An acne breakout can ruin your appearance and harm your self-confidence. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to prevent acne breakout.
Are you wondering how to prevent an acne breakout?
That’s not surprising, considering that over 90% of the global population deals with acne at some point. This makes acne one of the most common disorders treated by healthcare providers and dermatologists.
Acne—an inflammatory disease with a physical representation of blemishes, cysts, black- or whiteheads, and sometimes even scars—also contributes to emotional and psychological problems for those afflicted with it. That’s one significant reason why it’s essential to stop acne when you can, preventing breakouts.
Here, we explain what may be causing your acne, and ways to combat it safely—rejuvenating your skin and your self-confidence.
Wash Your Face With a Cleanser Twice a Day
It’s important to note that washing your face more than twice a day may be doing it more harm than good. This strips away any “good oils” on the skin that keep it supple. Additionally, if you use cleanser too often, you could wind up with red, raw, and irritated skin.
Experts agree that twice a day is usually enough to remove makeup, dirt, and extra oil.
A general rule of thumb is to wash your face gently (i.e., no harsh scrubbing) with warm water and cleanser in the morning and evening times. You can wash your face a third time if you exercise and get sweaty or participate in activities that dirty your face.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Keeping your skin moisturized protects its outer layer, the stratum corneum.
This layer of skin protects the deeper layers from getting irritated or inflamed, so needless to say, it’s crucial to hydrate this protective outer layer. When this outer layer stays hydrated, so do the layers beneath it.
The stratum corneum is made up of fatty acids and ceramides, so if you use a moisturizing product with these ingredients, they can supplement the organic qualities of this outer layer.
Limit Habits That Contribute to Acne
Of course, some people may already have safe, smart cleansing routines and still have acne. That’s because a dirty face doesn’t necessarily cause acne—there are several other contributing factors.
Here are some sneaky, lesser-known habits that can fuel your acne:
- Not cleaning your phone often
- Not cleaning your makeup brush
- Forgetting to clean your yoga mat
- Using thick and greasy hair products (if you have acne on your neck, hairline, or back, this is a significant contributor)
- A dairy-heavy diet (or, a poor diet in general, consisting of processed foods, sugar, grease, etc.)
- Wearing your workout clothes long after your workout’s ended
- Not washing your pillowcase (experts recommend swapping it out at least once a week)
- Reduce stress as much as possible (exercising is a great place to start with this)
As you can see, most of those contributing factors are cleaning-related. Think about the things you touch and use on a daily or regular basis, and start there.
Clean your pillowcase and makeup brushes once a week. Clean your phone more often, as we tend to touch it around 2,000 times a day. Any time you work out or sweat, clean your bike helmet, yoga mat, exercise clothes, etc.
Of course, some bad habits are more well-known. These are things like drinking and smoking, which severely impact our skin’s quality. Limit your alcohol intake and put down that cigarette!
Sunscreen Is Your Friend
Acne is an inflammatory disease, and sun exposure can increase inflammation (and also redness). Furthermore, some acne medications actually make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Try to limit sun exposure in harsher times of the day, and if you can’t, at least wear protective gear like a wide-brimmed hat. Also, consider using broad-spectrum sunscreen on the regular.
Pro tip: use a nongreasy, noncomedogenic formula that avoids clogging your pores with the sunscreen.
Stop Touching Your Face
Touching our faces is just wrong in general—it brings dirt and bacteria right to a sensitive part of our bodies.
If you have a ring of pimples around your chin or jawline, think about your day—do you use your hands to prop up your head? Yeah, that’s not helping your acne situation.
Additionally, it can be hard to resist popping our pimples, but we implore you to resist! Fight the good fight.
When we pop pimples, it can increase the chances of having another breakout, as well as potentially leave behind scars. It also forces pore debris even deeper into the follicle and causes post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
If you want to know how to prevent an acne breakout, avoiding touching your face is a great (and simple) place to start.
Consider an Acne Treatment Plan
You can also consider over-the-counter acne products that help reduce or even prevent breakouts.
The most common ingredients in these OTC products are as follows:
- Benzoyl peroxide, which kills acne-causing bacteria and helps remove excess oils and dead skin cells
- Alpha hydroxy acids, which remove dead skin cells and help reduce inflammation
- Salicylic acid, a common ingredient that helps prevent cores from clogging
- Sulfur, which also removes dead skin cells and excess oil, as well as prevents clogged pores
These non-prescription acne medications can be useful, although there are factors in choosing the right product for you—your skin type, the severity of your acne, and your preferences, to name a few.
Want to Know How to Prevent an Acne Breakout? Start With These Tips
This list isn’t exhaustive. There’s even more you can do to prevent acne from appearing—staying hydrated, choosing face products appropriate for your skin type, eating well.
But, if you want to know how to prevent an acne breakout, these guidelines should make a significant impact in reducing unwanted blemishes. You deserve to feel comfortable in your skin!
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