Basic skin care for acne involves a number of simple do’s and Don’ts
No matter how carefully worked out your diet is, it does not substitute for good basic skin care.
Basic Care of the face
Wash your face twice a day with a gentle soap or a facial cleanser.
You could choose from a wide variety of products offered by the cosmetic houses.
It is important not to wash too often as this may actually aggravate your acne.
Moisturize your skin
Use moisturizers on an as needed basis. Here again you can choose from a wide variety of products to suit your particular skin type-though if your skin is hypersensitive it is best to use herbal products.
Try to avoid using heavy makeup as it aggravates acne problems. Use water-based “non-comedogenic” make-up.
Products such as facial scrubs, alcohol-based astringents, and masks are generally not recommended because they tend to irritate the skin, which can aggravate acne.
Identify the problem
Identify what aggravates your skin problem and avoid it. Foods do not cause acne, but some foods make it worse.
A small population of individuals (perhaps less than 2 percent) may have food allergies that cause acne.
Iodine is one ingredient due to which some individuals may experience breakouts.
Keep a record of the foods you eat. To discover any food sensitivities, eliminate those food from your diet that you suspect make your acne worse. Then reintroduce them one at a time.
If acne flares up 2 or 3 days after a particular food is eaten, avoid it in your diet.
Avoid the sun
That the sun is great for acne is myth.
The sun may temporarily mask acne, tighten up pores, or dry up oil glands.
The sun will also damage follicular walls clogging pores. This will result in more acne that may not surface for 3-4 weeks after exposure to the sun.
Sun control moisturizing lotions help block out the sun when long hours are spent outdoors.
Avoid Picking Pimples
Squeezing or poking pimples may be hard to resist, and you may think it quickens healing. This is far from true.
Bacteria from your hands or pin can invade your skin, leading to more pimples and scarring.
If allergic to heat, it could worsen your acne.
Hot compress that make pimples sprout into blackheads or whiteheads, and so are generally not recommended because heat may aggravate acne.
Follow your physician’s advice about removing blackheads and mature pimples, or have this done by a professional.
Stress aggravates acne in many people. Reduce stress.
Stop touching your face. Do not rub or brace your chin when thinking.
Avoid rubbing, or touching your skin with your hands. Your hands contain a lot of bacteria that can cause acne flare-ups.
Make it a habit to avoid hand contact and be conscious of it during the day to avoid bacteria.
Do not scrub your face.
Do not use antibacterial soaps.
The chemical ingredients in these soaps can be injurious to facial tissue.
Try using a mild face wash.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid based Creams
Use creams, cleansers and lotions with Alpha Hydroxy acids.
They reduce fine wrinkling and improve the overall skin texture.
They loosen dead skin cells from the surface, leaving a smoother, softer layer of skin by preventing the skin from getting clogged with dead follicular tissue.
They also help retain moisture in severely dry skin.
Avoid pore strips
Pore strips work on “easy”, blemishes but have a lot of trouble digging out those tough blemishes.
Pore strips are not that effective as there are always some blackheads/whiteheads left behind.
Also, pore strips stretch the pores, which can damage the elasticity of the skin.
Use astringents and Toners
An alcohol-free astringent or toner helps in closing pores which get enlarged due to heat.
A good home-made toner can be made with cinnamon in water.
Do not use foundations.
The use of normal foundations starts a vicious circle- the more one tries to hide blemishes, the more blemishes there are to hide.
Dandruff has been known not only to cause acne, but also to aggravate the condition.
If there is dandruff, it should be treated along with acne, with preparations containing appropriate medications and antiseptics.
Practise Common sense
1. If you suspect that your acne arises from allergies, remove the suspected source of allergies.
2. Wash with mild, unperfumed, non-deodorised soap.
3. Avoid perfumes and scented lotions.
4. Switch shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments.
5. Avoid gels and sprays that cause reactions.
6. It is also important not to use excess of make-up. This irritates the skin and can actually make it more oily, resulting in more blackheads and pimples.
7. If certain foods aggravate acne, then the best advice is to limit or avoid them.
8. Stay away from food high in iodine. Watch out for multivitamins.
Also, beware of junk food such as potato chips, corn chips, etc and keep your diet low in fat and sugar.
Eating a properly balanced diet ensures that your body gets the proper nutrients and therefore promotes healthy skin.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. A high fibre, low-fat diet is excellent in promoting overall general health.