Acne can be annoying. Especially when you’re pushing 30 and went through puberty decades ago.
When I started “growing up” and started my “adventure” with acne, I thought it’d be a short-lived romance. My mom told me not to worry, that eventually I’ll grow out if, my aunt assured me that her skin was horrible when she was a teenager and that I have nothing to worry about.
While my friends did, eventually, “grow out of it” I waited patiently, for my turn to come. I waited until end of middle school. I then graduated high school and my skin, instead of getting better, seemed to be getting worse. In college, it got to the point when it was so bad, I didn’t even feel like leaving the house.
I remember very vividly getting my hair done once, when my stylist turned the chair around and started brushing my freshly-washed hair. If you’ve ever been to a hair salon, you know that the lighting and the wet hair alone makes your face look like a potato (I’m sorry, it does), but add acne-ridden skin and you have a deadly combo. I was wearing makeup but even that didn’t help when it came to hiding those red, raised bumps on my face. I couldn’t help it, a few tears ran down my face as I looked at myself in the mirror and I gently wiped them away, hoping no one noticed.
After not being able to find a decent dermatologist who would spend the time getting to know me and my skin, I decided to look beyond products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, and try to clear my skin, once and for all. Here’s what helped me do it.
With your skin, that is. A lot of over-the-counter skincare products that target acne can be irritating and drying. When choosing a cleanser, always go for a gentle formula — no fragrance, no dyes, no exfoliating beads. I love CeraVe and Cetaphil, both are highly recommended by dermatologists.
So many cleansers and scrubs in particular are heavily fragranced and way too harsh to use on your skin, especially when you have active breakouts. Your cleanser shouldn’t leave your skin feeling tight and/or dry (this is something I learnt from my dermatologist).
Some cleansers also contain benzoyl peroxide, which is an awesome acne-fighting ingredient. However when used in a cleanser, it doesn’t actually get a chance to work, since we rinse it away with water. Topical benzoyl peroxide cream/gel works best but remember to wait at least 20 minutes after washing your face to avoid irritation.
I also noticed a huge difference in my skin when I ditched “mechanical” exfoliants (like scrubs) in favor of chemical exfoliants (like AHA or BHA pads). Scrubs, once again, can irritate your skin. When you suffer from constant breakouts, you might sometimes think that using exfoliating scrubs is the quickest way to bring your skin back to normal, but the opposite could be true. Simple and gentle is the way to go.
Find a good Omega-3 supplement
And take it religiously, every day! This really helped me deal with and minimize my cystic breakouts. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and while there isn’t a whole lot of research on the subject, I noticed a huge improvement in my acne when I introduced Omega-3 supplement to my routine. You can also simply make sure that your diet is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids by adding things like mixed greens, walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds to your diet. My favorite way of adding greens and flaxseed to my diet is to have them in my morning smoothies.
Ditch the cheese
Cutting out dairy from my diet, was the best thing I did for my skin. I always considered myself a healthy eater (you won’t ever catch me drinking soda or eating chips) but I had one problem. I loved cheese. Like, really loved cheese. And milk. And yogurt.
However, after doing some research and finding that there was a link between acne and dairy, I decided to give ditching the dairy a go. After about three weeks, my cystic acne was completely gone. Gone! My skin looked so much better, I couldn’t believe it. Added bonus? I lost a few pounds. Now, my diet consists of mostly plant-based foods like plant milks, veggie bowls, smoothies, but don’t worry, I still get to eat pizza every once in a while.
Change your towels
Do this as often as you can (same thing goes for your pillow cases by the way!. You should wash them at least every three to five days. Make sure to use a separate towel for your face and body, too. Bacteria love damp and moist places — like your used towels. Your bathroom is most likely a humid environment, which means that your towels probably don’t dry quickly. This in turn gives a high risk of growing microbes in your towels.
Instead of rubbing said towel all over your face, buy a big pack cotton wash cloths- that way you can have a fresh one every day. They don’t have to be fancy, as long as they’re 100% cotton. I bleach mine in hot water once a week and wash using a dye and fragrance-free laundry detergent. Which brings me to my last point…
Take a look at your laundry detergent
Is it full of fragrance and dyes? Ditch it, like the cheese.
I switched to a “free and clear” detergent years ago, because I suffer from dermographism. My skin becomes itchy, red and inflamed very easily and in addition to being prescribed antihistamines, my doctor recommended that I switch to a gentle detergent. This helped me with my dermographism, I also noticed an improvement in my acne.
Dyes and fragrance can act as acne-causing skin irritants, and as you sleep you spend a whole lot of time hugging your pillow, so this is definitely something that’s worth a try. It made a big difference for me.
I can’t say that my skin is perfect, but it looks nothing like it did a few years a go. It’s pretty much clear, and I no longer have trouble falling asleep because my face is covered in painful cystic breakouts.
Of course, if you suffer from adult acne, it would be best to consult a dermatologist. That said, making these small changes could make a big difference in the way your skin looks and feels.
The original article is at: yahoo.com