Whether you have been suffering for acne for years or just started having acne recently, these 5 actions will turn your breakouts around. Review your daily routine to check if you are doing the right thing to regulate your oil production and keep acne at bay. The more you can keep your routine consistent, the clearer your skin will become…
Use the right cleanser
Are you choosing the right cleanser? Most acne cleansers which are good for killing the bacteria will also dry out the skin. The right cleanser is one that helps to balance the oils out. Your skin shouldn’t feel too squeaky clean after cleansing, nor should it feel too oily. Just like the Goldilocks effect, it should feel ‘just right’.
Cleanse only twice a day and not one single time more. Ideally, spread your cleansing out in 12 hour blocks to ensure that skin oiliness is consistent. In between each 12 hour cleansing cycle, the face will continue to produce oil, so here is where a good moisturiser comes in.
Apply a moisturiser
It might sounds counter-productive but if you’ve got this step right, you’re closer to managing acne than ever before. In fact, this is the step that everyone with acne leaves out.
Using a moisturiser helps the skin become more balanced. In particular, use light moisturisers that help to absorb oils, eg, Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion or Murad Oil-Control Mattifier. A rule of thumb is to find a moisturiser that has a thin, water-based lotion like consistency. Ideally, it should not feel like there’s an extra layer of oil, neither should it feel dry.
Just as with choosing the right cleanser, we are looking for the Goldilocks effect to keep the skin ‘just right’ and not let it go into overcompensation mode. With the cleanser and moisturiser combo, you will have already won more than half the battle in your fight against acne. Next up…
Use liquid foundation and sunblock
Some make-up comes with salicylic acid for blemish control. These are ideal as they work as both make-up and treatment at the same time. If you’re acne prone, look for liquid foundation types and avoid thick or solid makeup products like stick, pancake, cream, or cream to-powder foundations and concealers. These usually contain waxes such as polyethylene or ethylhexyl palmitate which keeps the products in a solid or semi-solid state and increases breakouts. Powder foundation is also a great alternative for acne prone skin!
Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells
Remove dead skin cells and unclog pores with chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs. Most acne cleansers contain salicylic acid which is a BHA that gently dissolves the glue that binds our skin together to gently slough it off.
Choose cleansers that contain 0.5% to 1% salicylic acid. Avoid cleansers that contain beads or other physical exfoliants such as corn husks etc, as their abrasive textures is harsh and not well-tolerated for acne prone skin.
Exfoliating is not necessary if your cleanser or products already contain salicyclic acid.
Don’t touch your skin!
Don’t pop, don’t pick, don’t rub, don’t touch. You will only be spreading the bacteria around. The gentler you are with your face the better. ‘Nuff said.
Wait patiently for one month
Patience is a virtue and ever more so for acne prone skin. Give the skin one month to adjust to your new routine and products before deciding if it’s effective.
One week is hardly enough let alone one day. Many people change products after using them for a week or two. Sometimes this can cause more damage that we realise.
The skin goes through a renewal cycle every month. During this process, blackheads get exposed and removed, acne is has time to heal through a cycle and the skin gets an opportunity to adapt to new products.
So give your skin time to try out and adjust to new products before trying another new routine.