Caring for your skin is important for good health and beauty, but especially so if you are prone to acne. One of the best ways to keep acne under control is to maintain your skin’s health as much as possible. This means keeping the skin clean and protecting it from damage from sunshine and harsh cosmetics.
Cleansing Your Skin. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle soap or special acne skin cleanser, using a gentle, circular motion of the fingertips. Do not scrub, since this can aggravate acne. Moisten the face with warm water, then apply cleanser from the hairline to the neck. Rinse with lots of water and pat dry with a soft towel.
Those with especially oily skin may need to use an astringent, but it must be alcohol-free, and used with care. Apply it only to the oiliest parts of the face and discontinue use immediately if your skin becomes irritated. If you feel you need an astringent, you may need to see a dermatologist instead.
Hair care is also important — shampoo twice a week to as often as daily, keeping the shampoo away from your face as much as possible.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun. A suntan may dry your skin, making the acne less noticeable, but this is only temporary. As your skin becomes accustomed to sun exposure, the acne will flare up again. Meanwhile you are risking skin damage that can cause premature aging and skin cancer. Many medications that treat acne cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight and more vulnerable to burning. Whatever the weather, you should wear sunscreen on your face and any other exposed skin when outdoors.
Choose Makeup With Care. The best choice for good acne skin care is to wear no makeup at all. But if you feel you must wear makeup, choose products labeled noncomedogenic — that means they will not clog your pores. Be aware that these products may still cause acne in some people. Above all, avoid makeup with an oil base. Read the labels carefully and use sparingly.
Shaving. Try both electric razors and safety razors to see which causes the least irritation to skin blemishes. Always use a sharp blade in a safety razor — change the blade every 2 or 3 shaves. You may have to shave around blemishes to avoid cutting them. Be sure to soften the beard as much as possible with warm water and shaving cream before starting. If your skin is covered with blemishes, perhaps it is best to skip shaving that day.
No Touching. As tempting as it may be to squeeze pimples, don’t! That invites more trouble by spreading the bacteria which cause pimples. It can also lead to permanent scarring.
Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible because the hands carry dirt, oil and germs.
Rest assured that acne can be brought under control. Medications will go a long way toward clearing your skin of acne. Your job is to help the healing process along as much as possible by taking good care of your skin.