A “good scrub” might not be the key to your acne woes.
Struggling with acne can make you step up your skin care regimen, but not all skin care is necessarily good care. In fact, your valiant efforts may backfire. These skin care habits may actually make acne worse.
You only use facial cleansers and meds after breakouts appear. A fresh face might seem like a good excuse to skip your nightly wash, but keep up your daily routine. Regularly washing your face, even when there are no visible breakouts, will keep breakouts from coming back.
You share makeup or applicators. Resist the urge to try your roommate’s new eye shadow palette. Oil and bacteria from one person’s skin can end up on makeup, brushes, and wands, and then be transferred to the other’s face. This extra oil can clog pores and lead to more breakouts.
You wash multiple times a day. This one is counterintuitive for sure. If you struggle with severe acne or have oily skin, it might seem useful to scrub throughout the day, but too much washing can irritate skin and trigger acne flare-ups. A gentle wash twice a day is ideal for cleaning pores without irritating the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. And if you have very dry skin, you might want to wash just once a day; see what your dermatologist advises. Use your bare hands to avoid the harshness of washcloths or loofahs.
You try a new treatment every other week. If your new cleanser doesn’t show a difference after a week, don’t switch to a new product yet. It may take six to eight weeks to see a difference with a new acne treatment, so playing the field with your skin-care products won’t let them take effect. Consistency can help reduce acne breakouts. Learn what OTC skin care products dermatologists recommend for acne here.
You dry out acne-prone areas with astringents. Astringents sometimes give an illusion of cleaning the face since they dry up extra oil, but dry skin is another sign of irritation, and irritated skin can lead to acne.
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10 skin care habits that can worsen acne. Schaumburg, IL: American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed on December 20, 2017 at https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/skin-care-habits-that-worsen-acne.)