All about breakouts
Breakouts: The what, why and how to prevent them.
Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages.
Pimples are the most visible symptom of acne, but the condition can also cause other types of blemishes such as blackheads, whiteheads, cysts. Understanding the causes of acne can help prevent its occurrence and reduce the severity.
The primary cause of acne is the clogging of pores, which can occur due to excess sebum (oil) production and the accumulation of dead skin cells. When sebum and dead skin cells accumulate in a pore, it can cause a whitehead or blackhead. If the pore becomes infected with bacteria, it can become inflamed and lead to a pimple.
One type of bacteria that commonly causes acne is Propionibacterium acnes, which naturally lives on our skin but can become problematic when it feeds on sebum and releases byproducts that cause inflammation. P. acnes can also multiply, leading to further inflammation and the development of pimples.
There are other triggers which can result in a breakout. Hormone surges, particularly an increase in androgens, can stimulate sebum production and lead to clogged pores. This is why acne is most common during puberty, but it can also occur during pregnancy, menstrual cycles, and conditions that increase androgen levels, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
"“Preventing acne involves taking steps to reduce sebum production, unclog pores, and limit bacterial growth.”
Diet can worsen acne, but it doesn't directly cause it. Studies have shown that consuming sugary and high-glycemic-index foods can increase inflammation and sebum production, exacerbating acne.
Stress is another factor that can worsen acne, but it doesn't cause it.
Preventing acne involves taking steps to reduce sebum production, unclog pores, and limit bacterial growth. One way to do this is by cleansing your skin - washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and avoiding harsh scrubs that can irritate the skin.
Exfoliating with a gentle exfoliant a couple of times a week can also help remove dead skin cells and prevent them from clogging pores.
Be careful with hair products. Pomades and other hair styling products can easily transfer onto the skin and clog pores, leading to breakouts. To avoid this, wash your hands thoroughly after applying hair products, and try to keep your hair away from your face as much as possible.
Getting a good nights sleep and lowering stress levels can also help prevent breakouts. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can cause hormonal imbalances, leading to increased sebum production and inflammation.
Cleanse morning and night
Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells
Being kind to your skin is also essential. It can be tempting to use harsh and stripping ingredients, but these can irritate and inflame the skin, making pimples worse. Instead, use gentle, non-irritating skincare products and avoid over-exfoliating.
When choosing makeup, select products that are non-comedogenic. Some makeup products can contribute to pore clogging,
so be mindful of what you're putting on your skin after skincare.
Finally, wearing sunscreen is crucial for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, but make sure to choose a good-quality product. Zinc oxide is actually great to incorporate as it can help to restrict microbial growth.
Remember, it's essential to work with your skin, not against it.
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