Acne is one of the most commonly faced skin issues. The debilitating effect it has on a person’s self-confidence is immense. Simply put, acne is caused by a build-up of dead skin cells combined with the sebum(oil secreted by the skin) and bacteria inside the pores. This can take many forms like whiteheads, blackheads, raised bumps on the skin, blemishes, pustules, nodules or cysts. Although the main cause of acne is genetic in nature many other factors contribute towards it. Hormonal fluctuations in our body, certain medications and skin care products, certain personal habits like skin picking or popping or scratching of the affected area, improper diet and nutrition and stress are some of the triggers that can cause acne.
Skin care regimen specifically formulated for oily/acne prone skin is mainly centred around :
– Balancing the sebum/ oil secretion on the skin surface.
– Avoid build-up of dead cells on the skin surface.
-Limiting bacterial growth.
Cleansing: Use a skin cleanser which contains ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid mainly helps to slough off dead cells from the skin surface. Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial agent that limits bacterial growth.
Note: If you are using any prescription acne medication use mild non-medicated cleansers.
Toning: Use a toner or an astringent after cleansing. This removes any excess oil or product residue from the skin surface. Some toners contain acne fighting ingredients. Avoid alcohol based toners which could dry, irritate or sting the skin. go for toners which have ingredients like tea-tree, witch hazel etc.
Medicated Products: If you are using any prescription products for acne treatment,now is the time to apply them. Make sure you follow the instructions given by your dermatologist. Apply the products and make sure they have well absorbed into the skin before proceeding to the next step.
Moisturize: Applying a moisturizer may seem counterproductive for oily skin but it is not. It is especially important for those using chemical peel treatments. Acne products and medications can be very drying on the skin. It is therefore necessary to provide proper hydration to the skin. Choose a light moisturizer. Gel and lotion based ones are usually lighter than cream based ones.
Sun protect: Sun protection is a must for all skin types irrespective of the seasons. Choose a lightweight sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours or whenever necessary. Sun protection is especially necessary for those using chemical peels or prescription acne treatments.
Night time routine : Cleanse and tone the skin with the products used in the morning routine. Night time is which the skin repairs and rejuvenates itself so this is the best time to use the products prescribed for acne treatment like benzoyl peroxide etc.
If not using any acne treatment then use a night cream for acne prone skin.
An eye cream can be used to hydrate and repair the area around the eyes as well.
Points to remember:
-Keep skin clean and oil free.
-Use products specially made for oily/acne-prone skin.
-Look for Products labelled ‘non-comedogenic’, ‘ Oil-free’ etc.
-Don’t pick, squeeze or pop pimples. Avoid touching your face constantly.
-When using makeup, make sure the brushes are cleaned and the products are not contaminated.
-Use clean pillow cases at night.
Along with the above skin care routine also make sure to look into and take care of other factors like proper food and rest, reducing stress and staying healthy.