Banish acne for good with these tips and tricks

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Banish acne for good with these tips and tricks

A quick checklist on all that you can do to prevent and treat breakouts

By Jaime Morton-Hawley
 Digital Content Creator, Professional Photographer and Makeup Artist

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Published: Thu 10 Jan 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Jan 2019, 1:00 AM

We all get a pimple every now and then. Your pores get clogged and your body reacts in quite an unattractive way. I know, not cool, but we are forced to accept it. The true concern is cystic acne: the type that is consistent, affects many different areas of the body and may be painful or leave scars.
There are many causes of cystic acne, some of which may include poor hygiene, your diet or hormones. Here are a few simple ways to prevent and manage your acne symptoms.
HYGIENE: As far as personal hygiene is concerned, there are many activities in one's daily life that can cause acne, many of which are easily managed.
1 Keep your face clean using warm water and refrain from over-washing or using soap with harsh or artificial ingredients.

2 Some skincare products contain ingredients like glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinoids. These may be drying, but they are commonly used to fight and prevent acne. These skincare ingredients come highly recommended in managing acne. Make sure to keep your face moisturised to combat those drying effects.

3 Refrain from touching your face. Some people can develop acne on their chin or cheeks from telephones or mobile phones, or even resting their hand on their nose or face.
4 Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun, as it can cause inflammation and hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Wear broad-spectrum non-comedogenic (aka: pore-clogging) sunscreen with SPF 30+ or higher.

5 Be smart about what you put on your face. Makeup can have contents like oils, dyes or chemicals that can irritate and clog your pores. Make sure all brushes and sponges are clean before use as they can have bacteria and product buildup.
6 Beware of your bed! Bed sheets and pillows can cause breakouts if not cleaned regularly.
DIET: There is a huge misconception that chocolate causes breakouts. That myth has been debunked. What can cause excess oils are greasy foods or foods with processed sugars, more commonly known as "junk food". Maintaining a well-rounded diet with fresh fruits and vegetables is always recommended. Regular exercise can help regulate your body as a whole, which includes your skin. And, of course, keeping your body well-hydrated with lots of water is always high on the list.
HORMONES: This is the hardest cause to manage. Some dermatologists recommend stress-management but the silver lining is that this cause isn't due to something you are doing. Hormones fluctuate, and thus, may cause temporary acne issues, like in pregnant women.
When addressing hygiene, there are both topical and oral treatments that can help mild to moderate and even severe acne.
Benzoyl Peroxide can destroy acne-causing bacteria, comes in many forms like creams, lotions and gels, and is commonly most effective after several weeks of consistent use.
Salicylic Acid can help unclog your pores and requires continuous use for optimal efficacy. This is commonly recommended for those who have consistent breakouts.

Glycolic Acid chemically exfoliates your skin and removes dead skin cells revealing bright, fresh skin. It also has anti-ageing benefits.

Lactic Acid is typically used in anti-ageing and sun damage skincare products, but it is also known to improve the skin's texture and works well with sensitive skin.
Note that some of these treatments may have side-effects based on your skin's sensitivity, like redness or flaking. You may be inclined to layer these products to increase efficacy but that may increase risk of irritation. Using one product at night and a different product in the morning may improve results and may permit you to use two different acne-fighting products with less irritation. I can safely say that, for most, layering a hyaluronic acid works well to counteract the drying effects of your retinol or glycolic with the added benefit of softer, smoother and well-hydrated skin. If you are unsure what will work for your skin, it is recommended you speak to a professional.
There are a number of treatments that can minimalise, reduce and even eliminate discolouration, redness and scarring caused by acne. Treatments like micro-needling, dermabrasion and fillers are all options, depending on the condition of your skin.
It almost goes without saying that makeup is what most acne-sufferers use to conceal their active and scarred acne. Just remember to refrain from using pore-clogging makeup, keep your brushes and sponges clean and remove all of it at the end of the day.
It is always best to maintain a healthy diet, exercise and have a high standard for your personal hygiene. Consistency is key.

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