Acne plagues millions. And when you suffer from acne and breakouts it can have a negative effect on your confidence. The good news is to get rid of acne, there are simple solutions that really work.
#1 Cut back on sugar. There are both good and bad bacteria that live in our bodies. And some bacteria, the kind that can cause acne, thrive on sugar. Additionally, sugar affects your hormone levels and blood sugar levels both of which can cause a strain on your body. This strain makes it difficult for your body to fight any kind of infection, even a small pimple. Cutting back on sugar helps balance your body’s systems and it eliminates the food bacteria thrive on. If your diet is particularly high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates (think white bread and baked goods) then going on a sugar elimination diet will show dramatic improvements in your skin.
There’s a reason chocolate is so often linked to acne, because it’s high in sugar. It’s also high in dairy and if you have a dairy sensitivity, which many people do, it can cause acne. Additionally, dairy is often full of hormones added to the cows to help them produce more milk. These hormones can wreak havoc on your system. Common foods that can cause acne include sugary foods, dairy, alcoholic beverages, fried foods, meat treated with hormones, and common allergy causing foods like nuts.
#2 Exfoliate and moisturize. Exfoliation of your skin keeps the pores from being clogged. Clogged pores are the precursor to a blemish. However, beware of harsh abrasives. Many facial scrubs are just too abrasive for sensitive skin. Instead, use products with alpha hydroxy acids, retinols and salicylic acids to remove dead skin and debris from your face gently and consistently.
A common protocol might be to use a cleanser with salicylic acid and a night cream with retinol or alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs. Some skin care protocols for teens with acne contain benzoyl peroxide which can work quite well if you have particularly oily skin. However, for adults and those prone to dry skin, it can worsen the acne problem.
#3 Watch what you put on your face and when. Makeup can clog pores. If you wear makeup choose a non-comedogenic versions. Don’t wear makeup when you exercise or when you’re going to be outside in the sun for extended periods of time.
#4 Avoid too much stress. Easier said than done, right? Stress has an effect on our hormones and can cause breakouts. If you’re going to be dealing with stress, say you have a big project coming up, up the vitamin B complex and get some sunshine or vitamin D. Vitamin B helps your body manage stress and it helps protect your skin. Vitamin D, which our body makes when we get about 20 minutes of sunlight each day, helps promote healthy skin.
#5 Try not to touch your skin. This goes beyond not squeezing or picking at your acne. Our fingers are full of bacteria. If you’re prone to acne much of it may be from simply transferring the bacteria on your hands to your face.
Overall, take good care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, fresh air and a good healthy diet. Good overall health helps your skin stay healthy and acne free. It helps your body manage obstacles, like stress and hormones, without suffering a breakout.