Pimples, also called acne, occur when your skin’s oil glands are overactive and pores become inflamed. Some types of skin bacteria may make pimples worse. Pimples can appear anywhere on the skin, but they most often occur on the face.
Because pimples are usually triggered by androgen hormones and, in some cases, genetics, there’s no surefire way to prevent them. Still, there are many methods to reduce their severity and keep them in check. Here are a few of them:
1. Properly wash your face
To help prevent pimples, it’s important to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat daily. Washing your face more than twice a day may make acne worse, however. Don’t wash your face with harsh cleansers that dry skin. Use an alcohol-free cleanser.
To wash your face:
i) Wet your face with warm, not hot, water.
ii) Apply a mild cleanser in a gentle, circular motion using your fingers, not a washcloth.
iii) Rinse thoroughly, and pat dry.
2. Know your skin type
Anyone can get pimples, no matter their skin type. Oily skin is the most pimple-prone. It’s caused by your skin’s sebaceous glands producing too much oily sebum.
Another type of skin that may cause pimples is combination skin. Combination skin means you have both dry areas and oily areas. The oily areas tend to be your forehead, nose, and chin, also called your T-zone.
Knowing your skin type will help you choose the right skin care products. For example, if your skin is oily, choose noncomedogenic products that are formulated to not block pores.
3. Moisturize skin
Moisturizers help skin stay hydrated. But many moisturizers contain oil, synthetic fragrance, or other ingredients that may irritate skin and cause pimples.
To help prevent pimples, use fragrance-free, noncomedogenic moisturizers after you wash your face or when your skin feels dry.
4. Use over-the-counter acne treatments
Over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments may help zap pimples fast or prevent them in the first place. Most contain either benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur.
Use an OTC treatment to spot-treat pimples. Or use it as a maintenance regimen to control outbreaks. To help prevent side effects such as redness, irritations, and dryness, precisely follow the manufacturer’s usage instructions.
5. Stay hydrated
If you’re dehydrated, your body may signal your skin’s oil glands to produce more oil. Dehydration also gives your skin a dull appearance and promotes inflammation and redness.
To keep your body well-hydrated, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Drink more after exercise, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or you spend time in a hot, humid environment.
6. Limit makeup
It’s tempting to use makeup to cover up pimples. However, doing so may clog pores and trigger outbreaks.
Go au naturel when you can. When you do wear makeup, avoid greasy, heavy foundation, and use products that are noncomedogenic, sheer, and fragrance-free.
Greasy or oily shampoos, body washes, shaving creams, and hair styling products may all cause pimples. To help prevent outbreaks, choose oil-free, noncomedogenic options.
7. Don’t touch your face
Your hands encounter grime and bacteria constantly throughout the day. And each time you touch your face, some of those pore-clogging impurities may get transferred to your skin.
By all means, if your nose itches, scratch it. But wash your hands regularly, and try to touch your face as little as possible.
8. Limit sun exposure
Catching some rays may dry out pimples in the short term, but it causes major problems in the long run. Frequent sun exposure dehydrates the skin, which over time causes it to produce more oil and block pores.
It’s important to wear sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer. However, many sunscreens are oily. For both sun and pimple protection, wear a noncomedogenic, oil-free sunscreen.
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