Most of us suffer from breakouts from time to time. It starts somewhere in the early teenage years and can plague an otherwise healthy complexion for years to come. Some of us might only need to deal with an occasional pimple, while others battle daily breakouts and try everything in an effort to achieve clear skin. Many of us come to know that acne isn’t just for teenagers, and as skin begins to age, the task of treating breakouts becomes more complex. There are plenty of skincare products targeted at treating acne-prone skin, but many of them come with unpleasant side effects such as excessive dryness and irritation. Then, there is the cost involved of trying different products until you find just the right one. The answer here isn’t to spend more money and time trying to find your own personal skincare miracle worker. Instead, the focus should be on what you can do to prevent, or minimize, acne breakouts in the first place. Here, we have come up with a list of natural tips and lifestyle adjustments that will help to keep breakouts at bay without costing you too much in terms of time, energy or money. We know that sometimes the best home remedies for acne can be as simple as changing your routines.
Although It Seems Common Sense, It All Starts with Proper Skin Care
You already know this, so why does it need repeating? You might believe that you are taking care of your skin in the best possible way, when in fact your skincare routine could actually be partially responsible for making the problem worse. Follow this advice for daily care that will leave your skin smooth and flawless.
- Wash your face gently in the morning and more thoroughly in the evening, but avoid the temptation to wash more than that. During the day your skin is exposed to all of the products that you apply to it and countless pollutants that you come in contact with. Add to this the accumulation of natural oils and dead skin cells and you can see why it is so important to never skip out on washing your face in the evening. Choose a gentle sulfate-free cleanser so that you are not disrupting your skin’s pH balance and use it twice a day. Cleansing more than this can strip essential oils from your skin, which will dry your skin out and actually cause your oil glands to overcompensate and produce more oil, resulting in the exact opposite of the effect you are trying to achieve. OZNaturals Ocean Mineral Cleanser is the best acne cleanser for those prone to facial and forehead acne.
- What about post workout? You really shouldn’t leave sweat and dirt on your face after a good, invigorating workout. So, in this case you can break the twice a day rule; however make sure that the cleanser that you use is formulated to be very gentle. The point is to simply remove the oil and sweat that accumulated while you were exercising. You might even be able to get by with just a mild toner. Avoid harsh cleansers and apply a little bit of lightweight moisturizer afterwards.
- Resist the temptation to scrub excessively or over-exfoliate. Skin that is acne prone, damaged or sensitive is going to become even more inflamed when irritated by harsh products or a rough technique. You cannot scrub away a pimple, so try healing it instead. Wash your face gently with your clean fingertips or a soft cloth. Rinse by splashing water on your face or patting it with a wet cloth and then dry it by patting, not rubbing, it with a clean dry towel. Treat your acne breakouts just like you would any other skin abrasion. Once your breakout is at a point where it has subsided and is no longer inflamed, you can use a very gentle exfoliation product, such as our Ancient Orient Enzyme Dermafoliant once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells. If you’re into DIY projects, a homemade acne mask also will do the trick!
- Towels, washcloths and fingertips can hold onto and spread bacteria, so make sure that you use clean linens each time you wash your face and always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face.
- Never pick at a pimple. When you do this you create an open wound where bacteria can enter the skin causing further irritation or possibly infection. Try gentle heat compresses, light steam or topical medications instead of picking.
- It might seem counterintuitive to moisturize, however it is essential for clear skin. Daily washing and any acne control products that you might be using are going to dry out your skin. This can cause your skin to become dry and flakey, which can lead to dead skins cells clogging up your pores and an unnecessary increase in oil production as your skin tries to balance itself. Choose a moisturizer that is formulated for your skin type and apply a light layer after each time you cleanse your face. We recommend OZNaturals Sea Infused Moisturizer.
Become More Mindful of What Touches Your Skin
When was the last time you really stopped to think about all of the different surfaces or chemicals your facial skin comes in contact with on any given day? Each time your skin is exposed to any surface or object, there is the potential for the transfer of bacteria or irritating substances. Try these few tips for eliminating unnecessary contact and exposure to facial irritants.
- Practice not touching your face. How many times a day do you mindlessly reach up and touch your face? Maybe you are resting your chin on your hand, or pushing up your eyeglasses. The unpleasant fact is that no matter how much you wash your hands, they are breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause breakouts. Resist the temptation to touch your own, or anyone else’s, face unnecessarily. And when you do need to touch your face, always make sure that your hands are freshly washed and clean.
- Clean your phone. The surface of your phone is covered in fingerprints left by skin oils that trap bacteria. It is also likely that your phone touches a number of surfaces during the day, each one of them increasing the amount of bacteria that is accumulating on the surface. Take a quick antibacterial wipe to the surface of your phone before putting it up to your face, or better yet, use the hands free or speaker option instead.
