How do I treat acne?

Acne is a problem that wreaks havoc on our lives and causes huge amounts of emotional distress. The truth is that other people don’t understand the emotional stress due to acne unless they get it, hence we are left to our own devices to deal with it.

This is why, I am bringing to you a skincare plan that can help you reduce acne and treat the problem in a holistic manner.

Disclaimer: Everyone’s skin is different, and there could be other underlying conditions behind acne, hence do consult a dermatologist.

Skincare routine

One of the biggest mistakes I made was buy tons of products targeted towards acne prone skin and then cry when it either didn’t work or made my skin worse!

The problem is that even if was effective, I would have never known because the product never got a fair chance to be tried out, so cut out all the products and introduce a simple cleanser, toner, moisturiser and a spf in your routine.

Face Wash

The cleanser or face wash has to be formulated for sensitive skin and it should be non-comedogenic. Wash your face twice a day and let the face wash sink into your skin for atleast 60 seconds. The face washes that worked best for me had ingredients such as, AHA and BHA.

A face wash that you can try is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel Acne Face Wash. This is a non-comedogenic face wash formulated with Salicylic acid perfect for those who have sensitive and acne-prone skin.

You can buy it in any Pharmacy or on amazon https://amzn.to/2T5etht

Toner

The toners can either be hydrating or gently exfoliating depending on the need, but it has to perform at least one of those functions for it to be effective. Gently apply it on your skin twice a day after cleansing and let it work its magic.

A toner that you can try is Pixi Glow Tonic. It has 5% glycolic acid which gently exfoliates your skin and keeps new acne from forming.

You can buy it on amazon https://amzn.to/2T5iVNe

Moisturize

Now, this is a tricky step and it did take me quite a while to find out the moisturizer that won’t break me out. The key is to find a light weight, gel-based moisturizer with no fragrances. I don’t typically go for moisturizers with SPF built in because it does irritate my skin, but if it works for you then you can continue using it.

A moisturizer that I found was effective was Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic gel-cream. Remember to buy this variant only which is named ‘gel-cream for extra dry skin’ as this does not have any fragrance added and avoid the one which has only ‘gel for dry skin’ written as it has fragrance.

You can buy it on amazon https://amzn.to/39TpOXC

Sunblock

Add a lightweight, non-comedogenic sunblock to your routine so that your acne marks don’t get darker in the sun. Also, protect yourself from sun cancer!

You can try EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen SPF 50. It is a mineral sunscreen which is oil-free and water-resistant and is also recommended by dermatologists.

You can buy this sunscreen on amazon https://amzn.to/37PC3Tc

Did you know?

You most definitely need to find a sunscreen that does not irritate your eyes because one of the biggest spots of sun cancer is your eyelids! Hence, don’t forget your eyelids, and your ears when you are applying sunscreen!

Serums

This is a step that has to be personalised according to each individual’s concern. But, broadly speaking, for acne salicylic acid, retinoid and retinol works the best. I have also found alpha arbutin to be effective for my skin in terms of keeping it glowing without irritating it.

One of the serums that you can try is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. Use it everyday at night and watch your skin transform to reveal clear and smooth skin. Vitamin A is the only ingredient that has been backed by research to bring about noticeable changes to your skin.

You can buy it on amazon https://amzn.to/37KWC3l

Diet

Having a healthy diet is something we have heard countless times so much so that we have almost become desensitized to it. But, honestly! Bring back your attention to this area of your life, it really does make a difference! To break this down, you need to understand certain items that you should be eating and certain items that you should cut out.

Include lots of vegetables in your diet, it will really make a difference to your skin. Food such as, spinach, kale, tomatoes and carrots are great for your skin. Drink water throughout the day and begin your day with a cup of warm lemon water.

An important part of your diet is to find out what you are allergic to and cutting it out. You can do this by, eliminating potentially allergy triggering food and introducing them one by one to notice its effects, or you can simply take an allergy test and find out what you are allergic to. This is important because there was a time when I didn’t know I was allergic to nuts and kept eating it thinking it was healthy, only to find out later through an allergy test that its not good for my body, thus defeating the whole purpose of eating nuts. Hence, you need to figure this out in order to truly let your body absorb the benefits of your diet.

Also, cut of inflammatory food items such as, sugar, white bread, and white rice. If you think cow milk can potentially break you out, then substitute it with a plant based milk such as, rice milk, or coconut milk. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend soy milk because I have noticed that it tends to increase the breakouts.

Finally, either eat food rich in these items or add supplements to your diet, and this part makes a huge difference to your skin that you will notice within 3-4 days.

  1. Add food rich in or supplements which have omega 3. I personally prefer omega 3 from Seven Seas brand.
  2. Add food rich in or supplements which have vitamin B5 (Panthoneic acid) – this helps in regulating oil production of your skin, and lots of people have been raving about its benefits for their severe acne. You can buy this Vitamin B5 supplement from amazon.
  3. Add food rich in or supplements which have Probiotics. – Gut health is linked to healthy skin and sometimes treating your gut health can instantly clear up your skin. The Probiotic that you can try is from from Physician’s Choice brand.
  4. You can also take supplements that are good for overall skin, such as, Organic Hair, Skin and Nail Vitamin or Advanced Collagen Supplement.

This routine made a huge difference to my skin in a matter of few weeks, thus try it and see what works for your body. Remember, the key is not to cut out every food item to starve yourself, rather you have to introduce healthy food items to let your body heal by absorbing its nutrients.

Workout

Diet combined with working out will definitely keep your skin glowing and remove toxins from your body, which in turn will heal your skin.

Exercise at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour and notice how your skin starts to glow within a week. Ensure you include some proteins and healthy fats in your diet such as, eggs and avocado to sustain your energy while working out. You can do cardio, running, walking or yoga, all this would help you keep your skin clear.

Hygiene

Okay so hygiene alone isn’t the only reason why people have acne, in fact people with acne are some of the most hygiene conscious people. So this isn’t a major factor for curing acne, rather it is to prevent your skin from getting further acne which doesn’t occur in places where you normally get acne.

For example, oils and products from hair can lead to acne in the forehead region. Changing pillow covers and switiching to silk pillowcovers can help your skin a little. Wiping your phone with anti-bacterial wipes is also a good preventative measure you can take.

So, this is a simple guide to treating acne, don’t try to make a very elaborate and a fancy regime because that is not necessarily effective. Sticking to this simple routine can save your skin and within a month of consistently following this routine, you would begin to see your acne decreasing. Let me know which step works for you the most and if you have any extra tips and tricks that you would like to share!

This is a difficult phase of your life and I understand that, but remember you are beautiful and this is just a phase! If you are struggling with anxiety due to this then do read about how to overcome insecurity about your appearance.

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