It’s the day of your interview, and you are in a zit fit. There it is, right on the bridge of your nose, like a beacon announcing that your body is off balance.
Is there anything you can do to prevent frequent acne breakouts? Absolutely. There are also several ways to cope with a breakout once it has appeared and to control the frequency or severity of acne breakouts in the future.
Read on for nearly twenty fifteen tips to help you with the prevention and treatment of acne breakouts.
What to do before a breakout begins
It is vitally important to remove your makeup every night with no exceptions. Even cosmetics that are labeled as hypo-allergenic (not likely to irritate allergies or cause skin irritation) or non-comedogenic (not likely to clog pores), you should still remove the products. “Not likely to” does not mean that they never do. Leaving cosmetics on the skin at night can lead not only to pimples, but also to other blemishes, such as whiteheads and blackheads, or even patches of a rash or aggravation of eczema.
Speaking of going to bed at night…change your pillowcases. Wash and dry them on the hottest settings to remove dust mites, skin cells and oils, or any cosmetics from the night you accidentally fell asleep wearing makeup. Do this at least once a week. If you share a pillow with anyone, change your pillowcases every two or three days.
Do not share cosmetic brushes or sponges. This is another way of spreading oils and dead skin cells from another person’s face to your own.
Stop touching your face! Oils, lotion, dirt, food grease, bacteria, and other people’s skin cells, body lotions – even perspiration from a clammy handshake — could all be lurking invisibly on your hands. Resting your chin on your hand, your hands on your cheek, or your forehead or temple on the palm of your hand are invitations for acne.
Seriously, if you are that exhausted or stressed out, you need to take a five-minute break, not use your hands as a face crutch and plow through your day. If you find yourself doing this a lot, keep in hand that it is a nonverbal gesture indicating frustration, boredom, or distress. And stress causes acne too. You can clear up acne from the inside out by making an active attempt to reduce your stress level.
Cleanse skin thoroughly each morning and at bedtime with a mild facial cleanser or oil-free foaming face wash. If you are over forty, ditch the oil-free products unless your skin is extremely oily.
Astringents continue the cleaning process and also help tone the skin for tinier pores, especially for those with oily skin or who have combination skin and only need to use astringent on the T-zone (forehead and nose). The smaller the pores, the more even the skin looks, and the less susceptible it is to blemishes. Witch hazel is one well-known gentle astringent that can be used all over your body.
Exfoliate gently 1 to 3 times each week. A mild exfoliating cream with tiny “beads” is best for the delicate skin of your face. You can also find exfoliating masks that work quite well and only take a few minutes to dry before they can be wiped, rinsed, or peeled from your face. (Rather than using a moisturizing one, use a cleansing one that is citrus-based, such as one with grapefruit extract in it.)
Coping after a breakout
Never pop a pimple. Sure, it is tempting, but popping a zit spreads the pus onto the surrounding area, and can make a bad breakout worse. It can also lead to scarring. Let the spot treatments work. If you feel that you must do something to help with the discomfort of a large pimple or with a widespread acne breakout, apply a warm compress (i.e., a warm, wet washcloth) to the blemish(es) on and off throughout the day. It will soften the head of the blemish and draw out some of the toxins, which speeds healing.
Go without makeup if possible, because applying makeup can spread the acne and worsen the breakout. And the wrong type of makeup or poor application – including excessive application in an attempt to mask the breakout – can make your blemishes even more obvious to others.
Do not exfoliate the area that is affected by acne. This may irritate it, cause infection, or irritate the blemish.
For minor acne, apply a spot treatment containing salicylic acid to each blemish. There are some spot treatments that double as concealer.
If you have a history of extensive acne breakouts, consider using a benzoyl peroxide acne treatment system such as Proactiv for both treatment and prevention. Your doctor can also prescribe one. Some people are sensitive to peroxide treatments and their breakouts will only be exacerbated by these products, so consult with dermatologist before making the investment.
Depending on your age, you should also check with your family physician to make sure that the acne breakouts are not related to some underlying illness or to a hormonal change or imbalance, such as those that occur during perimenopause (pre-menopause).
If the acne breakout is not on your face – it also appears on the back, buttocks, and chest – you should use a medicated body wash specifically formulated for body acne breakouts to help it clear up. Continue using the product after the acne has cleared to thwart off future breakouts in those areas.
If your acne problem has been severe left scars, you may be a candidate for esthetic skin renewal procedures such as dermabrasion. These procedures can sometimes lead to acne breakouts, as well, so it is important to discuss with your doctor whether or not something like this would be right for you.
Acne prevention and treatment is not a lost cause. A thorough skin care regimen and some “emergency” tools may be all you need for acne control.