The six most common acne mistakes people make
Acne is one of the most common skin complaints and will affect almost all of us at some point in our lives. We’re taught to think of acne as a common phase of adolescence, but the reality is that more people than ever are experiencing the skin condition well into adulthood. Yet, despite this, there’s still a lot of misinformation about the best way to treat it.
Acne wrecks lives, often for decades. It can cause intense misery, frustration and a total lack of confidence. For this reason, we come fully armed with what not to do when treating acne, so you can dodge these pitfalls and start putting your effort into habits that really move the needle.
Not double cleansing
An effective skincare routine starts with cleansing. In fact, it’s the most critical step – if you don’t first pave the way for your actives, serums and creams, they’re not going to penetrate the skin and won’t be nearly as effective as they could be.
The first stage of double cleansing uses a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water to break down makeup, SPF and sebum on the skin’s surface before carrying out a more profound, water-based cleanse. The second cleanse works to remove any last traces of makeup and give pores a deeper cleanse to fight off blemishes and revitalise the skin.
Just treating the spots you can see
This is a very common mistake. Whilst targeted spot treatments can be effective, it’s essential to also use preventative ingredients like retinoids and glycolic acid in products that treat the whole face as well. If you only target spots when they appear, you’re always going to be fighting the appearance of new ones.
Using too many active ingredients
If you’re prone to breakouts, you may think that slathering on the active ingredients will help keep them at bay but, in actual fact, the opposite may be true.
Ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide help to loosen dead skin cells and unclog pores but they can also dry your skin and cause irritation if overused.
When this happens, the skin may become red and inflamed and break out even more in its reactive state.
Not using a moisturiser and yes, this is important, even if you have oily skin
It’s essential to understand the difference between oil and water content when it comes to your skin. Just because your skin is oily, doesn’t necessarily mean its hydrated. It could very well mean the opposite. When your skin loses moisture, the sebaceous glands produce more oil to retain moisture and protect the skin’s surface. This can then lead to an overproduction of oil, leading to clogged pores and breakouts and the cycle repeats.
Keeping your skin properly moisturised is just as important as every other part of your skincare regime when preventing breakouts. Choose a lightweight product that hydrates and nourishes the skin without clogging pores. A water-based gel is a great option, as are products made with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and dimethicone.
Expecting changes to come through diet alone
By all means, aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet and moderate your intake of refined carbs and dairy, but it’s doubtful that significant changes will come through diet alone. Many patients blame their lifestyle for causing their acne – but it’s important to remember that acne is a complex disease that can be triggered by many different factors, including hormones, genetics and even stress.
Stopping treatment as soon as things clear up
Acne is an ongoing problem. 85% of teens get acne, and almost 1 in 2 experience some degree of breakouts in adulthood. The good news is that well-chosen actives not only improve acne but also make the skin look beautiful, so there’s really no downside to ongoing prevention.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.