5 Things not to do when you have acne
We all know the familiar feeling of frustration when we dedicate so much time and research to our skin care routines only for our skin to break out. You wake up and there it is, a brand new pimple, or pimples. You might be tempted to pop it especially if it has a visible whitehead, but it is generally recommended not to pop your pimples.
Here are some tips on what not to do with your pimples:
1. Don’t dry out your pimple There are a bunch of DIY skin care tips that supposedly help treat acne, like applying toothpaste to pimples or crushing aspirin to use as a spot treatment. Hopefully by now everyone knows that toothpaste is horrible for your skin, and aspirin shouldn’t be your go-to spot treatment either. Toothpaste’s pH can offset the pH of your skin leading to dryness, redness, and irritation. If you have dry and/or sensitive skin it's probably best to stay away from harsh DIY spot treatments. Some recommended spot treatments for acne may not work for everyone. Sensitive and dry skin types need to be especially mindful of the ingredients in acne treatments. Benzoyl Peroxide is a widely recommended ingredient for acne but it may be too harsh for sensitive skin and can lead to irritation. Even if your skin can handle potentially drying ingredients, you should still make sure that the product you are using has lower concentrations of those ingredients to prevent dryness and flakiness.
2. Don’t use dirty makeup brushes If you choose to cover up your pimples with concealer, make sure that you are using clean makeup tools. Before you reach for your makeup brush try to remember when you last cleaned it. If you can’t recall then it's probably best to wash them before you use them to cover up a pimple. Makeup brushes can collect bacteria, dirt, and oil and if you use them continually it can transfer to your skin, making your acne worse. On another note, when using concealer, try to opt for a non comedogenic formula to avoid further clogging up your pores.
3. Avoid using too many products on your pimple When a new pimple pops up, you might try a couple of different things to get rid of it, like spot treating, exfoliating, and concealing. However, using a bunch of different products in efforts to get rid of a pimple fast can cause serious damage to your skin. If you spot treat and exfoliate you can dry out your skin, worsening the pimple and damaging the surrounding skin. Over exfoliating can cause your skin to dry out and may trigger your skin to produce more sebum that can potentially clog your pores. Always be gentle with your acne no matter how frustrated you may get. Using too many products at once won’t make your acne go away faster.
4. Don’t touch or pop your pimples Constantly touching or trying to squeeze your pimple can transfer bacteria from your hands to your face, further irritating your pimple and possibly causing new ones. Understandably, it’s tempting to squeeze a pimple in the hopes of getting rid of the whitehead. Whether you're using your fingers or tools to squeeze a pimple, it's usually advised against popping a pimple at all. Popping a pimple may feel satisfying at first but you run the risk of scarring. And if you’re dealing with a blind pimple, squeezing can further irritate and increase swelling since the pimple is below the surface and is pretty tough to pop. If you absolutely must pop your pimple (which you should ultimately try to resist), then it is advised that you use two clean Q-tips. But if you are finding it difficult to pop, simply leave the pimple alone to prevent causing further damage.
5. Don’t go to sleep without cleansing first After a long day, sweat, oil, and bacteria accumulates on your skin, so don’t forget to cleanse your face to remove any bacteria that can potentially worsen acne. If you wear makeup and use concealer to cover up a pimple, make sure to remove the makeup before going to bed to prevent clogging your pores.
Opt for a mild cleanser if you have breakouts to avoid further irritating or drying out your skin. Keep your skin type in mind when choosing a cleanser for your skin. If you have sensitive skin that is reactive, Salicylic Acid might be a bit too harsh for your skin. Lactic Acid is a gentler option that still works to exfoliate your skin to get rid of dead skin cells and oil buildup.
What to do if you have a new pimple?
Now that you know what NOT to do, here are some tips on what to do with new breakouts: Try icing your pimples (especially the swollen, irritated ones). Ice can help reduce the swelling, and even pain, of blind pimples, which are usually under the skin and tender. Although the ice itself won’t actually get rid of your pimple it can still help lessen the redness and swelling so it's a bit less noticeable. Since we’ve established that you should keep your hands off a pimple, consider using a hydrocolloid patch. They help deter you from picking at your pimple, protect the pimple from outside bacteria, and help draw out excess fluid in the pimple without you having to pop it.