Basic skincare: Some everyday habits that can cause acne

Acne can be caused by consuming an excessive amount of carbohydrates, such as dairy products

When you do not take care of your skin, no matter its type and texture, you predispose it to certain conditions which can become lifelong problems. Acne is a common skin issue which affects both men and women. While known to happen during adolescence, acne can also plague adults who make skincare mistakes, are stressed, or do not do enough for their skin.

Dr Stuti Khare Shukla, a dermatologist, who is popularly known as the ‘hair growth queen’ of India, lists some everyday bad habits that could lead to acne, and what you can do about it. Read on.

* High-carb diet

Acne can be caused by consuming an excessive amount of carbohydrates, such as dairy products. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants, such as green leafy vegetables, can aid in the treatment of acne. Sugar and carbs, which include junk food such as chips, chocolate, and ice cream, should be avoided because they are the primary cause of bloating and acne.

* Certain medications

Certain medications can disrupt your body’s hormone levels, resulting in acne-like breakouts. When dealing with prescribed medications, always consult your doctor.

* Not showering after workouts

Acne mechanica is a type that occurs when we wear tight clothes during workouts and don’t shower afterward. This is because the heat and sweat get trapped and bacteria start to multiply. We should take regular baths and cleanse our faces properly.

* Overexposure to sunlight

Long-term sun exposure can cause unwanted skin inflammation, and sunburn accumulates more dead skin cells, clogging pores and causing more breakouts. It even causes our skin to sweat more, providing more space for bacterial growth.

* Inadequate sleep and lack of exercise

Not getting enough sleep can stress you out, which makes the body secrete hormones abnormally, causing acne. It is critical to exercise twice or three times per week to keep your hormones balanced, as hormonal imbalance is one of the leading causes of breakouts.

Here’s what you can do instead:

1. Maintain face hygiene

Wash your face twice or three times per day with salicylic acid face wash. Apart from washing, moisturising your skin is critical, especially if you have a combination or oily skin. Most people do not moisturise, because they believe their skin produces enough oil, but this is actually counterproductive. To compensate for dehydration, your skin will produce more oil.

2. Clean makeup tools regularly

Clean your makeup as well as any other items that come into contact with your face, such as cosmetic sponges and reusable pads, Clarisonic brush heads, tweezers, and eyelash curlers.

Bacterial counts on these devices can rise to levels higher than on the skin. Our skin has natural defenses against bacterial overgrowth. If our skin function is compromised, as it is in acne patients, then using a contaminated tool can aggravate it.

3. Don’t pop pimples

When you try to pop a pimple, you can easily push the bacterial infection deeper down and spread it beneath your skin. This only adds to the clogging, swelling, and redness of your pimples. It also increases the chances of scarring.

4. Use the right products

We often buy skincare products with high oil content which causes acne. We should get non-comedogenic products to avoid excess oil on our skin. Do a skin sensitivity test to know the characteristics and type of your skin and then buy a product that suits it. If you have skin problems, it is wise to take the opinion of a dermatologist before buying products.

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