Senior InsideOut Editor
“I had plenty of pimples as a kid,” said Rodney Dangerfield, the late American comedian and actor. “One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.”
Of course, a zit from time to time is nothing unusual; it’s when pimples are sprouting seemingly nonstop that ‘just a zit’ becomes problematic. In a superficial world, surface beauty is highly valued, and so anything that may impede upon it can be psychologically damaging. While acne treatments are nothing short of scarce, adopting some basic know-how can help you to care for your acne appropriately.
The first step in treating acne is to understand exactly what it is. Like anything else, the degree of acne will vary from person to person. What is common, however, is how acne is produced. Your pores overproduce cells, thus causing a blockage of pores. Sebum, or oil, which is produced naturally in the body, is unable to drain due from these blockages. Bacteria can then begin to grow, eventually causing the formation of a pimple.
There are two types of acne: non-inflammatory acne and inflammatory acne. Non-inflammatory acne takes form in either a whitehead or a blackhead.
When the follicle wall ruptures, which doesn’t always happen but can, due to, say, touching of the skin, inflammatory acne ensues. White blood cells then inflame the pore, forming a zit. Inflammatory acne can explode and inflame the surrounding skin, causing more pimples to develop.
Milia is yet another variant of acne that take shape in tiny white bumps that occur when skin cells become trapped in small pockets on skin’s surface.
Developing a personalized care system is key to treating your acne. There is no “cookie cutter” solution, as again acne will vary from person to person. Acne.org provides personalized advice via an online questionnaire that can help you to develop a regimen best suited for you.
While regimens will vary, Acne.org provides some basic tips that most should find useful.
Stick to it! Patience is key, and acne, unfortunately, is not curable over night. More than that, starting too fast and quitting too early can prove most problematic; initial redness, dryness or even blotchiness is normal. Unless you experience severe inflammation, stick to a new regimen for a few weeks, at least.
Try benzoyl peroxide. It can be purchased at your local drug store in either gel or cream form. You can also purchase different levels of concentration. Though benzoyl peroxide typically causes initial dryness, your skin will eventually develop a tolerance to it, in which case you can increase the amount you use. Begin with a small amount, and then after a few weeks time, increase the dosage. But be gentle when applying benzoyl peroxide so as to not irritate your already sensitive skin. Allowing your fingers to simply glide over skin is pressure enough.
Contrary to popular belief, moisturizing is also important, as it will help reduce irritation.
Try a light moisturizer if you’re worried about oily skin. Use about a quarter-sized amount, and again apply the moisturizer gently to your skin.
Acne.org also dispels some common acne myths. Frequently washing your face will not help to clear up acne. Since acne is the result of skin cells clogging pores, washing your face more often will more than likely irritate it only more. So wash your face only twice a day using your fingers only.
Additionally, stress does not directly cause acne. Though stress can contribute to the factors that cause acne, such as varying hormone levels, stress itself plays a minimal role in contributing to acne.
At the end of the day, walking around with a paper bag on your head is not feasible.
So making the right choices about how to treat your acne is the first step towards a more confident you!
Senior InsideOut Editor
Get me the fuck out of here.
I don’t often drop the F-bomb, but in times of utter chaos and confusion (because truly, that’s exactly what the situation was like for me), swearing becomes the only form of emotional release.
Sadly, no matter how many times I repeated those words, I found myself in the one place I didn’t want to be: Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites in Victoria, B.C. for NASH 74, an annual weekend-long conference for university student journalists.
Don’t get me wrong, the sessions and speakers were great. But if you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that, on the final night, there was a norovirus outbreak among some of the conference delegates.
Norovirus is highly contagious, causing severe vomiting and diarrhea, in addition to muscle aches and headaches. And, yes, while you’ve no doubt heard the words “highly contagious” used before, allow me to paint you a picture of just how infectious this monster was.
