Some skin care habits could damage your skin and make acne worse.
One of the most important things during skin care routine is to keep outer protective barrier safe and intact. Unfortunately, I see many people making same mistakes that contribute to skin’s damage and “help” acne form.
To understand how acne and pimples are formed, please, read this post.
1.Aggressive cleansing habits – Vigorously washing your skin many times a day
We all know that we need to clean our skin properly. However, I noticed that many people simply overdo do it.
Your skin has an important protective lipid barrier. This barrier keeps your skin moisturized. It also protects your skin from infections, damages and harmful bacteria.
If you wash your skin too often, you might simply destroy (“wash away”) this protective layer.
And as a result, you might expose your skin to bacterial infections and other damages.
Also, when you wash too often, you remove skin oil that keeps your skin smooth and moisturized.
If you remove too skin oil excessively, it will cause dry skin to become dryer and oily skin to become oilier – too much oil causes acne and blackheads. Dry or sensitized skin is prone to infections and therefore acne/pimples.
I have an extensive blog post on how to clean your skin in a safe way.
2. Using cleanser that has either too much acidity or is too alkaline
If you have normal healthy skin, you might not worry about the acidity of our cleanser.
However, if you struggle with some skin challenges, have acne prone, sensitive or oily skin, you might have to look closer at the cleanser you are using.
Ideal pH for skin care products is 5.5. However, the range between 4 and 7 is also acceptable.
If pH of your cleanser is less than 4 – then your cleanser is too acidic. Cleanser that are too acidic will strip away your protective skin barrier. And here comes desensitized skin with all its problems.
If pH of your cleanser is more than 7 – then your cleanser is too alkaline. If your cleanser is too alkaline, you risk disbalance in your own skin’s acidity (your skin does need some acidity to be able to fight off infections). That all means that if your cleanser is too high in pH it will also destroy your protective skin barrier.
My the most favorite of all times cleansers is Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. It has pH of 5.5. And it really helps to keep skin clean without stripping off natural oils and protective barrier.
I strongly advise to wash face in the morning with mild cleanser.
And use double-cleansing method for the evening routine.
3. Physically abusing the skin
Rubbing, scrubbing and any other types of vigorous friction destroys outer protective lipid barrier. Please, read this post about protective barrier. I know it might be too boring and too technical but remember – knowing your skin structure will give you an idea on what to do to give it the best care.
Examples of products that would physically destroy your skin:
- Scrubs (coffee scrubs, seeds scrubs etc)
- Rough cotton pads/wipes – don’t use cotton pads with exfoliating and rough texture, opt for smooth ones.
- Rough towel (I see many people rubbing their faces with towels) – to dry your face pad it dry with a towel, do not rub
- Peel pads/makeup removal pads or sheets/refreshing pads or sheets – they all have abrasive surface.
The softest cotton pads that I can recommend are organic cotton pads by JL Corman.
4. Leaving cleansing water on the skin
I am talking about micellar water here.
I know that micellar water is marketed as “waterless cleanser” claiming that you do not have to rinse it off your face.
However, it is still a detergent which goal is to clean your skin from dust, excessive oil, cosmetics and other skin pollutants. So, it does not matter what a label says. Just think about it: you still need running water to wash impurities away. If you don’t wash pollutants away, your skin will end up not only with dirt and dust on its surface, but also a residue from cleansing detergent.
Also, micellar water is a surfactant that dissolves natural skin oil that moisturizes your skin and protects skin barrier.
Micellar water is there to assist and enhance your cleansing. That’s it. You don’t really want dissolved dirt and pollutants to stay on your skin mixed with a detergent.
So not removing dirt + having a surfactant on your face will cause infection and irritation. Which in return will cause acne to develop.
5. Treating all the areas on the skin equally
We are not talking here about using dedicated skin care products for different areas: eye cream for eyes or neck cream for necks.
Our skin (skin type) can be different on our face. Yep, one face – two or more skin types.
You often see people with rosacea and sunspots on chicks and forehead (and not that often on, let’s say, a nose).
Many, many people have oily t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and yet dry or even sensitive skin on their cheeks (I remember how I used to scrub my cheeks causing skin there to become red and irritated).
Another good example of a skin care product that is not suitable for the whole face is clay masks.
Yep, those clay masks that claim to be designed to use all over the skin.
I learned the hard way that they are not.
Because, while clay masks were good for my porous nose full of bleak heads, or oily forehead, they used to irritate skin on my cheeks.
Listen to your skin and customize skin care to you skin needs.
If you over dry already sensitive skin on your cheeks, you will damage skin barrier. And you probably understood by now that kind negative impact destroyed skin barrier will do to your acne (and overall skin condition).
I think I gave you a lot to think about. Do you see any mistakes that you are making? What could you change?
Part 2 is coming. And there will be another 5 mistakes that contribute to pimple formation.