The Do’s & Don’ts of Acne

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Regardless of how well we care for our skin, or what age we are, it seems acne will strike at any given moment. Whether you are a teen struggling with the daily attack of yet another breakout, or the odd pimple that crops up midlife. Unfortunately, for many of us, acne is inevitable, and the more we seem to do the worse it can get. My message is, to keep it simple, and to stick to a regular routine. Skin loves a routine!

DON’T overload on the drying ingredients. Using harsh ingredients such as sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid can actually irritate and dry out the skin, especially when using all three in your routine. This can inflame the skin and can make the problem worse. If you’re feeling oily or acneic, opt instead for a simple skincare routine and use the tough stuff as a weekly or bi-weekly treatment, like a facemask.
DO spot treat. If you do feel a big blemish just under the surface, OR (gasp!) you just went to town on your skin. Instead of using the aforementioned drying agents all over the skin, just spot treat.
DON’T switch up products too often. Keep your skincare routine simple: Cleanser, toner (preferably without alcohol), moisturizer, spot treatment, repeat, morning and night. That’s it! I cannot stress this enough: Leave the active ingredients aside and stick with your simple skincare routine long enough for your skin to get used to it.
DO wash your face last when using the shower. When it comes to bathing, many of us use conditioner as the last step. This can leave a filmy substance on the skin that will cause sensitive, acne-prone types to breakout. Therefore, cleansing the face – and back – should be the last thing you do before turning off the water. Girls, make sure to keep long hair away from face and back by wearing t-shirts that cover the back and pulling hair into a ponytail for sleep.
DON’T Pick. Easier said than done. But if you do…cleanse the area first, cover each finger with tissue, and push from underneath the pimple in an upward movement. If nothing appears, LEAVE IT ALONE! Otherwise you can break the skin around the pimple, which then leaves a scar.
DO use washcloths. Since you are using a more textured implement, rather than your hands, it does do the job a lot quicker and more thoroughly. Just be careful not to over rub the face, and use a clean one morning and night, as these can be a harbor for bacteria!
DON’T use a harsh exfoliator. Another myth is that scrubbing your face hard with an abrasive scrub will make the acne clear up quicker. False! In fact, a deep scrub can actually spread the bacteria, irritating the skin and creating more breakouts. Instead, opt for a non-abrasive, enzyme twice a week to remove dead skin, clear blocked pores and creates a faster cellular turnover which rejuvenates the skin.
DO change your pillowcase every other day. Oils in your hair (and any hair product residue) reside on the pillowcase, which is where your face spends 6-8 hours a day.
DO clean your phone regularly. Think about where you keep and lay down your phone, every day. Now imagine how much bacteria is on the phone, as well as old make-up, dirty hands etc. Now think about how many times you hold your phone, and answer calls. A simple swipe over with a bacterial wipe will do the trick. It’s that simple.
Karen Payne – Esthetician – Kensington Salon & Spa

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