Everyone has had an unwanted blemish on their face at one point in their life but there are some people who are plagued on a regular basis with nuisances such as pimples, blackheads, milia, cysts and the like. While some of these acne conditions are hormonally based, there are some things that you can do that will help to keep the condition under control. I have listed some acne control tips and a home care routine to follow in order to keep your symptoms at bay.
-Change your pillow case every night. This may seem a tad much but the oils and debris from your skin and hair can be trapped in pillowcase fibers and get into your skin causing clogged pores and infection. If your skin is particularly sensitive then you may want to switch to a satin pillowcase. Satin fibers are more gentle to the skin than the fibers in cotton or other blends.
-Go to bed with clean hair, the oils and dirt in your hair can be transferred to your skin while you sleep. If you prefer to shower in the morning, pull long hair up into a ponytail so that you are less likely to lay on it while you sleep.
-Always wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap and be sure to scrub under your fingernails where bacteria can hide before touching your face for any reason. Do not rest your head on your hands.
-Be sure not to let the telephone touch your face. The telephone is a breeding ground for the germs and bacteria that cause acne. Clean your phone often with alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes in case your face rests on it accidentally.
-Do not wash your face too often, this can strip your skin of needed oils, spread infection and make acne worse. Wash your face in the morning before applying moisturizer/make-up and also at night before going to bed. Sleeping with a clean face is important because this is the time when your skin is healing and repairing. If you do something strenuous such as exercise which causes you to excessively perspire you can wash after.
-Do not pick at your skin especially with dirty hands and fingernails, this can spread infection. If you absolutely must extract on your own please ask your Aesthetician the safe proper way to do it. It is better to just wait and receive extraction during you facial services.
-Water and hydration are very important to the health of your skin. Make sure to drink at least eight 80z glasses of water every day. The best way to figure out the proper water consumption for you is to divide your total body weight in half, this is the number of ounces you should have daily. For every drink that contains caffeine or alcohol you should add an extra 12oz 0f water to your daily total. Example: A woman who weighs 100lbs and drinks two cups of coffee a day should drink 74oz of water. 100/2=50+12+12=74oz
-Reduce your salt intake, excess salt in your diet can flare up breakouts. Foods that contain large amounts of salt are cheese, diet soda, processed food and prepackaged meals.
-Ladies, keep all make-up applicators and sponges clean by washing them at least once a week with anti-bacterial soap. If possible, use a new disposable applicator every application. Do not apply make-up to skin that is not clean and do not perform strenuous tasks such as exercise with make-up on your skin.
I also recommend that you follow a good home skin care regimen. This is very important in keeping acne under control and can stop the spread of bacteria and infection.
- Wash your face with the appropriate, gentle, non-foaming cleanser. The use of harsh cleansers such as “deep pore cleansing acne cleansers” will strip the delicate acid mantle of your skin leaving it vulnerable to infection and dehydration. The purpose of cleansing is to remove excess oil, dirt and make-up, there are some oils and healthy bacteria that live on and protect the skin that would be disturbed by harsh cleansing. The use of a bar of soap of any kind is not recommended either not only because detergents can strip the skin, but also because the bar often sits in a pool of bacteria filled water.
- Tone the skin with an alcohol free toner to bring the pH back to the correct level, remove any debris left over from the cleansing process and tighten the pores. Damp skin also accepts products better. Use clean cotton pads to apply toner to the entire face and neck.
- Moisturize your skin with the appropriate non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) moisturizer every time you wash your face. A lot of acne sufferers don’t like this important step because they feel that their skin already has enough oil, but dehydration can be the reason for some of the overproduction of oil. Your skin needs this protective barrier.
- Apply sun protection in the morning. There are many non-comedogenic verities to choose from.
- Gently exfoliate once to twice a week. Exfoliation helps to remove unwanted dead skin from the surface of the face. When the skin is not exfoliated properly the dead skin can cause an unwanted dingy barrier on the face which can lead to more clogging of the pores. Clean exfoliated skin accepts moisturizers and treatment creams much more easily. Be sure that the exfoliant you use is very gentle and if it contains manual pieces, that they are perfectly round. Jagged pieces such as those from nuts and ground up pits can be very irritating and cause microscopic tears in the skin.
- Apply a mask after exfoliation, the appropriate mask will help to boost the effectiveness of treatments to your skin.
- Specific treatment creams, oils and serums can be applied to the skin every day to boost acne control. Sebum reducing serums can be applied under moisturizer to help balance the skin. Essential oils known for their anti-bacterial properties such as Tea Tree and Lavender can also be used under moisturizer or as a spot treatment.
Following these suggestions and receiving professional facials on a regular basis can help to keep the symptoms of acne at bay but if you have tried all of these and still suffer, there are some cases that will need to be treated by a Dermatologist who can prescribe oral and topical antibiotics although I feel that this should be a last resort.