Agonising over acne and parrying an onslaught of outsized pores? Here’s a handy line-up of stuff to look out for if you’re battling blemishes:
1. No place under the sun. Stubborning clinging to the 90s vision of a sun-baked visage? Dr. David Orentreich, Clinique’s Guiding Dermatologist, says we should be positively vampiric in our response to UV rays. Here’s why; tanning thickens the outermost layer of skin (the “epidermis” in derm-speak), which can cause build-up of gunk in your follicular pores, which in turn may progress to plore clogging pimple formation.
This catastrophic cascading effect can be circumvented quite simply indeed: Just use sunscreen. Take it from Joshua Wong, Senior Patient Care Pharmacist at Guardian Health & Beauty: “Remember to use a non-comedogenic sunscreen to protect the skin while doing outdoor activities as sun exposure can worsen acne.” Remember: No sun, no spots, no sweat!
2. Don’t “break out” in a sweat. Dr. David Orentreich also says that strenuous activities resulting in heavy perspiration can cause your skin cells to swell up like with the accompanying warmth bumping up the likelihood of lumps. Bummer.
Now, having said that, if you’re a Shape mag-reading, gym bag-toting sort of girl, there’s absolutely no need to revert to couch potato-ism. Instead, go ahead and work yourself up into a sweat, then lather off. “Sweat acts as a film that combines with surface oils to trap substances in the pores, which is why it’s especially important to shower soon after an intense workout to remove this greasy film,” Dr. David Orentreich adds. See? No sweat!
3. Don’t “fog up” your face. Smog is a slurry of airborne pollutants – think the horrid haze that’s become an annual lowlight for Singapore – but it’s the pore-clogging potential of CBD smog that’s of concern for our complexion.
“The haze may aggravate acne in some individuals,” Joshua Wong says. “If you’re exposed to the haze for a prolonged duration, be sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any particles deposited on your skin.” The solution? Zero in on soap-free solvents, which are less likely to cause the skin irritation which can boil over into blemishes, and cap your cleansing to twice a day.
4. Stressing your skin out? Being engulfed by emotional pressure can produce pimples. Here’s Dr. Nadine Pernodet, Vice President of Basic Skin Research for The Estée Lauder Companies, spelling out the science behind stress-induced spots: “Stress may exacerbate blemish conditions through its effect on adrenal gland hormone production, or through its effect on the immune system, which modulates the inflammatory reaction.”
Translation: Stress screws up your hormones and impairs your immune system, making your skin unfair game for spot-causing bacteria. You can help slash your stress levels by getting enough sleep, for starters. Dr Pernodet has some really neat insights: “Sleeping in a dark environment helps to synchronise the body’s natural rhythm, which in turn will help control the overproduction of sebum.”
Key takeaways? Steer clear of sun, sweat, smog and stress, and you’ll be on your way to hitting the spot, so to speak. Sending all of you good skin vibes!
Want more? Read on to determine if your desk-bound job is the cause of your zits, and get top tips on how to break the breakout cycle.
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