If we’re going to spend what feels like hours doing our beauty routine, we want to make sure we’re doing it right. Right?
You’ve tried everything. You’re washing your face 10 times a day and scrubbing it like there’s no tomorrow, but your acne just. Won’t. Budge. Even popping those pimples won’t work.
Acne may be clinging stubbornly to your skin, but when you try too hard to get rid of it, you’re actually creating the perfect environment for it to thrive.
Here are 5 common acne mistakes you’re making without knowing it (and what to do instead):
Acne Mistake #1: You’re Popping Your Pimples
Don’t pop your pimples. Don’t pick at your pimples. Don’t touch your pimples. Pimples don’t like to be popped. If you do it, they’ll get their revenge. Think of pimples like honeybees. When an honeybee stings you, it knows it’ll die. But it also knows it’ll hurt you like hell and poison you. Pimples are just as vindictive.
Pimples are infected wounds. When you pop them, the infection spreads around, potentially giving birth to new pimples. Like that weren’t enough, popping pimples can leave scars behind. And those are way harder to treat than pimples.
What to do instead: Use a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide. It kills the bacteria that causes acne, clearing up your skin faster. Sulphur and tea tree oil make good spot treatments too.
Acne Mistake #2: You’re Washing Your Face Too Much
Makeup. Sweat. Pollution. Your skin gets easily dirty during the day. Add to the mix the truckload of oil, your skin pumps out on a daily basis and you’re in the bathroom washing your face ten times a day. Don’t cleanse your face in the shower. The hot water dries out skin, too.
Sebum’s your skin natural moisturizer. When you remove too much from your skin, you’re drying it out. And then it starts producing more oil to compensate.
It’s a vicious circle than leads to more, not less, acne.
What to do instead: Wash your face twice a day (morning and night) with a gentle, low-pH foaming cleanser. They cleanse your skin without drying it out.
Acne Mistake #3: You’re Using Physical Exfoliants
Anything with small particles or bristles (a washcloth is ok).
Breakouts are sensitive things. Scrubbing them (even gently) can irritate skin and inflame it even more. It can spread the infection to healthy areas. And it can cause small tears to the skin that just invite bacteria in.
To add insult to injury, physical exfoliants don’t do anything for acne. They can’t treat it or help in it any way. So why do it?
What to do instead: Exfoliate daily with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid exfoliates the surface of the skin and gets inside your pores, removing all the gunk that’s clogging them up. And it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness.
Acne Mistake #4: You’re Not Using A Moisturizer
If your skin is simply oily, then a hydrating serum or lightweight sunscreen may be enough for your skin.
But if you’re actively treating your acne with benzoyl peroxide, sulphur, retinoids or prescription products, a moisturizer is a must.
Those acne fighters are double-edged swords: they rid you of acne but they dry out your skin. And you already know the damage that can cause.
Don’t wait until it’s too late before you add a moisturizer to your skincare routine.Do it now so your skin won’t get dry in the first place.Prevention is always better than cure.
What to do instead: Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. They’ll hydrate your skin without feeling greasy.
Acne Mistake #5: You’re Skipping Sunscreen
You may be thinking that your sunscreen does nothing for your acne anyway, so why bother? Sunscreens may not treat acne, but they help heal those post-breakout marks way faster.
Acne can leave a small discolouration behind. Your skin produces melanin, the pigment responsible for their colour (and your skin colour), to protect itself from too much sun exposure. You see now how not wearing sunscreens can make those dark marks last way longer than they should?
Plus, we all know the sun causes wrinkles. You don’t want to achieve clear skin only to see it marked by premature wrinkles, do you?
Be smart. Wear sunscreen. Every day.
What to do instead: Use a lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen every day. Rain or shine.