One of the most persistent and annoying facial skin conditions to have and suffer from is acne. It can get the most confident person feeling down and can really weigh hard on your mind... While most people aren’t too sure what acne really is or how it really comes about, the main issue is treating and preventing those breakouts. It most definitely is one of the most frustrating things to deal with but it's not impossible... Because the good news is that with the right advice, treatment plan and products, you can be on the path to clearer skin in no time! I spoke with the 'Cosmetic Cop' (as most people call her) Paula Begoun to learn more about what we can do and shouldn't be doing when it comes to our acne.
DO use a gentle water-soluble cleanser morning and night.
Not bar soaps. Not harsh face washes that leave skin feeling stripped dry. Look for a fragrance-free cleanser that removes oil, makeup and other debris, without irritating skin.
DON'T try to scrub acne away.
Using a harsh, abrasive scrub on breakouts is likely to trigger more redness and irritation, while doing zero to clear your skin. You can use a gentle wash cloth or an extremely “scrub” for a bit of extra cleansing but the second that gets too rough on skin your causing damage and creating more problems.
DO use a 2% BHA liquid exfoliant.
One of the most proven ingredients to reduce breakouts, unclog pores, and improve hydration is salicylic acid (BHA). BHA is an exceptionally gentle exfoliant that helps skin cells to shed as they did when we were young. It also imperceptibly absorbs into the pore and the layers of skin scrubs can’t reach.
DON'T try to dry a pimple out.
This will only make it worse. Spot treatments that use high amounts of drying, irritating ingredients like denatured or SD alcohol incite inflammation in skin that triggers a signal for more oil to be produced at the base of the pores. Instead of getting rid of the zit, you’re making it more aggravated, which ensures it will take longer to heal.
DO try azelaic acid.
Azelaic acid’s antibacterial properties make a wonderful complement to what BHA can do for breakouts. Use it preventatively to keep acne at bay. Bonus: Azelaic acid also helps fade and speed up the healing of leftover breakout marks.
DON'T forget sunscreen.
Sunscreen tends be an afterthought when you have breakout-prone skin, but it’s critically important that you apply it every day. Unprotected sun exposure damages every aspect of skin, often causing post-acne marks to linger longer than they should. Look for a lightweight, non-occlusive sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher. Although sunscreens of yesteryear used to be heavy, greasy, thick and pasty, we have much better formulas today that won’t break you out.
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