All You Need To Know About Acne

Let’s talk about ACNE! I call it a self-esteem stealer. Some of us left acne behind when we left our teenage hood, some of us never lost it while some of us were found by acne in adulthood. It's not easy to sort out and requires bucket loads of patience.

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages. Effective acne treatments are available for different skin types, but acne can be persistent.

How to clear acne?

First here I must say I don't like the words "clear acne" because it gives the impression that there is a product you can use that will make the acne disappear overnight. That product does not exist. It's going to take time. For most people, it takes about 8-12 weeks to start seeing a significant change and several months to experience clear skin; even then you still have to work on maintenance. Also, you may have to try different things along the way to find what works for you. So time, consistency and patience are paramount.

If your acne is caused by hormones it's important that as you establish your skincare routine, you also work on balancing your hormones. There are natural remedies like moringa leaf powder, ashwagandha, and maca powder that can help with that. Sometimes your dermatologist could prescribe hormonal birth control for women that can help you. Even changing the way you eat, getting adequate hydration, exercising, spending some time outdoors in the sun and getting enough sleep and rest help balance your hormones.

As for your skincare, there are certain ingredients that can help get rid of acne breakouts if it is caused by external factors or treat the symptoms if it is caused by internal factors. Remember that since acne is caused by an overproduction of oil which mixes with dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria you need products/ingredients that help regulate your oil production, remove dead skin and kill bacteria.

Top Products To Help You Manage Your Acne

Salicylic Acid is one of the top ingredients used to treat acne breakouts. It is ideal for those who have oily skin because it is one of the few ingredients that can actually penetrate the pores and break up the sticky mix of oil, bacteria and dead skin and push that out of your pores.

Benzoyl Peroxide is another great ingredient to help treat acne. It works by drying out the pimple and adding oxygen to the skin to help kill bacteria. The downside to benzoyl peroxide is it can be very drying so it is not ideal for dry skin or sensitive skin. Also, depending on the product you use it can stain your clothes or bedding.

Retinoids do not only effectively help treat acne they can also help to treat the scarring left behind from the breakouts. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and it helps to unclog the pores which can lead to breakouts and inflammation. 

Niacinamide. This helps with regulating your oil production to prevent the excessive oil production that starts the acne cycle. It also helps fade and prevent dark spots from healed acne and repairs your skin's protective barrier.

What else you should do to manage your Acne

There are a few other things you should do to manage acne.

  • Always remove your make-up before you go to bed at night. Oil cleansing is the most effective way then followed by a foaming cleanser.

  • Always change and clean your pillowcase regularly. A lot of skin and dirt transfers from your hair to your face through your pillowcase.

  • Always disinfect your phone or use hands-free options. Our phones are germ magnets since we place them on a lot of surfaces.

  • Shower after you exercise to cleanse your pores.

  • If you experience body acne, avoid tight clothing.

  • No matter how great the desire is, do not pop those pimples, you are risking infection and making it worse. Bacteria love to live under fingernails. It's better to apply some salicylic acid serum there, by the next morning it will look much better.

Also, remember often the acne will seem like it's getting worse when you first start using the products. As long as you aren't experiencing constant itchiness and redness keep going and give your skin time to adjust and heal. Avoid constantly jumping from one product to another. Most ingredients take up to 12 weeks for you to see a significant change. So give it ample time to work before jumping to the next thing. Consistency and patience is the key!

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