Maintaining clear skin isn’t easy. Contrary to what you might see on social media or in movies, not everyone wakes up with picture-perfect skin. Even models experience the occasional pimple more than they’d probably like to admit.
While having flawless skin all the time isn’t possible, there are steps you can take to keep acne at bay. From finding the right cleanser to using acne treatment products, here are seven tips to help manage your skin:
1. Stop Touching Your Skin
Touching your skin throughout the day might not seem like the biggest deal. But it might be the reason you struggle with the occasional pimple. What people don’t realize is how dirty their hands are. Even if you wash them before meals and after leaving the bathroom, your hands are probably still carrying germs.
Think about everything you touch during the day, in between meals and bathroom trips. Now, think about all the bacteria you’re transferring every time you touch your face. Gross, right? It’s no wonder you see a pimple or two. And try to keep high-touch items like your phone and headphones clean so you don’t transfer their germs to your face. The best thing you can do for your skin is to avoid touching it.
2. Wash With Your Hands
Not only should you use skincare products that are gentle on your skin, but you need to be careful when applying those products. Some people make the mistake of using a washcloth to apply their facial cleanser without realizing it could actually irritate the skin. Not only are washcloths a breeding ground for bacteria, but the material can also be too harsh. This is especially true if you scrub instead of pat the washcloth on your skin.
Instead of using a washcloth, wash your hands thoroughly and use your fingertips to gently apply your products. Then rinse with clean, cool water.
3. Get the Right Acne Treatment
There’s a common misconception that people who have acne don’t take good care of their skin. That’s not necessarily true. Genetics can have a huge impact on your skin’s health.
For example, if your mom struggled with acne, there’s a chance you will too — even if you wash your face twice a day. Hormones also play a role in acne. Hormonal changes increase oil production, which can clog your pores and cause pimples.
In these instances, you might want to consider consulting a medical professional. Dermatologists can prescribe acne treatment designed to balance your hormones and treat genetic acne, so you can have clear skin. They may recommend antibiotics, topicals, birth control, or a retinoid depending on what’s causing your acne.
4. Reassess Your Skincare Products
If you’ve been using the same skincare products for a while to no avail, it might be time to reassess. The truth is, there’s a reason why there are so many different products available. It’s because everyone’s skin is different and responds to products uniquely.
You can take recommendations from family and friends. But remember that just because your best friend loves a certain cleanser doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you. Spend some time researching the best products for your skin type (whether you have dry, oily, or a combination of both).
It can take time to judge whether a product is working for your skin. So do your best to stick with the product for at least a month. But if the product causes discomfort or you experience redness or burning, it’s not for you.
5. Don’t Pop Your Pimples
Do you know what a pimple is? When you see a pimple or zit, it means oil and bacteria are trapped under your skin. The pimple forms because your body is trying to heal itself.
While you might hate looking at zits, it’s actually a sign that your body is trying to get rid of the bacteria. Popping a pimple disrupts that healing process, which could cause scarring or redness. Not to mention, the liquid that comes out contains bacteria and could potentially cause another pimple to form.
Instead of popping, try applying ice to reduce the swelling. If you see a whitehead, use a warm compress to help release the pus and speed up the healing process.
6. Wash Your Hair Often
You might be wondering what your hair has to do with your skin. Considering your hair often touches your face, it can have a huge impact. That’s why it’s important to regularly wash your hair, especially if you have naturally oily hair or you often sweat. Your hair, just like anything else, can build up bacteria that can seep down to your skin and cause acne.
If you don’t already have a good hair-washing routine, you should create one. Make sure the hair products you’re using don’t contain any harmful ingredients that could irritate your skin. Look for fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner that has a balanced pH and no chemical irritants.
7. Pay Attention to Your Diet
Science has found several links between diet and skin, proving that food plays a role in your skin’s appearance
For example, consuming dairy can potentially cause acne. That’s because cows are given artificial hormones, which can throw off your own hormones and trigger acne if you consume them. Another study found that people who consume fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats, experience fewer wrinkles and dry skin as they age. But if your skin is prone to acne, you might want to take a good look at what you’re eating.
The truth is, not everything you try is going to work for your skin. It takes time, and lots of trial and error, to find your ideal regimen. With that said, the tips above can help you get started and, hopefully, help you achieve smooth and radiant skin.