Just when you thought you didn’t have to deal with blemishes anymore (high school is over, after all!), you end up with more than a few pesky pimples. The battle against acne can seem like a never-ending story for some of us. Whether you suffer from occasional zits, adult acne or constant breakouts, here are a few skincare tips that can help you get the clear, blemish-free skin you want.
1.Keep skin clean, but don’t overdo it. Whether you have acne or not, it’s important to wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and excess oil. But washing more often than that can actually lead to irritation, especially if you use harsh facial cleansers or scrubs. Stay away from bar soaps – they can leave a film or residue on your skin, which in turn can clog pores.
Also, avoid scrubbing your skin with a washcloth, exfoliating glove, or loofah (a coarse-textured sponge) that can hurt the already inflamed skin and cause more irritation. Use warm, not hot water and a mild facial cleanser like Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser.
2. Keep your hands off your face – Never pick or pop your pimples, as it can lead to infection and scarring. Avoid touching your face or propping your cheek or chin on your hands. Not only can you spread bacteria, can also irritate the already inflamed skin. Just DON’t do it. If you’re really hooked on popping, leave it to the pros and schedule regular monthly extractions with an aesthetician who knows how to do them safely and gently.
3.Try over-the-counter acne products – There are so many great products for acne-prone skin that don’t need a prescription. Check out this post on Best Acne-Fighting Products (all under $20!) that will help reduce inflammation, unclog pores, clear up those stubborn breakouts and even prevent any more unwanted zits from popping back up!
4. Whip up an easy DIY face mask – If you are a DIY kind of girl, there are several at-home acne remedies you can easily put together like a soothing Oatmeal paste that can reduce the redness from acne and help calm inflammation on your skin.
You will need : 1/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup boiling water. Grind the rolled oats in a food processor or grinder. Mix the rolled oats with hot water in a small bowl to form a thick paste. Allow the mixture to cool completely before applying to your skin. When cool, apply the mixture to your face. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water and a soft washcloth. Talk about a simple solution!
5. Avoid skincare and makeup products that can cause irritation – Irritation = inflammation – and that’s bad news! Don’t think that if it tingles, it must be working. Ingredients that make your skin tingle, such as menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon, show up in countless anti-acne products but these actually irritate skin, which in turn stimulates oil production and only make matters worse!
Also, avoid products that contain SD or denatured alcohol such as alcohol-based toners because it dries out your skin causing it to produce more oil. Check out this post for more info on natural ingredients to avoid in skincare products.
6. Don’t skimp on the moisturizer – While it might seem like a good idea to skip moisturizing during breakouts, it can actually backfire as your skin tries to balance the dryness by producing more oil, continuing the vicious cycle. Look for the term “noncomedogenic” on the label, which means it won’t clog your pores.
Choose an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer with a gel-like or light lotion texture such as this one that won’t make your face feel like a greasy mess!
7. Watch what you put on your hair – While you may not realize this, if your hair touches your forehead or the sides of your face, the traces of products you use to style your hair will also end up on your skin. If you have acne-prone skin, be sure to keep your hair pulled away from your face whether it’s long or short.
Avoid using oils, pomades, gels or other thick, waxy styling products on your hair as they can clog pores and lead to breakouts. And remember that unless you are washing your hair every day (which is not recommended), all that product also transfers onto your pillowcase.
8.Use makeup sparingly – When you are trying to clear up your acne, avoid wearing foundation or blush to let your skin clear up faster. But if you do wear makeup, choose oil-free cosmetics, avoiding any creamy, heavy formulas and stick to light powder formulas. And don’t try anything new during a breakout, you never know how your skin will react to it! Here are a few more makeup tips to prevent acne breakouts.
Another important thing to remember is keeping your makeup brushes clean. Your makeup brushes harbor bacteria and dead skin cells, making them absolute zit factories. Use a fresh makeup sponge only once and clean your foundation brushes at least once a week to keep them germ free – and your skin clear.
9. Don’t forget your sunscreen – You might have heard that a good dose of sunlight can “clear up” acne breakouts. But baking in the sun can actually increase inflammation – the thing we are trying to avoid. Also, some acne medications make your skin more sensitive to sunlight which makes sun protection even more important than ever.
Yes, I know finding a sunscreen that plays nicely with finicky acne-prone skin can be a bit tricky. Try Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 that dries to a matte finish and won’t make your oily, breakout-prone skin cringe!
10. Sanitize your Smartphone – According to a Stanford University study, that iPhone you can’t keep your hands off of can get more germ-infested than a toilet seat….yuck, right? Here’s a scary thought: All those germs land right on your cheek and jawline every time you chat away, causing pimples and irritation. To keep your phone (and face) bacteria-free, wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe a few times a day.