Among the most common skin problems in the world is acne. Many people suffer from acne – they may be men or women and oily or dry-skinned – and it’s quite difficult to deal with acne. There are several care tips for people with acne-prone skin, but before you dive into that, you must first know about acne and its possible causes.
Acne isn’t only some inflamed lesions on your skin. It comes in different forms, such as blackheads, whiteheads, papules, or cystic acne. Acne, especially inflamed ones, appears when your skin has many dead skin cells and produces too much oil, clogging your pores. When this happens, the natural inflammatory response of your body gets triggered, hence the red lesions on your skin.
There are different possible causes of acne, usually because of oils, bacteria, dirt, or hormones. Your skin’s pores have follicles, which contain oil glands. The oil glands produce sebum to ensure that your skin is soft and lubricated. So when your skin is clogged with all these oils and bacteria, the sebum will have nowhere to escape, causing acne.
Aside from these, hormonal changes may also be the cause of your acne. This is why some dermatologists prescribe hormonal birth control pills to their patients. During hormonal changes, your skin produces more oil, leading to acne. You may experience this during puberty, when you’re close to your period, when you’re pregnant, or during your menopausal stage.
Dealing with acne isn’t all just about using skin care and anti-acne products. Taking care of acne-prone skin is difficult, and clearing out your skin doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long process involving lifestyle changes, like eating clean and having enough rest.
However, having a skincare routine that fits you will be a big help in clearing out your acne. Here are some care tips for acne-prone skin that might work for you.
Wash your face twice a day
Washing your face is an important step in your skincare routine. Doctors recommend washing your face two times a day – after you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. However, you may also wash your face more than twice, especially if you sweat a lot. But apart from that, washing your face several times a day may irritate your skin.
You can also use cleansers with active ingredients to help dry out your inflamed acne and address different skin concerns you have. However, using gentle cleansers with no active ingredients is ideal to ensure your skin barrier is strong and protected.
Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week is also great for getting rid of dead skin cells. However, ensure not to scrub your skin hard and use gentle exfoliants to avoid redness and not to irritate your skin more.
Use skincare products with active ingredients
Active ingredients help address different skin concerns, so it is crucial to pick one that’s meant for your skin and the type of skin concern you want to address. There are several active ingredients targeting different issues. These include:
- Benzoyl peroxide- is ideal for people with inflamed acne, as it helps kill acne-causing bacteria.
- Retinoid- helps lessen the inflammation on your skin, exfoliates your skin, and removes dead skin cells clogging your pores.
- Salicylic acid- also helps in unclogging your pores and minimizing inflammation. Salicylic acid is often used to reduce blackheads and whiteheads and may also be used to dry out the bumps on your skin.
These ingredients could help you with your acne. However, note that some actives may cause purging before they finally clear out your skin. So before buying these products, consult your dermatologist to know which active ingredient works best for your skin.
Wash the things that usually come into contact with your skin
Dirt and bacteria are everywhere, so it is essential to wash everything that usually touches your skin, such as pillowcases and bedding, cellphones, makeup brushes, etc. Changing your pillowcases every other day or twice a week is ideal. For bed sheets, you may change them every week.
It is also important to clean your phone screens since they usually touch your face whenever you’re talking to someone on the phone. To clean them, you may use specialized wipes or tissue or pour alcohol on your tissue and wipe your screen clean.
Lastly, leave your makeup brushes uncleaned for several months. The best way to prevent makeup brushes from irritating your skin is to wash them daily. However, since it can sometimes be a hassle, you can wash your brushes at least once weekly.
Clean your hair regularly and adjust your hair care routine if needed
Another reason why you have acne breakouts, especially on the neck, forehead area, and along your hairline, is because of the hair care products you use. If you think your hair products are causing your acne, consider using different hair care products and adjusting your hair care routine.
Avoid using shampoos and conditioners with oil ingredients. Also, remember to shampoo regularly because not shampooing may leave your hair oily. The oil from your hair can transfer to your skin, so try to wash your hair regularly and, as much as possible, not to let your hair touch your face.
Wear Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Sunscreens are one of the underrated skincare products that one should try even at an early age. It protects your skin from sun damage and helps avoid premature aging.
Applying sunscreen is also helpful in decreasing the redness and the black spots or hyperpigmentation caused by your already-healed acne. Lastly, it is crucial to wear SPF, especially when using products with active ingredients, as they could make your skin sensitive to the sun. Remember to reapply your SPF every two hours.
Moisturize your skin
There is a misconception that moisturizers are only meant for those with dry skin. However, moisturizer is an important part of your skincare routine for both dry and oily skin.
Some products used to treat acne may be too drying on your skin, so it is important to bring back the moisture to your skin and protect your skin barrier. When choosing a moisturizer, pick one that’s oil-free and non-comedogenic. Using non-comedogenic products will ensure that your pores won’t be clogged by too much oil, which could worsen your acne.
Drinking your water can also help clear out your acne, as it is one way of cleansing your skin. When your skin is hydrated, it could unclog your pores from the dirt and excess oils clogging them. Aside from that, drinking enough water daily helps retain your skin’s moisture.
Get plenty of sleep and enough rest
Not getting enough sleep and not being well-rested may trigger acne breakouts. If you’re tired, your body may produce cortisol, a stress hormone, which will likely cause more acne. Aside from that, lack of sleep triggers your body to produce more inflammatory compounds, hence the acne breakout.
There are many different ways you can take care of acne-prone skin. However, what works for one, might not work for others. So it is essential to always do your research and consult a doctor to know your skin well and to determine the best way to treat your acne, or else you’ll end up worsening your acne problems.