Contrary to popular belief, acne doesn’t just happen to teenagers; it can rear their ugly head later in life as well. Truth is, when it comes to skincare for pimple-prone skin, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. Finding a beauty routine that works for your acne can require everything from playing trial-and-error with a plethora of products, taking regular trips to the dermatologist, and possibly even undergoing a full lifestyle overhaul. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all approach, we got celebrity dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty to share her top tips and tricks on how to deal with acne-prone skin most effectively, to help you on your way to an even complexion.
Handle with care
The first step to fighting pimples is to wage a very gentle war. Dr Shetty warns against rubbing or massaging any product onto your skin, no matter what you’re applying. This will only cause the acne to aggravate. She also advises against applying products on oily, sweaty or tired skin. And keep your hands off your face! The last thing that it needs is dirt or bacteria from your fingertips. Resist the urge to pick those bothersome pimples, even though it might seem like the hardest thing to do. Along with this, make sure to cleanse it gently. Contrary to popular belief, sloughing off layers of skin off won’t save it from zits. Using a harsh cleanser can strip it of its protective barrier, leaving it more susceptible to over-drying and irritation. Make friends with a balancing cleanser instead.
Hydrated skin is happy skin
Don’t try to fight your skin’s oil production by over-drying it. If the surface is too dry and dehydrated, your oil glands may secrete excess quantities of sebum to overcompensate, which can worsen acne. Keeping the skin hydrated with a lightweight, gel moisturiser will keep it balanced.
Watch your scalp
You might not think that your scalp has anything to do with facial acne, but Dr Shetty emphasises that you must “make sure that your scalp and skin are always clean, and take special care of the cleanliness of the scalp,” as flakes from the scalp may clog the pores on your forehead. Furthermore, using hair products with ingredients like preservatives or fragrances can also aggravate breakouts, so they’re best avoided.
Swap out dairy and sugar
If your skin is prone to pimples, Shetty advises cutting dairy and sugar out of your diet, as it can wreak havoc on it. While the link between dairy and acne is still being studied, many believe that some testosterone hormones in milk might stimulate oil glands and boost acne.
Use an acid in your skincare routine
To clear up skin, Dr Shetty recommends using an acid. Salicylic acid, kojic acid and glycolic acid are all great options to help treat acne. They all get rid of dead skin cells, which help stimulate the growth of new ones. An acid also helps to treat any inflammation. But like with any strong active ingredient, proceed with caution. Use a lower concentrate and work your way up to prevent unwanted dryness and irritation.
Use healing ingredients
“I tell my clients to use healing ingredients on their blemished skin, such as calamine, allantoin, chamomile, hibiscus or Vitamin B3,” says Shetty. All these ingredients help to heal the skin faster and calm and soothe any inflammation, and they provide relief to irritated spots too.
Treat skin from within
One of Dr Shetty’s favourite ways to treat pimples is to supplement the body from the inside out. Eat foods rich in antioxidants and fill up on Vitamin C and collagen supplements to fortify the skin.