Simple Tips To Maintain Healthy, Acne-Free Skin Acne Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb. No matter your age, acne is embarrassing. Fortunately there are a number of different ways to manage, prevent and treat acne. The following are several simple changes you can make to help prevent acne: Clean Your Sheets If you are suffering from cystic acne that is severe enough to warrant a visit to the dermatologist, you should clean your linens regularly. This is absolutely essential. To prevent facial acne, you should change your pillowcase everyday. In addition, the pillowcase should have a removable cover that you can wash a least once a week. To prevent acne on your shoulders, chest, back or buttocks, it is important to change and clean your sheets regularly as well. This is because body oil will accrue in linens. If you do not wash your linens regularly, the body oil on your sheets and pillowcases will rub off on your skin and clog your pores. When cleaning your linens avoid using fabric softeners, particularly on pillowcases. Fabric softener solutions and dryer sheets produce a waxy, oily residue that can clog your pores. Additionally, stay away from detergents with fragrances as they can irritate the skin and make your breakout worse. Be sure to wash your linens in the hottest water possible to kill any bacteria. Do Not Apply Facial Products with Fingertips If you use products intended for use on the face, avoid applying them with your fingertips. Your fingers will leave an oily residue on your skin. Additionally, your fingers may contaminate the product with bacteria from your skin. Instead, use cotton balls, pads or a comparable method to apply product. In general, you will want to avoid touching your face. Choose One: Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide Salicylic Acid & Benzoyl Peroxide are popular acne treatments. For nearly every person, using the two of these treatments together can irritate the skin and even cause skin to peel. If you decide to utilize these kinds of treatments, pick only one. Your skin will thank you. Avoid Over Cleansing the Skin Do not over-cleanse the skin, especially if you are using an exfoliating wash. This is a very important and often overlooked skin care rule. People tend to believe that the more often and thoroughly you cleanse the skin, the healthier it will be. This is not the case. Over-cleansing can break down the outermost layer of your skin, stripping your skin of its natural protection. This can result in either dry, irritated skin or it can cause your oil glands to become overactive. Both scenarios are not good. Generally, you only need to cleanse skin once a day with a gentle cleanser. Typically this is done at night to remove makeup, dirt and other impurities that your skin has encountered during the day. Additionally, limit exfoliation to no more than once a week. Avoid Long, Hot Showers Sadly, those long, hot showers we all enjoy are actually bad for your skin. The heat from the shower will soften your skin’s oils. When you add soap you are effectively stripping away your skin’s oil barrier. Without that oil barrier the moisture in your skin can easily escape, causing your skin to become dried out and irritated. The longer and hotter your shower is, the more quickly this process will take place and the more moisture your skin will lose. Keep Hair Clean and Away From Your Face Keep your hair combed away from your face. The oil from you hair can worsen facial acne, especially near your forehead. Additionally, be sure to wash hair regularly. Change Your Diet There are a number of dietary changes you can make to help prevent acne. One way is to avoid food items that contain iodides. That includes vitamin supplements (e.g., kelp tablets), sports drinks and bars, salt, seafood, fast foods and more. Even some dairy products contain iodides because the cows that produce the dairy are given iodized salt licks. It is also important to stay away from foods high in androgen. Androgen contains hormones that can worsen acne. Androgen is found in peanuts, peanut oil and peanut butter, shellfish, corn oil, wheatgerm and more. A third way to prevent acne through dietary change is by reducing your glycemic and dairy intake. Stop Picking at Blemishes Picking at pimples, blackheads and other blemishes will almost always result in scarring. It is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Additionally, picking or popping pimples can lead to infection. Allow your blemishes to heal naturally, no matter how bad they may appear. Moisturize Moisture is the key to healthy skin. You can moisturize skin from the inside out by drinking water regularly. Anywhere between 9-12 cups a day is recommended. Lotions, cold creams and other moisturizers are also beneficial for the skin. Although, it is not advisable to use a lotion on your skin at night. While you sleep, your skin is renewing itself and ridding itself of any impurities. Lotions and creams applied at night can interfere with this natural processes. In addition, applying a daily sunscreen and limiting sun exposure can significantly improve the health of your skin. About Author: Peter Wendt is a blogger living in Brighton, Colorado. When Wendt’s skin was breaking out he turned to his dermatologist for advice. With his dermatologist’s guidance, Wendt noticed a significant improvement in his skin. Wendt recommends following this advice and visiting his Brighton dermatologist for any skin-related concerns. 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