Your skin is one of your most visible attributes. Unfortunately, not many of us are born with flawless skin. It takes work to achieve a nice glow. Even then, there’s a chance the occasional pimple will pop up now and then.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep acne at bay and help your skin stay healthy. In this article, we share a few skin care tips you need to know:
1. Avoid Popping Pimples
One of the first things you might want to do when you see a pimple is pop it. But in all honesty, that’s one of the last things you should do.
A pimple develops when your glands are clogged due to an overproduction of oil or bacteria. While unsightly, avoid popping your pimple and allow it to heal itself. Popping it could spread the bacteria from the infected pore to another area on your skin, causing more blemishes. Popping can also lead to acne scarring.
Instead of popping a pimple, do your best to leave it alone. If the bump becomes inflamed, you can apply ice or heat to reduce the inflammation. Otherwise, continue to wash your face as normal, being careful to avoid applying any pressure to the pimple.
2. Don’t Touch Your Face
When it comes to keeping your skin healthy, you should avoid touching your face. Think about it: Human hands are filthy. During the day, we come into contact with hundreds of things that carry dirt, oil, and bacteria. Whenever you touch your face, you transfer that dirt, oil, and bacteria as well.
Do your best to avoid touching your face, unless you’ve thoroughly washed your hands. Keep in mind that it might take time to kick this habit. To start, you need to become more self-aware of when you’re touching your face. Then try some new techniques.
For instance, if you have an itch, use a tissue rather than your hand. If you have long hair, tie it back to keep from playing with it and inadvertently touching your face. It’ll be difficult in the beginning, but the more you avoid touching your face, the better.
3. Seek Acne Treatment
There are several ways you can treat your acne and achieve smooth skin. If you’re suffering from breakouts, you should consult with a professional to determine if prescription acne treatments may help. Possible treatment methods include antibiotics, retinoids, spironolactone, and even birth control.
Yes, birth control can treat acne. How? Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum (an oil made from the glands on your skin). Androgens are a group of hormones that cause excess sebum. Birth control treats acne by lowering the number of androgens in the body, resulting in less sebum production and, thus, acne.
4. Improve Your Cleansing Regimen
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t regularly wash their faces. Some may cleanse their face once a day, but that isn’t enough. Even if you don’t have acne, the American Academy of Dermatology advises cleansing your face twice daily.
A good rule of thumb is to wash your face as part of your morning toilette and again before bed. This ensures you’re cleaning off the bacteria and oil that accumulates on your skin throughout the day.
You should also wash your face after perspiring heavily — for example, after vigorous exercise. Letting sweat sit on your skin can lead to buildup and clogged pores, causing acne. So make sure you cleanse your face after working up a sweat.
5. Use Gentle Products
If you have acne, there’s a good chance you also have sensitive skin. This means certain skin care products — alcohol-based products, exfoliants, toners, products with fragrance, etc. — might be too harsh for your skin. Because of this, do your best to only use gentle skin care products.
Some products actually label themselves as “gentle” or “acne-friendly.” But don’t make a purchase solely based on the label — look at the ingredients, too. For instance, coconut oil is often advertised as natural and organic. And while it works for some, it can block pores for people with acne-prone skin and lead to more acne.
Parabens are another popular ingredient found in skin care products. Again, they might be beneficial for some people, but parabens can stimulate estrogen in the body and cause breakouts. Before buying skin care products, do your research. You should also consider consulting with a dermatologist for suggestions.
6. Stay Hydrated
Do you drink a lot of water during the day? If not, you might rethink that. Staying hydrated isn’t just good for your health, it’s also good for your skin. The more water you drink, the more hydrated your skin will be. When your skin is hydrated, your pores are less likely to clog.
According to the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine men should aim to get about 15.5 cups of fluids a day. Women, on the other hand, need about 11.5 cups a day. Most people get 20% of their daily fluid intake from foods and the rest from drinking water and other beverages. Keep in mind other beverages may contain ingredients that could irritate your skin, so it’s best to stick with water.
While drinking enough water is easy for some, others struggle. If you have trouble getting enough water, consider adopting some new habits. For example, plan to drink one cup of water before every meal. You could also set reminders on your phone during the day.
It’s important to note that water isn’t just good at preventing acne. It can also reduce wrinkles, flush out harmful toxins from your body, and help tighten your skin.
Clear and healthy skin doesn’t happen overnight. But the suggestions above are a good place to start. From improving your skin care habits to integrating gentle products, these tips can help you achieve a gorgeous glow.