How to Prevent Acne
There is hope! While acne is not curable, we now know more about controlling acne and there are many effective acne solutions available. The key is prevention — helping to stop spots before they appear.
It's crucial to begin controlling blemishes as soon as the first signs appear; the sooner you start good skin care, the less likely you will be to suffer permanent skin damage.
The key to your success will be staying committed - sticking to your blemish control skin care regimen day in and day out to get clear - and staying with your routine once you are clear.
The most important thing to remember about acne is: it is not your fault. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by what you eat, how often you wash your face or workout - it is caused by a combination of factors at work beneath the skin’s surface that are beyond your control, such as:
- How often your skin sheds skin cells.
- How your hormone balance affects the amount of oil your skin produces.
- Genetics - your family history can have a bearing on whether you are acne-prone or not.
What can I do?
The secret to controlling acne is PREVENTION - stopping pimples from forming before it appears as a visible breakout on the skin’s surface.
Even after pimples disappear, you should continue to use an effective acne regime to prevent new pimples from forming.
Acne Prevention Tips
One of the most common misconceptions about acne is that it's caused by dirt and diet. Wrong! Acne is caused by a combination of factors beyond our control, like hormone balance and the natural pace of your skin's renewal system.
While acne is definitely not your fault, - it’s important to know that you're not helpless either. You can help your body win the fight against breakouts by giving it what it needs to stay strong and healthy.
Follow these simple daily rules, and your skin will love you for it!
Daily Cleansing Routine – Don’t over-wash
- Gently wash your face twice a day to remove excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. Remember: since acne isn't caused by dirt, over-washing won't help - it's more likely to dry out your skin, causing it to produce even more oil. So limit yourself to two daily cleansings.
- Once you've found a routine that works, stick with it!
- Skip harsh scrubs.
- It's okay to exfoliate, but make sure you use a gentle formula with small, smooth grains.
- Avoid products with almond or apricot shell fragments; they can irritate and even tear your skin and further aggravate your skin.
Say no to alcohol
- If you use a toner, avoid products with high concentrations of isopropyl alcohol, or common rubbing alcohol.
- Alcohol is a strong astringent that strips the top layer of your skin, causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. The result? Dry, red skin — and potentially even more blemishes.
Don't squeeze or pick
- Squeezing or picking your zits — with fingernails, pins or anything else — can force bacteria deeper into the skin, causing increased inflammation and infection.
- You'll also increase the damage to surrounding skin tissue, making a permanent acne scar much more likely.
Excessive touching of your face, including rubbing or even resting your chin in your hands, can drive bacteria into your pores increasing the likelihood of pimples.
Healthy eating helps fight acne
- While diet doesn't cause spots, a balanced diet can help give your body what it needs to fight pimples.
- Don't skip breakfast - breakfast jump-starts your metabolism to give you energy throughout the day.
- In general, choose fresh fruit over french fries, and eat balanced meals with foods from all four food groups.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water every day – and even more if you exercise.
Protect Skin with Sunscreen
It’s important to wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) every day, even if it's cloudy. While it's true that small amounts of sun exposure can initially improve acne, don't be fooled, the benefit is temporary. Ongoing sun exposure will dry your skin, causing it to produce more oil and shed old cells more frequently. The excess oil and extra dead skin cells create the perfect breeding ground for pimples.
A good night's sleep (at least 7-8 hours) can do wonders for your complexion. How? A healthy, well-rested body has the resources to build a strong immune system. While a robust immune system won't prevent spots altogether, it can help fight infection so your pimples clear up more quickly.
Movement improves circulation and helps you relax, reduce stress and increase your energy levels. Your skin also benefits from the increase in blood flow that results from a higher heart rate and oxygen level in the bloodstream.
On the other hand, when you exercise, your movement generates heat, and clothing and equipment cause friction. Until you shower off, heat and moisture are trapped against your skin, creating an ideal breeding ground for the spread of bacteria.
- Remove makeup before you exercise.
- If you are prone to body blemishes, wear loose-fitting cotton clothing when exercising.
- Whenever you can, shower off immediately after exercising.
When you become tense, your adrenal glands flood your bloodstream with the hormone cortisol. Cortisol triggers the sweat glands in your face to produce more oil, which can result in zits.
It’s important to take time out every day to relax - read a book, take a bath, practice yoga, or do whatever makes you feel happy and calm. Being relaxed is an important step towards overall good health…and beautiful, healthy skin.