Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To Handle Eyebrow Acne

Ever had a pimple on your eyebrow?  Did you panic because you didn't know how to treat this sensitive area?  Here are some of my tips on how to handle acne on the brow bone:
  • If you wax, talk to your esthetician about what products she is using.  Spas often carry more than one type of wax.  Unless she knows that your skin is reactive, she may not automatically choose one designed for sensitive skin.
  • Make sure your skin is clean before any form of hair removal.  Eye makeup and foundations can get ground into the follicles and clog the pore or cause infection if not properly removed. 
  • Make sure your skin is properly handled before and after any hair removal appointments by bringing your own witch hazel, cornstarch, and aloe vera gel.  These inexpensive products are simple, non-comedogenic supplies that most estheticians will be familiar with even if they only carry a particular skin care line.  If they won't accommodate your sensitive skin, go somewhere else.
  • If despite following my other hair removal tips, you are still struggling with bumps after waxing, then switch to threading.  This hair removal technique is gaining popularity around the country.  Threading is much quicker than tweezing, but it doesn't require your skin to come in contact with as many chemicals as waxing does.
  • Skip the eye primers.  These often contain comedogenic waxes and oils that can clog pores when applied to the brow bone.  Instead sweep a foundation appropriate for your skin type over the area to prep the skin for makeup.  If you can't bear the thought of parting with your eye primer, only apply it to the lid and crease, and keep it off the brow bone where there are more sebaceous glands present.
  • Avoid benzoyl peroxide spot treatments.  I know it's tempting to reach for these standby products, but they will bleach your eyebrows.  It's not a good look.  Trust me.
  • Pick a non-comedogenic eye makeup remover to cleanse your lids and brows every night before washing your face.  I recommend trying out Clarins Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Lotion, which will gently cleanse without leaving behind any oily residue.
  • Massage a sulfate-free salicylic acid face wash into your brows once or twice a day while cleansing.  Salicylic acid will provide chemical exfoliation without any harsh granules, prevent ingrown hairs, and reduce inflammation and redness.  Check out Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser.
  • Soothe the redness of inflamed blemishes with a cold compress made with equal parts milk and water.  Don't use ice because the extreme temperature can shock the skin.
  • Don't use eye creams on top of the eye lid.  Many of them contain comedogenic ingredients and are not intended for this area.  They also keep your makeup from lasting all day.
  • If you're squeamish about using a medicated cleanser so close to your eyes, you can use you an alcohol-free medicated pad to swipe the salicylic acid over the brow without fear of hurting your eyes.  I suggest trying Stridex Maximum Pads.
  • Wash your angled eyebrow brush in liquid dish soap at least once a week.  These detergents contain antibacterial ingredients and are more effective on synthetic bristles. 
  • Keep a spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol with your makeup to spray off any pencils, stencils, or brushes that come in contact with your eyebrow before and after use.
  • Pick up a pack of disposable mascara wands from your local beauty supply store and use them to blend out your brow makeup. They can be discarded frequently, making them a better choice than most brow brushes that harbor bacteria and fray easily. They're also easier to clean.
  • Using a disposable mascara wand, apply clear aloe vera gel to your brows for a quick, non-comedogenic brow keeper.
  • Try using an oil-free powder like Anastasia Brow Powder Duo instead of waxy pencils that can clog pores.
  • Try switching to a mica-free matte eye shadow for your all over color or highlight.  Cory Cosmetics offers several shades that you can choose from that are especially made for sensitive eyes.
  • Apply a non-medicated clay mask onto pimples and leave on overnight.  Kaolin and bentonite are excellent at controlling oil and healing acne.  Since they harden, they are less likely to run into your eyes while you sleep.  Just remember to remove them completely in the morning!
  • Instead of a harsh spot treatment, try applying a lightweight eye cream that contains retinol to clean skin nightly.  RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream is specifically designed for retinol newcomers or those with sensitive eyes.
  • Ask your doctor about azelaic acid prescriptions like Azelex or Finacea, which are efficient at treating both folliculitis and acne.  This might be easier to apply than benzoyl peroxide and can be helpful when these other tips aren't enough for persistent breakouts.
Hope these tips are helpful to any of you struggling with bumps along the brow bone.  Many of these tips may also be applicable to those of you struggling with breakouts in other areas prone to waxing irritation like the chin and upper lip.

Let me know if any of these helped you, and feel free to share any tips of your own!

This blog is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice.

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