Acne is an inflammatory condition which usually manifests during adolescence when your body goes through many changes, especially hormonal ones. Of course, that doesn’t mean that acne can’t happen to adults, or to newborns and toddlers.
What Causes Acne
One of the main causes of acne are clogged hair follicles (comedones) that can get infected. A comedo occurs naturally and gradually as your skin cells multiply. It doesn’t always cause acne – in healthy skin, a comedo simply dissolves on its own.
However, if your immune system reacts to bacteria, lipids, or androgens (men’s sex hormones), a microinfection can occur under the skin, at first invisible to the naked eye. As a result of an overproduction of sebum, the infection develops and reaches a stage when you can see signs of acne on your skin.
Impact of Hormones on Acne
There is a close connection between breakouts and hormonal changes. This is why women often keep struggling with adult acne – unlike men whose acne tends to stabilise after puberty. Acne in women is affected by hormonal changes that come with pregnancy, menopause, or menstruation.
Apart of hormones and heredity, acne can also be affected by the way you take care of your skin, the products you use, your stress levels, your lifestyle, bacteria in your pores, using anabolic steroids or medication with lithium, barbiturates, or androgens.
What Are the Signs and Types of Acne?
Your sebaceous glands naturally produce sebum – if they’re closed, it can result in whiteheads, blackheads, or zits.
- Blackheads or open comedones are small dark areas which form when the sebaceous gland closes.
- Whiteheads are a type of blemishes that take the form of a raised round lesion with a white tip.
- Pimples are usually painful, red, and raised lesions filled with pus.
How to Get Rid of Acne
To a large extent, acne is affected by your genetics and there’s no sure way to cure it completely. However, you can greatly reduce its signs and minimise its impacts on your skin in the form of scars. So, what actually helps with acne?
Skin Care for Problem Skin
When dealing with acne, it’s good to develop the right skin-care routine:
- Always start with perfectly clean skin to avoid any unwanted bacteria that could cause infection. Clean your skin twice a day – every morning and night. Buy a good micellar water for acne or a gel cleanser for acne and use alcohol-free cleansing products and makeup removers which don’t irritate and dry out your skin. Dried out skin actually tends to produce even more sebum.
- Clean skin needs a dose of hydration. Try an ointment or a cream for acne that will speed up the healing process while preventing the formation of new blemishes.
- Before going to bed, use an acne spot treatment directly on your blemishes to speed up their healing.
- Once a week, use an exfoliator for problem skin to help you remove dead skin cells, or a deep-cleansing face mask for acne which cleans and mattifies your skin.
Products for Acne
Problem skin requires special skin care, because regular products might make your acne even worse. This is why you should go for products that were actually designed for acne-prone skin and formulated in collaboration with dermatologistis by brands like Vichy, La Roche Posay, Avène, Eucerin, Bioderma, or A-Derma.
You can also try natural cosmetic products for acne which is extremely gentle on your skin as well as the environment.
Best Products for Acne
If you’ve been suffering from acne for some time, find a good dermatologist. They might recommend acne medication that you can try and use to heal your acne. In women, hormonal contraceptives often tend to help. In any case, you’ll have to wait a few weeks for first results. Occasionally, your acne might even become temporarily worse before your body gets used to the meds.
More tips to deal with acne
Acne can be affected by personal hygiene, your diet, or stress. Try the following tips:
- Don’t touch your face during the day – the dirt on your hands might aggravate the infection.
- Don’t squeeze or scratch your zits. You’ll only spread the acne more, and cause permanent scarring.
- Clean the screen of your phone and wash your sheets and linen frequently, especially your pillow cases. That way you can get rid of bacteria that contribute to acne.
- Try to stay positive and avoid stress, because stress can negatively affect the function of sebaceous glands.
- Don’t forget about the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. The right lifestyle can really affect your acne. Some of the foods that tend to cause acne are dairy products and certain foods with a high glycemic index, such as sweets and products made with white flour. Try to cut down on these types of food.
- Avoid strong sunshine and always protect your skin by using a sunscreen with a high SPF.
How to Cover Acne
Need to look perfect but don’t have enough time to wait for your acne to go away? Cover it with the right foundation. Get a foundation for problem skin which contains active ingredients that improve acne. And have a look at some non-comedogenic products which don’t clog your pores, thus preventing more acne.
Concealer or Foundation for Acne
- Do you have only a few zits here and there? Then use a good acne concealer to cover the odd imperfection that keeps your face from looking absolutely flawless.
- Need to even out the skin tone of your face? Use a high-coverage foundation for acne to hide all pimples and acne scars.
Top Foundations and Concealers for Acne
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
You can improve your acne scars with either rosehip or evening primrose oil, or even aloe vera gel which regenerates skin beautifully. You can also try a chemical peel or an IPL treatment. Still, the most important thing is to prevent acne scars from occurring – which is why you should never squeeze or scratch your zits. Instead, use an SOS local treatment to help your acne heal.