implementation of some sort of movement routine into serious consideration — it will help immensely in your overall well-being and more than likely improve symptoms as well. And a couple of easy ones: try finding nettle leaf tea in bulk and drink a couple of cups a day — nettles are highly regarded in Naturopathy for their anti-allergy effects among other benefits; finally, try significantly increasing the amount of clean pure water you’re drinking daily. Much of the population is chronically dehydrated, and those with eczema may benefit dramatically from nature’s most important nutrient.


Misty is a multi-degreed natural wellness professional. She employs a wide variety of natural therapeutics for her clients, including aromatherapy and essential oils. More helpful information is available at and

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Looking for simple, natural ways to look and feel more beautiful?  Then check out these beauty tips in our beauty section!

Dec 12

Keep your skin healthy in winter from the inside out

Keep your skin healthy in winterIt seems that no matter how many layers we put on our body during the winter months, our skin always feels the bitter bite of the cold. When the temperature starts to drop, the humidity level decreases as well, leaving skin feeling parched. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has a few tips to keep your skin hydrated and healthy during the cold, dry winter months:

First, a hot shower certainly gives us a break from the cold outside, however it doesn’t do any favours for our skin. The hot water can actually dry out the natural oils and the longer you stay in the shower the more these oils deplete. Make sure you shower in lukewarm water and always use naturally hydrating products that are free of BHA and BHT, phthalates, parabens, siloxanes, and sodium laureth sulphate.

“We tend to only look for skin products in drug stores and at the cosmetic counter,” says CHFA president, Helen Long. “But you can also look in your pantry and in health food stores to find excellent natural moisturizers. Coconut oil, for example, acts as an emollient, providing a softening and soothing effect. Another option is grapeseed oil, which is an effective, lightweight moisturizer and contains vitamins, minerals, protein, GLA (an omega-6 fatty acid that is found mostly in plant-based oils), and vitamin E—all nutrients your skin will benefit from.”

When we think of improving the condition of our skin, various creams, moisturizers, soaps and cosmetics come to mind. But it’s worth remembering that beauty truly does radiate from the inside out. A nutritious diet which includes healthy fats and colourful vitamin-rich vegetables and fruits, is essential to maintaining hydrated, healthy skin.

Specifically, healthy fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseeds, can help skin maintain its elasticity. Antioxidants like vitamin A, which are found in yellow, orange and red vegetables, are ideal for this purpose. Furthermore, a vitamin A deficiency can actually cause skin to become dry and rough. It may seem like common sense but it is true that your skin’s hydration is linked to your body’s hydration, so make sure you are drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day.

More information on this topic, which includes a list of health food stores in your community, is easily found using the “find-a-retailer” tool online at

Nov 13

Turn over a new leaf with your diet this fall to achieve healthy, glowing skin

healthy, glowing skinAs schedules pick up and temperatures drop, fall is a natural time for women to rethink their skincare routine. Yet the right products are just one piece of the puzzle in being kind to skin. A healthy diet, rich in leafy greens, and a holistic approach to skincare can also have complexion-beautifying benefits. You can turn over a new leaf this fall by incorporating more skin-loving “power greens” (full of vitamins and minerals) like kale, spinach and bok choy into meal time.

Registered dietician nutritionist Ellie Krieger, a New York Times bestselling author and host of the Food Network and Cooking Channel’s hit show, “Healthy Appetite,” is a member of the Simple Advisory Board – a panel of lifestyle experts that educate others on the benefits of adopting a holistic approach to skincare. As kitchens across the country prepare for a healthy reset to mark the start of fall, Krieger offers these easy ways to sneak more leafy greens into your daily dishes.

Start the day with a smoothie

Breakfast smoothies and pressed juices are an increasingly popular choice for on-the-go types. These liquid meals deliver an assortment of health benefits since they’re chock-full of fruits and vegetables. Add kale to a breakfast smoothie or juice (without even knowing it’s there) to experience the superfood’s nutrients – such as antioxidants, calcium and potassium – and beauty benefits like healthy skin and hair. “If you’re looking for an energizing way to start the day, try my superfood smoothie recipe,” says Krieger. “Blend 1/2 frozen ripe banana, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup chopped fresh kale leaves, 1/4 cup sliced almonds , 1 cup nonfat milk, 1 teaspoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.”

Elevate the lunch salad

The lunch hour offers a great opportunity to pack a meal that includes several distinct leafy greens – iceberg, be gone.

