Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
If you’re one of the many people in the U.S who suffer from acne, it’s no consolation to know you’re not alone. Most likely, it affects how you feel about your appearance, but it can also play a role in your confidence level which will influence all areas of your life.
SMALL CHANGES THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
HAVE GOOD HYGIENE HABITS: Since dirt, oil, dead skin cells and makeup can promote bacteria which can then lead to breakouts, cleanliness is crucial. In addition to your morning and evening cleansing routine, always wash up after exercising. You’ll also want to consider your towels and pillowcases, both breeding grounds for bacteria. Towels reside in the bathroom, and often damp environment, making it an unusually friendly zone for germs and bacteria. When you wash your face and then dry it with a dirty or damp towel you’re transferring that nastiness to your face. Only let a clean, freshly laundered towel touch your face. You also need to be aware of how clean your pillowcase is. It collects hair product residue, oil from your scalp, and dead skin cells so it’s important that it’s clean. You can flip your pillowcase over to get two nights use out of it, switch it out for a fresh one every night, or lay a clean towel over your pillow nightly to ensure its cleanliness.
GET PROFESSIONAL FACIALS REGULARLY: An aesthetician can deep clean your pores so your complexion is free of trapped and hardened sebum, a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to acne. Clean, unclogged pores will help prevent new blemishes from appearing.
USE SALICYLIC ACID: A salicylic acid gel or serum should be part of your skincare regimen to help keep your pores clean. This ingredient has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and drying effects plus it can break up trapped skin cells that are clogging your pores. Use it to help keep your skin clear by preventing blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads.
Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel ($54) should be applied to freshly cleansed skin. It blends Salicylic Acid 2%, Glycolic Acid, Licorice and Retinol Palmitate to minimize blemishes and keep pores clean, support cell turnover, soothe irritation and reduce lines.
Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel ($38) is formulated with Salicylic Acid to prevent and repair breakouts and smooth the skin’s texture. It also moisturizes and minimizes the look of pores.
STRESS LESS: Stress plays a role in how your skin looks because it causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Since most of us can’t find a stress-free job, home-life and lifestyle, it’s important to find ways that help you manage the stress in your life. Things like a proper sleep routine, plenty of exercise, deep breathing techniques, spending time in nature or time with your pet or people that make you happy are all healthy options that will help you chill.
DO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DIET: Some people can eat any type of food without it affecting their skin, while others eat certain foods and suffer the consequences. A common acne trigger is dairy consumption which has been shown to be a catalyst for some people with cystic acne. Others have found improvement by eliminating gluten, sugar, and processed foods from their diets. Give yourself two weeks without a certain food to determine if it’s a culprit.
Note: If you’re still not seeing improvement, do talk to your doctor about your options. Prescription medications including certain birth control pills if the cause of your breakouts is hormonal, or oral antibiotics such as tetracycline to reduce bacteria and inflammation, can help you get a handle on your breakouts.
NOTE: Products were tested in store. Opinions are my own.