Acne Self-Care at Home
Acne can occur at any age due to clogged pores, hormonal shifts, stress, genetics, diet, and even medication. There are also daily habits, such as not washing your face every day, talking on your cellphone without cleaning the screen, and touching your face that will also cause acne.
Fortunately, there are many at-home, self-care options that are easy to keep in mind to avoid acne flare ups. Here are a few habits you can easily integrate into your lifestyle to prevent acne:
Don’t pick at the blemish or pimple.
This may be easier said than done, since extracting the whitehead or blackhead allows you to think that you are cleaning the pore and reducing its size. However, this picking and popping rarely ends well, especially when the bacteria on your fingers becomes implanted into the blemish, which is very common when squeezing and picking at acne, and will spread bacteria and cause more acne to break out. Remember that picking the blemish actually breaks the skin’s protective layer. If you truly cannot stand a whitehead or blackhead, see your aesthetician who can cleanly and expertly “leak” whiteheads and deeply cleanse pores. That is one acne-fighting process that should never be attempted at home. Acne is temporary, but scarring from squeezing and picking can be forever.
Not washing your pillowcases and other items enough.
Your face is most commonly exposed to your pillowcase every day, which absorbs sweat and oil as you sleep. You may also wear the occasional hat, sweatband, or scarf, which can touch your face and also absorb oil and sweat throughout the day. CNN recommends washing your pillows (not pillowcases) every three to six months to tackle the 16 types of fungi that regular nest there with you. Pillowcases can be washed at least once per week with an all-natural, fragrance-free detergent to avoid any ingredients that may trigger break outs. Wash pillows in hot water on a gentle cycle, rinse twice, then dry with two tennis balls.
A good, gentle, natural cleaning is a must for any product that touches your face, whether it’s clothing, towels, or a couch you like to nap on. Remember that what touches your face can and will linger on your skin. To see how much your skin is truly exposed to potential acne triggers, keep a journal for one day of everything your face touches. When’s the last time you cleaned your yoga mat or your favorite hat? All of these items, if not properly cleaned, can cause acne, so be mindful about how often you clean them.
Limit your caffeine intake.
Caffeine launches your body into a stressed-out state, which causes acne. Try to find other energy sources, such as changing your diet to one rich in complex carbohydrates, organic vegetables, and lean protein. Make sure to also avoid sugar, salt, or dairy, as these ingredients have been linked to causing acne due to their tendency to cause dehydration, which then leads to clogged pores that cannot release the toxins these ingredients put into the body.
Clean your cellphone.
Your phone generally collects bacteria from your hands, and then transfers that bacteria simply through holding the phone to your face. Clean your phone with an alcohol wipe or hand sanitizer daily; in fact, you can also apply this tip to your sunglasses and eyeglasses as well!
Consistently follow a regimen designed for acne-prone skin.
Focusing on certain ingredients used in your skincare regimen is also important, as you could be using ingredients that actually aggravate your skin and acne. Salicylic acid helps keep pores clear of clogging dirt, debris and sebum. Also look for glycolic acid and lactic acid, which help to remove dead surface skin cells. Because they are chemical exfoliants, continual use may lessen the appearance of acne scars. Just be sure to introduce these ingredients slowly into your skincare routine, as skin can become irritated with too many products being used on it.
If you’re looking for a skincare regimen, The Method: Blemish Control is a simple 3-step process that helps reduce and prevent blemishes while polishing, cleansing, and nourishing skin, giving you skin that glows while keeping breakouts under control. The Method: Blemish Control contains salicylic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells, while also paired with natural ingredients like pumpkin and pomegranate extract to reinforce sloughing off dead surface cells and lilac stem cell compound which has anti-blemish and oil-absorbing benefits to allow skin to be balanced and radiant.
Pick the right sunscreen for your skin.
All skin types need daily UVA/UVB protection. Find sunscreen that is lightweight and breathable, such as Sheer Fluid Sun Shield SPF 30 which is great for oily skin and never greasy-feeling; plus, it’s a wonderful makeup primer, too!
We hope that by integrating these tips and keeping your skincare ingredients in mind, you’ll be able to create the blemish control, homecare skincare routine that works for you.
Source: Dr. Lancer. Younger: The Breakthrough Anti-Aging Method for Radiant Skin. p. 112-121.
Source: Nicksin, C. “How Often Should I Wash Everything?” CNN. (2014). July 30. < http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/29/living/how-often-should-i-wash-everything/>.