Updated: May 31
Common acne (acne vulgaris) is a skin condition characterized by what are often called pimples or zits. It is prevalent during puberty especially but acne can be manifested even in later years depending on several factors that contribute to it. There are 3 major reminders to keeping them away:
1. Maintain good hygiene
Wash your face twice daily with warm water to open up the pores (not too hot or you might burn your skin). Use a hypoallergenic cleanser thats not highly perfumed (most of these types make acne worse). Make sure your cleanser is suited for your skin. A dry skin normally needs a cleanser with moisturizer while an oily skin needs no extra moiturizer as this may cause more acne.
Wash your hands before you wash your face. Washing your face is definitely important, if your hands are oily and dirty to begin, you will not get the best results. Gently washing your face with your hands is the best way to go.
Moisturize after each face wash. Moisturizing your skin is just as important as washing it. When you wash your face, you strip it out of oils and moisture, causing your skin to produce more oil and sebum to compensate the dryness. Your skin needs moisture. Help it replenish that moisture by moisturizing after each wash. Normally gel-based moisturizers are for oily skin, while cream-based are for dry skin.
Exfoliate once a week. Exfoliating means gently wiping off the outer layer of the skin (called the epidermis) in order to help slough off dead skin and unclog pores. See if exfoliating once a week improves the complexion of your skin. Whatever you do, don't over-exfoliate. Exfoliating once a week is plenty. You may also opt to get a diamond peel instead.
Remove all traces of makeup before going to bed. Makeup that stays on your face can clog pores, leading to acne.
Try not to touch your face with your hands. Your hands are breeding grounds for bacteria because we use them to touch so many things. Touching your face is a big no-no because it cuts down on bacteria transmission. The less bacteria on your face, the lower your chances that you'll develop nasty breakouts.
Avoid sharing daily things and tools with siblings who have acne. These include, but are no limited to: towels, make-up brushes or kits, hair bands, etc.
Wash your pillowcases frequently. The oils on your pillowcases can cause acne by spreading dirt, grime, and dead skin.
Pay attention to your hair routine, especially if your skin is oily. How you treat your hair can have a big impact on acne, especially around your forehead. Your scalp releases natural oils to keep your hair lustrous. But too much oil in and around your scalp, while healthy for your hair, can be dangerous for your skin. Watch out about applying too much product 0n your hair. Gels, mousses, and sprays can get into the pores of your skin, clog them, and create pimples. Be selective about how much product you put into your hair, especially if you have acne around your forehead.
Stay out of direct sunlight. Exposure to too much sunlight can be harmful to the skin. You probably already know that it can cause skin cancer, but did you know that it can exacerbate acne? When you go outside or expect to be in the sun for a long period of time, wear some noncomedogenic (non-clogging) sunscreen to help block out harmful rays.
2. Diet and Exercise
Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated may help you maintain your clear skin and even delay the signs of aging. Wrinkles normally appear earlier in people who are less hydrated. While there is conflicting scientific evidence supporting the claim that water helps clear toxins out of your body, most scientist agree that drinking water is highly beneficial to your skin and body.
Eat healthy. Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, lean protein, whole wheats and grains, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids, for example) should help your body fight acne. At the same time, it will make you healthier and give you more energy. Stay away from high-glycemic foods (OILY FASTFOOD) and milk or dairies.
Stay away from excessive alcohol and smoking. These drugs aren't good for your complexion. Studies around the world have linked toxins like tobacco and alcohol to acne.
In later years, stress is one of the major factors that can cause an ance breakout. Exercise and make sure to get enough sleep daily. Getting enough sleep can seriously increase the amount of stress a person goes through, sometimes up for 15% more stress for each hour of sleep lost beyond their normal allotment.
3. Use good quality acne products
Use benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is used to kill the bacteria that cause acne. Benzoyl peroxide with a 2.5% concentration is just as effective as 5-10% solutions while being less irritating to the skin. It also helps peel away layers of dead skin on the epidermis, leaving brighter, more rejuvenated skin in its place.
Use salicylic acid. Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid kills bacteria responsible for pimple growth. It also causes skin cells to shed more rapidly, promoting the growth of new skin. Put small amounts of salicylic acid onto affected areas before you go asleep, after you have washed your face.
Consider using tea tree oil. While this is not specifically bottled for acne, it is a very effective home remedy. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can make the redness and size of pimples less noticeable.
If things get serious, consult your doctor. A dermatologist is trained to spot and treat skin disorders. The doctor may recommend a prescription containing clindamycin phosphate or benzoyl peroxide, both very popular acne deterrents. Prescription strength medicines are often much stronger than solutions you can buy over the counter.