The Acne Series: Preventing Acne (Part 2)
The second part of The Acne Series will cover preventing acne. Here I will discuss measures that can be taken before pores become clogged. Stay Clean
Exfoliation is an absolute must. Gently exfoliating every day with a a 2% salicylic acid face wash such as Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub will prevent dead skin build up. By exfoliating dead skin cells away before they have a chance to clog pores, acne is less likely to occur.
When thinking about skin care, it's unlikely that you'll immediately think "sheets". At night, your body is pressed against the linens that line your bed. Clean linens are essential to healthy skin. Bacteria and dead skin cells can sit on towels, pillowcases, and sheets and laying or rubbing those items over your body will worsen acne.
Keep your hands off your face. This is probably the most difficult suggestion. Touching your face with bacteria covered hands can not only cause your face to come into contact with unwanted bacteria, but it can move skin cells around so that they block your pores causing a clog.
Only use clean makeup tools. Dirty makeup applicators such as brushes or reusing disposable sponges is a huge no-no! If you are using a makeup sponge, throw it out after one use. If you want a pack of makeup sponges to last longer, rip them in half. Beauty blenders need to be washed more than once a week because like makeup sponges, they are bacteria farms. Luckily, beauty blenders are easy to care for just like makeup brushes. Click here to read about how to properly clean makeup tools.
Post-workout care is important for preventing acne. Working out reduces stress so it's great for your health and will reduce stress related breakouts if you properly take care of your skin. Tight fitting clothing traps sweat and dead skin cells against your body, as you exercise, this combination is rubbed against your pores. It's important to shower, exfoliate, and not to re-wear dirty workout clothes change your clothing and exfoliate after a work out. Spend as little time in your workout clothes as possible after you've dirtied them, you may feel acceptably clean but your chest, back and butt may protest by breaking out! Watch out for sweating in all tight fitting clothes, especially leggings, sports bras, anything spandex or leather.
Only use acne appropriate cleansers on your face, chest, and back. This means oil-free and preferably sensitive skin safe.
Moisturizing is absolutely necessary. When you wash your face, you deplete natural oils on the surface of the skin. Moisturizing provides skin with the hydration skin needs without the excess oil. Skipping moisturizer means that you run the risk of oil-over production as your skin tries to compensate for the moisture loss.
Only use oil-free makeup and makeup that hasn't expired. Expired makeup can be a bacteria breeding grounds. Airborne bacteria, bacteria from touching makeup, and bacteria from contact with unclean tools, can all contribute to the cesspool that is a cosmetics product that's kept too long.
Stress can cause breakouts, and because breakouts are stressful, stress starts a vicious cycle. Figure out what calms you down. If it's 30 minutes of cardio or 30 minutes of The Real Housewives, take time out of your day to reduce your stress. It'll benefit your health more than just helping prevent acne.
Lastly, don't smoke! The research is still unclear but some studies have found that smoking increases acne and acne scarring.