There are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to dealing with adult acne. Understanding your face, makes fighting acne easier. There are some ideas we have about skin care that are simply wrong and lead to the problem of acne.
1) Be exceedingly gentle when washing your face. Your fingers should gently glide over your skin while washing. Never scrub your face – this causes irritation. Irritation leads to increased oil production, which in turn leads to more break outs.
2) Do not use soap on your face – instead use a gentle cleanser. A tell-tale sign that a product is “soap” is when there is no list of ingredients on the package. Soap can strip and over dry the skin. Soap also tends to leave a residue on the skin which can aggravate the skin’s natural barrier.
3) Never go to bed without washing your face and following a regimen. Your face should be clean when you go to bed.
4) Facial blemishes are not caused by dirt. Contrary to what you may have seen in commercials, pores do not get blocked from the top down due to “impurities”. Rather, the walls of a pore stick together deep within the skin, starting acne formation. Far from preventing acne, frequent washing may actually irritate pores and cause them to become clogged. A washcloth can add even more irritation. The best bet is to wash very gently with bare hands, and only wash twice a day.
5) 10-20 minutes per day for sun exposure for people with lighter skin and 20-30 minutes per day for people with darker skin may prove beneficial for acne symptoms, especially body acne. However, overly exposing your skin to the sun creates skin damage, which leaves the skin irritated. This irritation can result in more acne in the weeks following over exposure as the skin heals itself.
6) Some people say, “I have oily skin, so I’m not going to moisturize,” but this is not a reason to avoid moisturizing. When you moisturize, especially with a moisturizer which contains jojoba oil, your oil production will come under control much better than if you avoid moisturizing. Moisturizing twice daily, every day, is an essential step to getting clear.
The Regimen: To Be Done Every Morning and At Bedtime
Look at my prior post for instructions on the products to buy: https://thenpmom.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/adult-onset-acne-things-that-make-you-go-hmmm/
1) Cleansing the Face:
a) Allow warm water in shower to flow over face or splash water from sink to moisten face.
b) Apply the cleanser – I use Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and it doesn’t lather.
c) Gently wash problem areas with your bare hands for 10 seconds or less. This may seem different from what you’re used to, but absolutely do not wash for longer than 10 seconds. Do not use a washcloth.
d) Allow the warm water from the shower or gently splash your face to remove all the cleanser from your face.
e) Using a clean hand towel, gently pat your face. DO NOT RUB OR SCRUB! Allow your face to air dry completely before proceeding to the treatment.
Treating The Face:
a) The Key to this regimen is the amount of Benzoyl Peroxide you use.
b) You will start by using a dime size amount of benzoyl peroxide, and slowly increase to a quarter size amount. Using an extremely generous amount of benzoyl peroxide is the heart and soul of this regimen. When in doubt, use more!
c) Spread Treatment on your face very gently with your fingers. Do not rub. Just allow your fingers to glide over your skin, spreading it around and letting it absorb on its own. Applying this way may take a few minutes, and requires extra patience, but it will pay off. This should take no longer than 3 minutes. If after 3 minutes, the Treatment is not fully absorbed, allow the rest to absorb on its own.
Adjustment Period: Dermatologists are well aware that the skin naturally becomes accustomed to benzoyl peroxide over a few weeks. During this time, benzoyl peroxide can cause redness, itchiness, and flakiness. These effects are temporary and should subside within a few weeks once your skin becomes accustomed to benzoyl peroxide.
d) Carefully avoid the area around the eyes
e) Wait 5-15 minutes for your skin to dry. Do not rinse off the benzoyl peroxide. Once it is applied, you will leave it on the skin.
3) Moisturizing The Face:
Do not skip this step. Even if you have oily skin, apply moisturizer twice daily
a) Dispense about a quarter sized amount of Jojoba Oil. When in doubt, use more.
b) Apply moisturizer very gently with your fingers much like you applied the Treatment. Don’t rub. Allow your fingers to gently glide over skin. This should take no longer than 2 minutes. If after 2 minutes, the moisturizer is not fully absorbed, allow the rest to absorb on its own.
c) Do not skip this step. Begin moisturizing twice a day from your first day on The Regimen.
During a normal day at work or at school, you should be fine with a non-SPF moisturizer. However, if you will be in the sun for more than 20 minutes between the hours of 10am-3pm, protection of the face/neck and other areas where you apply acne medication is prudent. Consider wearing a hat or applying a sunscreen in lieu of a non-SPF moisturizer. Dispense a quarter sized amount of the sunscreen and be sure to add 5-6 drops of jojoba oil for flakiness control since some sunscreens can be drying.
If you are using this regimen, I want to hear from you. It absolutely works for me, but there are definitely variations. You might need to make a few settle changes, but I would encourage you to follow this regimen closely. It works!