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How to Prevent Acne and best products for acne treatment

Updated on February 13, 2012

If you’re one of the 90 percent of people who suffers from acne, you may ask yourself “How can I prevent these breakouts?” every day. The secret to clear skin is just that: a secret. Not every product works for every person, and chances are if you’re asking yourself that question you haven’t found something that works all the time or even some of the time. Acne lesions are a result of an oily substance called sebum being overproduced by your sebaceous glands. The sebum gathers dirt, dead skin cells and debris and winds up clogging your pores. The pore-clogging result is what creates the pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and papules on or under your skin. It sounds gross because it is. Despite popular belief, simply having a clean face may not control your acne, nor does acne only affect people with poor hygiene. With 90 percent of all people suffering with acne during some point in their lives, it stands to reason that this is a widespread, highly elusive condition that has yet to find a cure-all product. While there are some products that will work for some people very quickly, there is no product that works quickly for all people. Getting clear skin -- and keeping it -- may require you to dedicate yourself to a detailed regimen of facial products and behaviors. In short, it may require you to take on a lifestyle change.

Where to Start

Do you notice that your acne flares up during certain times of the month, when you’re stressed out or after you’ve been sweating or had excessive exercise? It may even flare up after you’ve ate certain foods. Take a step back from yourself and try to pinpoint what is aggravating your acne. If you can’t pinpoint it, consider starting a journal to keep track of when your acne flares up the worse. For example, mark in the journal what day you notice a breakout or, for those with mild acne, a pimple. If you’re a woman, you may notice this lines up with your menstrual cycle. Many women experience breakouts before, during and/or after their menstrual cycle. The hormonal swings during this time of the month are common acne triggers; hormones also play a large part in the acne flare ups of teenagers because the teenage years are full of hormonal changes and development. Stress also acts as a trigger for flare ups and breakouts. Stress, while often thought of as strictly emotional, can also be physical stress your body endures. Physical stress may be the result of strenuous exercise, a sedentary lifestyle or even bad habits such as smoking. Emotional stress, on the other hand, includes anxiety, concern or other things that weigh heavy on your mind. Diet can also affect your acne flare ups. There are numerous studies being conducted to either prove or dispel the claims of diet-induced acne. Some common beliefs are that diets high in fiber, low in sugar, dairy-free or other healthy examples will help prevent or treat your acne. There is some truth in these claims, however, whether or not science has proven them yet. A healthy diet produces less toxins that are being released within your body. In fact, even if you don’t see the improvement in your acne after switching your diet, you’re likely to notice other positive results.

Beginning Regimen

Your daily routine will play a large part in getting clear skin, along with the products you use. The best skin-cleansing routine begins with washing your face in a mild cleanser twice a day. You don’t want to use harsh cleansers that may irritate your skin or cause other harm. You also don’t want to use products that contain bad-for-your-skin ingredients. Since your sebaceous glands are producing the excess sebum that’s combining with debris on your face, the cleanser is going to help by removing the debris and impurities that are clogging your pores. It will also help remove excess sebum.

Your Hair Care

Hair care is another beginning step in creating a clear-skin regimen. Your hair has lots of natural oils that are supposed to be there; they keep your hair and scalp healthy. These oils, though, can clog your pores if you leave them for too long. While you should never wash your hair every day, you should wash it at least twice per week. This helps prevent the natural oils and picked-up debris from going onto your face, neck and back and settling within your pores. Believe it or not, there are many, many ingredients in hair care products that will actually clog your pores and aggravate your acne. If you happen to wash your face while you shower, always do it after you have washed your hair. This allows you the chance to wash away any potentially clog-poring ingredients before they begin to make small blemishes. Hair-styling products are also a cause of blemishes and you should always make sure to keep them away from your face.

Being Prepared

Sweating is great for the skin and a much-needed method for the body to cool down during times when it gets overheated. That being said, however, sweat can also aggravate your acne when the droplets combine with the sebum and other debris on your face. If you plan on having a workout, playing a sport or otherwise know you’ll be working up a sweat, keep some cleanser or, better yet, cleansing cloths in your gym bag or purse. This way, you’ll be able to wipe away the sweat in a convenient, on-the-go method.

Change Your Diet

If you’re overloading your system with sugars and other potential toxins, take a step back and evaluate how you’re supplying the nutrients to your body. Reducing the amount of sugar you take in could very well help you prevent your acne breakouts -- or at least some of them. Water is also a vital component in helping to treat and prevent breakouts. Your body needs water, and many people don’t give it everything it deserves. Water is the most natural way to clear out your system. Getting enough water helps give your skin the proper moisture it needs, leading to clean, healthy skin.

Keep Your Face -- and Acne-Prone Areas -- Away From Dirty Things

This is an important one, as well. Think about how many things touch your face. Pillows, hands, cosmetic brushes, etc. All of these things are potentially making your acne problem worse -- especially if they’re not clean. Your skin sheds its dead cells all the time, and many of these dead skin cells are sitting there on your pillow -- right where your face is going to be tonight and the night after. Not to mention any hair products or makeup that may be sitting there waiting to be soaked into your pores. Wash your pillow cases frequently and always make sure they’re clean. People touch their face all the time; you touch your face all the time. It’s a natural, subconscious thing that we do for a variety of reasons. Some people rest their chin or cheek on their hand while they’re working or simply sitting down. Other people may have a subconscious urge to wipe, pick or scratch their face. Put simply, your hands pick up so many germs during the day that they’re sure to make to your face. Try to consciously stop touching your face as often, and keep your hands clean. If you use makeup, particularly powdered makeup, you may want to start washing your blush brushes and other applicators. Cosmetic applicators harbor bacteria and start spreading this to your face every time use them, not to mention they pick up additional bacteria and debris with every single use.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there may be nothing you can do to totally prevent all blemishes from ever occurring on your face or body. There is no magic medicine -- yet -- that will treat everyone’s acne perfectly. You’re just going to have to find a regimen that works for you and keep at it. The most important thing to remember is you want to keep your skin and body healthy. All of the suggestions mentioned above are not only great ways to help prevent your acne, but also to give you healthy skin, a healthy body and a better outlook on yourself. It’s important to remember that you are not the only person with acne, nor are you the only one struggling. You’ll have to dedicate yourself to finding the products and methods that work best for your skin and other issues. You may go through a trial-and-error process, but chances are you’ll find at least one thing that may help your acne breakouts and keep them from happening.


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