Bye Bye Breakouts
An acne breakout can ruin your day, date, job interview or wedding. Who doesn't want clear skin 24/7? Here, leading dermatologists give you the scoop on how to keep your skin healthy-looking and pimple-free 365 days a year.
1. Light it on Fire
When you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can cause acne breakouts, explains Dr. Lauren Eckert Ploch, a dermatologist with Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Augusta, GA. Instantly calm your nerves with the flickering light and soothing essential oil scent of an aromatherapy candle. Remember to only burn candles that are 100% beeswax, soy or coconut, to ensure that you don't cause more harm than good. A burning paraffin wax candle is highly toxic and emits benzene and toluene (carcinogens).
2. Be Smart about Suds
Some acne is caused by a build up of oil and bacteria at the hair follicles of your skin. Prevention is key. Be diligent about washing your face in the morning and before going to bed, using an oil-free cleanser that contains salicylic acid. "The ingredient is antibacterial and helps exfoliate away dead skin cells, which can clog your pores," says Gervaise Gerstner, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
3. Brush Up
Handheld facial brushes can de-grease skin, leaving less oil and bacteria behind, says Gerstner. The silicone head on this waterproof brush helps unclog pores and massage skin for better subdermal circulation.
4. Apply Oil-Free Sun Protection
Use a moisturizer with SPF every morning to not only maintain youthful looking skin, but also to help stop post-acne dark spots from worsening under the sun's UV rays. Look for an oil-free version (your skin produces enough oil of it's own!) to maintain small, clean pores.
5. A Good Foundation is Key
Acne breakouts bring on the urge to conceal your skin using foundation - but, the wrong makeup can be a contributing factor in your breakouts. It's a vicious cycle! Choose a foundation that both conceals and helps fight acne using ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree oil and camphor. This steal deal by e.l.f. contains all 3!
6. Medicate Over Night
Hit new pimples with a spot treatment over night. Sulfur and salicylic acid are especially effective at drying out pimples while you sleep. Spot treat with this version to rapidly reduce the size and severity of pimples, exfoliate dead skin cells, and allow the all-natural drying agents to penetrate pores and treat infection.
7. Fight from Below
Those painful, cystic monsters brewing within the skin are not going to pop up quickly. Leave them alone and don't pick your skin! Arm yourself with a natural skin clarifying supplement that will allow your skin to detox beneath the surface. Niacin allows your skin to detoxify with a "niacin flush" while zinc and chromium are great for reducing inflammation and infection. These supplements also contain the 3 amino acids necessary in allowing your skin to build collagen and maintain youthful elasticity.
8. Tame the Redness
If you're dealing with a bright red, inflamed blemish, there's no better option than hydro-cortisone cream to relieve the infection. After toning your skin and removing oil, apply the spot treatment over top to bring down swelling and redness. "You can also bring down the swelling by holding an ice pack against the trouble spot," says Gerstner.
9. Scare Away Scars
After a pimple has gone through its life cycle, it will likely leave a dark scar that may last for some time. Prevent scarring by not picking or popping pimples and being gentle with your skin. If that damage is done then fear not! And apply a retinol cream to fade dark spots and even out our skin tone.
10. Wear a Mask
When you're dealing with acne, oil is the enemy and clay is your knight in shining armor. This is the good stuff. Put on a mask of the world's most powerful facial that deeply cleans pores with natural calcium bentonite clay, and jump in the tub with a good book. Your skin will thank you.