Well past your teens, but still struggling with spots? This SOS is for you.
Why am I still breaking out?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition, caused by internal (hormonal) or external factors e.g. environment, unsuitable products or diet. A detailed explanation is available here.
Daily Routine Focus
Go here for a comprehensive guide; below is a condensed version.
- Right technique
- Rinses off completely
Make sure you are cleansing long enough (at least 50 seconds). Apply circular motions, going through every crevice of your face. Double cleanse if you are not able to get everything off after the first go.
Choose a cleanser that rinses off thoroughly without a cloth/cleansing tool/hot water, as they can irritate inflamed skin.
- AHAs, BHA
Avoid scrubs as not only do they cause micro-cuts on skin, they can spread bacteria from one area to another.
- Topical anti-bacterial
Calming ingredients (e.g allantoin and niacinamide) are useful in reducing redness and swelling.
Reducing oil production reduces the severity and frequency of breakouts. Niacinamide is a fantastic vitamin that reduces sebum without drying skin out.
When infection-control is required, spot treat using a fast acting anti-bacterial like benzoyl peroxide.
- Light-textured, Oil-free
Similar to my recommendation for congestion-prone skin, a light and oil-free product is less likely to cause/worsen blemishes.
Humectants provide moisture without occlusion. Examples are glycerin, propanediol, amino acids, sodium hyaluronate.
- Eliminate sources of bacteria
- Sufficient sleep
- Diet/Food allergy
- Medical attention
- Supplementary treatment
- Dealing with sudden breakouts
Change pillow cases regularly, clean and disinfect mobile phone/sunglasses, use tissue to pat dry face instead of reusing a towel.
Sleep is when our body repairs itself. It's important not just for skin but our overall well-being.
If you've tried everything without avail, the cause might be dietary. Eliminate one food group at a time so you can identify the offender. Start with dairy, gluten and soy.
If your acne is worsening, see your doctor. Sometimes, medication is necessary to promptly reduce the infection and prevent further damage.
A non-invasive/irritating treatment worth looking into is Kleresca. It eliminates bacteria and reduces inflammation simultaneously.
In a sudden breakout episode, just cleanse twice a day and nothing else, avoiding makeup if possible. In 2 to 3 days, your skin should settle and you can go back to your normal routine. Otherwise, see your doctor.
Dealing with acne can be incredibly frustrating. However, it very treatable and manageable with a gentle and simple routine.