When we were growing up, we all had to deal with acne in one form or the other particularly during puberty for some of us that have acne-prone skin. Acne, especially those on the face, can be a source of concern even in its mild state as we all value a smooth skin and acne have a way of messing it up for us.
The severity of the attack and the stage of our lives in which its happening affects how we feel about it. Acne does not only mar your looks by leaving dark spots on after healing and permanent scars in severe cases; it also affects you psychologically. It can be a major cause of low self-esteem where you feel inferior due to your appearance and avoid all forms of social interactions where you’d be constantly reminded of the seeming flaws in your looks. This can be more crippling for an adult.
Acne is commonly associated with adolescence but, when it proceeds further into adulthood, it can be quite limiting. A severe acne attack could cause the person to plummet into depression. The effect of acne goes beyond looks to affect relationships and even how one dresses. These people with acne prone skin will find it difficult to relate with others and continually withdraw into themselves.
Acne can also make it difficult for certain types of clothes to be worn particularly if acne spreads along the chest and arms. In worse cases, the person begins to contemplate taking his life due to his inability to cope with the pressures.
What Does Acne-Prone Skin Mean?
Acne-prone skin refers to skin that is susceptible to blemishes and breakouts.
Acne occurs as a result of our skin pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells, oils, or microorganisms. The absence of an escape route for these leads to breakouts across the skin. Acne could appear on the face, chest, shoulder, arms, back, and buttocks. Acne is often mistaken for pimples but, acne is the disease or skin condition while pimples are a symptom.
Types of Acne
- Pustules commonly called pimples
Causes of Acne
1. Changes in hormone levels which could result from the onset of puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, e.t.c.
2. Medications such as birth control pills
3. Diets containing skim milk and high in carbohydrates can increase the risks of having acne.
4. Heredity. If your parents had issues with acne, then you will likely have issues as well.
5. Clogged pores resulting from the secretion of excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
6. Use of oily skin products. These products clog your pores resulting in acne.
7. Friction on your skin will trigger your skin to produce more oil to lubricate it.
Skin Care Routine For Acne-Prone Skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there is a specific skin care routine an acne-prone skin should follow. If you have acne-prone skin, here are the simple ways to go about avoiding acne breakouts or blemishes.
1. Cleanse Your Face
This is particularly important because a lot of dirt settles on your faces in the day from pollutants in the air, sweats, and even makeup. If all these are left, they will clog the pores and result in breakouts. A mild cleanser should be used. Harsh chemicals should be avoided as some of them tend to dry the skin and this will trigger the skin into the production of more oil to create a balance. This increase in oil production will eventually result in breakouts.
A cleanser specific to your skin type is ideal and cleansing should be twice daily – morning and night. If you happen to get involved in an extra sweaty activity, double cleanse at night to remove all traces of dirt.
2. Use Toner
Toners clean the skin, shrink the pores and gets rid of the dirt that clogs the pores. Toners could also help to keep the skin hydrated and treat or prevent blackheads. Use a toner specific to your skin type. Test it on a patch of skin to check for possible reactions to the toner before using it fully.
3. Use Oil-Free Skin Products
Excess skin oil is one of the causative factors of acne so, you must avoid products that contain oil. Such products will further clog your pores and trigger further breakouts. You should ensure that all skin products that you use are oil-free.
4. Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells that would otherwise clog your pores. Scrubs are majorly used in exfoliating the skin. Exfoliation can be done two to three times a week for great results. You could try using coffee scrub, brown sugar scrub, sea salt scrub, and green tea scrub to name a few. You could also ask your dermatologist to know which would be ideal for your skin type. Do not over-exfoliate as it will cause your skin to be really sensitive and prone to irritations.
5. Moisturize Your Skin
Moisturizing your skin helps to keep it healthy by protecting it from pollutants in the environment, reducing the evaporation of moisture from the skin, and slowing the aging process. Hydrating your skin gives it a better fighting chance against breakouts and prevents bacteria growth. Avoid using oil-based moisturizers and don’t forget to ask for help if you’re having difficulties in making your choice.
6. Get Acne Medication
These medications can be gotten over the counter or from a dermatologist. The medications should preferably be applied after cleansing and toning your face as this will provide it a clean surface to act on.
7. Minimal Pressure
In washing your face, drying it and using other skincare products, minimal pressure should be applied to the face. Do not use sponges or rough facecloths on your face because it will trigger the production of more sebum. Instead, use your fingers to apply the product to your face and gently massage it into your skin.
8. Don’t Pick or Pop Pimples
No matter how tempting it may seem, you should avoid popping your pimples. Popping pimples transfers the bacteria to otherwise uninfected skin and results in breakouts. It could also result in scarring of the skin as well as opening up the skin to more infections from bacteria. Popping could also aggravate a mild case of acne and result in it developing into the more serious forms.
9. Regularly Wash Things That Come In Contact With Your Skin
Things like makeup brushes, bedspreads, and pillowcases regularly come in contact with your skins and can serve as a platform for
bacterial growth. Through continuous use of these items, the bacteria is introduced to the skin where it can cause irritations. Also, the dirt accumulated on these items can clog your pores when they come in contact with your skin and ultimately result in breakouts.
You should wash your make-up brushes regularly; daily wash after use would have been ideal but not exactly feasible. So, it is best if you wash them every week as well as the bedspread and pillowcase. They should be changed weekly.
10. Use a Skin-Friendly Routine and/or Remedy
You should ensure that whatever skin care routine you use is one specifically designed for your skin type. This also goes for the other products you use on your skin. Using the wrong product can damage your skin right away, cause irritations, and lead to terrible breakouts on your skin. Acne ought to be treated as soon as it appears on the skin.
Before acne breaks the skin surface, they start forming under the skin so it’ll be advisable to visit a dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment. In mild cases, over the counter medications can be used in treatment but, if such medications fail as well as routines and remedies, you should see your dermatologist for immediate assistance.
You should also note that using these products or routines might result in a skin purge for those with acne-prone skin. A skin purge refers to breakouts that happen as a reaction to treatments currently being undergone. These breakouts are a way of clearing out the acne present under the skin and treating them first before concentrating on total treatment.
You should not discontinue your routine or product due to the skin purge. Continue using it and the purge will eventually clear up. But, you need to be sure it’s a skin purge and might want to see a dermatologist if it doesn’t clear up within three weeks.
What are your thoughts on our 10 acne-prone skin care routine? Please share it with us in the comments section below.