The Best Basic Guide To Acne-Prone Skin
Almost all of us have had acne at some point in our lives. For some people, it’s a minor inconvenience that goes away after a few weeks. For others, it’s a lifelong battle. If you fall into the latter category, you know how frustrating and embarrassing it can be to deal with blemishes constantly.
You’ve probably tried every skincare product on the market, but nothing seems to work. Don’t worry. We’re here to help. This blog post will give you an essential guide to acne-prone skin and offer tips on managing it.
What Is Acne Prone Skin?
Acne-prone skin is a type of skin that is more susceptible to breakouts than other types of skin. The leading cause of acne is excess sebum, or oil, production. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands, which are tiny glands found in the skin.
When the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, it can mix with dead skin cells and clog pores. This can lead to the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Breakouts usually occur on the face but can also appear on the chest, back, and shoulders.
Do you know the common types of acne?
Blackheads are small, dark-colored bumps that form when your pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. They’re called “blackheads” because the surface of the bump is oxidized, which gives it a black or brown color. Blackheads are a mild form of acne, but they can be frustrating because they’re notoriously difficult to eliminate. The good news is that several treatments can help, including topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid.
Whiteheads are small bumps that form when your pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Unlike blackheads, whiteheads are closed at the surface, which is why they tend to be white or flesh-toned. Whiteheads are also a mild form of acne, but they can be difficult to treat because they’re closed at the surface (which means topical treatments may not be as effective). That said, many people find success with topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid.
Papules are small red bumps that form when your pores become inflamed or infected. They’re usually tender to the touch and can be quite painful. Papules are considered a moderate form of acne, and they often respond well to treatments like topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. In some cases, oral antibiotics may also be necessary.
Pustules are large pimples that form when your pores become inflamed or infected. They’re filled with pus and can be extremely painful. Pustules are considered a moderate to severe form of acne. They often respond well to treatments like oral antibiotics, isotretinoin (a potent oral medication), and photodynamic therapy (a treatment in which light is used to kill bacteria).
Cysts and nodules form large pimples when your pores become inflamed or infected. They’re filled with pus and can be extremely painful—and they tend to leave behind scars once they’ve healed. Cysts and nodules are considered severe forms of acne and often require treatment from a dermatologist or other skin care professional.
Treatments include oral antibiotics, isotretinoin (a powerful oral medication), corticosteroid injections (to reduce inflammation), and photodynamic therapy (a treatment in which light is used to kill bacteria).
7 Common Reasons Behind Acne Breakouts
Now that you know the different types of acne, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons behind breakouts:
1. Hormonal changes
One of the most common causes of acne is hormonal changes. These changes can occur during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and other times when hormones fluctuate. Hormonal changes cause an increase in sebum production, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
Stress is another common trigger for acne breakouts. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that increases sebum production. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. In addition, stress can also weaken the skin’s barrier function, making it more susceptible to inflammation and infection.
What you eat can also affect your skin. A diet high in processed foods, sugar, and dairy has been linked to increased acne breakouts. On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats has been shown to help reduce breakouts.
Certain medications can also cause or worsen acne. These include drugs like steroids, testosterone, birth control pills, and lithium. If you think your medication is causing breakouts, talk to your doctor about alternative options.
The cosmetics you use can also contribute to breakouts. Look for products that are non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and non-acnegenic (won’t cause breakouts). Also, be sure to wash your face after sweating or using makeup.
6. Poor Skincare
If you don’t cleanse your face regularly or if you use harsh, drying cleansers, this can lead to breakouts. It’s essential to cleanse your face twice a day with a gentle, non-drying cleanser. In addition, be sure to moisturize your skin to help keep it hydrated and healthy.
Acne is often hereditary, so if your parents or grandparents had acne, you might also be more likely to get it. There’s no way to prevent genetic acne, but knowing that it runs in your family can help you take steps to treat it effectively.
10 Best Tips For Managing Acne
Acne is a common skin condition that can be frustrating and difficult to manage. But there are things you can do to help keep your skin clear and reduce the risk of breakouts. Here are ten tips for managing acne.
1. Understand Your Acne
Acne is caused by various factors, including genetics, hormones, diet, stress, and skincare products. Understanding which factors affect you to manage your acne better is essential. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid harsh cleansers and topicals that irritate your skin and worsen your acne. If you have hormonal acne, you may want to talk to your doctor about birth control options or medications that can help balance your hormones.
2. Cleanse and Treat Your Face Daily
Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser is one of the most important things you can do to manage your acne. Be sure to use lukewarm water and avoid scrubbing too hard, as this can irritate your skin and make your acne worse. After cleansing, apply a topical treatment like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help kill bacteria and dry up excess oil. You may also want to try using an acne spot treatment on problem areas.
