The skin is affected by heat and humidity of the summer, or cold, dry wintertime air. Making just a few adjustments in your skin care routine can help keep your skin looking and feeling good all year round. A good daily skin care routine is important for everyone, but especially so for those with acne. Learn how to properly care for your skin and get the most out of your acne treatments.
Here are some tips to help prevent breakouts and clear them up as fast as possible:
Wash your face twice a day (no more) with warm water and a mild soap made for people with acne. Gently massage your face with circular motions. Don’t scrub. Overwashing and scrubbing can cause skin to become irritated. After cleansing, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying an over-the-counter (no prescription needed) lotion containing benzoyl peroxide. This will decrease oil and bacteria.
Don’t pop pimples. It’s tempting, but here’s why you shouldn’t: Popping pimples can push infected material further into the skin, leading to more swelling and redness, and even scarring. If you notice a pimple coming before a big event, like the prom, a dermatologist can often treat it for you with less risk of scarring or infection.
Avoid touching your face with your fingers or leaning your face on objects that collect sebum and skin residue like your phone. Touching your face can spread the bacteria that cause pores to become inflamed and irritated. To keep bacteria at bay, wash your hands before applying anything to your face, such as treatment creams or makeup.
If you wear glasses or sunglasses, make sure you clean them frequently to keep oil from clogging the pores around your eyes and nose.
Avoid touching your face or propping your cheek or chin on your hands. Not only can you spread bacteria, you can also irritate the already inflamed facial skin. Never pick or pop pimples with your fingers, as it can lead to infection and scarring.
Avoid the sun. You might be having fun in the sun, but the same can’t be said for your skin. The sun’s rays can accelerate acne and increase inflammation. Some acne treatment products even heighten the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. If you’re outside, you should always wear sunscreen. By choosing sunscreen that is non comedogenic, you can also reduce pore clogging and minimize acne.
Make your sunscreen work harder for you. Antioxidants like vitamin C offer an extra layer of protection again environmental damage and toxins, diverting them before they can damage your cells. “That’s why applying them as part of your morning routine boosts the efficacy of your sunscreen,” explains Amiry. “It’s important to know that sunscreens are chemicals that you are applying to your skin and they absorb into your body. So, use a lighter sunscreen daily such as SPF 15 along with vitamin C and a higher sunscreen (about 30) every two hours if you are outdoors for a long period of time.”
If you get acne on your body, try not to wear tight clothes. They don’t allow skin to breathe and may cause irritation. Scarves, headbands, and caps can collect dirt and oil, too.Remove your makeup before you go to sleep. When buying makeup, make sure you choose brands that say “noncomedogenic” or “nonacnegenic” on the label. Throw away old makeup that smells or looks different from when you first bought it.Keep hair clean and out of your face to prevent additional dirt and oil from clogging your pores.Protect your skin from the sun. It may seem like a tan masks acne, but it’s only temporary. A tan may worsen your acne, not improve it. Tanning also causes damage to skin that will eventually lead to wrinkles and increase your risk of skin cancer.
When in doubt, check with a dermatologist to see if you need more treatment to prevent or stop acne. A dermatologist can help you find the treatment method that’s best for you and can also give you lots of useful tips for dealing with acne and caring for your skin type. Some salons and spas have trained skin specialists, called estheticians, who can offer advice and skin care treatments.