How to Live a (Mostly) Pimple-Free Existence
Everyone wants flawless skin, but it’s not the easiest thing to achieve. If you suffer from acne, you’re not alone. Acne is very common. And while frustrating, there are steps you can take to achieve clear skin. This article includes a few tips to help. From updating your skincare products to keeping your hands off your face, here’s everything you need to know:
1. Get Treatment
Contrary to popular belief, not all acne can be cured by using the right face wash. The truth is, that acne can be genetic. It can also be caused by environmental and lifestyle factors you can’t change. If that’s the case, you may need prescription acne treatment, like an antibiotic, retinoid, or birth control. These options are more specifically designed to treat the underlying causes of acne, so you can achieve clear skin.
Antibiotics aren’t just for curing an infection. They can also treat acne. Unlike topical creams, antibiotics treat acne from within the body. When taken, they go to work fighting acne-causing bacteria in the body, to reduce inflammation and reduce sebum production that causes pimples.
A retinoid is a general term for products containing vitamin A compounds. Retinoids stimulate cell turnover, helping your skin shed dead skin cells and replace them with new skin cells. Cell turnover also opens your pores to release bacteria that may be causing your acne.
Birth control is typically prescribed as contraception. However, it’s also been found to help treat acne when other options haven’t been successful. Birth control works by reducing androgen, a hormone that causes acne.
It’s important to note that acne treatment doesn’t work overnight. It can take weeks to see results, so do your best to stay patient.
2. Wash Your Face
Even if your skin isn’t acne-prone, it’s important to clean your face on a regular basis. Think about it. Every day, your skin comes into contact with dirt, bacteria, pollutants, and other irritants that could cause pimples. To keep your skin clean, you need to remove that dirt and grime. If you don’t, bacteria will build up on your skin and can lead to acne.
While there’s no strict rule to how often you should wash your face, many dermatologists recommend washing at least twice a day. But when you wash can vary, based on your preference and lifestyle. For example, your friend might prefer washing their face in the morning and at night. You, on the other hand, might wash your face for the first time mid-afternoon, after your workout class. There’s no perfect time to wash your face. What matters is that you make time to do it.
When washing your face, do your best to be gentle. Your skin is tough, but scrubbing too harshly could irritate it, especially if you have acne-prone skin. Instead of using a washcloth, consider washing your face with your hands. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly first to ensure you’re not transferring dirt. Make sure you’re using lukewarm water too, rather than water that’s too cool or hot.
3. Re-Think Your Skincare Products
Have you ever wondered why there are so many different skincare products? It’s because everyone has different skin, and what works for some won’t work for all. While having options is a good thing, it can make finding the right product difficult.
If you’re experiencing acne, there’s a chance it’s because of the products you’re using — or not using. That’s why it’s important to understand your skin type. What kind of skin do you have? Is it acne-prone, oily, dry, or a combination of both? Whatever type you have, there are products specifically designed for you.
For example, if you have acne-prone skin, you want to look for products labeled as “non-comedogenic.” This means the product won’t clog your pores and shouldn’t cause acne. On the other hand, maybe you have oily skin? If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol-based toners and serums, as they can make your skin more oily.
Luckily, a majority of products advertise what skin type they are designed for, so you don’t have to guess. With that said, you still want to look at the ingredients and do your research before making a purchase. The more you know about what you’re putting on your skin the better.
4. Don’t Pop Your Pimples
The first thing you might want to do when you see a pimple is pop it. Well, it’s important to resist that urge. While popping your pimple can make it smaller, it disrupts the healing process and can lead to scarring or additional acne. Not to mention, if your hands aren’t clean, you’re transferring bacteria onto your skin.
Pressing on pimples pushes bad bacteria and pus deeper into your skin. Not only can this lead to swelling, but it can cause redness. Popping also leads to scabs and scars, which could end up being permanent. Instead of popping your pimple, help it heal.
Consider applying a warm compress, like a heating pad or steamed towel to the bump. Heat can decrease inflammation, so your pimple doesn’t get bigger or start to hurt. You could also apply an acne spot treatment. These products typically contain salicylic acid, which is known to help combat acne.
According to research, most people in the United States between 11 and 30 will experience acne. It’s a common skin condition and can occur for many reasons. Pimples can be a pain, but the best thing you can do is leave them alone — they’ll eventually heal themselves. Instead, focus on what you can do to prevent future pimples, like updating your skincare products and being gentle with your skin.