One of the most common skin conditions affecting people of all ages, acne leads to whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, pustules and pimples. People who suffer from acne naturally wish to prevent it and this can be done by making some changes in one’s diet, environment etc. Naturally, other triggers of acne include genetics and hormones and to prevent such acne, more drastic changes, drugs and/or invasive therapies may be required. In this guide, we will discuss little known ways to prevent acne so you can regain clearer skin as well as your lost confidence.
Simple Ways to Prevent and Clear Acne
1. Prevent acne with good hygiene
Step 1: Clean your face twice a day. Use very mild and gentle cleansers for this job. Do not scrub the acne as this will make the scarring worse. Use Castile or glycerin based soaps. Pat dry the skin.
Step 2: Completely stop using certain products. Avoid cosmetics containing Lanolin, Parabens and Mineral oils as these are comedogenic and clog the pores.
Step 3: Avoid touching the face. People with acne often try and perform ‘bathroom surgery’ and pop their zits. This is not going to clear the skin or prevent acne; rather it will make things worse.
Step 4: Clean or discard old pillow cases. The severity and incidence of acne can be greatly reduced by changing the pillow case each night.
2. Prevent acne using the right products
Step 1: Use acne prevention creams after cleansing. These may be prescribed by your dermatologist. Most adult acne sufferers see good relief through a combination of Retinol, Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid based creams. Topical antibiotics may also help.
Step 2: Use good quality natural products that fight acne. You can talk to your doctor regarding the use of Borage oil, Tea tree oil, etc as these are known to contain antimicrobial properties that can prevent acne. Many of these natural products also contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A, C and E, all of which can control excess oil/sebum production.
3. Prevent acne by cleaning your gut
Often environmental toxins accumulate in our body and, over time, lead to acne formation.
Step 1: Fast regularly- By fasting you are actually detoxifying and letting the body clean out its excess unwanted wastes. This can clear the skin and prevent new acne.
Step 2: Go on a Juicing diet- A green juice diet is known to have helped many men and women relieve several health ailments and acne is one of them.
Step 3: Relieve constipation by eating more fruits and vegetables- If you are constipated you need to up your water intake and eat more fiber by consuming fruits and vegetables. Essential among these are strawberries, blueberries, bananas, grapes and grapefruit.
4. Prevent Acne through proper diet
Step 1: Consume more alkaline foods. Most people do not know this, but the food we eat can be divided into acidic and alkaline. Alkaline foods are the best since they eliminate toxins and clean our gut. This can prevent acne and clear existing skin blemishes. Examples of alkaline foods are Root vegetables (carrots, beets etc), Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli), Leafy greens (Kale, spinach etc) as well as garlic, capsicum and lemons. All these should be consumed every day to reduce acne breakouts.
Step 2: Eat more omega 3 fatty acid rich foods. These include avocados, pumpkins, fatty fish like salmon, sesame seeds, walnuts, leafy green vegetables, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil etc.
Step 3: Eliminate certain foods completely. Some people, for example, breakout when they consume milk and milk products. So, keeping a food diary is important part of acne prevention. Many women have completely eliminated milk, cheese, yogurt etc and seen good results in acne prevention. Also avoid sugar and alcoholic drinks. Stay away from beer completely.
5. Some more acne prevention tips
Some other little known acne prevention tips include:
- Avoiding harsh shampoos– What you put on your hair could also cause acne. Use gentle shampoos and conditioners and make sure your hair is clean and oil free.
- Staying out of the sun– Sunlight could aggravate acne by making the skin very sensitive. To prevent acne, avoid stepping out between 10 am to 2 pm when the sun’s rays are the harshest. Always apply moisturizer with SPF 15++. Look for noncomedogenic products and wear a wide brimmed hat or scarf to protect yourself.
- Exercising daily– Daily aerobic activity of 30 minutes or more is essential part of acne prevention. Avoid wearing sweaty clothes that rub against the skin as these may aggravate acne. Wash your face (or shower) after exercise/gym.
- Reducing stress– Stress is one of the most important triggers of hormonal acne. Opt for meditation, yoga, deep breathing etc as these are all proven to prevent acne and reduce scarring.
These are top 5 ways to help prevent acne. When in doubt, always consult an expert to see if further treatment may be needed to stop acne completely.