Adult acne can be a pain. Red, irritated bumps pop up at the most inconvenient times, like just before a date or a family photo shoot. Some acne-causing culprits are outside of our control, like genetics and hormones, while there are other contributing factors that can be controlled like reducing stress, monitoring your diet for foods that trigger flare-ups, and avoiding medications that produce acne as a side-effect. In addition to these measures and your daily skin care routine, there are some lesser known factors that produce breakouts on sensitive, acne-prone skin and should be avoided.
These factors worsen the combination of bacteria, dirt, oil and dead skin that clogs pores and produces acne. Read on to see if any of these three things may be contributing to your breakouts, and avoid them for clearer, fresher skin
Do you notice rings of pimples on your chin, or around the perimeter of your forehead? These areas often come into contact with surfaces where dirt can accumulate like telephones and eyeglasses. Hats and headbands also absorb sweat, oil and dirt, and as they rub against your forehead, can deposit bacteria and clog pores. Your pillow is another surface that can harbour bacteria and other pore-cloggers. As you shed dead skin cells overnight, sweat on hot nights, or even drool onto your pillow, these substances can then be deposited on your face as you toss and turn while you sleep.
To avoid depositing excess dirt, sweat, oil and bacteria onto your skin, make sure to clean surfaces that regularly touch your face. You can wipe your cell phone, telephone and eyeglasses with a mild cleanser. Wash hats and headbands frequently, and to avoid frequent washing of bed sheets, try putting a clean face towel over your pillow and change it often to keep the sleeping area for your face fresh and clean.
After a hard workout, you’re probably dripping with sweat, and as it dries on to your skin, the residue it leaves can irritate sensitive skin and cause blemishes.
You can’t avoid sweating but you can take some steps to minimize the irritation it can cause to the skin. If you’re headed to the shower straight after a workout, gently cleanse your face as your normally would, but if it’s going to be a while before you can get cleaned up, make sure to splash your face with water or walk with a mild face wipe to remove sweat from your skin until you can give it a thorough cleaning later.
Similarly, after walking to work in the sun, working in your garden, or any other activity that can produce sweat, remember to gently cleanse your skin and remove sweat residue.
Harsh Facial Products
Facial products are supposed to improve our skin but some can do more harm than good. That expensive face wash might have promised to unclog pores, lighten blemishes and reduce redness, but if all you noticed was another breakout, don’t despair. It’s tempting to reach for products sporting the latest advances in skin care, but these products often aren’t formulated with sensitive, blemished skin in mind. When it comes to facial products, for sensitive, acne-prone skin, less is more.
If you notice that your skin is easily irritated by facial products, use gentle face washes and products with no colour or perfume added. Low-suds formulas also tend to be more gentle on the skin.
Avoid the overuse of scrubs which can further irritate skin, and avoid washing your face too frequently or using too many drying products that can strip skin of it’s natural, protective oils and increase irritation.