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Acne is a condition of the skin, rather than a skin type.  A combination of excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells lead to clogged pores that can result in blackheads, pimples, pustules, or cysts.  Because acne is an inflammatory condition, the skin can also become reddened and sensitive.  Dead skin cells weighed down by excess sebum form sticky "plugs" that block pores and restrict the free flow of oil to the skin's surface.  Acne bacteria thrive in these conditions.  It is very important for acne-prone skin to practice regular, daily exfoliation.  Chemical exfoliators in the form of acids help break down the clumping of dead skin cells and physical exfoliators in the form of scrubs for instance help sweep away and eliminate the dead skin cells. Although it is important to remove dead skin cells, harsh and abrasive scrubs should be avoided.  There is no cure for acne, but it can be effectively controlled.  Products containing ingredients with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or green tea can be excellent for controlling acne flare-ups. Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is very effective at exfoliating the skin and allowing topical medications to reach the clogged pore and help to clear it.  Salicylic acids should not be used during pregnancy. Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and is made of fruit acids. It is stronger than salicylic acid can also be helpful for exfoliating and clearing the clogged pores in acneic skin.  More recently, studies are finding that Green Tea is showing results similar to Benzoyl Peroxide at clearing acne but without the irritation.  Topical green tea products can soothe the redness and irritation of acne blemishes while the antibacterial properties help heal the skin and discourage further breakouts.  An added benefit of Green Tea is that it is also a great anti-aging ingredient.  It hydrates the skin and provides high levels of antioxidants to protect the skin as well.

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