Acne-prone skin is a skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by the appearance of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the face, neck, chest, and back. Acne can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, stress, diet, and environmental factors.
Taking care of acne-prone skin requires a consistent and gentle skincare routine that helps to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturise the skin. This involves using specific products that target acne, such as cleansers, toners, and spot treatments, as well as avoiding certain ingredients that can aggravate the skin. In addition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management can also help to improve the overall health and appearance of acne-prone skin.
What is Acne?
Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by the formation of lesions such as whiteheads, blackheads, cysts and abscesses, typically appear on the face, neck, shoulder, chest, back, upper arms, etc. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, more common in adolescents but more than 80% develop acne into adulthood.
What causes Acne?
Acne occurs due to hormonal changes, usually begins in puberty though it would start at any age and in some cases could continue into 20s, 30s.
Skin eruptions occurs when the skin’s pores are blocked, increases in sebum production and dead skin cells. This is a perfect environment for bacteria to interact with the oil, irritate the skin and causing inflammation.
Studies pointed the causes of acne towards family history, stress, hormone imbalance, weakened immune system and diet of high sugar, fat and refined carbohydrate would promote acne.
For women often around the period time or during first trimester of pregnancy could develop acne due to their hormonal changes.
Acne could also cause by medications including corticosteroids or phenytoin; or by endocrine disorder such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS: a hormonal condition that affect the ovaries) or Cushing’s disease or hypercortisolism (happens due to abnormally high levels of cortisol level over a long period of time)
Self-care for acne-prone skin
Tip #1: CLEANSE YOUR FACE DAILY
Cleansing and treating your skin daily would help in keeping the breakouts at bay. Aim for twice a day, in the morning and at the end of the day. Also, after sweating activities. Choose a mild and gentle. cleanser that contain low percentage salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid to help remove dirt and oil in skin pores. Also, don’t forget to fully remove make up or sunscreen as anything left on your skin due to not cleanse properly could contribute acne formations.
Tip #2: EXFOLIATE REGULARLY
Chemical exfoliators encourage healthy cell turnover, helps improve dull, uneven texture on your skin. If you skin is prone to breakouts and clogged pores like mine, AHAs and BHAs would help when using regularly. It is recommended to exfoliate at least once a week to promote faster cell turnover.
Try to test out your skin by exfoliate 1 a week, then build. up your skin’s tolerance to 2–3 times a week.
Tip #3: USE ACNE TREATMENT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME
Acne treatment/products typically takes at least 6 to 8 weeks for you to see any skin’s improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, consider switch it up for another product. It would take around 3 to 4 months to clear your skin, acne scarring would be longer so tried not to make too many switches in a short period of time.
Tip #4: RESIST THE TEMPTATION OF POP OR SQUEEZE ACNE
Aggressively squeeze, pick, scratch or rub pimples acne, could result in further inflammation, pain and scarring. In some cases could lead to skin infection and delayed healing
Use the spot treatment acne medication, hydrocolloid dressing or acne medication on acne instead, try to resist the temptation or popping or squeezing them.
Avoid touching your face as it will introduce bacteria to your skin even when you have washed your hands regularly.
Tip #5: CHANGE YOUR TOWEL/PILLOWCASE ON WEEKLY BASIS
Using dirty towels could introduce bacteria to your skin and causing acne breakouts. Same goes with pillowcase as your face is touching it daily. As long as you cleanse your face properly to remove all dirt, excess oil and make up at the end of the day, changing towel and pillowcase on weekly basis would help to prevent further pimples formation.
Tip #6: USE NON-COMEDOGENIC PRODUCTS
When your skin is dry and dehydrated, this triggers your skin to produce more oils and worsen acne. Hydrate the skin with non-comedogenic (wont clogged pores) lightweight moisturizer would rebalance the oil glands, help to control acne and improve healing process. Aim to moisturize your skin regularly, after shower, cleansing and post workout.
Tip #7: WIPE OFF YOUR PHONE SCREEN AND HEADPHONES
Use the antibacterial wipe to disinfect your headphones and phone screen regularly as these items do come in contact with your face. When it’s dirty and full of germs, won’t do your skin any benefits.
With headphones, especially after workout/exercise, touch your skin and soak with sweats.
Tip #8: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND TOP UP ON VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
One of the most effective things you could do to maintain your skin’s health and improve your general well-being is drinking water throughout the day. Vegetables and fruits have lots of vitamins, many of them consists of 90 to 95% of water. This is for your overall health, not just for acne.
Tip #9: KNOW WHEN TO SEEK HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
Acne is causing emotional stress, develop scars as it clears up. You have tried all the self-care steps and over the counter (OTC) acne treatments for several months with no improvements or worsen.