The feeling of having tried everything to fight regular acne breakouts can end up discouraging even the most determined sufferers. Maybe it would be wiser to forget about having a perfect complexion and learn to live with acne? The problem with giving up just to make life easier is that the relief is very short-lived. Because resignation towards acne will not only cause us to lose our good habits, it also has every chance of favoring behavior that will actually aggravate unsightly, discouraging breakouts.
Yet, there is nothing inevitable about this, as long as we remember that acne is an inflammatory condition, not an infectious one. This means that everything you can do to avoid inflammation will help your skin become healthy and radiant again.
Cleansing your skin is indispensable for removing dead cells and eliminating excess sebum that contributes to acne. But remember that too much washing can cause irritations, especially if you use cleansers or mechanical buffers. For irreproachable hygiene, all you have to do is wash your face twice a day (morning and evening) using a rinse-off cleanser. Avoid soap whose base pH destroys the hydrolipidic film on the epidermis and can alter its beneficial flora.
Anything that can irritate the skin maintains the inflammation and, consequently, the acne. This means you should never use products containing alcohol because they dry the skin, which in reaction causes an increase in sebum production. For the same reasons, menthols and citrus derivatives in the form of essential oils should also be avoided.
Instead of creamy products with heavy, occlusive formulas, whenever possible opt for liquid forms and lightweight powders that let the pores breathe.
Fatigue, forgetfulness, negligence or vanity… there are plenty of good reasons for going straight to bed without taking off your make-up. But, not only does this irritate your eyes and cause puffiness, make-up that stays on all night deepens acne lesions and damages the skin surface by obstructing pores. That is why it is imperative to eliminate all traces before going to bed, preferably using a rinse-off make-up remover.
When your skin is in contact with bangs or long hair, it picks up traces of your hair care products. Since they are oily, they, too, can maintain acne by clogging the pores on your skin. Opt for lightweight hair care products instead of waxy conditioners.
The sun is a false friend for acne-prone skin. While it often improves acne and the skin’s appearance at first, its anti-inflammatory action does not last. The UV rays cause the skin to thicken which tends to clog the hair follicles and inhibit sebum evacuation, which in turn causes black heads and micro-cysts that are certain to pop up at the end of vacation. To avoid this rebound, opt for lightweight, high SPF suncare products adapted to oily skin types.
Tanning beds should never be used for the same reasons.
As we have seen, preventing acne breakouts is not as hard as we thought. It’s all about balance and mildness. The different barriers that protect your skin and keep it healthy can only play their role if they are not altered. That is why it is important to identify and avoid irritating products and regularly give your skin the appropriate care.
To find out more about acne, check out our feature article devoted to the subject and don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist.