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Zap those zits!

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We all remember those awkward, angst-filled teenage years. Many of us also remember something else: what the commercials call acne or blemishes, but what our friends called zits, pimples, and pizza nuts. Call them what you will, nobody wants them. Here are some ways to fight back with gentle herbal remedies.

Start with a healthy lifestyle

Some of the contributors to unwanted blemishes include hormonal changes, poor nutrition, and stress.  Healthy lifestyle adjustments including exercising regularly, meditating, practising yoga, eating a balanced diet with plenty of water, and, of course, getting adequate sleep are good places to start when battling blemishes.

Did you know?

Formally known as acne, a majority of people 12 to 24 years of age experience at least a minor form, with some estimates as high as 85 percent.   Acne can continue into the 30s and 40s, affecting up to 15 percent of women.

Take care of your skin

Be sure to wash your skin gently twice a day with a mild cleanser and warm water, avoiding products like facial scrubs, astringents, and masks. Also be sure to avoid oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hairstyling products, or acne concealers that can clog pores and cause acne.

How can herbs help?

To help clear up blemishes without side effects, reduce redness, and calm and balance skin, check your natural health store for skincare products that are rich in gentle yet effective herbs.

Traditionally used for medicinal purposes, herbs such as tea tree, willow bark, rosewood, lavender, and camomile are powerful natural actives that can help promote clear, healthy skin.

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

-powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties to help clear blemishes

-effective at relieving acne

Willow bark (Salix alba)

-natural source of salicylic acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter blemish-fighting products

-helps remove dead skin tissue, debris, and toxins; unclogs pores; and provides a mild drying effect that can benefit those with oily skin

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)

-may help reduce sebum production, stimulate new skin cell growth, and balance skin

-traditionally used as both an antiseptic and an astringent

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

-contains astringent and antibacterial properties to help fight problem skin conditions such as blemishes

-in combination products, lavender helps reduce redness and irritation and calm skin

Camomile (Matricaria recutita)

-anti-inflammatory properties help reduce dryness, redness, sensitivity, and irritation

soothing effect helps diminish skin discomfort

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