Here are some steps you can take right now to stop your acne from getting worse. When you’re ready to get rid of your acne completely, contact us to set up your consultation and get you on the road to clear skin.
Get Some Ice
Ice can be your best friend–it greatly reduces inflamed acne and can actually make it go away! Gently rub an ice cube over the affected area for 1 to 2 minutes in a circular motion. Don’t hold it on one area for too long–keep it moving.
- Tip: Fill Dixie cups with water and freeze them. You can simply flip the frozen cup upside down and the ice pops right out.
Please DO NOT Pick or Squeeze!
Picking at your acne only makes it worse. You can easily rupture the follicle wall and spread acne-triggering bacteria to the surrounding area. Also, when you do this, you always create a scar or dark spot. Leave your acne alone, no matter how tempting it may be to pick or squeeze your blemishes. Grab some ice instead!
- Tip: I offer a 15-minute “Quick Extract” appointment for acne blemishes you want to remove right away for only $25. Contact us to schedule (no drop-ins, please).
Skip the Fabric Softener, Dryer Sheets, and Scented Detergents
These types of products leave a waxy residue that can get onto your skin and clog your pores. Even fragrance-free softeners and dryer sheets have the same waxy residue, so avoid using those also. To reduce static cling, use dryer balls (sold at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond). Don’t forget to change your pillowcase nightly as well! Use one of the many fragrance-free detergents on the market, such as Cheer Free, All Free & Clear, and Arm & Hammer Free.
Do not use Iodized Salt
Iodides in the foods we eat, such as french fries, potato chips, and so on, irritate the follicle wall linings inside your pores and trigger breakouts. If you choose to use salt, at least switch to uniodized table salt.
Drink More Water, and Avoid Using Water Softeners
As you probably know, there are many health benefits of increased daily water intake–weight loss, preventing water retention, keeping your digestion regular, and flushing toxins from your body. However, did you know that dehydrated skin takes longer to heal, flakes more and is more susceptible to breakouts? To know how many ounces of water to drink, halve the number of pounds you weigh–for example, if you weigh 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water a day. Avoid using water softeners–there’s evidence that water softeners can lead to acne, especially those that contain high amounts of potassium chloride.
Reduce Your Stress Level
Excess stress overstimulates your adrenal glands and can cause increased oil production, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Do whatever you can to lower your stress: take a walk, meditate, do yoga, or practice deep breathing. Remember, even good stress–such as a new job, home, or relationship–can be stressful. Be gentle with yourself and learn to relax–do things you enjoy, like gardening, listening to music, reading, or watching DVDs. Don’t forget to get enough sleep each night as well. Sleep deprivation is a major stressor on your body and its systems.
Many skin care and beauty products can contain ingredients that seem harmless (such as bare minerals, for example) that can clog your pores–which means something in the formulation is not fully disclosed. When using a product, trust your experience–if the ingredients look safe but you break out, stop using the product.
When you bring a product in for us to check out, I can’t be 100% sure that it’s acne-safe, even if the list of ingredients looks okay. The only way I know for sure is by testing the product. As for household products such as laundry detergent, even though you don’t put them directly on your skin, they can still aggravate your acne.
Hair products typically leave a residue, for example, to coat the hair shaft and make it shine. Even if the ingredients seem safe, they can leave a residue on surfaces that are not cleaned frequently (for example, many people wash their hair every 2 to 3 days) or easily (like pillowcases). Shampoos that include pore-clogging ingredients such as sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate can not only cause breakouts on your face, but on your back and chest as well. Toothpaste can cause breakouts around your chin and upper lip, even if you’re not aware it touched those areas. Don’t underestimate the potential of a product to spread and cause breakouts on wide surface areas of your skin!