We’ve all been there with acne: it’s the night of the big date you’ve been excited about all week or the morning of that important job interview when, seemingly out of the blue, it happens. The zit. The pimple. The breakout that you’re convinced is destined to ruin your life.
Acne, to be blunt, sucks. No one likes it. It’s never invited to the party. But, time and again, it just insists on showing up – and always during the times you most want to look and feel your best.
Before you become terrified of that new pimple on your chin, understand that acne is actually one of the most common skin issues in America. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 50 million Americans have had it at one time or another.
Ok, so it’s common. But that doesn’t make it more lovable. Whether chronic or, shall we say, spontaneous, acne is a fiendish foe. So let’s get to the bottom of it. What triggers acne? And what can you do to care for your skin before a breakout happens, and get rid of pimples quickly when they do pop up?
Acne Causes & Triggers
Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, papules and oily skin are all indications of this thing we know as “acne”. But what causes it?
In a nutshell? Many things. This probably isn’t the answer you wanted, but it’s the truthful one. Genetics, stress, an unbalanced or unhealthy diet, level of physical activity, hormones, or a mixture of all of the above – they can all be culprits.
Whatever the source, when something like hormones activate the sebum (or oil) glands to produce more oil and disturb the skin cells from shedding like they are meant to, your pores become blocked. This is what creates blackheads and whiteheads (also called comedones). Often, skin bacteria also inflame the clogged pores, and this leads to pimples and papules. So basically, it’s dead skin cells and bacteria that get trapped in your pores because of too much oil production. Not very glamorous, I know.
Acne is most typical during puberty, which we can all thank raging hormones for. It does tend to lessen in the early twenties, but it may persist or flare up past your 30th birthday (surprise!). This “adult acne” requires extra-mild skin care, as the skin tends to become dry and increasingly sensitive as we age.
Before Acne Attacks
If you want to prevent acne and maintain healthy skin, wash with pH 5.5 cleansers in the morning and at night instead of using soaps or neutral/harsh cleansers. Cleansing with pH-balanced products penetrates into your pores without causing damage and helps to block acne-causing bacteria while supporting the skin’s natural barrier function against dryness and irritation. Check out the Sebamed Cleansing Foam. It’s a fantastic daily cleanser because it’s so mild.
If you have really oily skin, remove the excess with a deep-cleansing tonic like the Sebamed Clear Face Deep Cleansing Toner. Don’t use a toner if your skin is dry, though.
The Sebamed Clear Face line is amazing for facial skincare because the products are formulated at a pH level of 5.5 so they’re super gentle. Each of them has also been dermatologically tested and proved effective against acne.
Getting Rid of Acne (Pronto!)
If you have acne, oily creams, stress, and trying to squeeze out pimples only makes it worse (and could leave scars). Also avoid aggressive cleansing – it only irritates the situation. If you want to get rid of acne quickly and safely, use an oil-free, anti-bacterial cleansing product like the Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel. It will help make pimples disappear in 2-3 days without producing new ones. Just remember that these gels don’t help against blackheads or whiteheads.
Any long-term acne treatment takes about 6-8 weeks to show that it’s working, so don’t change up your skincare products too quickly or it will irritate your skin. Plus, you won’t get the chance to know if those products worked for you or not. Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult a dermatologist, but especially do so if you’re not seeing any improvement with the products you are using and/or your acne is severe.
For obvious reasons, we want to rid ourselves of acne as soon as we spot it (or feel it), but there’s no substitute for regularly caring for your skin. And, yes, this still applies when using acne medication, pills, creams, lotions or gels. Using great skincare products everyday helps your skin stay blemish-free and moisturized – not oily and problematic.