Acne can affect people of all ages, not just teenagers. It can make it difficult to go out in public and it can be challenging to cover it up.
Over the years I have seen people in tears over canceling an event because they didn’t feel comfortable going out in public. I know because I was one of those people.
I didn’t get my first pimple until I was in my mid-twenties. Back then you used Clearasil or toothpaste as a spot treatment. When that didn’t work, you’d go sit in the sun and try and “dry up the pimples”. This only made it worse. Eventually, you would make your way to the dermatologist who would put you on an antibiotic that only worked for a short period of time. When that one stopped working, they would prescribe a different antibiotic. When that one stopped working they would recommend putting you on a birth control pill.
Eventually, new acne-fighting ingredients became available. But many of the products designed for acne made me feel like I was on a roller coaster, and not one of the fun ones. One day my skin would be clear and pimple free and the next day I would have a major breakout and I didn’t want to leave the house. Some days my skin looked oily and days later it was dry and flaky or I seemed to be tolerating the ingredients in my new moisturizer and then one morning I’d wake up and I’d have a rash or redness. It was beyond frustrating.
That’s when I realized that while good products with good ingredients are important it is just as important to have good skincare habits. You may have found the perfect product for you, but if you go to bed with your makeup on every night you just might assume that the product is not working and it winds up on the shelf with all the other things that you have tried and rejected as ineffective. Since not all acne-fighting ingredients work for all people it can take some trial and error to find the right fit for you, but you have to start with a good healthy skin care protocol. If you don’t, you can negate the benefits of all those good acne-fighting ingredients and can prolong the time it takes for them to start working or worse yet, throw them out before they have a chance to do what they were designed to do.
Bacteria, sebum, inflammation, and clogged pores – this is the perfect recipe for acne. So how do we avoid these pitfalls and help keep our skin free from acne? It took me many years, many different products, and many dermatologist appointments to finally get control of my acne, but it wasn’t until I started practicing good skincare habits consistently that I began to see an improvement in my skin.
Here are some good skincare habits you can do in your quest for pimple-free skin.
Don’t touch your face. Your hands are loaded with bacteria. Bacteria is one of the things that cause you to break out. You will be amazed how something so simple can help to keep your face clear.
Don’t pick your pimples. These little buggers are full of bacteria and by squeezing them or picking them you are just helping to spread the bacteria. When you squeeze your pimples, you can push the bacteria deeper into the pore and cause a cyst. Trust me – you don’t want to turn that cute little pimple into a big ugly cyst.
Don’t go to bed with your makeup on. This may seem obvious to most, but I have friends that still claim that they were “just too tired” to wash their faces before bed. Not only do you need to get that pore-clogging makeup off, but you also need to get rid of the day’s dirt, grime, and bacteria.
Don’t use your body towel on your face. Because this is another source of bacteria, it’s best to have a fresh towel each day that you only use on your face. Body towels are just that – body towels.
Don’t use sponges, washcloths, scrubbing pads, or electronic brushes. All of these things are great breeding grounds for bacteria.
Don’t allow your phone to touch your face. There is a common theme here; you guessed it, bacteria. Like your hands your phone is covered in pimple-causing bacteria. Wipe your phone down daily with sanitizing wipes.
Don’t use dirty makeup brushes. One word – bacteria.
Don’t overdo sun exposure. In addition to brown spots and skin cancer, both are good reasons to avoid the sun, too much sun can burn your skin causing it to dry out and flake. These flakes turn into pore-clogging skin cells that can lead to breakouts.
Don’t wait too long to wash your pillowcase. A lot of hair products have pore-clogging ingredients that get deposited onto your pillow while you sleep.
Don’t use products that contain silicone. Dimethicone is a very popular ingredient in creams, lotions, serums, and sunscreens. It’s what gives the product its spreadability. Some people have a very strong reaction to dimethicone and its derivatives so if you suspect you have had a reaction to this ingredient it’s best to steer clear of it.
Don’t allow toothpaste to get on your chin. Some people think that triclosan in toothpaste is good for pimples. Two words – it’s not.
So now you know what not to do. Here’s something you should do – stay positive. Know that there are great treatments and products out there now that help to treat acne. Also, know that we are here to help. Contact us to set up a virtual consultation so that we can get you on the road to clearer healthier skin.
Erik Pampalone is the founder and managing director of Naya Spa. He has over 25 years of strategic and operational management expertise. In addition to founding Naya in 2008, Erik has provided strategic consulting and executive management services to many Fortune 100 companies, including Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Verizon, and WellPoint, Walt Disney, and Abbott Labs. He has a BS in biology from the University of California San Diego.