3. Use a Quality Sunscreen
Regarding skincare, sunscreen is non-negotiable—especially if you’re acne-prone. That’s because the sun can make your acne worse by causing inflammation and making your blemishes more visible. It’s essential to choose a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) and that has an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen every day, even if you’re not spending time outside, to ensure that your skin is protected from the harmful effects of the sun.
4. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation is key for managing acne because it helps to unclog your pores and remove excess oil from your skin. When choosing an exfoliating product, look for one that contains small beads or particles to avoid irritating your skin. Gently massage the product into your skin in a circular motion and rinse with warm water. Exfoliate two to three times per week for best results.
5. Avoid Touching Your Face
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to avoid touching your face as much as possible—especially if you have active pimples. Why? Because touching or picking at your pimples can make them worse by causing inflammation and irritation. If you touch your face throughout the day, try to keep your hands busy with something else (like fidgeting with a stress toy or playing with your hair). The less you touch your face, the better!
6. Eat A Healthy Diet
You are what you eat, and that saying has never been more true than when it comes to your skin health. Eating a diet full of junk food can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. On the other hand, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can help give your skin the nutrients it needs to stay clear and blemish-free. So if you’re serious about conquering your acne, take a close look at your diet and see where you can make some changes.
7. Manage Stress Levels
Stress levels can have a significant impact on your skin health. When stressed, your body produces cortisol, which can trigger inflammation and cause breakouts. If you’re struggling with stress, there are many things you can do to manage it, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature. Find what works for you and make stress management a priority in your life. Doing so will improve not only your skin health but also your overall well-being.
8. Consider Taking Supplements
If you’re struggling with acne, you may want to consider adding some supplements to your daily routine. Some research suggests that specific vitamins and minerals can help improve skin health and reduce the severity of acne breakouts. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne.
Vitamin A is another nutrient shown to be beneficial for skin health. You can find omega-3s and vitamin A in foods like fish, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
9. Use Acne Medications Safely
There are several over-the-counter and prescription medications available for treating acne. When used correctly, these medications can be very effective at clearing up breakouts. However, it’s essential to use them as directed by your doctor or dermatologist to avoid any potential side effects.
For example, some acne medications can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so sunscreen is essential when using these products. Additionally, if you experience any unusual side effects while using an acne medication, stop using the product immediately and see your doctor.
10. Consult A Dermatologist
If you’ve tried all the above tips and are still struggling with acne, it’s time to consult a dermatologist. A board-certified dermatologist can help you identify the underlying cause of your breakouts and develop a treatment plan to get your skin back on track. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re frustrated with your acne.
5 Common Mistakes When Treating Acne-Prone Skin
Making small changes to your skincare routine can make a big difference. With that in mind, here are five common mistakes people make when treating acne-prone skin.
1. Not Using A Cleanser
If you have acne-prone skin, it’s essential to cleanse your face twice a day—once in the morning and once at night. This will help remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. However, it’s essential to use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Harsh cleansers can make acne worse by causing your skin to produce more oil to compensate for what’s been lost.
While it’s essential to wash your face twice a day, washing more than that can do more harm than good. Washing your face more than twice daily can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry, irritated, and more susceptible to breakouts. If you need to wash your face more than twice a day, try using a gentle cleanser or micellar water instead of water to remove excess oil and makeup.
3. Not Using SPF
If you have acne-prone skin, you may avoid sunscreen because you don’t want to clog your pores or cause breakouts. However, sunscreen is essential to any skincare routine—acne or not. In fact, not wearing sunscreen can make acne worse by causing inflammation and dark spots. Look for sunscreens that are non-comedogenic or oil-free so they won’t clog your pores, and try using them every day—even when it’s cloudy outside.
4. Not Moisturizing
It may seem counterintuitive to moisturize if you have acne-prone skin since excess oil is often the culprit behind breakouts. However, it’s vital to moisturize every day because dryness can trigger breakouts. Look for light lotions or gels specifically designed for acne-prone skin—just be sure they’re non-comedogenic so they won’t clog your pores!
5. Popping Pimples
We’ve all been there—a giant pimple pops up right before an important event, and we’re desperate to get rid of it ASAP! However, popping pimples is one of the worst things you can do for your skin—especially if you have acne-prone skin. Popping pimples can cause inflammation, scarring, and even more breakouts.
If you are struggling with acne-prone skin, we hope this guide has given you some useful information to help you better understand your skin and how to care for it. Remember that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for someone else may not work for you. Be patient and keep experimenting until you find the right products and routine for your own unique skin type.