Beating Breakouts

Everyone gets them. No one really knows how to get rid of them. Breakouts often seem to happen at the worst times! There are many supposed remedies for these pesky pimples. Fear no more! The simplest answer is often the best when treating breakouts.

The best way to maintain clear skin is simply keeping your face clean. Even if you do not have acne, washing your face twice a day removes impurities, dead skin cells and extra oil from your skin’s surface. Use warm water, a soft cloth and a mild and gentle cleanser twice a day. If you are not using hypoallergenic makeup wipes, make sure you only use the wash-cloth once, as the bacteria will spread and defeat the cleansing process.

However, it's important to be aware washing your face more than twice a day is not necessarily better for your skin. It can wreak havoc on your pores. In addition, avoid scrubbing your skin with a rough washcloth, exfoliating glove or loofah (a coarse sponge) as it can damage sensitive skin.

The next step is moisturize. Most acne products contain ingredients that can dry out the skin. This can cause excessive dryness and peeling. Make sure you pick the best moisturizer for your skin-- there are different types for oily, dry or combination skin. Read the label for “non-comedogenic.” This type of moisturizer should not cause acne.

Once you have cleansed and moisturized your face, use makeup sparingly. If you are having a massive breakout, minimize makeup use. Wearing foundation, powder, blush or other heavy products can soak into your already inflamed pores and cause further irritation. If you do wear makeup to cover a breakout, wash it off immediately at the end of the day. If this is possible for you, choose oil-free, all-natural cosmetics without added chemicals or dyes. Make sure you read the ingredients list on the product's label before you buy.

Throughout the day, there are many acne triggers you may not have noticed. A common cause of acne is touching your face repeatedly throughout the day. It is best to avoid touching your face or propping your cheek or chin on your hands! You could be spreading bacteria and irritate your already inflamed facial skin. Remember, never pick or pop pimples with your fingers! It can lead to infection and/or scarring.

Another way acne sneaks up on you is through the use of hair products. If your skin is highly prone to breakouts, watch what types of products you put on your hair. Using fragrances, oils and gels on your hair can get on your face. This can block your skin’s pores and cause irritation. Try using a gentle shampoo and conditioner and wash your hair often. If you have long hair, try to keep it out of your face!

These are only a few ways to help prevent acne. Studies have also shown that reducing stress, maintaining a daily exercise routine and eating healthy all assist in keeping skin happy and clear. If all else fails, there are over-the-counter acne products that you can try. Talk to your dermatologist if you think this is your best option!

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