The acne com­mand­ments

Don’t get salty when it comes to pim­ples – get savvy on how to treat them.

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Bye bye zits!

1 Don’t pop your pim­ples

Srsly, don’t. Neutrogena der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Eleni Yi­asemides says, “Squeez­ing or pick­ing your pim­ples leads to more dam­age and doesn’t clear the spots any quicker. It only leads to more in­flam­ma­tion, red­ness and scar­ring. In­stead, use prod­ucts that con­tain sal­i­cylic acid, gly­colic acid, AHAs or ben­zoyl per­ox­ide to help clear up spots.”

2 Change your pil­low­case on the reg

Your pil­low­case can ac­tu­ally cause break­outs, as it catches all of the sweat, dirt and gunk from your hair and face ev­ery night. Gross, right!? “Cer­tain bac­te­ria build up on your skin when you have acne. Us­ing clean tow­els, pil­low­cases and makeup prod­ucts will pre­vent the spread of bac­te­ria that may worsen acne,” says Dr Eleni.

3 Keep calm

Eas­ier said than done, but stress can trig­ger the on­set of acne as it can change your body’s hor­mone lev­els. “Stress leads to more oil pro­duc­tion and in­flam­ma­tion of the skin and also im­pacts the body’s abil­ity to heal it­self,” says Dr Eleni. “If stress and anx­i­ety is af­fect­ing your life, you should speak to your GP about this as there are lots of so­lu­tions that can help you man­age stress.”

4

Keep your hands clean. Touch­ing your face with dirty hands can en­cour­age pim­ples, so wash your hands be­fore­hand. This also goes for your phone, which can be a breed­ing ground for dirt and bac­te­ria that ends up on your face dur­ing your chat to your bestie. EW! Carry around an­tibac­te­rial wipes to com­bat this.

5 Ex­fo­li­ate

“One of the key causes of acne is block­age of the pore,” Dr Eleni says. “Ex­fo­li­a­tion is best done with in­gre­di­ents that gen­tly un­clog with­out ir­ri­tat­ing or dry­ing the skin. Look for in­gre­di­ents that con­tain vi­ta­min A, AHAs, gly­colic acid, sal­i­cylic acid or ben­zoyl per­ox­ide.”

6

Limit sugar. While you might want to reach for the lol­lies when you’re stressed, it may be a prob­lem. “The good news is that it is OK to eat choco­late – within rea­son!” says Dr Eleni. “Stud­ies have shown that di­ets high in sugar and high GI (gly­caemic in­dex) foods may make acne worse.”

7 Wash yo face

You might not be able to pre­vent your acne, but you can treat it by wash­ing your face. “Cleans­ing your face once nightly helps to re­move the dirt, oil, makeup and pol­lu­tion that our skin is ex­posed to dur­ing the day,” Dr Eleni says. “I rec­om­mend a gen­tle soap-free cleanser if you are us­ing ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in creams or serums to treat your acne. This way your skin won’t be­come overly dry or ir­ri­tated by too many in­gre­di­ents. Use warm wa­ter (not hot or cold) to wash your face.”

8 Don’t go to bed with makeup on

Your body does a lot of re­pair­ing at night, in­clud­ing re­new­ing dam­aged skin cells, but it doesn’t love hav­ing to fight through a layer of makeup in the process. “Makeup may clog your pores and in­crease the chances of break­outs,” says Dr Eleni. “Use a gen­tle makeup re­mover, such as mi­cel­lar wa­ter.”

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