The team at Misumi all agree that this tip works for everyone. Whether you have acne or not, oily skin or dry - washing your face twice a day is a great way to remove old skin cells and excess oil from the skin's surface.
This doesn't mean washing it more than twice a day will be even better - on the contrary, it can make things worse. So, wash your face in the morning and in the evening before bed with warm (never hot) water. Ideally, with Misumi's Clear Skin Salicylic Cleanser.
Use a mild soap, and don't scrub your face roughly with the washcloth. Instead, dry your face gently, dotting it with a clean, soft washcloth. Remember to put the washcloth in the laundry after - using the same cloth for more than two days can help bacteria grow and worsen acne.
We already mentioned that you shouldn't scrub your face with your washcloth - well, you shouldn't scrub it with anything at all.
Facial scrubs are considered way too aggressive for any blemished skin type because they are physical exfoliants. In addition, scrubbing an already inflamed face with acne leads to more inflammation, redness, and maybe even pain.
Scrubs are great for blackheads and whiteheads, maybe even some mild pimples because they work only on the skin’s surface, but they don’t help with more serious acne problems since they can't penetrate into deeper layers.
This is old news, but way too important not to mention. Avoid touching your face. If you must, make sure you wash your hands first. If you're not careful, you can easily spread bacteria on the face, which will irritate and contribute to more inflammation.
Fragrances, oils, pomades, or gels can make the hair greasy, which can affect the hairline and cheeks. If you have bangs, your hair products will end up on your face as well.
Even if you don't use oily products, your hair follicles naturally produce oils with time. Like it or not, part of that grease will end up on the face, which is why you need to wash your hair regularly.
If you want to be even safer, tie your hair back overnight. Sleeping with it on your face can cause irritation. Keep your hair clean and out of your face.
Dirty towels can bring new bacteria onto your face. If you think about it, you don't eat from last night's fork before washing it, right? Well, it's the same with towels - a lot of dirt and makeup residue stay on the cloth, even if we don't see it.
The good news is, you don't have to use a new towel every time you use it, but changing it every two to three days is a good idea.
The precautions advised above apply here too. You're spending around seven to eight hours touching your face to the surface of your pillowcase every night. During that time, sebum and skin residue, makeup, skin-care product residue, bacteria from the face, and oily hair products all mix together into an acne breakout welcoming party. Seriously, you need to change your pillowcase at least once a week.
Disinfect your phone's surface and avoid spending too much time on your phone. We once read that our mobile phones have more bacteria than public toilet seats. Would you touch your cheek on a public toilet seat? We're guessing not a chance.
We leave our mobiles everywhere and touch them constantly - with dirty and clean hands, and then we place them on our faces. Think about keeping a disinfectant that kills bacteria in your purse. Don't apply or spray the mix directly onto your phone. Gently wipe your phone with a cloth to kill unwanted bacteria.
We're sure the temptation is great, but you should never, ever pick or pop pimples and, in particular, closed comedones. First, you'll just end up inflaming your face even more. Second, you can bring a lot of dirt and bacteria deeper into the pores and contribute to new outbreaks. Finally, in the worst-case scenario, you'll end up with a bad infection that will certainly leave scars on your face.
Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid are some of the names we're most likely to find in over-the-counter acne products. You have many options, so experiment with concentration intensity as well as the acid agent until you find the right product for your skin type. Many acne sufferers try a topical retinoid - but bear in mind it'll take at least a few weeks to see results.
Never use more than one product at a time to control acne, even if it is over the counter. If you have untreated acne vulgaris, see a doctor for advice.
Recent studies have shown that people with acne have vitamin E, A, and zinc deficiencies. Supplementing in a small amount can really help your acne condition. If you don't want supplements, you can always read about food rich in these vitamins and include them in your diet.
Here are two amazing, detailed articles about what vitamin E and vitamin C can do for your acne.
This one is tricky. On one hand, antibiotics help you get severe acne outbreaks under control and provide relief when the skin is severely inflamed. But, on the other hand, antibiotics can be responsible for new outbreaks.
