We’ve all been there. A breakout isn’t only uncomfortable, it’s also a blow to the self-esteem.
The important thing to remember is you’re not alone. when it comes to searching out tips for managing your acne. Almost literally everyone has looked into a mirror and found a pimple staring back at them. Whether it’s one or a dozen, it always feels like they’re the only things anybody’s going to notice about you.
That’s not true, of course. We’re all too consumed by the acne on our own faces to worry about yours. But, until you begin to appreciate that for yourself, there are other things you can do to help your cause.
In an earlier post, I outlined the treatments that a dermatologist can provide, and there are a lot of them. But they’re not one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to be evaluated by a dermatologist yourself, and not just go on a friend’s recommendation.
Until then, and even while you’re trying one of those treatments, there are things you can do on your own to help control your acne. Here are six tips for managing your acne.
Shower or take a bath as soon as possible after sweating. Perspiration, especially when you’re wearing a hat or helmet, can make acne worse. If you’re changing your clothes after practice or hitting the gym but waiting until later on to shower, that’s not helping much because your skin isn’t any cleaner.
Avoid scrubbing when you shower or take a bath. It’s easy to think the harder you scrub, the cleaner you’ll be. But what you’re actually doing is irritating your skin—and your acne. So, gentle is best. And avoid taking piping-hot showers and baths. I know the temptation is real when it’s so cold outside, but hot water will make your skin dry and red, which will make your acne appear worse.
Wash your face. Guys, this goes for you, too. Washing your face isn’t just about removing makeup. Your face has particular needs above and beyond those of the skin on the rest of your body. And again, be gentle about it. Find a mild-foaming facial cleanser—anything more will strip your skin of its natural oils—and apply it gently with your fingertips. Then use lukewarm water to rinse it off.
Be patient. It’s a natural reaction to want to pop a pimple as soon as you spot it. You’re just speeding up the process, right? Wrong. Your skin’s going to take longer to heal now. And you’re also increasing the chances that that pimple’s going to leave a scar behind once it does finally heal. Actually, try to avoid touching your face altogether. The more you do it, the more susceptible you become to flare-ups. When it comes to tips for managing your acne, this one is important.
Stay out of the sun and especially tanning beds. But a good tan’s the best camouflage for my acne. Tanning damages your skin even more. Not to mention, some acne medications can make the skin super-sensitive to UV light, which you get from the sun and tanning beds. Tanning beds also heighten your risk of getting melanoma by 75 percent.
Avoid processed foods. There may be a connection between greasy foods and acne after all, but it’s not the one we’ve assumed all this time. These tips for managing your acne research are still fairly inconclusive, but some early studies have indicated that sticking to a low-glycemic diet—fresh veggies and fruits, beans, steel-cut oats—eliminates spikes in our blood sugar. And those spikes cause our bodies to make more sebum, an oily substance in our skin. They also cause inflammation. Together, the two can lead to acne.