THERE are many causes of this common skin condition, including bacteria, inflammation, stress and hormonal issues, so managing acne requires a multi-pronged approach as well as a dose of patience. So you wouldn’t want to sabotage your acne therapy now, would you? And yet so many of us do without even realizing it. Here are nine great acne tips that will enhance your zit-zapping routine, whether it involves natural acne remedies or more aggressive pimple treatments.
1. Hands off! You already know you are not supposed to squeeze and pick at your pimples, but what you also have to be mindful of is simply touching your face. Unless you are compulsively washing your hands (which is a topic for another site!), your fingers are dirty little things that transfer oil, bacteria and, well, dirt to your skin. And these contribute to break outs. This is a tough one because most people touch their faces a million times a day without being remotely aware of it. So keep your hands clean.
2. Hold the phone. Along the same lines as the first of our acne tips, here’s another thing you do without thinking about it: answer the phone. Your home phone, your office phone, your cell phone, it rings, it gets pressed up against your face. But when was the last time you cleaned it? How much oil, dirt, makeup, bacteria, skin cells and general disgustingness must be coating that telephone receiver? Eww. This is why one side of your chin always seems to break out more than the other. Make a habit of wiping down phones with some alcohol – especially if you share it with other people.
3. Rest your case. As in pillowcase. This is another harborer of acne triggers, a veritable breeding ground for bacteria, as oil from your hair and face soak into your pillow covering. And not only does this oil wind up back on your face at the end of the day, tagging along is all the dirt and dust it attracted during the day. Nice. Do your face a favor and get a stack of plain inexpensive pillowcases and change yours every day.
4. Go naked. Let your acne prone skin breathe for goodness sake. If your pimples are sprinkled on your back or butt, do this tip in private. But ladies, go bare-faced whenever your can. We know that you want to disguise those embarrassing zits, but makeup can aggravate your acne, so give your face a break as much as possible.
5. Mop up. Get oil-absorbing blotter sheets and carry them around with you to mop up excess oil on your face throughout the day.
6. Hairy issue. Like your skin, hair is moisturized by natural sebum, oil, your body produces, in this case the scalp. Great for hair, for pimple prone skin, not so much. Add to that residue from hair products you might use that can irritate your skin further. If you must wear bangs or sport a style in which your hair is forward, try to keep those tresses particularly clean and free of product.
7. Keep it clean. After working up a sweat, be sure to shower to keep bacteria and oil from piling up in your pores. If that is not possible for whatever reason, at least try to wipe down with a wet hand cloth all your zit zones. And always remove your makeup and wash your face before going to bed. Seriously, just get up and do it.
8. But not too clean! People with pimples sometimes go at their faces as if they were sanding wood. But if you want to get rid of pimples, scrubbing too hard and washing too much isn’t going to help – it just aggravates your acne and can even damage your delicate skin. Be gentle. Always.
9. Take a chill pill. This last acne tip focuses on stress reduction. Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, and increased cortisol is known to trigger break outs. This goes for even so-called good stress, such as that which comes with having a baby, starting a new job, adopting a pet, getting married. Plan ahead to avoid, say, having a giant zit on your nose competing for attention as you walk down the aisle by meditating, getting extra rest, doing yoga, journaling, having spa days, anything that will help you reduce stress.
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