We talk a lot about different skin care routines, skin care products and do’s and don’ts for great skin, but for do we even know what acne is and how to deal with is? Most of us shy away from this topic and just try to band-aid the issue by hopping from one product to the next. The level of severity for everyone’s acne is different, but acne at its core is the same. If you are like most adults, your breakouts probably started in puberty. As you get older, it is common that acne lingers, but for many of us, those breakouts seem to be relentless no matter what we do. The reason most of us start having skin problems in because the sebaceous glands become active and start producing oil. By definition, acne is “Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms” (1). If you are an adult who’s acne has persisted through the years, you’re not alone. Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S. (2). Although each person’s skin is different, understanding these breakouts and why they occur can help you on your journey to flawless skin.
No matter what products are hot on the market, there is truly no replacement for living a healthy lifestyle. Skin care products and supplements can be of tremendous benefit to you, but the canvas of your health has to be clean in order for you to truly get to the bottom of your acne. Washing your face rigorously is important for keeping the exterior clean, especially if you have a work or hobby that exposes your skin to a lot of dirt, or germs. Try not to touch your face when you are in this kind of environment to not transfer anything to your face that can cause a breakout. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so when you are not eating well, your skin will show it. Diets high in sugar and processed carbs, and alcohol can contribute dryness, breakouts, redness and inflammation in the skin. Whereas diets high in fruits, vegetables, and good fats can contribute to preventing breakouts due to antioxidants, and the vitamins in this food can keep your skin healthy without breaking out. Before moving any further in your skincare product search, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water, your stress levels are maintained and that you are keeping a healthy diet.
When breakouts occur, the only thing that can make them worse is inflammation and scarring. When you pick your face, you are risking scarring to occur, because in order for the blemish to break through the skin, it has to actually “break” the skin, causing a scar. Redness and inflammation will worsen with excessive touching. A trick to deal with a pimple is to use a damp tissue to squeeze the blemish but never use your nails. This is a much more gentle way to deal with the blemish.
Keeping a good healthy skin care routine will make sure that acne cannot sneak in. A good rule of thumb is this: cleanse, tone, moisturize. You want to cleanse your face to get the bulk of the makeup or dirt of your face. After this, you will tone to get any lingering dirt and to seal your pores. Then you will apply moisturizer enriched with vitamins to hydrate your skin. Finally, if you can, avoid makeup. Makeup can clog the pores and often has ingredients that are not good for the skin. However, if you must wear makeup, apply a primer first, do a light coat of makeup and do not cake it one. Then, wash the makeup off as soon repeating the steps: cleanse, tone, moisturize. Do this as your day is done, and never sleep with your makeup on.