Sadly, acne isn’t just for teenagers. It’s the most common skin condition and millions of us suffer from it each year. Now skin expert and cosmetic doctor, Dr Rekha Tailor (www.healthandaesthetics.co.uk) reveal the easiest tips you can ever think of to treat acne….
Acne is the most common skin condition and the number of adults who have it is actually growing. Even though acne peaks between the ages of 14 to 17 for girls and 16 to 18 for boys, acne isn’t just a teenager’s plight. It’s a chronic skin condition that can flare up well into adulthood.
And women are especially unlucky when it comes to adult acne in the mid 20s and up. A 2018 study of 1,167 teens and adults with acne found during the adolescent years, acne is almost equally divided with 53 percent of cases among girls and 47 percent among boys. When it came to adult acne, 85 percent of cases were among women and 15 percent among men.
1. Wash your phone
Our smartphones are a really big source of skin contamination and skin problems, namely acne. ‘High concentrations of microscopic bacteria from your phone’s screen mixed with oil and makeup from the skin, along with heat from the phone, breeds more bacteria. This can clog pores and often result in inflammation and acne,’ says Dr Rekha Tailor. To combat these problems use a headset when on the phone for a lengthy period of time and regularly wipe your smartphone with an alcohol wipe to remove as much bacteria as possible before using it. Use a headset when making phone calls
2. Wash your pillowcase
Skincare experts suggest washing your pillowcase every few days in order reduce the exposure your skin gets to bacteria overnight. Washing it often helps to reduce the build up of sweat, dead skin, dirt, make-up and pollution such as dust mites, which can all contribute to acne. If you’ve got sensitive skin it’s important to chose your detergent wisely in order to avoid further irritation.
3. Change your face-mask regularly
Not only is washing your mask vital when it comes to fighting the virus, changing your face mask or washing it has a big impact on your skin too. Washing your face-mask regularly helps to reduce the build-up of bacteria inside the mask and therefore reduces the amount of bacteria that comes into contact with your skin. This in term helps to reduce the bacteria that clogs up pores and causes blackheads and spots.
4. Don’t touch your face
People often touch their face by habit and this, like our mobile phones, introduces bacteria to our skin. ‘Ensure you keep skin moisturised and don’t squeeze spots,’ says Dr Rekha Tailor. ‘It’s virtually impossible to stop touching our faces completely. It’s something that starts at a young age and soon becomes a habit, often in stressful situations. Try and identify why you’re touching your face. Often it’s because of stress, in which case stress management steps can be taken. If it’s because you’ve got a runny nose or itchy eye, try and address the root of the problem by having a tissue handy or getting eye drops. Do something else with your hands – use a stress ball maybe, or even try putting them under a cushion or blanket if you’re sat watching TV. Choose a competing behaviour to do instead, for example scratching your leg or stroking your hair. This habit will soon replace face-touching. Tie your hair up if it’s long enough or wear a head or sweat band, this reduces the likelihood of wispy stray hairs irritating your face and causing you to brush them away.”
5. Don’t squeeze spots
Popping spots might be satisfying but you really shouldn’t do it. Not only can it result in permanent acne scars in the long term, but it can also lead to infections and more painful acne.
6. Tie your hair back
Loose hair hanging on your face all day can transfer oil to your forehead and face and result in pimples and acne. By tying hair back from the face you’ll not only eliminate this transfer of oil but also reduce the likelihood of face-touching.
7. Cleanse thoroughly
‘I would always advise against using face wipes as essentially, they just move dirt and oil around on the face. The skin around your eyes is also extremely delicate, the rubbing motion alone will drag the skin and could cause premature ageing,’ says Dr Rekha Tailor. ‘Moist environments are the perfect breeding conditions for bacteria, so face wipes need a high amount of preservatives to keep them free of nasty bugs. These preservatives – along with the perfumes within them – can be extremely irritating to the skin and the preservatives/ perfumes can also cause allergies. Instead, cleanse your skin thoroughly in the evening with an oil-free cleanser to remove dirt, pollution and oil.’ For a nourishing, deep clean Health & Aesthetics recommends following a ZO Skin Health regime, this includes their exfoliating cleanser which is a gentle yet effective way to cleanse skin without drying it.
8. Swap processed food for fruit and veg
‘Step away from the processed food and unhealthy snacks and move towards a Mediterranean style diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and good sources of protein such as fish along with more complex carbohydrates ( brown bread, brown rice and pulses),’ says Dr Tailor. ‘By switching up your eating habits, you can avoid causing rapid rises in blood sugar and insulin levels that will provoke an outbreak of spots. The added benefits of the nutrients and vitamins provided by the fresh fruit, vegetables and salads will all boost your skin.’
9. Put it on ice
If you really must do something about your pimple beyond washing your face and spot treating, ice or a cold compress can help reduce inflammation. Wrap an ice cube or the compress in a soft tissue or cloth and apply it to your zit for 20-30 seconds at a time, a few times a day. In case of an emergency (like your wedding!) you can book to see a dermatologist for a cortisone injection, which can help shrink the cyst down quickly in a day or two.