What You Can Do About Acne

Acne can occur at any age, so even if you are past your teen years, you might find yourself riddled with pimples and blackheads. But don’t worry – there are still solutions for you! Here are some different natural and DIY options for getting rid of your acne.

A Warning – Be Careful with DIY Options

These DIY projects usually don’t discuss the kinds of acne and skin they’re meant for, either. As discussed above, the kind of acne and the reason for your acne are both vital for treatment that works.

As tempting as it is to go for a solution that promises instant or overnight results, both your face and your body will be much happier if you do your research, have a bit of patience, and make sure there aren’t other factors like stress causing breakouts.

Another thing to remember is that only certain kinds of acne respond well to harsher cleansing routines. A treatment meant to kill off the clusters of P. acnes or other bacteria that might be causing the outbreak may aggravate the skin more, prompting an even stronger reaction from your body.

Even if your acne responds well to the treatment, it’s common for it to come back as soon as you’ve stopped cleansing and exfoliating, as underlying issues haven’t been addressed.

The Basics

best place to start is with the basics – washing your face every morning with water and a mild cleanser. Be careful about using your fingers to scrub, as scratching your skin with bacteria under your nails could make acne issues worse.

Always make sure your hands are clean, and if you’re going to use a washcloth, make sure it’s soft and gentle. Be sure not to use a drying cleanser; this will strip your skin of healthy oils too, which may be helpful in specific circumstances but will throw off the pH of your face, making it harder for your skin to recover naturally.

A good moisturizer made for acne-prone faces might be a good investment, too, counterproductive though it may seem. Your face being too dry after cleansing will prompt the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which can lead to more clogged pores; adding moisturizer, especially after using a harsher cleanser, will help keep things less out of balance.

While there are foundations available for acne-prone faces, sometimes the best solution involving makeup is to give your face a break whenever possible. If you’re in a position to ditch the makeup altogether for a while, give it a shot; if work or school or the severity of your acne prevents that, make sure you’re taking it off as soon as you’re home and leaving it off on your days off.

Not only will this give your skin a bit of a break, it’s a great chance for you to see if your makeup is causing your acne. If your skin clears up after a makeup break, be sure to switch your brands, your brushes, and consider talking to a doctor about longer-term solutions.

From there, a lot of the treatment options depend on what might be prompting your acne, and what kind of acne it is. Washing pillowcases, changing up your laundry detergent, switching to a healthier diet, washing your face regularly, exercising, and taking steps to actively reduce stress levels are all great ways to start your acne treatment.

If things don’t start clearing up after four weeks, though, it may be time to talk to a doctor or dermatologist to figure out what you might be missing, and to get recommendations for things you can do that will help you, specifically – and to make sure acne isn’t your body’s way of telling you something more serious is going on.

What Can Make Acne Worse

Teenage acne is usually caused by the hormonal changes prompted by puberty. During this time, especially the early teenage years, an excess of androgen hormones prompts the glands surrounding the hair follicles around the face, called sebaceous glands, to produce more sebum, the oily substance most commonly associated with acne.

Sebum Production

Increased production of sebum, combined with the increased shedding of the hair follicle lining that also occurs during puberty, leads to more clumps, clogging, and a breeding ground for the bacteria Proprionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

While this bacteria is found on everyone’s skin and plays a part in a healthy and acne-free face, a large buildup of the bacteria in a clogged pore will break down all of the sebum they naturally eat into fatty acids that may trigger the body’s immune response.

Stress

Stress is the other most common producer of acne. While scientists haven’t found conclusive and study-backed reasons for it, the sebaceous glands that produce sebum have stress hormone receptors on them. Since when under stress, the body produces an excess of many hormones including androgen, it makes sense that people are more prone to breakouts then.

Hand in hand with stress is both a lack of sleep and not enough exercise. Research has proven that sleeping more and exercising more both reduce stress; it comes as no surprise, then, that not getting enough of either can prompt the same sort of facial reaction that too much stress does. While missing a day or two of sleep might not be enough to cause you to break out, a poor sleep schedule might make your pimple problem worse – and going out for a jog every morning may help keep things in check.

Poor Diet

Another huge factor in the appearance and continuation of acne is diet. Obviously, eating greasy foods, getting your hands messy, and then touching your face can prompt more breakouts. It’s common for people to experience acne after eating (or stress-eating) chocolate, too.

Wider research, though, has suggested that eating high-glycemic foods – junk foods – will make already present acne much worse. Strangely enough, dairy might make people more prone to breakouts, too; laying off the ice cream and cheese may be another option if acne is an issue.

More serious health issues might also be the cause. In women, if sudden outbreaks of acne are combined with irregular periods and the growth of unwanted facial hair, a possible underlying reason might be polycystic ovarian syndrome. While not always the case, it couldn’t hurt to speak with a dermatologist or doctor if problems are persistent.

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