As teens, everyone experiences acne from one degree to another, and unfortunately, not all of us get to grow out of the acne stage. Throughout the years we have heard endless reasons why we get acne, a lot of which was just misinformation being spread like wildfire. Washing your face twice a day does not guarantee to rid you of acne, though it does prevent a lot of bacteria based skin infections that we include under the title of acne.
A quick use of an Oxytocin’s pad does not count as washing your face. Grab that bar of soap, a face cloth and some water and scrub your face. Exfoliation reduces the likelihood of pores being blocked by dead skin cells. Make sure to switch out face clothes often, as they will become mildewy and collect bacteria as they stay in your washroom.
There are a lot of “exfoliating” products on the market these days, all of whom promise to rid you of your acne, but these are just overpriced soaps that don’t rid your skin of as much dirt, oil and skin as a good old fashioned washcloth. A lot of the exfoliating products will actually tear your skin as they are too aggressive, which can lead to bacterial infections and cause acne rather than prevent or treat it.
Make sure you take off all of your make up! Foundation stuck in your skin over night is a nasty way to get acne, never mind styes and other issues with your skin. Always make sure to remove it before bed time, and let your skin breathe. Heavy make up around the eyes can lead to styes forming, and depending on their location, they may have to be removed by a dermatologist. Better off just taking a minute to wipe it off.
Make sure to always thoroughly rinse your face after washing to remove the skin, dirt, oil and soap. Dry your face with a clean towel and avoid touching your face any more than you have to.
There are two common topicals we use on acne. Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. Salicylic Acid is what you would find in astringent products, and it disinfects your skin. You will recognize the telltale stinging of this product in things like Oxy Pads and Clean And Clears Astringent. Salicylic Acid is proven to help reduce black heads, which are oxidized pores but it can’t do anything about pores that are actually blocked and filling up with white blood cells.
Benzoyl Peroxide has been marketed as if it could wash away all your worries, but in reality, it’s a very harsh and drying product that causes its own plethora of skin problems. Unless told by a dermatologist to use these products in conjunction with water based moisturizers, avoid them. Not only will your face feel like an alligator, benzoyl peroxide bleaches any fabric it touches. Say good bye to your nice towels.
Let’s start this one off with, everyones body is different, and different foods will trigger people differently. That being said, common foods linked to acne breakouts include; dairy products, wheat, chocolate and gluten. If you are curious to see if your acne worsens with ingestion of certain foods, keep a food log and track acne vs foods over time.
It is always recommended to stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods to help fuel your body and keep yourself healthy, and that include your skin. Drink plenty of water, eat your fruit and veggies and you’re on the path to a clearer complexion.
We hear all the time that exercise helps your completion, and while that is true, not cleaning your skin after exercise can lead to worsening acne. After heavy sweating, take a moment to clear your skin of the heavy sweat and get changed into clean, dry clothes.
Genetics & Hormones
Some folks suffer from terrible cystic acne in their early teen years, then in their twenties have clear skin, whilst others might have mild acne their entire lives. Genetics have a lot to do with this, as do hormones. As many know, women tend to break out around their mensural cycle, and this is common up until menopause. Some individuals might break out in their mid fifties should they be stressed out. Essentially what I’m saying here is, depending on your genetics and hormones, you may have to struggle against acne for the better part of your life. Not to be discouraged of course, as no one in the world other than yourself cares that you have a pimple on your cheek.
Now it can be disheartening to wake up to acne, and certain individuals in your life may find sick amusement in trying to make it an insecurity, but almost everyone has acne in their lifetime, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. When I was a young teenager I thought I would grow out of my acne, but that is simply not the case. Over the years I learned how to manage my skin, and I can usually keep my skin clear. I gave up on my hope of having effortlessly clean skin when I realized that my family members, who are thirty years older than I, are still dealing with acne themselves. So I took the time to develop a skin care routine that was simple enough I could commit to it, while it still being effective.
My routine consists of Miscellar Water (if I’m wearing make up that day), then my bar of soap and washcloth. I rinse my face then use an astringent, and lastly I moisturize with a light, oil free, water based moisturizer. I do this morning and night and it works well for me.
If you want to leave your routine in the comments to help others, please do!