Take Acne by the Reigns and Control It
Oh how we detest the sight and even thought of breakouts. Acne, a by-product of long term build-up of dead skin cells, oil and clogged hair follicles, can be deep, inflamed, and really painful. More importantly, it can throw a serious blow to one’s self-esteem. Besides hormonal changes and stress, bad eating habits can also promote the cause. We list some helpful tips to keep acne at bay.
Don’t use the same face towel twice
Dry your face with fresh towels every single time. Yes, we do mean every time you wash your face. The reasoning behind this is simple - you don’t want to transfer the bacteria back onto your skin.
Change your pillowcase frequently
Many beauty gurus swear by keeping their pillowcases clean for skin health. All the dirt, dust and oil from your hair gathers on your pillowcase when you sleep, with the addition of possible drool. Needless to say, your pillowcase becomes bacteria infested and affects your skin. So change the cover at least once a week, more often if you find yourself waking up to breakouts. You also try using a satin pillowcase — this weave won’t absorb moisture like cotton and will reduce chafing on the skin.
No late-night snacks
Despite your intense cravings, especially late at night, discipline yourself and keep from eating anything sweet or drink anything sugary. Because that can spike blood sugar levels and create inflammation, which will worsen your acne and affect sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases glucocorticoid — a steroid that can exacerbate breakouts. So resist the urge for the sake of your skin.
Try new cleansers before your period
In the week before your period, your hormones shift gears into overdrive and this means your oil glands are working double time too, predisposing the skin to breakouts. Before your period is due, consider switching to a salicylic acid cleanser to control excess oil. Leave it on your face for a minute for it to work.
Cleanse your face twice a day
Sometimes, it’s as simple as washing your face twice a day. Cleansing your face rids of the impurities and bacteria that gather on the skin throughout the day. As you may have noticed, cleanliness is key to prevent breakouts.
Shift towards a healthier diet
Knowing your body and your diet is vital to keep control of acne. It could be the whey-based protein supplements you have been taking or food with a high glycemic index which is found in most refined carbs and sugars such as white bread, white chips, crackers and muffins. You want to swap these refined sugars for something more wholesome and has a low glycemic index like steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, veggies, proteins and healthy fats. Also, a good number of antioxidants to your diet, including blueberries, red kidney beans, cranberries, artichoke and strawberries.
Don’t take stress to bed with you
This is a feat, we know. But at the end of the day, try to alleviate the stress accumulated by meditating, practicing yoga or listening to calming music. Stress will only increase the oil production and promote inflammation.
Keep a distance from your phone
You would be surprised to know how much bacteria your phone is laden with. Using your smartphone to make calls will only leave your skin vulnerable to breakouts, especially around the mouth and cheeks. Besides, keeping your phone away at night is simply good discipline. If you must use your cell phone before bed, give the screen a swipe with an alcohol-based wipe.
Don’t touch a pimple
Don’t do it! No matter how hard your brain is urging you to pick and pop that zit, it would only make things worse and can lead to scarring. To ease lesions that contain pus, apply a warm compress and a drying or spot treatment containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulphur. We repeat, do not touch your pimple!
Apply natural acne healing products
You can also try shifting to natural products with inherent There are many plant based acne-healing properties, such as rose oil, tea tree oil and even virgin coconut oil. Just dab it onto your skin as a moisturiser after cleansing your face.
Drink lots of water
Drink water like your skin depends on it. While merely drinking water won’t magically make your skin clear, it helps in keeping the cells hydrated and contributes to overall health. You should know that consuming sugar and caffeine isn’t helping your case either.
Treat hormonal acne with birth control
A trip to the gynecologist is sometimes what is needed to treat and control acne flare ups. Just like taking any other prescribed medication, your doctor will determine if birth control could help your breakouts. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration has approved Estrostep, Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Yaz to combat acne, but the trick is to be patient, as it can take up to four months to start seeing results.