The acne commandments
Don’t get salty when it comes to pimples – get savvy on how to treat them.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.”