Is there a secret to avoiding acne? No and, well, yes.
As the Doctors say, there is no cure for acne. Genetics and hormones decide who gets it, and when. Teens and adults both deal with hormones that stimulate oil production, which is a part of the acne cycle. And if your genetics made you prone to acne — with a propensity for clogged pores, excess oil, dead skin cells that don’t slough off — then you may be in the 85% of teens and young adults or up to 40% of adults who experience acne.
But you can manage acne and even prevent blemishes from forming. A skincare regimen that targets the acne cycle with over-the counter and cosmetic ingredients used consistently is your best defense.
There are other tips and tricks you can practice to keep your skin blemish-free, or as close to it as possible. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Clean your Makeup Brush!
Whether they are made from synthetic or the finest natural bristles, makeup brushes are a magnet for dead skin cells, oil, dirt and bacteria, which can all contribute to blemishes. If you have acne-prone skin, you should clean your brushes after every single use. Wash them with a cleanser or mild soap and rinse until the water is clear. Squeeze out excess water then dry them flat on a paper towel. Cleaner tools = clearer skin.
2. Put Down the Tweezers
Plucking a facial hair can hurt — that’s because it’s traumatizing the hair follicle it’s being plucked from! Always store your tweezers in a sanitary place (i.e. not the bottom of an old makeup bag) and sanitize them before use with germ-killing rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. You don’t want the kind of trouble that’s lurking on the tips of your tweezers to get into your pores.
3. Change your Pillowcases
Ever notice you are breaking out more on one side of your face than on the other? And then consider which side you sleep on. Your pillowcase may be trying to tell you something. A buildup of dirt and oil can contribute to clogged pores when your face is lying in it for eight hours. Or perhaps your laundry detergent is irritating your skin. Try a more lightly scented or unscented (or fragrance-free, they are different!) detergent and change pillowcases often, you’ll sleep better knowing they are not making your acne worse.
4. Beware of Your Cell Phone
Your phone can pick up lots of dirt and bacteria (from your hands, your bag, the kitchen counter) which can then get transferred to your face when you’re chatting. It’s known at “tech-ne” or acne brought on by a tech device. The good news is tech-ne has an easy fix. Clean your phone often with antibacterial wipes or rubbing alcohol and hold it away from the side of your face — or wear headphones.
5. Hands Off!
If your skin is pimple-prone, keep your hands as clean as possible and avoid touching your face! The flow of bacteria, viruses and allergens from your fingertips onto your face can prompt a breakout. Wash your hands often with warm water and soap. And remember, the care and handling of your acne-prone skin should not actually involve your hands, unless you’re washing your face or applying skincare.