Be careful and always consult with your doctor before taking pills. They can advise you whether you need to change pills, or decrease, or increase the dosage.
Some dermatologists use birth control pills to treat acne, although science hasn't confirmed anything yet. Women who are healthy and in need of contraception can benefit from birth control pills in more than one way.
When someone goes through puberty, they experience a range of hormonal changes. One of these changes is the activity of androgen hormones, which stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Excess oil can clog pores and make acne worse. These hormones are the same ones that trigger acne flare-ups before your menstrual cycle starts. In this context, oral contraception that contains both estrogen and progesterone lowers the number of androgens in your body.
Be careful though - a variety of women started having skin problems after using birth control pills. Talk to your gynecologist and your dermatologist before making a decision about using them as an acne treatment.
Several studies found that a healthy diet can contribute to healthier skin overall, which can reduce or prevent acne outbreaks. Nutrients linked to fewer acne are vitamins C, E, and A, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and complex carbohydrates.
An excess amount of insulin in the body may cause oil glands to produce more oil. This means you have an increased risk of clogged pores and acne outbreaks.
So, what foods can worsen your skin condition? Dairy, processed food, snacks, fast food, trans fats found in fried food, white bread, pasta, and sugar, should all be avoided.
What foods can help? Blueberries, strawberries, lemon, orange, citrus, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
Try an elimination diet. Start slowly by eliminating one type of food, and see how you react. Reintroduce foods that don't seem to affect your acne condition. If you organize this system well and be patient, you can find out what is best for your organism.
You can also do a food intolerance and allergy test.
Staying hydrated can help you get bright and glowing skin. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help your body eliminate toxins, and boost your overall health. We don't want to overstate this, since water won't magically eliminate acne, but you should know dehydration leads to poor skin health conditions, more wrinkles, and dry skin.
In any case, drinking water can never hurt you.
Green tea is full of polyphenols – antioxidants found in food. They help to decrease inflammation in the body, which can help prevent more acne outbreaks. Polyphenols play a role in balancing hormones as well, by lowering the androgen levels in the body. When androgen levels are low, sebum production is also less active.
The research on this topic is limited, but drinking unsweetened green tea can't hurt you in any way, so give it a try and see how you'll feel. If you're interested to find out more about the role of green tea for acne, check out our article on green tea and acne.
It comes as no surprise that alcohol decreases and even destroys protective mechanisms in our bodies. But not only that - alcohol can actually dry out your skin. It affects hormone levels, something that can stimulate oil glands.
And you know the drill - increased activity in the oil glands will encourage the skin to collect sebum, which spells an increased risk for clogged pores and a face prone to acne. Our body processes alcohol as sugar, which contributes to inflammation.
Coffee is another drink that can stimulate oil gland production, dry you out, and prevent the absorption of key minerals that help you achieve healthy skin. It also contains a lot of toxins. You can read about all these characteristics of coffee and its relation to acne here.
Exercise is often mentioned as a prevention method against acne, which is certainly true if you do it right. If not, then it becomes just another thing that triggers more acne.
Working out keeps stress low, which prevents stress-related acne and other skin conditions, like wrinkles from coming to the surface. While exercising, your circulation increases, and you sweat, which helps the body remove toxins and dirt from your pores.
The main concern is sweat - what happens to it after it leaves our body? One of the most destructive things we can do is to let the moisture of sweat dry on our skin. A filthy mat, dirty gym equipment, an unventilated studio, or an overused towel are other things that can mess up the benefits of working out.
Working out is a good idea, but always follow this advice:
Here are some things worth mentioning:
Post-workout care is crucial for clear skin. Otherwise, just don't do it.
Change your workout clothes as soon as possible. If your workout routine is highly intensive or long, consider keeping spare gear close at hand. Protecting your face is crucial, so avoid touching it on the mat or other equipment. Wash it right after working out or clean it with a cleansing wipe. These measures are just additional prevention you can take before showering.
