10 Lifestyle changes to combat acne
Acne cannot be tackled by just skincare alone. Unhealthy lifestyles can lead to physical and mental stress which will be revealed on the face in tiny red spots. Therefore, practise healthier habits in addition to beauty regimen that you will implement from above.
1. Sleep more
A study on sleep indicated that for every hour of sleep you lose at night, your risk of psychological stress increases by 14%. Stress increases the production of glucocorticoid which leads to irregularity in skin structure and function. Thus, it is time to get adequate sleep if you are already sleeping less than the recommended 8 hours per day.
2. Be less sweet
A sudden increase in blood glucose triggers the production of insulin. This can cause the inflammation of the cells. The excessive insulin will also trigger the release of hormones that cause the oil glands to be overactive as well as trigger the growth of pore-clogging cells. In the American Journal of Nutrition, there was a publication of a study which discovered that individuals who consumed a low-glycaemic diet had fewer breakouts.
3. Start getting physical
Since stress leads to skin problems and exercise decreases stress, it is only right that you start exercising. Exercise also regulates your hormone levels, improves blood circulation which sees more oxygen delivered to skin cells and wastes from the cells are flushed away easier, hence boosting your immune system. However, sweat from exercises can cause skin irritation in some people, leading to acne breakouts. Therefore, remove your sweat-soaked clothes and take a shower immediately after your work out.
4. Drink water
Drinking water is good for flushing out the internal toxins and hydrating your skin. While there hasn’t been research that proves the existence of toxin leads to breakout, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia discovered that the blood circulation is improved by just consuming two cups of water.
5. Start to love SPF
Whenever you’re outside in the day, you are exposed to the sun. The sun could dry out your skin and if you get burned, the inflammation escalates the acne lesions and pores which would only worsen the acne. Thus, apply sunblock every time you are in the sun and opt for lotions with a thinner consistency and contain non-blocking chemical ingredients such avobenzone, oxybenzone, menthoxycinnamate and octocyclene. Sunblock with more zinc oxide or titanium oxide are usually thicker and more likely to block pores and irritate acne-prone skin.
6. Eat good fat
In a research done by Ruhr-University Bochum, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the generation of leukotriene B4, a molecule that increases sebum and causes inflammatory acne. So, start introducing walnuts, avocados, flaxseed oil and salmon into your diet or you can always take a daily supplement of omega-3.
7. Cleanse your skin
We don’t need Chicago-based dermatologist, Carolyn Jacob, to tell us that our face houses the most oil-producing glands. Added with everyday makeup, sweat, dust and dirt, your face pores will be clogged, leading to blackheads and pimples if the pollutants are not washed away regularly. It is crucial to clean your face every morning and at night before you retire to bed.
8. Exfoliate your skin
While over-performing oil glands cause breakouts, under-performing oil glands can cause acne too. The tiny cracks in dry skin hoard bacteria. Moreover, excessive flaking leads to clogged pores. So, exfoliate your skin a few times a week to get rid of dead skin cells before you moisturize.
9. Clean your cellphone
Some studies have shown that cell phones are the breeding ground for germs. It is understandably so as everyday, you scroll and swipe your phone a thousand times before finally putting it to your face to answer a call. If the amount of bacteria spreading from your fingers to your face isn’t bad enough, the heat from the phone multiplies the production of the bacteria. To avoid all these, wipe the surface of your phone with a hand sanitizer every now and then, and of course, practise some caution to not get the liquid into the components.
10. Care for your hair
Hair-care products such as conditioner, shampoo, gel and hairspray promote acne breakouts. This is because the oils from the styling products seep into the skin, trapping acne-causing bacteria in the pores. So, apply these hair products before you wash your face so that any residue can be washed away. Also, try to keep your hair away from your face as it might irritate the skin.