Getting a pimple doesn’t actually make you strange or unusual. The truth is that every one of us gets a pimple at some point in our lives. Of course, acne outbreaks seem to pick the worst times to happen, so it’s natural to say, “Why me? …and why now!” We understand the feeling.
Outbreaks of acne can be caused by many things. Hormones are a big factor. In your teen years you’ll naturally go through hormonal changes. In particular, young women often see acne blemishes two days to a week before the onset of their period. Family history can also play a role. If one or both of your parents had acne, there’s a good chance you’ll experience it, too.
Things You Can Change
Everyone has hormones and family heritage, but there are commonly-known triggers you can do something about.
1. Stress is a biggie. It doesn’t cause acne, but if you’re already struggling with acne, stress can be a trigger that makes it worse. Want to share your feelings, or read comments from real people dealing with acne? Then check out Shared Stories.
2. Avoid subjecting your skin to contact with oily or greasy substances. Use only oil-free makeup, hair gel, or other skin care products that are labeled “water-based,” “oil free,” “nonacnegenic,” or “noncomedogenic”—all of which mean they won’t clog your pores. Powder cosmetics are less irritating than cream products. Heavy foundation makeup should be avoided. Another good tip to remember is that removing your makeup before going to bed will give the cosmetics less chance to clog your pores while you’re sleeping.
3. You may not realize it, but friction or pressure on your skin can encourage acne outbreaks. Avoid prolonged contact with objects such as cell phones, helmets, tight collars and backpacks, especially if they are causing you to get hot or sweaty in one area.
4. For some people the sun worsens acne. If you’re one of them, treat yourself to a stylish sun hat. Sunscreen is a must, of course—but make sure it’s one that won’t clog your pores.
5. Medications that contain corticosteroids, androgens or lithium are sometimes known to cause acne symptoms. If you are experiencing this side-effect, you should consider talking to your doctor about the medications you’re taking.
How to Wash Your Skin
Washing once in the morning and once at night is usually enough—too much washing can dry out or irritate your skin. The exception is that you should also gently cleanse your skin as quickly as possible after perspiring. If you have oily hair, or notice acne around your hairline, shampoo daily.
Don’t scrub with anything that can irritate your skin like a mesh sponge or rough washcloth. It’s better to wash with your fingertips, then rinse away the cleanser with lukewarm, not hot, water.
Tips for Using Acne Medication
Use your Benzagel® acne gel and acne wash before doing your makeup. An oil-free makeup can be applied after you have thoroughly rinsed with water and moisturized with a non-clogging moisturizer.
Benzagel® contains a proven acne medication called benzoyl peroxide. One of the benefits is that it helps dry excess oil and promote peeling. But a downside is that it can make you more susceptible to the sun’s rays. So any time you are going to be in the sun, it’s a good idea to wear a sunhat, and use a good sunscreen that doesn’t clog your pores.
You should continue using Benzagel® regularly, even when your skin clears, to keep your skin blemish free. However, you may be able to reduce your routine to a few times a week.