Whether or not you dealt with acne as a teenager, you may still be seeing pimples on your face and body well into adulthood. This can be frustrating for people who think they’re doing a decent job keeping their skin clean and healthy by washing their faces twice a day, as most dermatologists recommend. But there’s a lot more you can be doing to ensure a beautiful complexion.
#1. Keep your smartphone far away
Whenever possible, take calls on speakerphone, so you’re not holding your potentially grimy phone right next to your face. The combination of bacteria and friction when you’re holding a phone against your cheek can cause breakouts. Keep your phone clean by wiping it down with a disinfecting towelette every couple of days, especially if you can see grease or makeup on the screen.
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#2. Always exercise with a clean face
Some people worry that sweat will cause them to break out into zits, but sweat itself is no culprit for blemishes. If dirt and oil are already sitting on your skin’s surface, then sweat may add fuel to the fire, but washing your face before exercising is a quick and easy way to avoid any unnecessary irritation.
#3. Wash your face last when showering
Depending upon what hair products you use, thick and creamy conditioners can cause pimples to crop up along your hairline. Wait until you’ve rinsed out all potentially pore-clogging hair products, and then wash your face to wipe away any residue.
#4. Don’t wash your face too frequently
Washing your face once in the morning and again in the evening is enough to keep skin fresh and clean. Try to time it according to your shower and exercise plans so that you’re not constantly splashing water on your face and potentially drying it out. Always use warm or cool water, never hot.
#5. And don’t touch with your hands
Ever notice how much you put your hands to your face throughout the day? Start thinking of your skin as a museum piece that you’re not allowed to touch. This will keep hand oils and other grime out of your pores and discourage bacteria growth.
#6. Exfoliate only twice a week
Sure it feels great to massage microbeads deep into your skin under a warm rain shower, but too much scrubbing can cause skin irritation and blemishes. The same goes for drying treatments like toners and astringents. Adult acne skin tends to be dryer, so more hydrating, gentle remedies are recommended.
#7. Wear sunscreen
Find a non-comedogenic sunblock and apply it liberally. If you’re worried that thick sunscreen will make your acne worse, trust that UV protection is doing its job by fending off harsh rays that would otherwise dry out the skin and lead to more oil production.
#8. Be sure to clean your pillowcase
The pillow you sleep on every night slowly becomes saturated with sweat, hair and skin oils, traces of makeup, and even drool. So it’s a good idea to change your pillowcase every few nights or to drape a clean towel over it most evenings, so you’re not pressing your face against a few night’s worths of build-up.
#9. Watch what you eat
A healthy diet is a smart choice for every adult acne, but especially those prone to pimples. Whole grains and vegetables with a low glycemic index are good options. Anything with a high glycemic index—think white bread and sugary treats—will raise your blood sugar and cause hormonal imbalance. Your skin can suffer as a result.
#10. Try to reduce stress
One factor that Who shouldn’t ignore is the role that stress plays in the health of our skin. Studies show that the body’s stress response can increase androgen hormone production and cortisol, which can both cause acne. So do a few things every day to keep stress in check.
Wake up 10 minutes early, so the beginning of your day doesn’t feel rushed. Go to bed 30 minutes early, so you feel well-rested. Try yoga or meditation, or find time to do something you love daily.
#11. Be consistent
It’s hard not to be tempted to try all the new skincare and beauty products that hit the market every week, but sticking to a consistent routine and using the same products will allow your face to adjust to certain ingredients properly. Changing products or methods may aggravate sensitive types.