At around 8 p.m. one of my fellow Sil editors, who also happened to be one of my conference roommates, fell ill with the virus. Shortly thereafter, another editor became sick. In a few hours time, multiple other delegates reported being ill.
Any doubts I may have had about these “other delegates” were quickly disproven by the arrival of ambulances and an extreme influx in toilet flushing.
While in total four of the six co-workers I was with fell ill with the virus I, along with two others, somehow managed to avoid infection. It’s times like these that I’m grateful for a strong immune system. It’s also times like these that I’m grateful for social networking.
As Saturday evening meshed into Sunday morning, I can’t quite recall when exactly I began to check Twitter – as if hashtags and mentions could spare me from severe vomiting and diarrhea. Yet somehow I managed to pick up my phone as if it were a godsend, brought here to take me away from the mess in which I had quite literally come to find myself.
While some tweets claimed the virus to be a result of underhanded terrorist warfare, most others proved to be valuable, up-to-the-minute information sources. I quickly discovered it wasn’t merely a few people who were ill – it was dozens. Another F-bomb emerged from my lips. In a matter of hours, tweets poured in confirming cases of sudden and violent puking amongst delegates, so much so that our final-night event was cancelled. F-bomb, F-bomb, F-bomb.
In between the curses, tears and nervous fits of shaking, I found comfort in the fact that somehow this had become a communal experience, and that my worries were shared by my fellow delegates.
I should mention that, initially, none of us had any idea that this was norovirus. In fact, I believe most of us suspected it be a result of food poisoning, since we had all been eating the same meals. Nonetheless, Twitter became a forum in which we could float educated guesses at the cause of this sudden and widespread illness.
In time, tweets confirmed that the illness was in fact norovirus, providing information on the causes, symptoms and treatments of the virus.
Essentially, if not for Twitter, there’s no doubt in my mind that disseminating information would have been far more delayed.
And while that may be stating the obvious, it’s not until times of crisis that you fully come to appreciate the value of modern technology and social media services.
I’ll advise all those who refuse to “get with the times” to get with the times – you’ll never know when a freakish (and possibly zombie-related) virus will be upon you.
Senior InsideOut Editor
If you’re in the mood for a delectable treat, or simply wanting to wow your friends and family with a sensational dessert, try these cinnamon buns.
They’re not only delicious and cheap, they’ll even make you think twice about ever going to Cinnabon again.
These doughy buns will warm the hearts, and better yet, the stomachs of your guests.
They’re perfect for any occasion and can be served as either a pre or post dinner dessert.
Chances are you’ll all too easily want to devour more than just one—so dieters, be warned.
As an anytime-of-the-day treat, these sugary buns of love are best paired with coffee, tea or (my personal favourite) a glass of milk. For winter time, try pairing a cup of hot cocoa.
Best of all, this cinnamon bun recipe is quite versatile in that raisins can be omitted from the recipe altogether or can be substituted by pecans.
And if you’re not too concerned about calories, then try topping these cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing instead of regular icing.
To finish it off, try sprinkling a pinch of cinnamon or drizzling melted brown sugar.
Cinnamon buns have made their stamp in history, originating from the far off land of Sweden. There, October fourth is known as National Cinnamon Bun Day.
In Sweden, cinnamon buns are most widely enjoyed with fika, a warm beverage. In true Swedish style, cinnamon bun dough is kneaded with cardamom and commonly baked in muffin wrappers.
2 cups flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of raisins (optional but highly recommended)
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut in first amount of butter until crumbly/ make well in centre.
Pour milk into well.
Stir to form soft dough adding a bit more milk if needed.
Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead 8 to 10 times.
Roll into rectangle about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick and 12 inches (30 cm) long.
Cream second amount of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together well.
Spread all over rolled out dough.
Roll up as for jelly roll.
Cut into 12 slices.
Place cut side down in muffin cups.
Bake in 400 degree F approximately 12-18 minutes until golden/ turn upside-down on cooling rack. Drizzle with icing (a combination of icing powder and milk).