Acne can be a very challenging condition to live with. We’ve got your back, and have put together 6 tips for managing it.
1. Get good sleep
Sleep is critical for our overall health and wellbeing, and our skin – the biggest organ in our body – is no different.
According to X, research shows a lack of sleep may cause acne. People who report having poorer sleep quality are more likely to have worse acne. Fatigue upon waking up is also strongly associated with acne.
Stress is a factor in the development of acne. When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol and inflammatory proteins. Sleep deprivation can also significantly raise cortisol levels. This cortisol increase can negatively impact your immune system’s fighting power, which can lead to increased skin problems or disease.
Closely related to sleep is exercise. It’s really important to exercise to get better sleep and also to support mental health. Exercising in moderation is important as it can lead to better sleep and help reduce stress levels, whilst overdoing it or exercising right before bedtime increases stress and can interfere with sleep.
When combating acne it is helpful to clean your skin after exercises and ensure the irritating sweat is not present for too long.
2. Do not wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day.
This is perhaps a little less well known. Frequent washing can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse. Not only can friction irritate the skin but the overwashing of the face can lead to the body’s natural healthy oils being removed.
In fact, washing the skin more than twice per day may dry out your skin.
3. Wash the affected area with a mild soap or cleanser and lukewarm water.
This is due to the fact that very cold or hot water can make acne worse. “Cold water tightens the skin’s pores, which doesn’t allow the natural secretion of sebum and acne-causing bacteria,” says Neil Sadick, MD, of Sadick Dermatology. “Whereas hot water opens pores and stimulates excess sebum production that leaves it prone to further irritation.” Lukewarm water in between is optimal.
4 Do not try to “clean out” blackheads or squeeze spots. This can make them worse and cause permanent scarring.
When we pop spots the pore debris can unintentionally be forced further into the follicles, making the whole situation a lot worse. It can also make blemishes worse. As mentioned though, the most long-lasting risk is that of scarring – when it comes to taking matters into your own hands with acne squeezing is not the way to go.
5 Avoid using too much make-up and cosmetics.
It can be a vicious cycle for those who attempt to conceal acne with make up products. Shereene Idriss, M.D., dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, says that certain ingredients in makeup can further clog pores, which can lead to a worsening of any inflammation as well as lengthen the duration of a breakout.
“When you have an active breakout, your skin may be more prone to developing sensitivities and irritations. Therefore, if you’re brave enough to go makeup-free for the short term in order to gain better skin in the long term, then I would encourage it.”
It’s clear that there are many things we can do to combat acne symptoms, although there is currently no absolute cure for it.
Anti-bacterial products can be used to treat acne. Check out our personal range of colloidal silver products here.