Sweaty clothes and sweat in general, trap moisture that encourages the growth of fungus, yeast bacteria, and germs, which can cause a serious infection at worst, or contribute to more breakouts at best. It's one of the most often causes of shoulder acne.
The sun's rays can seriously damage your skin and increase inflammation and redness. Additionally, some acne products actually make you more sensitive to sun exposure. That's why it's imperative for you to never leave without protecting your face. Use a broad-spectrum, non-oily sunscreen with 6% zinc oxide or higher and SPF 30 or higher at least 30 minutes before you go out.
The bad news is, makeup can be responsible for more acne breakouts. The good news is, there are ways to prevent this.
"Don't wear makeup" is one of the last things one wants to hear while battling acne. Acne affects your self-esteem - it's hard enough to face the mirror completely exposed, let alone go outside without any cover. We understand, which is why we won't tell you not to wear it - but wear makeup sparingly.
While it can worsen your existing acne condition, you can get away with it if you use it wisely. You'll get all the benefits and none of the side effects. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
It goes without saying. Clean your brushes frequently, preferably once a week, with antimicrobial soap. After using them, it's a good idea to spray alcohol on the brushes and then clean the residue with a clean paper towel. Makeup applicators are magnets for acne-causing bacteria that cause irritation.
You already know the importance of clean pillowcases, because we spend eight hours rubbing our faces on the pillowcases' cover. The same logic applies to going to bed without makeup. Let your skin breathe. Makeup covers and clogs the pores, which can make acne worse.
You don't need to use scrubs or fancy skincare products. All you need is a gentle cleanser, water, and a strong motivation to achieve clearer skin.
Organic and natural skin-care products gaining a lot of popularity and people are falling in love with them. And it hardly comes as a surprise, as the abrasive chemicals in traditional beauty products are contributing to more breakouts and more intense irritation.
If your skin is sensitive, you're already aware of this problem. Natural remedies and products can be used alongside products can be used alongside traditional acne treatment, without any side effects. They are the perfect solution for everyone who wants to try something new without fearing it'll cause damage. Search for a local shop in your neighborhood, or google some of the most famous organic products available online.
It's not about how many products you're using, but how much time you're spending on them. Many people lose faith after a week or two - the key is to be patient and persistent. An acne-free face is not something that happens overnight. Experts agree that at least six weeks are required until any improvement becomes noticeable. Impatience can make you think that if you use two or three acne products, results will happen quicker. The only thing you're going to accomplish with this is irritating the skin and drying it out. Healing takes time.
If you have sensitive skin, acne, or acne scars, you probably have a problem. Breaking out after waxing? Well, this happens because of the allergens in the wax itself, but also because of the trauma waxing causes.
If you're allergic to an ingredient in the wax, then try different waxes and see if you notice a difference. You can even try a homemade, natural waxing paste, which will be 100% non-toxic. All you need is white sugar, lemon, and water. Simple as that.
In a medium pot, mix the sugar, lemon juice, and water. Put it on a high heat and wait for the mixture to boil. Stir constantly. Be careful not to burn the mixture (when burned it will turn a darker brown). When you see bubbles, it's time to reduce the heat to medium.
The goal is for the sugar to completely dissolve in the liquid. If the mixture continues to bubble rapidly at medium heat, turn it down to low. Remove the pan from the heat when the liquid becomes golden brown, and be quick about it - when done, it can burn in seconds. Let it cool down for half an hour and then you're ready to go.
Another common problem with waxing is the trauma it leaves behind. The protective layer of dead skin cells on the surface is removed, leaving pores exposed. To prevent breakouts, irritation, infection, and inflammation, post-waxing skincare is crucial. Apply pure aloe vera or a natural aloe vera product, immediately after waxing. Wear loose clothes and don't shower in the next 24 hours.
On the internet, you can find a lot of weird remedies and ingredients that people swear by. But, do they really work? Yes and no.
Toothpaste, for example, can help when a pimple starts to form, which makes it a temporary aid in acne outbreaks. But, be careful. Toothpaste is not made for your body - it's for our teeth. Toothpaste contains alcohol, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide in its formula, among other abrasive ingredients. It's just way too aggressive for your face.
