7 Easy Ways to Prevent Acne Breakouts
Dealing with an acne breakout can be a deeply frustrating (and costly) experience. Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a skin condition that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog your hair follicles. The result: pimples. While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent acne, following these simple tips can help reduce the number and severity of your outbreaks
- Keep Your Face Clean
Wash your face twice a day: once in the morning and again before bed. Cleaning your face is essential to preventing acne as it removes the extra oil and dead skin cells from your face that can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Use warm water when washing your face as the heat helps open your pores and facilitates deep cleaning. Be sure not to overwash, though, as this can irritate your skin and worsen existing acne.
2. Don’t Touch Your Face
Avoid touching your face because your hands can transfer bacteria, dirt and oil onto your face, which may clog your pores and lead to pimples. Touching your face will also irritate your existing acne, which can lead to scarring and even infection. If you must touch your face, be sure to wash your hands first.
3. Avoid Oil-Based Hair Products
Hair products improve the appearance of your hair, but at what cost? Many hair products contain oils that can clog your pores if they make contact with your skin. For this reason, avoid using oil-based hair products, especially during an outbreak. If giving up your gel or pomade is not realistic, be sure to wash your hair regularly and keep your hair away from your face.
4. Wash Your Pillowcases Weekly
If you don’t wash your face before bed, your pillowcase is likely coated with oil, sweat, dirt and/or makeup from your face. Resting your face on an uncleaned pillowcase is a surefire way to clog your pores and break out. To avoid this, wash your pillowcases weekly.
5. Reduce Your Stress
A 2003 Stanford University study found that increased stress is linked to acne severity. While scientists are still studying why stress exacerbates acne, many believe that increased stress prompts your skin to produce excess sebum, an oily substance that combines with dead skin cells to clog pores.
6. Moisturize Daily
Almost as important as washing your face is moisturizing. Washing your face remove oils and moisture from your skin. To compensate for this loss of moisture, your skin may produce excessive sebum (oil). And again, this leads to clogged pores and acne. To prevent your skin’s overproduction of sebum, apply a moisturizer to your face after washing.
7. Cut Dairy Out of Your Diet
More and more evidence points to a strong link between the consumption of dairy products and the occurrence of acne. For example, a 2008 study found that teenage boys who drank milk experienced more frequent and severe acne breakouts than those who didn’t drink milk. Dairy consumption, like stress, is believed to cause your skin to produce excess sebum and thus increases your chances of acne. To prevent a breakout, err on the side of caution and avoid dairy products.
If you need treatment to prevent or stop acne, ask a dermatologist!
The Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence and others.