Acne Breakouts and Simple Ideas to Help Get You Through!

There are four main factors causing Acne

  • Excess oil production
  • Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells 
  • Bacteria
  • Life-Style

The first 3 have historically been the main causes for Acne breakouts but times are changing/have changed and Life-Style is now becoming a leading factor in the cause of Acne.

Each factor will be addressed separately hopefully enabling you, the reader, to pinpoint where your Acne could be mainly attributed too. 

Excess Oil Production

How often has the term “oil slick” come to mind when you see your face shining back at you from your bathroom mirror?  Oily Skin is caused by the overproduction of Sebum from the Sebaceous Glands. A variety of reasons can be at play for this overproduction of Sebum; hormone changes, genetics, and even stress. 

A natural and cost effective way to help your skin with this overproduction is to wash your face with cold water twice a day and blotting it dry with a soft tissue … not rubbing it vigorously with a towel or anything abrasive.  There are plenty of over the counter and/or prescribed products you can use … but you can’t go passed good old fashioned cold water.

You want to avoid stripping your face of your natural oils ( which is a common mis-conception) as this only encourages the Sebaceous Glands to produce more Sebum, in turn, “oilifying” the skin even more. 

Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells

We have hair follicles … everywhere …. Our hair follicles are connected to oil glands all over our body.  In common areas where Acne occurs ( face, forehead, back, shoulders ) funnily enough is also where your body has the most oil glands.  These follicles when blocked tend to bulge and produce “white heads” known as pimples or if the follicle is open black heads occur.

To unclog these hair follicles of oil and dead skin cells once again as mentioned above is the use of water.  This time though – try luke warm water mixed with oats. Mix together and let the mixture sit to form a soft paste.  Gently massage this oaty mixture onto your skin and rinse off with ( again ) lukewarm water. Obviously if it’s your back or shoulders … doing this is the shower would be an obvious place to be.  Again, pat dry with a soft tissue ( or soft cloth if it is your back or shoulders ). There are certainly plenty of excellent, well reputed cleansers out there on the market but you will notice a big change in your skin after a few days of following the simple routine above at minimum cost.  Sometimes to start with a simple routine determines how the rest of your skincare regime will pan out … best to find inexpensive “good old ways” before committing to pricey treatments that could potentially peter out after a few weeks. 

Bacteria

This word conjures up little comical gremlin like beings ( typically green in colour )  with nasty grins and ugly teeth leaving a trail of “sprinkles” wherever they go. 

The Bacteria that gets into your skin follicles combines with the oil ( created by the Sebum) and creates a blockage that forms lumps/bulges under your skin that are often red and inflamed and potentially very sore.  There is a good chance that over the counter medication or prescribed medication is required for this treatment. Still, the use of cold water or lukewarm water ( on its own ) and patting softly dry is a good place to start as you certainly do not want to inflame your skin any further. 

Life-Style

This is the BIGGY! Acne is innocent in the fact that in the case of lifestyle we are our own worst enemy.   Life-style covers so many areas … diet, rehydration, alcohol intake, work/life balance ( time at work vs time at home with family and doing the things you love ), exercise ( or lack of ), sleep ( or lack of ), access to quality air – hands up if you work in a space that uses heating or cooling air conditioning units pretty much all day … thats “delicious” reconstituted air … just like an aeroplane … and just out of curiosity, what has your sick leave been like recently?  The list could go on and on. Create your own personal list of concerns with your lifestyle and importantly be honest about it. If you cheat on your list, you ultimately cheat yourself and cheating yourself is certainly not going to help you in the overall big picture. Small steps help to make big improvements – which you will notice in a short space of time. 

Here is an example: 

You have constant air conditioning in your workplace environment – instead of eating lunch in the staffroom, grab your trainers and your lunch and have a 10 -15 minute power walk in the fresh air, find a spot to enjoy your lunch and rehydrate before heading back to work.  Not only will your body feel refreshed, your mind will, your skin will have had fresh air and be cleansed ( not to mention your lungs ), your afternoon will be productive and there’ll be no mid-afternoon slump. Positive mental well being right there with minimal effort but maximum results. 

Acne can be a confidence knocker, it can be painful, it can be ugly BUT do not let 

Acne define you.  By creating new routines and avenues in your life, you will eventually eliminate that nasty condition called Acne and it can and will be a thing of the past.