Most cases of mild acne can be treated with a good skin care routine.
Acne is the most common skin problem facing teenagers, and nine out of ten teens will suffer from pimples at some point. The good news is that with proper skin care, most outbreaks can be prevented or minimized and cleared quickly.
What causes acne?
Everyone’s skin contains sebaceous or oil glands that under normal circumstances produce the right amount of “sebum” to moisturize your skin and hair. During puberty, the hormone androgen can cause teens’ oil glands to produce too much oil. This excess oil can block pores causing varying degrees of blemishes like blackheads, whiteheads and pimples on the face, shoulders, chest, and back.
Tips to help control breakouts
Most cases of mild acne can be treated with a good skin care routine and over-the-counter products. The key to controlling your acne is consistency — you need to practice good skin care everyday!
Keep your face clean
- Wash your face every morning and evening with a mild, foaming cleanser. For body acne, use a medicated body wash and shower as soon as possible after heavy sweating or workouts. Remember to wash gently and avoid hard scrubbing that can damage your skin.
- Do not over-dry your skin to fight acne — your skin will produce more oil. If your skin is dry, use an oil free moisturizer to hydrate your skin.
- Avoid touching your face – bacteria from your hands will transfer to your skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts. Do not pop pimples or pick at blemishes.
- If you use a phone frequently, use a disinfecting wipe to clean the surface and prevent transferring bacteria to your face.
- Change your pillow case frequently. When you sleep, you sweat and shed dead skin cells that can clog pores.
- Keep hairspray and hair gels away from your skin - they can clog pores and cause breakouts along the hairline.
- Avoid sweatbands, hats and necklaces, if possible, as wearing them can cause heat and friction that worsens acne.
Use the right products
- Use products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid – these chemicals will help to fight the bacteria that cause acne. Avoid products with alcohol that will over dry your skin.
- Use only make-up, sunscreen and moisturizers labeled "oil-free" or "non-comedogenic" – which means it won't clog pores
- If you wear makeup, always remove it with a foaming cleanser at the end of the day. Never go to sleep with makeup on.
- Wash your makeup tools and replace your cosmetics regularly.
Take care of yourself
- Eat healthy foods. Your skin is your body's largest organ and requires proper nutrition.
- Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated. Experts recommend at least eight glasses a day.
- Exercise regularly to enhance your circulation and ensure that your skin is properly oxygenated
- Get plenty of sleep! When you’re sleep deprived, your levels of adrenaline and hormones rise, which can increase oil production. Plus, sleep is your body's most efficient time to repair damage.
When to see a doctor
When your acne can’t be treated with over-the-counter medications, is severe or may be the side effect of a medication, it’s time to see your doctor or dermatologist if:
- You suffer with severe, cystic acne with nodules that do not surface but are painful and hard to the touch
- Your acne outbreaks occur with medications like steroids and birth control can cause acne outbreaks
- You have a sudden outbreak and have never had acne before. Skin conditions like rosacea and follulitis can cause red bumps similar to acne.
Shop Giant Eagle® for care scrubs, cleaners and other acne-fighting products.
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