Top Skincare Tips for Acne-prone Skin
As we talked about in a previous blog, Acne can be a problem that has deeper and more emotional effects than just creating rashes on your skin. It can impact self-esteem, provoke depression, anxiety and decrease quality of life.
Studies show that the longer Acne lasts, the more likely it is to create psychological problems. Without treatment, Acne can also worsen and if it becomes severe it can lead to scarring as the acne clears.
Acne is very common. In fact, research estimates that 9.4 percent of people worldwide have acne. In the United States, acne is the most common skin condition, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Acne occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria. Each pore of your skin opens to a follicle. The follicle is made up of hair and a sebaceous gland. This oil gland releases sebum, which travels up the hair, out of the pore, and onto your skin. Sebum helps keep your skin lubricated and soft.
One or more mishaps in this lubrication process can contribute to acne: excess oil production, accumulation of dead skin cells in your pores, or bacteria build-up. Any of these concerns can lead to pimples or breakouts, which develop when bacteria grow in a clogged pore and the oil can’t escape.
The easiest way to understand acne is to split it into two types: noninflammatory and inflammatory.
Noninflammatory acne refers to clogged pores that appear as blackheads or whiteheads. It’s the mildest type and is easy to spot. Blackheads have a dark appearance and can appear somewhat flat against the skin. Whiteheads are small skin-colored bumps.
Inflammatory acne is anything with a red or with a more robust appearance. This can range from papules and pustules to more severe nodules and cysts. This type of acne can be more painful.
There are several risk factors that can contribute to acne development, such as hormonal changes due to pregnancy or puberty, polycystic ovarian syndrome, other endocrine conditions, smoking, poor sleeping habits, stress, skincare products with high oil content, medication, and family history.
But what can we do to prevent or manage acne-prone skin? Here are our top tips!
Cleanse your skin twice a day gently
It is important to wash your face in the morning and at night. This might be one of the most important steps of your skincare routine.
Also, if you exercise, it is important to cleanse to eliminate the sweat from your skin.
Keep in mind that you should not use scrubs or harsh exfoliants that can irritate the skin and lead to even more redness.
If you prefer to go natural, check our previous blog about the best natural products for acne-prone skin.
Regularly change your face towel and pillowcases
Using dirty towels can harbor bacteria, and they can even introduce new bacteria to your skin, which may lead to more breakouts. You should switch out your towels on a weekly basis as long as you thoroughly wash your face.
This also applies to pillowcases, because pillowcases sit against our skin every night, over time they can harbor oil, dirt, sweat, and bacteria that lead to breakouts. And if you have oily skin or tend to sweat in your sleep, you may want to change them more frequently.
Don’t pick or pop your pimples
This is a hard one to follow because popping pimples can be tempting but this is the one thing that leads to more scarring. It can also transfer bacteria to other pores and turn one breakout into inflamed acne.
Choose non-comedogenic products
Noncomedogenic is a term used to describe skin care and makeup products that are formulated in such a way that they are not likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts.
So, apart from avoiding products that have comedogenic ingredients (like isopropyl myristate) high on the ingredients lists, you should look for skincare products that claim to be both oil-free and non-comedogenic and stick to powder makeup rather than liquids if possible.
Also, don’t forget to always patch test your products in small areas of your face before using them all over.
This might be the most repeated skincare tip for all skin types!
Keeping skin hydrated may help combat the excess oil that leads to acne. Hydrating the skin surface can re-balance oil glands and help control acne and improve healing. When buying a moisturizer, you should look for a lightweight, oil-free product that won’t clog your pores such as non-comedogenic products!
There is also no harm in keeping your water intake high since it is important to keep healthy from the inside out.
Drink Spearmint tea
Spearmint tea has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and to reduce testosterone levels in some limited studies. While it's unclear how it works, and it's important to note that there are no standardized studies, it is encouraging data that spearmint may have potential as a natural adjunct treatment for hormonal acne.
You can also check our Spearmint Sparkle Cleansing Bar as an option for a natural cleanser to refresh your skincare routine!
Look for skincare products with these ingredients
A skincare routine that’s not right for your skin type or concerns can end up causing more problems. So, if you have acne-prone skin, you should look for products with:
+ Salicylic acid works to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. It’s ideal for blackheads and whiteheads but can also help pustules disappear quicker.
+ Benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria and therefore works best on inflammatory acne.
+ Retinoids exfoliate the skin’s surface, removing the dead skin cells that clog pores. They also help reduce inflammation.
Choose your sunscreen wisely
Some sunscreens might cause acne breakouts, but acne treatments can leave the skin extra sensitive and exposed to the sun which can be even more damaging. As with any other step of your routine, you want to look for oil-free and non-comedogenic formulas that won't clog pores.
Consult a dermatologist if needed
Mild acne can usually be treated with the help of over-the-counter products. If it doesn’t improve, you may consider making an appointment with a dermatologist.
In this scenario, you will be able to access prescription medication that might just do the trick to manage and treat your acne.
Sources: Healthline.com; Self.com; Teenvogue.com