Can You Over-Clean Your Acne-Prone Skin?

Can You Over-Clean Your Acne-Prone Skin?

Beating acne is not really about what we put on our skin, but about the right treatment that will address the causes of acne (hyperactive sebaceous glands and the inflammation cascade that follows sebum-clogged pores). Since acne is the result of what happens inside of your body, topical products have only a miniscule impact on getting acne under control. Nevertheless, even though the treatment needs to come from the inside, what we do to our skin on the outside may either help or impede the treatment.

Cleaning your skin appropriately is recognized as potentially one of the most important "helpers" in acne treatment, as it can help remove bacteria-attracting dirt and extra, clogging dead skin cells from the pores. Unfortunately, if done inappropriately cleaning may actually hurt your acne-prone skin.

5 Rules for Cleaning Your Acne-Prone Skin

1.  Do NOT over-dry your skin

When cleaning your skin, your goal is to remove excess oil (sebum), dirt and sweat from the surface and possibly from the pores to decrease the possibility of infection. However, some skin oil is essential to skin health, and stripping the oil too much can make your skin dry and flaky. Dry skin has tiny cracks in which bacteria can breed, plus excessive flaking can lead to clogged pores. Finally, skin fights over-drying by producing more sebum to compensate for too drastic of a loss.

Use mild, noncomedogenic cleansers no more than twice a day. Watch out for those products that contain alcohol or salicylic acid as they may over-dry your skin. Use cleansers that can actually dissolve sebum (coconut oil is one of them) and follow up with mild (preferably herbal) non-alcohol-based astringents.

2.  Avoid abrasions

Any "entrance" that you create for bacteria is bad news for your acne-prone skin. So-as exfoliation is "in" and may remove those flakes and dead skin that add to the clogged pores-AVOID harsh exfoliates and vigorous rubbing.

Mild peels once a week may be of help, but heavy-duty exfoliation may do more harm than good. Try a papaya mask as a natural exfoliate-the papain enzyme is a powerful exfoliate for acne prone skin.

3.  Cleaning does NOT mean squeezing

Cleaning should NOT lead to any skin "injuries," so popping your pimples, squeezing your blackheads, and fooling around with your cysts not only increases the probability of additional infection but actually leads to acne scars and marks. Try utilizing some

good makeup tips for acne-prone skin - just make sure you use quality makeup that is non-comedogenic.

4.  The moisturizing secrets

Over-dry and irritated skin is more prone to inflammation, so after cleaning, use a moisturizer to keep your skin supple and happy. Avoid oil-based, heavy creams and opt for light, water-based noncomedogenic products, preferably with little to no fragrance. Use natural moisturizing masks - even spray your face with clean, bottled water.

5.  Your skin is unforgivable-so you CANNOT forget

We know you are busy, but forgetting to clean your skin is a "big offense." As you need to use your acne treatments consistently, you also must remember that cleaning your skin before going to bed is a part of a treatment routine. NO excuses. Make a point to clean your skin and use your AcnEase® treatments, every day, as directed. No skipping days! Your skin will thank you for it.

With a promise of clear skin,
Dr. A

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