While beauty gurus are sharing photos of their enviable glass skin, many of us are probably still struggling to just keep acne off our faces. Acne always appear from nowhere and take forever to clear, but don’t give up hope yet! By making just a few tweaks to your skincare routine, no acne breakout is too tough to handle. Read on to find out what you can do to prevent acne, and how to cure those pesky zits that blemish your skin!
Always remove your makeup, and always wash your face…
This may sound like common sense, but let’s admit it, we all have those days when we get super lazy about doing a proper cleansing routine, especially at the end of a long day.
Never skimp on this step and let makeup, gunk, and bacteria stay on your face for a whole day – it’s the easiest way to encourage more acne growth! If you really are too exhausted to do the recommended double cleansing (applicable if you apply makeup), try using facial wipes so that you can at least go to bed with cleaner skin.
…but avoid over cleansing.
The more you cleanse, the more dirt and oil you wash off from your face, so the lower the likelihood of getting clogged pores, right? We are sorry to tell you that this myth is, well, nothing more than a myth.
If you wash your skin too often, its barrier function can actually be disrupted, causing an imbalance in your skin’s pH levels. In response to the lack of oil and hydration of your skin, your skin may even begin to overproduce oil and sebum, contrary to what you want to achieve!
Use the right cleanser
No, you can’t use shower gel on your face and then expect your skin to be squeaky clean. For starters, shower gel is way too drying and harsh for the skin on your face, which tends to be thinner and more sensitive than skin on the rest of your body.
Choose a cleanser that fits your skin type, or one that is specially formulated for acne if you are having a breakout. These cleansing products often contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, which help to clear acne sores.
Try not to touch your face, or pop the pimples
Our hands are not the cleanest of things, and touching your face frequently is the quickest way to introduce dirt and bacteria onto your skin. Make it a habit to wash your hands before you touch your face – especially applicable when you’re doing your skincare routine.
Another common habit that a lot of us are guilty of doing is using our fingers to pop our zits. While it is very tempting to take matters into your own hands (literally), the pimple can actually take longer to heal, and even run the risk of getting infected! If the sight of it really bothers you, use light makeup to cover it up.
Don’t put on makeup when you’re exercising
We know many of us want to look good while working out, but having makeup piled on your face during your gym session is a clear recipe for the occurrence of acne.
A good workout will usually result in sweat, which in turn causes an increased amount of clogged pores, whiteheads, and blackheads in the skin. Dermatologists also do not recommend that you apply too much skincare before you head to the gym – no, not even moisturiser! The excess oils from these products can make your skin more greasy and clog your pores even before you start your workout.
Avoid using products with the following ingredients…
Some common skincare products could actually aggravate your acne, so it’s important that you take special note of them and makes changes to your routine during acne breakouts.
Fragrances, for example, are usually the main culprit behind inflamed pimples, so try to use unscented products if you have sensitive skin.
Alcohol is also another common ingredient that dries the skin – this in turn stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum in order to hydrate the skin, and you get excess oil that clogs your pores.
Talc (yes, the one in baby powder) is also a no-no for those with acne, due to the dryness and irritation it can cause on sensitive and inflamed skin.
…and try to include these acne-battling ingredients.
Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and witch hazel are examples of ingredients that you should definitely include in your skincare routine in order to tackle acne.
Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that helps increase cell turnover so that your skin recovers faster from breakouts. Salicylic acid fights the breakout within the pore by helping to normalise excessive shedding of cells and excess oil production. Tea tree oil and witch hazel are both natural ingredients commonly used to unclog pores of impurities. Witch hazel also has an added benefit of calming any irritations, which is good for treating inflamed acne.
Use spot treatments
You’ve probably seen some kind of emergency zit treatments at drugstores and pharmacies, which are usually a concentrated solution of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. Spot treatments can definitely be effective in helping to reduce inflammation and dry up the pimple, but remember that they are not meant to be used on your whole face, just the zit itself.
Make changes to your diet, including drinking more water
Last but not least, not all acne treatments have to be directly done on your skin. Our skin condition is actually a reflection of our health, and having acne can actually tells us a lot about than just clogged pores.
For example, forehead pimples and acne on temples may indicate that you have an unhealthy diet, are not getting enough sleep, or have poor hygiene. Meanwhile, acne on the sides of your chin may be signs of a hormonal imbalance in the body.
Research evidence suggests that you can reduce or prevent acne by consuming more omega-3 fatty acids, fewer dairy products, and fewer foods with a high glycemic index. That means eating more fish, less cheese, and less sugary foods. Many people have also reported that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant glow, so remember to drink up, and you may be well on your way to achieving that elusive glass skin!