Arugula, which belongs to the mustard family of plants, is a salad staple that adds a lovely peppery flavor and plenty of vitamin C. Up the ante with nutrient-dense spinach, which contains lots of beta carotene shown to promote healthy, glowing skin. Top off the health benefits with radicchio which is rich in lutein and antioxidants known to help preserve vision and protect skin from sun damage. Make a savvy salad by combining these three leaves (arugula, spinach and radicchio) and tossing with a can of light tuna in olive oil (drizzling in some oil from the can). Add the juice from half a lemon and some salt and pepper for flavor.

End the day with a skin-benefitting routine

A healthy spinach dinner dish doesn’t need to take a million years to prep. Buy prewashed baby spinach, toss into store-bought pasta sauce after it’s heated and serve over whole grain pasta for a dish that’s quick, delicious and good-for-skin. Spinach contains vitamin C, which is important for collagen production. The result is skin that’s smooth, supple and elastic. Post-dinner, it can be tempting to hit the sheets immediately, but supplement the overnight benefits of a healthy diet by taking a moment to remove makeup with kind-to-skin cleansers and facial wipes from Simple Skincare before heading to bed (so skin starts with a glowing base in the morning). Try Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash – it contains vitamins B and E (the same skin-loving ingredients found in leafy greens). It cleanses gently, removing dirt and oil without drying skin and contains no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh chemicals that can upset skin.

For more recipes from Krieger and information on how to be kind to skin, visit

Dec 15

Treating Acne with Laser or Surgery

iStock_000015490388_ExtraSmallThe majority of people with a mild case of acne can treat it effectively by keeping the area clean and applying a topical product that contains benzoyl peroxide to help clear up the blemishes. Those with persistent acne or more severe acne often seek alternative treatment methods. A dermatologist can help discuss the different treatments currently available including treating acne with laser therapy or acne surgery.

If treating your acne with laser therapy or surgery is something you’re considering, it’s important to fully evaluate each of the processes, including the number of required treatments, the associated costs and the potential side effects of the treatment. It’s also important that you select a process that is designed to deal with reducing the presence of acne – not acne scarring. It does get confusing.

Using Laser to Treat Acne

Laser treatments involve the use of varying wavelengths that are aimed directly at the impacted area. The wavelengths pulsate against the skin and work to destroy overly-large sebaceous glands and acne lesions. Lasers help to reduce the inflammation and redness that surrounds acne lesions. Laser treatments also remove the damaged outer layers of skin so that new cell growth can be initiated. The laser technician will vary the intensity of the laser as required to effectively treat the area. This is a desirable acne treatment method because it has few side effects. It’s simple, only slightly uncomfortable and doesn’t involve the use of messy creams or potentially dangerous prescription drugs.

There is considerable debate surrounding the effectiveness of laser treatments for acne. It has been shown to be effective at improving the skin’s appearance, even after just one treatment. As with most of the available acne treatments, there are side effects. Some patients do experience red, burned skin after treatment that can last for weeks. The appearance of the skin can be uneven if the laser is applied inconsistently. Also, individuals with dark-colored skin can end up with skin discoloration after laser treatments.

Acne Surgery

Acne surgery involves making an incision into the affected area and draining the clogged matter. The process for blackheads and whiteheads doesn’t actually involve surgery, but is often performed by a nurse, esthetician or dermatologist. They’ll use a small, pointed blade to first open the comedone and then gently work the material out using a comedone extractor.

Severe acne cysts can be drained and removed by a procedure known as excisional surgery. This process is much more involved than that which is described above or even the at-home method of ‘popping zits’. The procedure needs to be performed in a sterile environment using sterilized instruments to reduce the risk of spreading bacterial infection and should only be performed by a person with proper training. If deep acne cysts are not carefully extracted, they can develop into a serious infection and result in severe acne scarring. Because of the increased likelihood for acne surgery to produce acne scarring, this acne treatment method isn’t as popular as it used to be.


Dec 08

Back Acne Treatments

Back of a womanBack acne – you might not see it, but if you have it, you’ll certainly feel it. And although not everyone will get acne on their backs, this condition is common enough to have earned the nickname, ‘bacne’. Sounds funny but it isn’t really. The back area is home to thousands of sebaceous glands and each one is busy producing a lot of oil. Tight-fitting clothing and clothing made from fabrics that don’t allow the skin to breathe are two of the biggest instigators of back acne. Even wearing a backpack has been attributed to triggering bouts of back acne.

