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Practical Tips to Treat Acne

Posted by Dan Narsete on

Even though it’s never fun, acne happens. While seeing a dermatologist is always a good idea, it can be hard to get an appointment right away or sometimes insurance doesn’t cover it. What are you supposed to do in the meantime? We’re going to look at a few things that can help you in the interim.

Who and why it happens

If you have acne, you aren’t alone. In fact, it’s a very common issue.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “upwards of 50 million Americans deal with acne every year, and that acne is a chronic inflammatory condition.” Why people get acne can range from genetics, diet, or even not wearing daily sunscreen. One of these triggers can cause the level of inflammation in your skin to spike. As a response, your skin releases oil (sebum) that clogs a hair follicle and a bacteria pocket is formed. When this happens, you want to stay away from things that make the inflammation worse. Things like ultraviolet light, dry skin, and even caffeine can aggravate the issue. With this in mind, we compiled a short list to help reduce your chances of getting acne.

#1 Clean your cell phone

Americans check their phones as a whole a mind boggling 8 billion times a day according to a study carried out by Deloitte. While that is a crazy number of times we are looking at our phones, think about every time we touch with our fingers. Not trying to make you a germ-a-phobe, but we are putting a lot of oil and bacteria on our phones, which we then rub on our faces. Enough said.

#2 Don’t use soap

You read that correctly. Most soaps can be harsh on your skin. It’s not that large soap manufacturers are out to get you. But, they can’t tailor soaps for every skin condition, so they make a one-size fits all approach. General over the counter soaps can make acne worse. We all have different skin types, genetics, and reactions to things, and these soaps have a tendency to dry out skin. The reason this is an issue is because your body will attempt to keep a level of equilibrium on your skin vs the environment to keep it from losing water. Since your skin is over 60% water it is easy for it to lose moisture. When this happens your sebaceous (oil producing) glands will compensate and will actually excrete more oil on your face. When this oil gets trapped/clogged, up come the blemishes! Try using a medical grade cleanser instead. Look out for a cleanser with AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid). They are very affordable and are made for different sky types. Need to know where to go? We can help. Take a look.

#3 Be careful on airplane flights

We’re not saying airplanes are dangerous. Quite the opposite. They are, however, notorious for having low levels of humidity. According to the World Health Organization, humidity levels on airline flights hover around 20% which is very low. Low humidity = increased likelihood of dry skin. In order to avoid this issue, try using a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) moisturizer with an anti-inflammatory additive. Niacinimide (Vitamin B3) is a great additive to look out for as it will slow down the body’s agitation to the low humidity levels. A good product to try is EltaMD’s AM Therapy Moisturizer. It has nicinimide for the anti-inflamatory property, but also has salysilic acid which clings to oil. So, you can put it on, hydrate your skin and it will keep excess oil off your face…a win-win! 

#4 Watch what you eat

You ever heard the old adage, “you are what you eat?” When it comes to acne, this rings true. According to Dermatologist Dr. Amy Paul foods that “can cause inflammation such as milk can exacerbate acne.” To help with acne, Dr. Paul explains, “try eating good healthy foods that are low in sugar, full of antioxidants and fiber. Green, leafy vegetables and fruits are always good choices.” Let’s face it, how many of us could use to lose a couple of pounds as well? Making smart choices in your diet is good for your body and great for your skin.

#5 Wash your pillow case

Just like your cellphone, we all spend a lot of time on our pillow case. Though down from the 1940’s, Americans average 6.8 hours per night sleeping according to a Gallup Poll taken in 2013. Though I’m sure we would all like to get more Zzz’s, think about how much you rub your face against your pillow per night. We all encounter pollution, dirt, and have oil on our faces. And then picture rubbing against that all night—it’s pretty gross to think about. With that in mind, try washing your pillow case a little more frequently. Taking little steps like this will help improve your acne.

Moving forward

Hopefully you take some of these suggestions to heart and it helps you deal with acne. Again, it is something millions of people deal with every day, so don’t feel bad about it. Instead, take action. Try cleaning your cell phone, sheets, and eating better. Those are pretty easy steps. Next, work on your skin care program. Non-comedogenic moisturizers and medical grade cleansers should help quite a bit. If you want a good place to start on what to do for skin, we create personalized skin care programs, which we then deliver to your doorstep. Take our quiz and see what works for you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

To helping you stop acne,


Team Reflect

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