If you have sensitive skin or active acne-inflamed skin, expect more irritation and increased redness. There are many over-the-counter skin products that work more effectively, without side effects.
Here are a couple of recipes for homemade remedies that will reduce inflammation, and keep oily skin feeling soft. Use them on mild acne, moderate acne, or even severe acne.
Chop a banana peel into pieces, and throw it in the blender, along with half a cup of oats, and two spoons of sugar. When you get a smooth paste, it means your mask is ready. You should put it on a clean face, and leave it for about 10 minutes. Later, wash it with warm water, and dry your face with a soft towel.
Learn more about how banana peels help you get rid of acne.
For this mask, you'll need to mix one teaspoon of shea butter, and one teaspoon of raw honey, with a few drops of almond oil. Gently put the mixture on your face and wait for 20 minutes. After that, you can wash it off with lukewarm water.
Read more about the benefits of shea butter.
You will need 1 tsp of turmeric powder, half a mashed avocado, and 1 tbsp of coconut milk. Mix the ingredients and apply them on a clean face. Wait for 30 minutes and then wash it off.
Wondering how turmeric can help reduce acne? - Read here.
Blend two tablespoons of oatmeal, and then add two tablespoons of rice water, with a few drops of wild rose oil. Apply and keep the mask on for 10 minutes, then wash it off. This mask is perfect for people with dry and tired skin.
Learn more about the powerful effects rice water has on skin.
Mix one tablespoon of each ingredient - green tea, baking soda, and maple syrup. Apply the blend to your face and wait for half an hour. After that, wash off with lukewarm water. There are many more ways in which green tea helps those affected by acne - find out how.
People call it beauty sleep for a reason. Science has confirmed this and the pile of research on the benefits of regular sleep and the dangers of chronic sleep disorders is getting bigger every day.
Let's focus on the profound effects sleep has on the skin.
What happens when we sleep?
If you're sleep-deprived, your body is stressing out and your cortisol levels are going up. Cortisol can lead to inflammation in the body and affect the skin. Research shows that reduced sleep can increase the severity of psoriasis and other skin conditions, especially allergic reactions and sensitivity in general.
When we sleep, the body's hydration comes back into balance, meaning the skin is recovering its natural moisture and pH value.And, even more, the skin heals itself - literally. While we sleep, our growth hormones are active, and they repair damaged skin cells, leading to to more youthful skin without wrinkles.
Some people say beauty is skin deep, but we have to disagree. Beauty comes from the inside out. Everything we have and everything we are physiologically and psychologically is painted on the surface.
It can be hard to accept this if the image we see in the mirror is one we don't like, but remember - no beautiful thing is perfect. Like it or not, the lines, the wrinkles, the blemishes, and the pimples, are part of our identity. The first step on the journey to better skin is accepting they're going to be there for a while - and that's okay.
We're telling you this because the number one contributing factor to breakouts is stress. Ironically, whenever you're stressing over your appearance, your body produces more adrenaline and cortisol, making acne worse.
In a culture with rigorous and unrealistic beauty standards, overcoming the psychological consequences acne brings with it is the hardest part. Make a commitment to take a deep breath, relax and say to yourself: I'm a strong and beautiful soul that will get through this.
In return, with the help of the tips above, and a positive mindset, you'll get rid of acne for good.
From products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to simply avoiding touching your face, there are a lot of things you can try. Be persistent and patient. The truth is, you're not going to see results overnight. Don't believe it when different skincare websites tell you otherwise.
The immediate improvement you'll notice with some of these tips include fresher, smoother skin, and decreased redness. Depending on the severity of your acne condition, prepare yourself for a long-term commitment. Most experts agree that you'll notice significant results after three to four weeks of treatment.
If a month passes and you're still not seeing improvement or if your face becomes more irritated, go to your dermatologist. For more severe conditions, such as acne vulgaris, laser treatments are a very popular option.
In the meantime, try to keep up with some of our above-mentioned tips, and you'll get there eventually.