11 Best Tips To Prevent Acne
Acne is incredibly frustrating, embarrassing, and just plain annoying. Unfortunately acne is not just for teens, and can happen decades later for seemingly no rime or reason. Acne is one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen in practice from individuals of all ages, and there are definitely effective ways to prevent acne. Below are all of the things that I do to keep my skin clear, and are also the tips and recommendations that I give my patients.
11 Best tips to prevent acne breakouts:
1. Change your pillowcases every 2-3 days
Your pillow is a breading ground for debris and bacteria. Think about everything that gets on your pillow: the oils from your hair, hair product from your hair, oils from your skin, dead skin cells, etc – all on your pillow where you lay your lay your face every night. Yikes! Pretty gross when you think about it right?! This is why it is so important to change your pillow cases every 2-3 days to prevent all of that stuff from getting on your face and body, which will clog pores and cause breakouts.
2. Wash with salicylic acid
Look for 2% salicylic acid face wash and body wash, this stuff is what is going to keep your pores from getting clogged. Salicylic acid works as an exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Salicylic acid is also anti-inflammatory, so it can reduce red angry inflamed acne that has already formed.
3. Shower immediately after working out
The longer you wait to take to shower after a workout, the longer sweat, bacteria, and debris can settle into your skin, block your pores, and cause breakouts. Sweating in itself is great for clearing pores, however, if the sweat is not wicked away in a timely manner, then it just sits on your skin and piles back into your pores.
4. If you can’t shower, use wipes
If you can’t get to a shower right away, use salicylic acid wipes on your face, upper back, and chest because these tend to be the areas most prone to acne.
Real life example:
I had this one patient who started getting really bad body acne on her back and chest, and was very upset about it. The only thing that had changed with her routine was that she had started working out during her lunch hour, and didn’t always have time to squeeze in a shower afterwards. I told her to get some salicylic acid wipes and use them on her back and chest after working out, and see if that helped. A week later or so I got a message from her that her body acne had greatly improved. A few weeks after that I saw her in my office again and she told me her body acne had completely gone away.
4. Take your makeup off before washing your face
This is a crucial first step to washing your face. If you just wash your face without taking your makeup off first, there is a very high likelihood that there is still going to be some makeup left on your face. Makeup blocks pores, causing buildup of dead skin cells and other debris that can cause breakouts. I recommend using coconut oil with cotton balls to take off makeup, or just getting some makeup wipes.
5. Use a tool to wash your face
Your hands are not great at washing your face, and you hands have oils that can get onto your face as well. I recommend using a clean wash cloth, Clarisonic or other vibrating brush, to loosen and remove the buildup on your face.
6. Clean makeup brushes after each use
Your makeup brushes are a breading ground for bacteria. Either wash them with every use, or get an antibacterial spray made for makeup brushes that you can spritz on the brushes everyday after use. The last thing you want to do is wipe on a bunch of bacteria onto your face.
7. Clean your phone
Think about everywhere your phone goes: on the communal table, your desk, in the drink holder on the elliptical, maybe you even take it to the restroom, all of these places put your phone in direct contact with debris and bacteria and who knows what else. If you ever bring your phone to your ear or rest it under your chin, all of that debris on your phone is going to go to your face. I recommend using antibacterial wipes on your phone everyday or at least after the gym or after any other super germy place.
8. Never touch your face
Avoid touching your face at all costs. Oils on your hands transferred to your face increase the likelihood of blocked pores and pimples.
9. Wash your hair more often
If you start noticing pimples around your hairline, this is a clear sign that it is time to wash your hair. This is because the oils from your hair will start to buildup on your face, which contribute to blocking pores and causing breakouts. I recommend washing your hair every 2-3 days.
10. Wash your face before the gym
It is important to have a clean face before you start sweating it out at the gym. Dirt, oil, dead skin, etc. will mix with sweat and block your pores. Washing your face beforehand will help to prevent buildup of debris and will help to prevent breakouts.
11. Wash your face in the morning and right before bed
I definitely recommend washing your face in the morning and before bed. You want to wash your face first thing in the morning because, as we learned above, debris, oils, and dead skin will buildup during those several hours you are in bed and if you don’t wash it away in the morning and wait until later, this gives the buildup more time to sit and clog your pores. Same is true for the evening. Your face comes into contact with dirt, debris, pollutants, etc. during the day and you want to wash that buildup off before you place your head on a pillow for the next 8 hours.
Main take aways…
Use one or more of the above tips to keeping your skin clear and to prevent acne. You don’t need any fancy products, you just need to stay consistent with your skincare regimen 🙂
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy-league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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