Proper face-washing is one of the keys to preventing acne from breaking out or helping it clear up quickly, according to Kids Health, a Nemours Foundation project. This means washing the face twice a day with warm water and a mild soap made specifically for people with acne. While washing, use gentle, circular motions and no scrubbing. Both over-washing and scrubbing can lead to skin irritation. An additional helpful step is to apply a lotion with benzoyl peroxide after washing your face.
It’s a common habit to raise your hands to your face when in thought, stressed or for other reasons. But it also happens to be a bad one when it comes to acne. Touching your face or putting other items on your face, like your phone, can lead to the spread of sebum and skin residue. This can lead to clogged skin, irritation and inflammation that cause the spread of acne.
A number of common, everyday items can irritate the skin and contribute to acne, notes the Mayo Clinic. These include such things as sunscreens, hair gels and other styling products, oily or greasy cosmetics or products designed to conceal acne. Of course, some of these products, such as cosmetics and sunscreen, are difficult to avoid. The key is to look for products that are water-based or labeled as “noncomedogenic.” These products are less likely to lead to acne than their oil-based counterparts. It’s also important to remove makeup before you go to sleep each night to avoid acne breakouts.
Hair can be another potential source of acne breakouts, either by making contact with your scalp and forehead or by passing oil to your hands, which then touch your face. Washing your hair regularly or keeping it out of your face can prevent this.
The glow of a tan may seem like it can improve the appearance of acne, but the reality is that it can make acne worse in many people, notes the Mayo Clinic. In addition, some acne medications can actually make you more susceptible to sunburn. It may be best to limit your sun exposure if you’re prone to acne, as well as rely on noncomedogenic sunscreens to protect your skin from the sun.
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