Banishing Breakouts

There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning, look in the mirror and see ‘IT.’ It is a small reddish or white bump that promises a pimple or blackhead in a few short days.

We want to scrub it and dry it out. If that doesn’t work, we want to pop it or pick it. Do any of these things and you’re asking for trouble.

What is acne?
Acne is a skin condition that presents itself with pimples, blackheads and cysts.

Breakouts can be caused by hormonal changes, medications, nutrition, lifestyle… or even by using a skin care product that strips skin of its natural oils. When skin doesn’t have enough oil, it creates more, which can clog pores and lead to more pimples and blackheads. It’s a vicious cycle.

Breakout Dos and Don’ts
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are 7 things you can do to prevent breakouts:

  1. Don’t use skin care products with scrubbing particles. Their abrasive action may feel good, but all it does is strip skin of its natural oils and cause extra oil production, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Instead, use cream or gel-based exfoliants that remove excess dirt and debris without aggravating skin.
  2. Don’t use greasy hair care products. Pomades, oil-based gels and hair spray can clog pores and trigger breakouts.
  3. Don’t pick, pop or squeeze. Sure it may get rid of the pimple faster than if left alone, but all you’rereally doing is spreading bacteria that can cause more breakouts.
  4. Avoid products with lanolin or mineral oil. They clog pores and trigger breakouts.

Use a moisturizer with plant-based oils to keep breakouts under control.

Use skin care products with ‘good’ oil. Ingredients to avoid include mineral oil and lanolin. Skin-friendly oils are glycerin, olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, etc.

  1. Don’t use rubbing alcohol. Alcohol has a severe drying effect, which can lead to excess oil production and more breakouts.
  2. Don’t touch your skin. It can spread bacteria and cause flare-ups.
  3. Don’t tan. It increases the chance of developing skin cancer by as much as 75%, even if you use sunscreen or a tanning bed.

Treatment options
When you need some extra help in managing occasional breakouts, use products with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Regular trips to an esthetician can also help keep breakouts under control.

If the breakouts are out of control, it may be time to see a dermatologist where you can get prescription-strength products and more aggressive treatment.

Only an esthetician or dermatologist can tell you what’s really going on with your skin. If you want healthy, younger looking skin, see a skin professional such as a dermatologist or esthetician. Doing it your self in the drug store or having a sales person do it in a department store can lead to unpleasant results.

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