- Keep your hair pulled back away from your face as much as possible. Hair, on its own is full of oils that can rub off on your skin and clog pores. If you are using any hair products, especially ones that are heavy or oily such as serums, pomades or gels, then there is potential of these products transferring to your skin as well. Try to keep your hair care routine as minimal as possible and choose products, including shampoo and conditioner that are all natural or fragrance free to eliminate further irritation.
- Change your pillow case at least once a week. Every night you are spending approximately eight hours with your face pressed against your pillow. The pillow case that you are using collects the dirt, oil, debris and sweat that are deposited by your skin while you sleep. Using a fragrance free detergent formulated for sensitive skin to wash your pillow cases and changing them frequently is one of the most important things you can do to prevent acne breakouts.
Check Your Sleep Habits
- It turns out that beauty sleep is a real thing. People that make healthy sleep habits a priority tend to have overall healthier skin. Just like every other organ in your body, your skin needs time to rest, rejuvenate and reset. Proper sleep habits also make it easier to deal with stressful situations that can lead to acne breakouts. Aim to get an average of seven to nine hours of sleep every night for the healthiest and clearest skin possible.
- Try changing your sleeping position so that you spend more time sleeping on your back. When you sleep on your back, you can avoid contact between your face and the pillows, sheets and blankets that you sleep with. You are also less likely to sleep with your hands touching your face, and there is less of a chance of your hair being pressed against your skin in this position. This can mean a significant reduction in the amount of irritants, dirt and oil that your skin is exposed to during the eight hours that you spend in peaceful slumber.
Practice Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Some of the best and most effective ways of keeping your skin clear and healthy require making an effort to live an overall healthier lifestyle. Your skin is one of the first places where bad habits, stress and disease are likely to show up. Taking care of your body and practicing healthy habits gives you the foundation that you need for the healthiest possible skin.
- One of the simplest and most cost effective ways of keeping your skin clear is making sure that you keep your body properly hydrated. Making a point of drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water a day not only keeps your skin properly hydrated and balanced, but also helps to eliminate acne-causing toxins from your body.
- Eat for healthy skin. You have probably heard that you should avoid certain foods in order to have clear skin. There is a good chance that you have also heard that such claims have been scientifically proven to be false. There is truth in both of these statements. While there is not a great deal of scientific evidence that proves that any one food can cause acne, how you react to each of those foods might be an entirely different Foods that contain sugar, dairy and saturated fats tend to produce inflammatory responses in the body, and these responses can be more severe in certain people. Acne is an inflammatory skin condition, and when your body is processing inflammation causing foods, there is a greater chance that it will show on your skin. This isn’t limited to just acne, but also skin conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis. To determine if you are sensitive to any inflammation causing foods, try eating clean for thirty days and notice any changes that you see in the health of your skin.
- Get regular exercise. When you exercise, you increase the blood flow to the surface of your skin. This helps freshly oxygenated blood reach your skin cells and promotes quicker healing and proper cell renewal. Additionally, when you sweat from a good workout, you are eliminating toxins from your body, which will also help to keep your skin clear and healthy looking. Regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy body, and when your body is healthy it shows on your skin.
- Avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Too much sunlight not only ages your skin, it can also cause unpleasant acne breakouts. The ultraviolet rays from the sun cause your skin to burn, become dry and irritated. Many people who spend too much time in the sun find that their skin becomes oilier. Combine this with the already damaged and inflamed state of your skin and you have a recipe for acne. Limit your exposure to the sun and keep your face properly shaded when you are outside. Always apply a sunscreen to the delicate skin on your face, but make sure that it is one that is specially formulated to be fragrance free and noncomedogenic, meaning that it will not contribute to clogging pores.
- Kick the bad habits. Bad lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and even stress can take a toll on your skin. It has been known for quite some time that these negative habits can quickly age your skin. But did you know that they can cause unsightly and relentless acne breakouts at the same time? Smoking and drinking alcohol add pollutants, toxins and inflammatory agents into your body, which can present themselves in the form of red, inflamed pimples. Stress increases the amount of the hormone cortisol in your body, which is also an inflammatory agent.
There is no need to try every new fad and product that appears on the market promising clear skin. The secret to clear, healthy skin is that it starts with the basics. Yes, at some point you may need additional help to clear away problem acne for good, however, the path to clear skin starts with these simple techniques that are easy to incorporate into your life. Even more important is that you have the power to make these changes. There is no need to wait, acne home remedies can be simple. Get started with these tips now and begin seeing the results as early as tomorrow!