Acne is something that affects a good majority of teenagers and follows them through their growing up phase and into later life. For some, it can be a traumatising thing and leave dents in ones self confidence. Its appearance can be attributed to the increase in male sex hormones, but this doesn't mean there aren't ways to help or decrease acne.
First things first, you need to get a good washing routine. The skin naturally produces an oily substance known as "Sebum". This odorless oil clogs our pores and leads to the creation of spots and other acne-related blemishes. A regular washing routine, using face-friendly soaps, is the best way to prevent acne.
The first thing to note when choosing a face washing product is to look for "oil free" soaps. This is a given, since oil is what we're trying to reduce from the face to reduce acne. Secondly, you should avoid harsh facial scrubs, since these can promote the production of sebum, clogging pores. Some products have a tendency to leave the face feeling dry or the skin tight. These are products you should aim to avoid, as they remove too much of the skin's natural oils. You don't want to try out your face. If your face is too dry, your body will produce more "natural oils" to counteract this.
Ideally, a good facial cleansing routine will also include moisturising. This will prevent your face getting too dried out (promoting sebum production) and allow you to rejuvenate your skin with the right kind of moisture. It's imperative that you understand your own skin. If you have an oily complexion, then you should aim to find a moisturiser that is tailored to this. Equally for dry/medium faces. Making this a routine is the first step towards beating acne. Some other quick tips include:
- Regularly washing your pillowcases. Since you spend 7+ hours in contact with these every night, you'd better hope that they're clean enough. Turning over pillows nightly can help slow down how dirty they get (since the underside should be relatively clean). Aim to wash your pillowcases at least once a week if you want to combat acne actively. You can also place a (clean) towel over your pillow for similar results (and then use it to shower with the following day!)
- Avoiding putting your hands on your face. Your hands can contain a multitude of germs and be generally unclean. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid touching your face, especially where you have a problem area. Equally, maintaining good hygiene with your hands can reduce this problem
- Exercise frequently and wash your face afterwards. The sweat you build up even doing something as simple as a quick jog can make the difference. When the body sweats, it opens up your pores, sweating out the impurities within your skin. Washing shortly after will remove a lot of the nasty stuff in your skin and make you feel refreshed to boot!
- Wash with warm water where possible and finish each wash with a splash or two of cold water. Hot water opens the pores, much like exercise, allowing your facial wash to be much more effective. Cold water seals the pores, allowing less dirt and grime to get into your skin and cause unwanted spots.
- Eat healthily. This speaks for itself, but eating nothing but greasy pizzas isn't going to do wonders for your face. Drinking the recommended amount of water per day (1.5 litres or so) and foods that you'd find in a "detox diet" (such as most fruits, vegetables, wholegrain foods and such). A good example can be found quickly via google and you can tailor it to suit your needs. Not only does it help fight acne, but it'll make you feel much more energetic and upbeat.
That's all for now. If anyone has anything to add or amend, drop a comment.