How to have acne-free skin:
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Acne is your skin’s reaction to a naturally occurring bacteria that’s on the surface of the skin. Everybody has these kinds of bacteria so the myth that people who suffer from excessive acne are somehow less clean is just that, a myth unfounded by science. In the case of the acne sufferer, Propionibacterium acnes is the one that will activate on the skin from its normally dormant state causing irritation and then a pimple. More specifically, it’s often hair follicles that become clogged with dead skin cells and oils and then become inflamed, not a good thing!
There are four key components to any good skincare routine and the first is cleansing.
Using a cleanser to remove excess dirt, grime, oil, bacteria, and other substances on the surface of the skin is going to be helpful.
Step 2 here is to moisturize, again, both in the morning and the evening.
Step 3 is treating the skin, which for men who are more prone to acne, is a two-fold process. The first part here is to exfoliate or use a product that will remove skin cells and buildup in the pores and the second part is to treat the skin with a product that will minimize the amount of bacterial growth on the surface of the skin. To focus in a bit more on exfoliation, there are two main kinds; physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation involves products that use granular particles to actually physically scrub the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells. While this process can leave the skin feeling exceptionally smooth, it’s also easier to over exfoliate when using a physical product. This will create micro tears in your skin which may harbor more bacteria over time. Chemical exfoliation, meanwhile, uses, as you might have guessed, chemicals to remove these dead skin cells.
Step four is just about a mental attitude in how you really approach the process. Which is to say, it’s not going to be good enough to do the first three steps only a few times a week.You have to be diligent about this process and make sure that you’re doing all the steps as much as necessary. In most cases, twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
So with the basics of the routine out of the way, let’s now talk
about how to effectively choose your skin care products since there are thousands of skin care products on the market.
So then, let’s go over some of the main active ingredients in acne fighting products starting with salicylic acid.
This is also called beta hydroxy acid or BHA and it’s a chemical exfoliant that’s a derivative of aspirin. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help unclog your pores. Salicylic acid is also recommended for razor burn and ingrown hair sufferers for the same reason so it can also be used as part of a shaving routine. The next product is alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. It’s similar, as you might expect, to BHA but overall, it’s just a little bit less aggressive.
Next up are retinoids. This is the term for the family of powerful anti aging molecules derived from vitamin A. One more tip about retinoids is that they are best to be used at night because they can make the skin more susceptible to damage from the sun.
Next up is a classic anti acne ingredient, benzoyl peroxide. It works to reduce the acne causing bacteria on the skin and because it’s often found in high concentrations in some products, as much as five or ten percent, it can irritate the skin of some men. So as with retinol, it’s best to consult a dermatologist or start with a smaller or lower dose and work your way up over time as necessary.
Another key ingredient is sulfur. Sulfur is known for its acne fighting inflammation reducing and exfoliating properties so it’s often found in soaps and masks and other similar products where this famous smell is minimized.
A product that hasn’t traditionally been a part of many anti acne regimens is niacinamide, however, the product is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and sebostatic which means it helps reduce surface oil on your skin.
Our final product here is azelaic acid which is a highly effective antioxidant known for its ability to reduce redness and acne in the skin by killing bacteria responsible for inflammation. Also, it’s more gentle on the skin than other exfoliants can be.