How You Can Prevent Acne & Pimples
Acne is common in teens, with up to 85 percent of them having from pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, or pustules at one point or another. Welcome to the club!Some grow out of it, but not all, as acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually.
Acne can have both psychological and physical effects, including permanent scarring of the skin,depression, and anxiety. We want you to know that you’re skin is the best, no matter what.
Interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about acne and pimples, as well as how to prevent them.
What Causes Acne And Pimples?
We know you’re thinking, ‘Wait, acne and pimples are different?’ Kinda sorta..
Some people tend to get a pimple or two once in a while, while others get frequent breakouts with lots of pus-filled pimples. If the latter sounds more like you, you may have acne -- a chronic or long-term condition. But don’t panic, there are many effective skincare treatments that can help you work with your acne.
So, acne is caused by excess oil, dead skin cells, dirt, or bacteria clogging your pores. When your pores are clogged, they can become inflamed, leading to many kinds of acne -- including pimples.
There are other factors that may make you more likely to have acne, including:
Changes in hormones, which can happen during puberty, pregnancy, or during your menstrual cycle.
A family history of acne.
Feeling stressed or anxious.
Eating a diet high in sugar.
Living in a hot and humid climate.
<h3> How Do Pimples Form? </h3>
The formation of a blemish such as a pimple can start weeks or potentially months before it ever appears visibly. They’re more patient than most of us, right? Most infected blemishes form due to pre-existing blackheads and whiteheads, which consist of blocked and hardened sebum (aka oil) deep within your pores. These become inflamed due to dead skin cells that line the hair follicle, creating bacteria.
When oxygen can easily flow into a follicle, the bacteria are not able to thrive or cause any problems -- it’s only when you get the perfect storm of a little too much oil or sebum plus some dead skin cells that you are put on the path to a pimple.
Okay, so how long do they last?
Great question. So there are three main stages of an inflammatory pimple’s life cycle.
As we mentioned, hardened sebum causes a blockage in the pores, and voila -- so begins the life cycle of a pimple. Bacteria hang out inside the pore, causing tiny bumps (called ‘papules’) on the surface of the skin, along with a little redness, and in some cases, tenderness and pain.
White blood cells rush to the area to do their job of breaking down the bacteria, and the resulting carnage transforms the bump -- or papule -- into a pustule, filled with the leftovers of the bacterial battleground. We love when white blood cells understand the assignment.
As the infection dies down, the bump will scab and scar, sometimes leaving behind a battle wound (dark spots) called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Over time, your skin cells’ natural renewal cycle will push out the darkened skin cells, and the scar will gradually fade away.
So, exactly how long will this sebaceous intruder take up residence on your face, you ask?
Well, without treatment, non-inflammatory comedones can last for a long time, often requiring a powerful retinoid to help remove excess keratin. Cystic or pustular lesions, on the other hand, can last weeks (typically four to six) once it begins to form to the time that inflammation resolves.
Never try to force a cystic pimple to pop prematurely because it will make matters much worse -- trust us. Avoid touching your face and apply ice to reduce the swelling.
How To Prevent
Now that you know what pimples are, what causes them, and how they form, let’s talk prevention! Here are some of the best tips to keep acne at bay:
Keep your beautiful face clean.
To help combat pimples, it’s crucial to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat from your face daily. (Ok, we know that your schedule is slammed and you may skip a day. But please try to be consistent, okay? You can do it.) This will help to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria associated with acne formation. And of course, make sure to always remove all your makeup at the end of the day, so it doesn’t build up and clog your pores. It’s definitely hard to remember to wipe it off at the end of a party night, but do yourself a favor, please.
There are a ton of different skincare products on the market, but we love our Brightening and Clearing Gel, Faded. This super high-quality gel serum gently fades the look of your most stubborn marks, spots, and scars so that you can kick back and let your worries fade away.
Use water-based, oil-free makeup. You know, the good stuff.
Makeup has long been the go-to for covering up spots on the skin. But be careful -- you might be making your acne worse. Heavy, greasy products with mineral oil or cocoa butter can aggravate acne.
As with sunscreen and lotion, your makeup should always be water-based, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and oil-free.
Don’t scrub with a washcloth.
Many people like to use a washcloth to scrub your face, but if you’re looking to prevent pimples and acne breakouts -- we highly advise against it.
Use your clean hands to wash your face, and pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Why, might you ask? Because scrubbing can actually promote more acne -- that’s why!
… and avoid exfoliating brushes.
While commercials tout all the “amazing” benefits of these super-exfoliating brushes -- avoid them if you have acne. Studies suggest they can actually irritate and worsen acne because the exfoliation causes more inflammation, resulting in more acne bumps. Yup, throw the whole brush away.
Show your hair some love.
If you have really oily hair, you may need to wash it a little more frequently than those who have dry hair. Keeping your hair fresh and clean -- and off your face -- will help prevent breakouts from popping up on your forehead. Yes, we’re talking about those beautiful bangs that are trending this season. We’re exhaling hard for you.Some hair products, including gels and pomades, may worsen acne. So, if you have acne on your forehead and typically use a lot of hair product -- consider skipping it.
Headbands that keep your forehead covered can also encourage acne by keeping sweat in place.
Always shower and wash your face immediately after working out.
Speaking of sweat, it sticks to your face and tends to contain acne-causing bacteria. So the longer you sit in your sweaty clothes after pumping iron at the gym, the chance of developing acne increases. Let’s keep that cool down time to a minimum, bool.
Whenever you complete a workout or are just feeling especially sweaty, take a few minutes to rinse off and wash your face.
Eat a healthy diet.
While there is no scientific evidence that greasy foods and chocolate aggravate acne, a recent study does suggest that consuming fewer sugars and carbs does, in fact, result in decreased breakouts. Who are we to argue with science?
Keep a food journal to determine if a specific food triggers your breakouts. Consuming an overall balanced diet is always great advice, and it may also help your skin stay clearer.
Use moisturizers and sunscreens specifically made for your cute face.
Real talk: lotions designed for the body are usually really heavy and can clog your pores. Look for quality skin care products designed specifically for the face like Topicals Like Butter Hydrating Mask. This ultra-thick, whipped mask is packed with powerful botanicals for smooth skin.
Additionally, the same rule applies to sunscreen: avoid thick sunscreens made for the body and purchase some quality SPF designed specifically for your face.
If you’re anything like us, you know that pimples are just a part of being human.. With the right products from Topicals though, they are easy to prevent, you can help slow them down.
Topicals is a unique skincare company that creates science-backed, dermatologist-approved products to work with your skin -- not against it. With a passion for making the world a healthier and happier place, it’s easy to see why we’re loved by so many all over the world.
No matter what extra TLC your skin is asking for, Topicals join your side in the battle!