These types of clothing and accessories trap the oil that’s being constantly produced by the sebaceous glands on the back. And just like the acne that appears on other parts of the body, when the sebaceous gland gets clogged, dead skin cells become trapped inside the hair follicles and soon, bacteria is on its way, inflaming the tissues surrounding the affected areas and causing acne.

Any type of acne can appear on the back including whiteheads and blackheads, pustules (the surface type), papules (a bit deeper) or the acne can form deep in the skin and cause acne cysts. Back acne doesn’t seem to be triggered by hereditary, stress or a poor diet, but long hair has been known to aggravate the pores on the back. If you have long hair and back acne, you might want to keep your hair off your back.

Back Acne Treatments

The skin that covers the back is much thicker than the skin that covers the other parts of the body where acne is prone to appear. And because of this difference in skin thickness, the treatment regime for ‘bacne’ is going to be different.

It’s still very important to keep the back clean and the best way is to bathe or shower frequently, especially after working out. Use a cleanser that contains salicylic or glycolic acid. If you’ve never used one before, now is the time to learn how to gently use a loofah so you can begin removing those dead skin cells (also known as exfoliating).

After washing and drying the skin, apply a topical product that contains benzoyl peroxide to the areas on the back that are affected by acne and be sure to allow the product to fully absorb into the skin (it can stain clothing). Also, it’s important to only treat the areas that have acne, rather than slathering the product all over the back. You don’t want the skin on your back to become excessively dry. If you dry out the skin, you’ll have to moisturize and that could cause more acne. If you cannot reach the affected areas, have someone apply the product for you.

That’s all you really need to treat back acne. Most people don’t wash their backs as well as they should so changing this bad habit will produce almost immediate results. Of course if your back acne is severe, you should consult with a dermatologist.


Dec 08

Does Your Diet Really Affect Acne?


A delicious diet filled with fresh fruits and veggies will keep you feeling healthy and glowing.

Whether or not a person’s diet affects the presence or absence of acne is one of life’s greatest debates. There are as many people who claim a relationship exists between acne and diet as there are those who swear no such relationship exists. So which way of thinking is right? Will you really break out if you eat too much chocolate or too many greasy, high-fat foods?

The Great Debate is Over

As much as we wish it could be true, to date there is no scientific evidence that links what you eat to the development of acne. Acne isn’t caused by eating too much pizza or French fries or by drinking too much soda. Acne is caused by the oils that are produced by overly-active sebaceous glands beneath the skin, but these oils are very different from the oils that are used in food preparation. So next time your mother, friend or other family member tries to tell you otherwise, it’s okay for you not to believe what they’re saying.

If no relationship exists between diet and acne, how has this myth survived for so many years? Well many people simply believe it to be true. They believe that, in their own case, eating certain foods triggers acne outbursts. If you too happen to think this is true, then you have every right to steer clear of the foods you’ve identified as acne instigators. Doctors will tell you to avoid those foods that you think spell trouble, but that’s as far as most will go when it comes to linking diet with acne.

Do Watch What You Eat

Even though there might not be a scientifically-proven connection between acne and food, there are many health- and nutrition-related reasons for limiting your intake of processed, fried, high-fat foods and those tasty sweet treats that are made from refined carbohydrates. Those types of foods have been proven to cause heart disease, a condition that is far more serious than acne. That reason all by itself should be enough to make every person, regardless of race, sex or age, change their eating habits.

A diet that is the right balance of vitamins and nutrients can greatly reduce the risk of heart trouble. Such a diet will leave you feeling more energized and may even slow down the effects of aging (the debate on this issue still rages). Equally important, a balanced diet is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off, and that claim has also been proven.

What really happens when the body is fed a nutritionally-balanced diet is that it is more capable of performing at optimum capacity. When the body feels better, it acts better, and it’s only a short time until it looks better too. So go ahead and start adding more fiber, anti-oxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates to your diet and start reaping the benefits. You might find that glowing, blemish-free skin is one way your body benefits from eating a proper diet!


Dec 08

How the Birth Control Pill and Pregnancy Affect Acne

The pimpleAcne first develops during adolescence, when hormone levels begin to surge. This deluge of hormones causes the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive. They begin producing increased levels of sebaceous oils that often become clogged inside the glands. When the oils can’t escape, acne develops.

If fluctuating hormone levels within the body trigger an increase in sebaceous oil production, it makes sense then that any time a person’s hormone level is altered there’s an increased chance that an outbreak of acne will occur. With women, acne flare-ups are common while they are taking birth control pills and also when they become pregnant.

