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If you suffer with acne then you know personally the constant struggle to keep your skin looking and feeling as normal as possible while fighting breakouts. We want to discuss the important topic of skin care and acne because we see so many acne patients who really are misinformed. In many cases, this causes their acne to get worse rather than better. In a nutshell, you need to be kind to your acne-prone skin. Yes, we understand you want to blast it with the toughest, oil-busting products you can find, but understand that this might be part of your problem!
How? Because many people misunderstand what acne really is. It is an inflammatory skin condition (in most cases). Yes, your skin is oily, but it is also inflamed when broken out with acne. So, using harsh, astringents (alcohol) or abrasive products is going to inflame it more and can trigger more breakouts.
The skin is the largest one we have and the only one that has constant contact with the environment around us. To protect itself, the outer layer, known as the “acid mantle”, is super important because it tries to maintain a certain pH (low or acidic) to fend off bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Our oil glands are part of this process. When we use drying or harsh products, we disrupt the pH of our skin. Our body takes note and tells our oil glands to pick up the pace to help rebalance it. We then make more oil and a vicious cycle begins.
What is the answer then? Gentle skin care products that maintain the skin’s pH. If your skin is healthy and functioning properly, then you are in the best position to win against acne. If you’re fighting your skin’s pH and causing it to function poorly, then you’re helping the acne take over and becoming your own worst enemy!
Start with a gentle face cleanser. Consider green tea products as they are full of anti-oxidants and may help with the inflammation. If your skin is dry, then you need to moisturize. Choose oil-free products and use them regularly. This will help calm your skin, restore the pH balance and help it feel and look better.
If your skin is sensitive and always dry and you can’t tolerate Retin A, retinoid products or benzoyl peroxides, consider using a glycolic acid product. These are right in line with the skin’s pH and many products are formulated for dry skin. These are gentle exfoliants that over time, work well without overly drying or irritating the skin.
Don’t be part of your acne problem. Listen to your skin! If it’s tight, red, dry, flaky and painful, then it’s time to make some changes. It can take a few weeks to see improvement so hang in there!