While it may seem like the occasional breakout belongs back in junior high, the bad news is, pimples don’t end with puberty. Unfair or not, those pesky little spots that had you reaching for the concealer throughout your teens can pop up well into your twenties and beyond. We all know that a bought of adult acne can be embarrassing, but before you cancel your dinner plans, take note of these tips and tricks to help banish breakouts and keep you pimple-free:
Even though it may seem only natural to freak when you notice that red bump forming on the tip of your nose”making you look like you’re channeling the one and only Rudolph”the worst thing you can do is panic. The reason: as soon as you start stressing, your body releases the very hormone (cortisol) that caused your blemish in the first place. So before you sweat and jump-start a vicious cycle, consider if you’d like a spot on your chin to match the one you’ve already got.
When battling blemishes, the first step to clear skin is a good facial cleanser. Wash your face in the AM with a product made for a problem-prone face. Check the label for proven acne-fighters like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and tea tree oil. Try: The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash, $11.00 (Warning: stay away from grainy scrubs that can further irritate and prolong breakouts.)
It can be easy to forget to keep your hands away from your face. Most of us tend to touch our T-zone without even thinking about it. But the fact is, your digits are a popular hotspot for oils and bacteria. So fight the urge to squeeze or pick at any pimples that pop up and exercise a strict hands-off policy when it comes to scratching, rubbing or wiping your face. An added tip: wash your pillowcase and wipe off your smartphone regularly”both have bad reps for causing mystery breakouts.
Just like our bodies age and change, the pimple-promoting oils in our face do too. So what worked at thirteen, won’t necessarily work at twenty-three. So instead of reaching for your trusty tube of toothpaste, seek out a more sophisticated solution. The best pimple prevention enlists the help of your entire skincare routine, makeup included. So choose products geared towards your skin type, that also balance skin’s PH levels while zapping those unsightly zits. For a daily moisturizer, try dermatologist drugstore favourite, Spectro HydraCare Facial Moisturizer (for Blemish Prone, Dry or Combination Skin), $11.97 Note: if a pimple feels extra huge, use an ice cube to reduce swelling and dab on tea tree oil for quick, on-the-spot treatment.
Take note: If you’re dealing with more than the usual amount of acne (think frequent and long-lasting breakouts), it may be wise to seek the help of a dermatologist. They may prescribe you a drug, topical cream or put you on the pill. But keep in mind, even if you feel like your at home regimen isn’t doing the job, a pimple’s lifespan is six weeks”the exact amount of time you should give your DIY treatment before ditching it for a trip to the doctor.