Using the Birth Control Pill to Control Acne

Women who do take the birth control pill and who notice that their acne is getting worse should discuss the situation with their doctor. Different brands of oral contraception have different levels of hormones and one side effect of some brands is an increase in acne. Switching to another brand can bring acne back under control.

And that’s why women who have moderate but persistent acne sometimes choose to start taking the birth control pill as a way to help clear up their acne. Any women who is healthy, who is at least age 15, who has begun menstruating and who has made the decision to begin using oral contraceptives can discuss getting a prescription for a birth control pill with their doctor. There are several brands that help clear up acne but only one so far has been approved by the FDA for treating acne and that is Ortho Tri-cyclen.

It’s important to note that taking the birth control pill as a way to treat acne is an option that is best pursued only after all other acne treatment options have been attempted without success. The birth control pill does have side effects and it must be taken exactly as prescribed to be effective.

Acne During Pregnancy

Women who have become pregnant often report an increase in acne, too. Many changes occur within a woman’s body in an effort to properly prepare the body for the growing fetus. The two primary female hormones at work in every woman’s body are progesterone and estrogen. During pregnancy, progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, taking on new roles as the fetus develops. But progesterone is more androgenic than estrogen, which basically means it is more like the hormones found in men. Increased progesterone during pregnancy causes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebaceous oils than normal and that is what can cause outbreaks of acne.

If it’s possible, the best way to handle acne during pregnancy is to realize that it is a short-term problem that will usually go away once the baby is born. If this isn’t possible, discuss your options over with a dermatologist who has experience working with patients during their pregnancy. After discussing your situation, the dermatologist will be able to suggest treatment options that’ll make you happier with your appearance and that won’t harm your baby.


Dec 08

Acne Scar Removal and Treatment

The pimpleAt some point in life, almost everyone experiences acne. For some, acne is nothing more than an annoying and sometimes embarrassing rite of passage that occurs during adolescence, when hormone levels surge. Others unfortunately suffer extreme bouts of acne. Either situation can however, result in mild or severe acne scarring.

Several different acne scarring treatments are available. These work to help the scarred area return to a more ‘normal’ appearance because most acne scars, like any type of scarring, can almost never be permanently removed.

The available treatment options differ considerably in their approach and what’s right for a person will depend on several factors including the type and extent of scarring involved, an evaluation of how the scarring is impacting the person’s livelihood and the individual’s budget. It’s always advisable to thoroughly discuss treatment options with a dermatologist before making a decision.

Causes of Acne Scars

As with all scarring, acne scars result from tissue damage. When tissue is damaged, the body reacts by initiating the repair process and taking steps to protect against infection. Collagen is something the body sends to the damaged area but sometimes the body produces too much. When this happens, the excess collagen builds up into a fibrous mass that ends up becoming a smooth and firm acne scar with an irregular shape. Acne scars also result when tissue is lost and this is actually the more common reason scars develop. Many different types of scarring exist within this latter category including the well-known ‘ice-pick’ scar, depressed scars, soft scars, atrophic macules and others.

Treatment Options

Injecting collagen into the scar site is an effective method for most people however it’s one that’ll need to be repeated regularly, about every 3 – 6 months. Once injected under the skin, the collagen puffs out the scar area, making the scar less noticeable.

A similar process involves using a person’s own body fat. This treatment option is called autologus fat transfer. Basically, fat is taken from another part of the body and injected into the acne scar, causing it to fill out. This option also does need to be repeated, although less frequently, because the fat will begin to absorb back into the skin.

Dermabrasion is a common treatment method for most types of acne scarring. It’s done under local anesthesia. In this procedure, a thin layer of surface skin is removed using a fraise or a brush set on high speed. Removing the surface layer can actually remove some shallow scarring at the surface and it can lessen the depth of deeper scarring. Microdermabrasion also removes the surface skin but does so using crystals of aluminum oxide that pass through a vacuum.

Laser treatment is another acne scar treatment option. Lasers of various intensity and wavelength are aimed at the scarring with the goal of changing a scar’s shape. Depending on the scar, permanent results can sometimes be achieved. Again, multiple treatments may be necessary.

Other acne treatment options are available including skin grafting and skin surgery, but these extreme procedures are reserved primarily for deep scarring or extreme situations.

