What causes acne and how to treat it
Alexa, how do I get rid of pimples? Somewhere in this great big world, someone is asking Alexa that as you read this. Not to be dramatic, but acne is the bane of our existence! Am I wrong? Yes, uneven skin tone and enlarged pores can be annoying, but nothing plays on the psyche like acne. Only 0.5 - 1% of the entire world population suffers from vitiligo, for example, but at least 90% of all people deal with acne. That is why I said that acne is the bane of our existence.
One would think that scientists would have found a cure for such a common disease. Yet, like the cold, acne gets to run wild and affects your skin, self-esteem, and pockets too! Acne is less common among older adults. But, many people in their 30s and 40s still struggle with adult acne. Whether it is one pimple or an entire outbreak, we need to figure out how to get to the bottom of this irritant!
What causes acne?
There are many reasons why you may experience an outbreak. Perhaps, its versatility is why scientists have not found a cure for this skin disease yet. Acne is the result of:
- Clogged pores: people with oily skin suffer from this most. When you have oily skin, your sebaceous (oil) glands tend to overproduce oil. Once in excess, this oil sits on your face, festering with the free radicals of that day. These free radicals join with your skin's oil then clog your pores. If left untreated, your clogged pores turn into pimples. A pimple is how your body fights off and pushes out toxins. At the same time. Pus contains white blood cells that are the second line of defense against free radicals. Your red blood cells are the first line and most vulnerable. But hey, you did not come here for a hematology lesson.
- Dead skin cells: your skin takes a pounding daily. Those free radicals that I mentioned are a major part of that. Your skin cells fight to protect your body and die in the process. Most of this dead skin falls off, but some of it stays behind, unwilling to let go of the past. If you are not strict with your skincare routine, these dead skin cells burrow into your pores and clog them. Once this happens, you get a pimple or several.
- Bacteria: did you know that a pimple is a small bacterial infection? There are good and bad bacteria in the body. The good bacteria helps your body to build up immunity against bad bacteria. I guess you can call them Yin and Yang. If your immune system is healthy, good bacteria protect you from bacterial infections. With a weakened immune system, you are more susceptible to bacterial infection. Also, if you are unsanitary, you increase your risk of bacterial infections.
How to treat acne
Listen, babe, it was not raining when Noah built the ark. If you never heard that before, all it means is that you need to plan. If you have anything but normal skin that is perfect in all its ways, you need a plan. Why? Because a pimple or cyst is always waiting to attack you! Here are a few things you can do based on your skin type:
- Stay hydrated! Drink at least 2.7 liters of water per day. Also, use an oil-free face moisturizer with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. When your skin is too dry, your sebaceous glands produce oil. Often, your skin may overproduce oil to compensate for that dryness and tightness. That is why you need to stay hydrated.
- Use lightweight serums for your daytime skincare routine. Then, use heavier products as part of your nighttime skincare routine. One of the signs of combination skin is an oily t-zone area. Throughout the day, your skin will produce excess oil in that area, and if unchecked, that can result in a pimple. When you use lightweight, oil-free serums, it gives your skin a chance to breathe.
- Avoid alcohol-based products if you can. As mentioned, your sebaceous glands may overproduce oil if your skin feels too dry and tight. Alcohol is a drying agent. Although it is present in many skincare products, it can be damaging with long-term use.
People who have dry skin tend to not struggle with acne as much as people with combination and oily skin. I am not sure if that is good news because they have issues that I would not prefer either. In any event, the best skin care tip for someone with dry skin is to stay hydrated!
This skin type is the wildcard of skin. On most days, someone with sensitive skin can appear to have that normal, perfect skin. Then one day, it gets too hot outside, and the next thing you know - pimples. What a nightmare! The best skin care tip is to know your triggers and avoid them like the Bubonic Plague.
Use skincare products that are mild and free of agents that irritate your skin. Should you ever get a pimple, use a mild spot treatment that will not cause further irritation. There are several acne spot treatments on the market. First Aid Beauty’s Fab Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment might be worth a shot! Why? It has salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid proven to treat acne. Acids can be a lot for your sensitive skin, I know. But, the good news is that this acne treatment contains aloe, oatmeal, and bisabolol. These skin care ingredients calm redness and skin irritation.
Ah yes - acne’s favorite skin type! Or so they say. Managing oily skin can be challenging. Too much of anything may dry out your skin, which you do not want. And too little of anything may not get rid of the excess oil that leads to pimples. With oily skin, there is an imbalance between the amount of water and oil. That makes your skin more acne-prone yet perfect for trying different acne treatments.
Like combination skin, you should seek acne treatments that are:
Again, you do not want to dry out your skin so much that the sebaceous glands overproduce oil. Neither do you need a product with oil in it because, duh? If you have oily skin that attracts acne, then salicylic acid is your friend. Here are a few benefits of salicylic acid:
- Goes deep into and clears clogged pores
- Breaks down pimples and comedones
- Loosens stubborn dead skin cells that cause acne and rough skin texture
- Reduces oil secretion
Salicylic acid addresses the very issues that cause you to get pimples and other forms of acne. Although it does not contain salicylic acid, Masktini’s Twilight Zone Tahitian Detox Mask is ideal for any skin type. It draws out impurities, resurfaces the skin, and restores the moisture balance that oily skin needs!
Acne is a pain in the neck - or face and back - but it does not have to control your life. There are solutions for your problems, it is all a matter of planning and exploration to get the skin you want. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. Are there any skincare products or tips that you follow when treating pimples? Leave a comment below!