How Can I Prevent Acne?
Updated: May 18
Women with persistent acne can attest to just how much of a challenge it can be to get rid of it. What’s even worse is just when you are on the journey of finally clearing your skin another breakout happens. Sometimes it’s such an inconvenience especially when you have a major event that you need to attend. The truth is there is no failsafe way to rid your skin of acne forever, but you can reduce your breakouts and help keep your skin as healthy as possible.
Here are a few tips:
What is acne?
If you have acne, know you’re not alone. It’s the most common skin condition that people experience. About 80% of people ages 11 to 30 will have at least a mild form of acne, and most people are affected by it at some point in their lives. The skin condition causes the pores of your skin to become blocked by hair, sebum (an oily substance), bacteria and dead skin cells. Those blockages produce different types of pimples.
What are the types of acne?
Acne comes in different forms. They include:
Blackheads: small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin; they're not filled with dirt, but are black because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces colour.
Whiteheads: Look like blackheads, but may be firmer and will not empty when squeezed.
Papules: Small red or pink bumps that may feel tender or sore.
Pustules: Pimples containing pus. They look like whiteheads surrounded by red rings.
Nodules: They are large and painful that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful
Cysts: the most severe type of spot caused by acne. They are pus-filled pimples and can cause scars.
Fungal acne (pityrosporum folliculitis): This type occurs when an excess of yeast develops in the hair follicles. They can become itchy and inflamed.
So, how can I prevent them?
Know your skin type
This can help you determine which products to use and which ones to avoid. The following points will help you to identify your skin type, but you can also consult a dermatologist for help if you’re still unsure:
Dry. Your skin often feels flaky and tight.
Oily. Your skin tends to look shiny by the end of the day.
Combination. You have both dry areas and oily areas. The oily area is usually the T-zone, or your forehead, nose, and chin.
Sensitive. Your skin reacts easily to products and is prone to rashes, discolouration, or irritation. You can have sensitive skin along with any of the above skin types.
Though anyone can get pimples, people with oily skin are more prone to acne. Knowing your skin type can make it easier to choose an acne regimen that helps your skin clear up.
Properly wash your face
Acne or no acne, it's important to wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin's surface. Removing excess oil, dirt, and sweat daily can help prevent pimples but washing your face too much may make acne worse.
The general rule is to wash your face twice a day. Here’s how:
Wet your face with warm (not hot) water.
Apply a mild cleanser in a gentle, circular motion using your fingers, not a washcloth.
Use a moisturizer
Moisturizers help skin stay hydrated, which makes a big difference for acne-prone skin. If your skin is the type to get too dry, it will produce oil (sebum) to fight the dryness. And, as we have seen an excess of sebum can cause pimples. However, always check the ingredient list before purchasing a moisturizer Many moisturizers contain oil, synthetic fragrance, or other ingredients that may irritate your skin and cause pimples.
When you’re dehydrated, your body may signal your skin’s oil glands to produce more oil. Additionally, dehydration also gives your skin a dull appearance and promotes inflammation and discolouration. To keep your body well-hydrated, aim to drink at least eight, 8 glasses of water each day.
Avoid touching your face
We know this is easier said than done but touching your face can transfer bacteria onto your skin. Just try to note how often you touch your face and stop yourself in the act as much as possible. Another tip would be to wash your hands regularly. That way, even if you touch your face chances are, your hands are probably clean.
Limit sun exposure
As enjoyable as basking in the sun might be, frequent sun exposure dehydrates the skin, which, over time, causes it to produce more oil and block pores. The solution is, wearing sunscreen. It can help protect your skin year-round.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting some makeup to compliment your outfit, using makeup to cover up pimples, could clog pores and trigger outbreaks. Instead, opt for a foundation or concealer that’s noncomedogenic and fragrance-free so your skin doesn’t become even more irritated. At the end of your day and especially before going to bed remember to wash your makeup off.
Aside from makeup, when hair products like hair spray, dry shampoo, and texturizing products come in contact with your skin, it can cause outbreaks. So be mindful of the ingredients in these products.
Don’t pop your pimples
It’s hard to resist popping the big pimple that draws all the attention to your face but the best thing is always to avoid being the pimple popper. When you do, you only make the problem worse by:
Becoming inflamed and clogging the surrounding pores
Leaving behind scars
Avoid certain foods
Yes! what you eat can cause acne. Some of the foods that cause acne are:
Reducing your intake of these foods or adopting an anti-acne diet may help ease your breakouts.
Try stress-managing activities
Let’s get this straight, stress does not cause pimples but it can make them worse! Some options to help manage stress include:
Try over-the-counter acne treatment
Over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments can help heal pimples, and sometimes even prevent them in the first place. These acne products don't need a prescription. Most of them have ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid, which curb bacteria and dry your skin. If you are not sure which OTC acne treatment might work best for your skin or your specific skin goals? It may be worth connecting with a dermatologist for an expert opinion on your skin.
It’s normal to get pimples from time to time but as much as prevention methods may help they are not guaranteed but you can give them a try. With whichever method you choose, patience and consistency are key to improvement.
Stay informed, stay in control What else would like to know about acne or your skin?