Those who have had acne are all too familiar with how frustrating it can be. Apart from having unsightly spots and redness that affect your self-confidence, the condition can also lead to painful lesions, permanent discoloration, and even scarring. In the US alone, roughly 50 million people suffer from acne every year. This includes teenagers and adults, making it one of the most common skin conditions affecting Americans.
Finding just the right acne solution can be challenging, especially since there are so many ways to address its various causes. Before you decide to take more drastic measures, consider going back to basics with a reliable skincare routine for a simple first step to better skin.
Properly cleansing skin is important to get rid of excess sebum that leads to clogged pores and inflammation that is commonly recognized as pimples and pustules. Contrary to popular belief, it is best to use a much gentler cleanser on the skin rather than one that completely strips it of moisture. Look for products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free, but don't forget to skim ingredient lists so you can avoid possible irritants such as fragrance and alcohol. Consider using the EvenSkyn Cosmo: Ultrasonic Facial Cleanser & Scrubber for this step, too. It uses Blue Light Therapy (BLT) to kill harmful acne-causing bacteria while removing dead skin and unwanted dirt through ultrasonic vibrations.
Exfoliation speeds up a process called desquamation, or the shedding of dead skin cells, to prevent pore clogging and the worsening of acne. Whether your acne is mild or severe, regular exfoliation will help you achieve smoother and softer skin while reducing breakouts. However, it’s important not to use products that are too abrasive. Use gentler scrubs or products with low concentrations of chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid (also known as beta-hydroxy acids) to speed up desquamation without aggravating your skin further.
3. Sun Protection
Whether or not you have acne, sunscreen is a must. It’s especially important for those using acne treatments because these medications tend to make your face more sensitive to the sun. Use SPF that is non-comedogenic, has a light texture, and is mattifying to help control oil. Remember to use a light moisturizer first before going in with your sunscreen to ensure a smooth application.
It is especially important to cleanse in the evening because the skin has been exposed to dirt, sweat, oil, cosmetics, and other pore-clogging substances during the day. To ensure your skin is truly clean, use a gentle oil cleanser first to completely remove any traces of make-up, sunscreen, and oil from your skin. After rinsing it off, proceed as usual with your regular gentle cleanser.
Spot treatments are topical creams or gels that directly target acne to reduce pain, swelling, and redness. Some get rid of the blockage within the pore, while others speed up the life cycle of the pimple. When choosing a product for spot treatment, keep an eye out for those with a high concentration of acne-fighting ingredientslike benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur. Benzoyl peroxide, in particular, is considered the gold standard of acne treatments, as it works like an antiseptic to reduce bacteria on acne-prone skin. To incorporate it into your skincare routine, start by using the 2.5% version of the product to minimize irritation and help you build up a tolerance. Using a Q-tip, dip it into the product and apply directly onto any blemishes. Wait for it to dry before continuing the rest of your routine.
Once the other products have been fully absorbed into the skin, use a moisturizer with ingredients like ceramidesto lock in moisture and to combat any dryness, which is a common side-effect of benzoyl peroxide. Using a pea-sized amount, warm the product between your fingers, and apply it over the face and neck as the last step in your skincare routine.
There are many ways to treat acne, including diet changes, BLT, and even oral antibiotics. By starting with a simple routine, you are taking a step in the right direction for gentle yet effective skincare for acne-prone skin.
Contributed by A. Carling
Exclusive for evenskyn.com