When you have acne, it’s hard not to think negatively of yourself. It isn’t flattering and it deflates your self-esteem like nothing else can. So I offer you a silver lining – there are worse things for your skin. In fact, I’ve devised a list of 7 things that will cause damage to your skin.

Ink – particularly when there’s lots of it

Which kind of sucks. I’ve contemplated tattoos for years and had been toying with different design ideas, waiting until I knew I had the right one. Reading that various inks used in tattooing (10 out of 11 black inks in a European study) contain the carcinogen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon at levels that exceeded European safety recommendations. Good. Whilst this sounds like a recipe for disaster there isn’t yet a clear link between tattoos and cancer, largely because the carcinogens are stable particles and therefore don’t enter the bloodstream.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment can be undertaken for a range of conditions – largely cosmetic. Side effects of laser treatment include changes in skin pigmentation, redness and swelling, sun sensitivity, infection, scarring, blistering and can cause acne breakouts. Besides these risks, it is understood that in the laser removal of tattoos the breakdown of carcinogenic particles can cause them to enter the bloodstream. Sounds scary?

Botox

It seems like a cliché to talk about the side effects of botox, however, by the same token, it’s now widely accepted as a standard cosmetic procedure. We tend to forget the risk of allergic reaction, rashes, headaches, itching, neck or back pain, muscle stiffness, nausea, diarrhea, weakness, cough, fever, difficulty swallowing or shortness of breath amongst others. This is all in addition to the long term health risks which are yet to be fully understood for their impact upon the brain, nervous system, and muscles.

Dehydration

We all suffer dehydration – the moment you feel thirsty your body is experiencing dehydration. Should it persist you can then enjoy dryness of the mouth, dry skin and headaches. It’s also not unusual to feel tired, which can lead to irritability and a short temper. Severe dehydration can cause sunken eyes, low blood pressure and severe dryness of the skin will result in redness and irritability.

Poor Diet

It’s nothing new, and we all know it – a poor diet is poor for not just our waistline, but our skin too. Sugar is the biggest no-no as it damages your collagen and elastin, which keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant. Alcohol is also problematic as it dehydrates your body and unfortunately can cause (or inflame) acne. My other beverage of choice – coffee, is just as good at dehydrating you. What’s better is that it contains cortisol which in large volumes can accelerate the aging process which will show in your skin. The other traitors to your skin are the fries with your burger – as oil will trap bacteria in your body – particularly skin (hello breakouts!) and salt for swelling and the aggravation of acne.

 

Roaccutane

After years on Roaccutane, I’m well versed on its side effects. Dryness of skin, sensitivity to the sun, and mood swings. There are a number of reported cases of severe depression and tragic suicides connected to Roaccutane (Accutane). I do often wonder whether I’d still have my hairline if I hadn’t started Roaccutane during high school and continued it on-and-off for several years.

Benzoyl Peroxide

I used to wonder why my bed sheets and pillowcases were covered in funky looking stains. Upon the realisation that they only ever occurred on my side of the bed I realised it wasn’t due to anything you’d expect if you have a wicked sense of humour. I’d noticed it on some clothes too and it wasn’t until I was told about the effect of benzoyl peroxide that I realised it was the topical acne treatment cream I’d been using which was literally bleaching my bedding and clothes. Aside from this, we can also enjoy mild burning, redness and irritation and skin dryness. There are plenty of healthy alternatives, I use Skin B5’s Skin Purifying Mask as a topical solution on problem spots several times a week as it dries out acne without the harmful side effects.

 

Who is Nick Bell?

Nick joins SkinB5 as a writer, contributing monthly to the blog.

A mid-twenties Melburnian cliche, the bearded student suffers wanderlust, a soft spot of his city’s cafe culture and a love of cycling. He writes from experience, having suffered acne himself throughout both high school and university,  and it’s something he still battles today. Nick also writes a personal blog where he documented his journey for clear skin with SkinB5, having previously given up after years of ineffective products and medications.