Acne doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of all ages and walks of life, and it doesn’t care about seasonal conditions. Acne and pimples are like the worst kind of house guests. They show up uninvited at the least convenient time, overstay their welcome, and leave a mess after they’re gone.
It’s easy to blame acne and pimples on genetics and hormones, but the fact is there are habits that can cause them.
According to dermatologists, here are five things you can do to prevent angry acne and pimples from appearing in the first place.
Using too many drying ingredients in your cleanser and treatments can actually over-dry skin. (Shutterstock)
1. Alternate between a gentle and anti-acne face wash
Use a mild cleanser that cleans and instantly hydrates in the morning and use an anti-acne formula typically laced with salicylic or glycolic acid in the evening.
“Using too many drying ingredients in your cleanser and treatments can actually over-dry skin and exacerbate your acne by making your skin think it needs to produce more oil,” Dr Amitabh Kumar, skin specialist, Max Hospital, Delhi, says.
2. Always remove make-up before a workout
When you work out, sweat is coming from pores and that’s exactly where your makeup sits – in the pores.
Dr Kumar says, “You touch your face and press whatever bacteria is at the gym into your skin. So not only are you putting your skin at risk for forming new pimples, but the ones you have can get worse.”
3. Wear sunscreen
The SPF will ward off sun damage that can keep a spot lingering long after it’s gone flat. But be sure to use a sunscreen that clearly states ‘oil-free’ on the label so that you aren’t using one that contains potentially pore-clogging oils (Most face formulas for daily use are oil-free).
Benzoyl peroxide kills the puss inside a pimple that’s already popped up. (Shutterstock)
4. Try benzoyl peroxide spot treatment
While salicylic acid is a great exfoliator that can get rid of dead skin cells that can clog pores and therefore is perfect to help maintain clear skin, it’s benzoyl peroxide that kills the puss inside a pimple that’s already popped up.
“It can be super harsh so you want to only put a tiny amount right on the pimple and don’t do it more than once a day. It can bleach your sheets and pillowcases so consider placing a white towel on your pillowcase before bed,” Dr V Karol, skin specialist, Delhi, says.
5. Do yoga
Yoga poses that increase blood flow to the face can speed up healing by delivering fresh blood to the area. That doesn’t mean you can do one move and expect to see results though.
“Practice daily at home in the morning or before bed (at night is when skin goes into super repair mode naturally) or hit a yoga class,” Dr Anupam Dey, a Kolkata-based nutritionist says. Just be sure to keep skin and your mat clean and bacteria free by wiping down your mat pre and post workout with an antibacterial wipe or lay a clean towel on top.
If you’re still seeing acne and pimple breakouts, visit your dermatologist to discuss prescription options.
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