Dec 08

Acne Issues for Babies and Young People

Baby in stroller in a winter parkIf your newborn or infant breaks out with a case of acne, don’t panic! It’s quite normal. Usually the acne will clear up all by itself and there’s rarely a need to use any medications or call your doctor.

Babies, especially newborns, often get acne bumps that are caused by natural skin oil becoming trapped in hair follicles. While mostly found on the cheeks, it’s not uncommon for babies to have acne on their forehead or chin as well.

Just continue to bathe your baby as normal using a clean and soft washcloth and your normal baby soap as long as it is hypoallergenic. Otherwise, switch brands to something that is.

If the condition appears to worsen, or it doesn’t clear up within a few weeks, then ask your doctor for advice.

Adolescent and Teen Acne Issues

While the occasional blemish can break out at any age, persistent acne usually begins about the same time your child enters puberty.

Forget the old wifes tales about eating too much chocolate or oily foods. Adolescent and teen acne results from a natural increase in body oil which becomes trapped in pores. And it’s not about failure to wash the face enough either. In fact, washing too much can actually irritate the skin, clog the pores, and cause more acne.

Child Acne Prevention and Treatment

While prevention may not be possible, you can reduce the appearance of your child’s acne by encouraging him or her to gently wash twice a day using warm water, a soft facecloth and a mild hypoallergenic soap.

If your daughter wears makeup, help her to choose cosmetics which are labeled ‘noncomedogenic’ since they are specially formulated not to promote acne. Also encourage her to never go to bed without removing her makeup. Tell your child that ‘popping’ just makes things worse.

Most acne responds well to over-the-counter products containing benzol peroxide. This ingredient is available in a number of different lotions and cremes from several manufacturers. Save yourself some money by comparing store brands with national brands. If the ingredients are the same and they are present in the same levels, go for the cheaper one.

The percentage of available benzol peroxide varies among brands. Choose a product with the highest concentration possible, but always test a dab on an inconspicuous portion of your child’s body to see if there is any reaction.

If you do not see a marked improvement within 4-6 weeks after treatment begins, take your child to their regular doctor for an exam and treatment advice. There is no need to head straight to a dermatologist unless your child’s regular doctor suggests it.

There is no convenient time for an acne breakout in children. Be available to provide the emotional support that your child will need to help him or her through the social stigma that comes with acne. It’s a lot bigger deal to them than it is to us.

Dec 08

Acne and Makeup

BeautyOK, so your new acne medication promises fast results in 7 days, but you’ve got to put your best face forward today. Is there anything you can do besides stepping out your front door wearing a ski mask?

You bet there is. All you need is to learn a few creative acne makeup concealing tips to help you look your very best at school, work or play.

Remember — Makeup conceals acne, it doesn’t cure it!

But you already knew that, right? Using makeup to conceal acne isn’t difficult, but there are some basic rules that you should always follow.

Your basic acne makeup toolkit

Your three acne-hiding makeup weapons will be a concealer, a foundation and a finishing powder. Stay away from the dollar store and use only brand names that you can trust.

Choose only oil-free makeup products that match your skin tone. Oil-free is the key to success here so read the labels carefully. You don’t want to aggravate your existing acne problem by layering a fresh coat of oil on skin that already has too much to begin with. Choose a hypoallergenic brand while you’re at it.

If this is the first time that you are using a new brand, test the makeup applying small dabs to a spot under your jaw to see how your skin reacts. If you are going to have a problem you’ll know within an hour or so after applying it. Nothing’s worse than adding more blotches to an already colorful face.

Before you begin

Wash your face with your normal face cleansing product and pat dry. Apply your acne medication per the instructions and let it dry throughly.

Start with the concealer

Apply the concealer in a light dabbing motion directly to any dark blotches or red areas that the acne has produced on your skin. Blend the concealer in using a disposable facial sponge. Use the concealer sparingly. You can always apply more if you need it but you don’t want to layer it on too thickly. It will look terrible when it dries.

Next, apply the foundation

Apply the foundation sparingly as well and use a light dabbing motion here too. Blend the foundation with your sponge and reapply to any areas that need it.

And now for the final touch

Apply a light layer of the oil-free powder using a large makeup brush. This will take care of any shine that the acne concealer and foundation left behind and it will give you an even and finished look.

Throw away the disposable sponges when you are through so you don’t transfer yesterday’s skin oil to tomorrow’s clean face!

Before you go to bed

Wash your face throughly to remove all makeup before you go to bed, but preferably as soon as you can after you return home. You want your skin to breath and your acne to get as much fresh air as possible.