My skin hasn’t been behaving well this monsoon. Big painful acne pops up one after the other on forehead and cheeks mostly and I who always had clear, spot free skin, was really concerned about the sudden outbreak.
Similar issue happened last year, when I was in US. I had dressed up for Halloween and had used face paints from my nieces. I had a very bad allergic reaction later and rashes and acne started spreading on my face. I had to really take good care of my skin for few months before I could get rid of them.
Anyway this time, I was well equipped to fight acne as I had researched a bit about the reasons for acne and ways to control it.
DO NOT SQUEEZE THE PIMPLE. Popping a pimple can cause scarring and make your acne spread further.
- Understand the reason for acne
Now you would have always had acne growing up or you might have had a sudden acne outbreak on skin. The first one might be hereditary, hormonal or may be because of your lifestyle or environmental problems. If it is the latter, you need to figure out what changed in your lifestyle or eating habits in the immediate past. Probably you started using new skin care products or eating lots of oily food, exposed to sun for most part of day, excessive sweating or eating lot of chocolates. May be it is time to change the pillow covers, face towels, you tried a new makeup product or you are exposed to pollution more. The reasons could be many, but try to understand what might have been the cause.
For me I realized that my hair is getting too oily recently and the fringes are falling a lot to forehead. Also I started having dandruff as well. No wonder acne was just on the forehead.
2. How I fought the acne
When the first pimple was up, I did not think much about it and left it to heal by itself. But as soon as the first one disappeared (leaving a mark behind), the second one popped up. That is when I took it seriously and started with the new skin care regime.
- I started combing my hair back without letting it fall to my forehead.
- Every other day, when I felt my hair was getting oily, I washed it well with my favourite Gia shampoo (Review)that took away all the oiliness from my hair without leaving it dry and frizzy.
- I made sure I washed my face well thrice a day, in the morning, evening (after office) and before bed, using tea cleanser from Cape of good soap (read review here). I gave special attention to my T-zone, keeping the product there for a while, before washing it off. This particular soap, is great for combination to oily skin, as it keeps oil at bay for a long time. Also I was careful not to touch my face, without washing the hands thoroughly with soap. (Remember bacteria is one of the leading causes of acne, along with excessive oil and dead skin cells.)
- I used clay based face masks every day for 3 days after office, applying a thick coat on the problem areas. I did not use a face scrub on these days, as this can irritate the skin and cause further break outs. The masks I used were the Gia french green clay mask (read review here) and Juicy chemistry black head buster mask.
Clay based masks helps in absorbing the oiliness and detoxifies the skin by pulling out dirt and clearing the pores. These two masks are excellent and did a great job in clearing my skin off all impurities.
5. I used Kama vetiver toner (Kama Ayurveda haul post) pray after the mask, which helped tighten the skin and provide just enough splash of moisture. I did not apply moisturizer to my acne areas and left them alone for most part of the day.
6. At night after cleansing the skin well, I took Listerine (yes the mouth wash) in a cotton swab and rubbed the acne area with it. I had read some where that mouth wash has ingredients that can kill acne causing bacteria and can dry up the pimple.
A word of caution, this can also make the area irritated, dry or scaly for some people who are has sensitive skin. So do a patch test and try this only if you are sure, your skin won’t respond badly to this.
Anyway this worked well for me and it really shrinked the pimples overnight. Please do patch tests before trying something new as all skin types won’t respond in a similar way.
7. If you do not want to try the Listerine step you can use dilute apple cider vinegar after patch test. Also, try getting facial steam with few drops of tea tree essential oil or basil essential oil in water.
Three days of these steps, and the acne was gone. But yeah it left a spot that is getting lighter with my daily skincare routine. (read about daily skin care regime here)
Let me know if this helped and your effective skincare methods to fight acne.