Skin care basics

There’s no single acne treatment solution that will work for everyone, but getting into healthy skin habits is a great way to take care of acne-prone skin. So while you may not be able to control the hormones or genetics that can cause oily or greasy skin, you can take control of your skin care to help prevent the clogged pores that lead to pimples.

Clean your skin every day

While there are times when we all need a fast-acting pimple eraser or pimple remover, maintaining a regular skin care routine to control oil production and keep those pores clear is super important when you’re dealing with breakouts or acne-prone skin. But don’t let the phrase ‘skin care regimen’ scare you off – good skin care doesn’t need a vanity full of expensive products or hours and hours of your time! Good skin care starts with a simple cleansing. For people with acne-prone skin, it’s important to wash your skin twice per day – once in the morning and again at night before you go to bed – using a gentle, skin pH neutral, soap-free cleanser.

If you wear make-up, remember to remove it every night before bed. It’s best to avoid toners or other make-up removers that could further irritate your acne, so consider using micellar water that is well-suited for oily or sensitive skin and hydrates without causing irritation.

Choose the right products for your skin

When you are choosing any kind of skin care product – moisturisers, make-up, or sunscreens – always look for oil-free, non-greasy, non-comedogenic products that are designed for acne-prone skin. This will help make sure that the products you put on your skin aren’t clogging up your pores and making your acne worse.

Protect your skin from the sun

It’s always important to protect your skin from harmful sun exposure. For people with acne, this is especially important because some acne medications and treatments, as well the presence of acne scars, can make the skin extra sensitive to sun damage. So wearing an oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen or moisturiser with a broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) whenever you are out and about in the sun is super important to protect your skin. And as we talked about before, it’s always important to cleanse your face again at night before you go to bed!

Treat your skin gently

Always remember to be kind to your skin! That includes avoiding harsh scrubbing or too much exfoliation that could irritate or damage your already delicate skin. And if you’re someone who shaves regularly, take extra care to shave gently and carefully with a good quality, clean razor to prevent aggravating your acne. Most importantly – avoid touching your acne and never, ever pick, pop, or squeeze your pimples! Not only can this further irritate already inflamed skin, it can spread the acne-causing bacteria and cause scarring.

Watch what you eat

Foods that have a high glycaemic index (GI), as well as milk and dairy products for some people, are associated with acne. So switching out those high GI, high sugar foods and drinks, white rice and bread, and starchy vegetables for lower GI whole grains and high-fibre vegetables may help you manage your acne. But just remember that the most important thing for your whole body is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet – and your skin will thank you for that too!

Avoid things that stress you out

Too much stress, anxiety, or emotional upheaval can mess with our hormones, which may trigger or worsen acne. We all know that avoiding stress and all the crazy things in life is not always possible, but try to take things easy when you can and look for ways that can help you manage your stress levels.

Non-prescription acne management

The first step in managing your acne is cleaning your skin every day with a mild, soap-free, pH-neutral cleanser. This can help remove excess oil and keep pores from becoming clogged with dirt and dead skin cells. If you have sensitive skin, look for a fragrance-free or hypoallergenic cleanser to help avoid further irritation to your skin.

Non-prescription products for acne management such as pimple cream or gel are available, which should be applied directly to clean and dried areas of acne-affected skin. Some people may need acne medications that are prescribed by a doctor to help treat their acne. When it comes to acne treatment, it’s really important to get started as early as you can. If acne is left untreated, it can get worse and increase the risk of the skin developing discoloured spots or scarring.

If you’re looking for a gentle yet effective non-prescription product for acne management, consider cleansers that contain salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works to unblock pores by breaking down oil and dissolving the plug blocking the pore, helping to speed up pimple clearance. A salicylic acid cleanser can help prevent the plug from forming, which may improve overall acne control . Cleansers come in various forms that are either rinse off or wipe off products – choose the one that best suits your routine. In addition there are various gels and creams designed to help clear up pimples when they occur.

Remember that you are not alone – almost everyone experiences some acne when they are a teenager – and acne can really affect how you feel about yourself and your appearance. If you have any concerns about your skin or any questions about how to manage your acne, talk to a family member or to a healthcare professional such as a dermatologist or pharmacist.