We all thought our acne would be gone after high school, but alas, it persists—for years and sometimes decades, many blemishes incubating while we sleep. Here, a few simple ways to reduce unsightly breakouts that occur while you snooze:
- Wash your pillowcase once a week. Dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that accumulate on pillowcases can cause bacteria buildup and breakouts.
- Try sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your side puts your face in direct contact with the buildup on your pillowcase and sheets, and suffocates your pores.
- Don’t sleep with hair products on. If you’re deep conditioning your hair overnight or have leftover product in from during the day, either wash your hair before bed or cover it with a shower cap before lying down. Oils and waxes in hair products are known to clog pores and bring on blemishes.
- Avoid cosmetics, lotions, and lip treatments that contain lanolin, petrolatum, oleic acid, certain vegetable oils and lauryl alchol. The National Women’s Health Information Center found these ingredients are more likely to cause acne.
- Get enough sleep! Sleep is vital to every element of your health. If you’re sleep-deprived, your acne will take longer to clear and will only get worse.
—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern
If anyone knows the truth about acne, it’s Katie Rodan, M.D., and Kathy Fields, M.D., the dermatologist founders of billion-dollar blemish brand Proactiv. To kick off June National Acne Awareness Month, we’re sharing some surprising acne facts from their book, The Doctors’ Secrets to a Lifetime of Clear Skin:
- Acne is the #1 skin disease in the world—in the U.S., 85 percent of people have it sometime in their lives.
- They might do a number on your waistline, but sweets like chocolate and soda, and greasy foods like French fries don’t cause acne.
- It may seem like the sun dries up your pimples, but sun exposure actually makes acne worse over time: Your skin sheds the UV-damaged cells, which clog pores and can trigger breakouts.
- The dark spots that appear on skin after a blemish are called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Unlike acne scars, they’re not permanent but can take weeks to heal.
- Don’t spot treat: The red pimple that erupts on your skin is actually the last stage of a blemish’s life. Always treat your whole face to attack acne at every stage (even when it’s not yet visible).
- Keep products with the zit-fighting ingredient benzoyl peroxide away from clothes and fabrics; it’s oxidizing action will bleach them.
- Avoid facial scrubs with ground fruit or nut bits, like apricot pits or walnut, when trying to deep-clean skin: Their sharp edges can make micro-tears in your skin, causing further inflammation and irritation.
- Don’t wash your face more than twice a day: Stripping your skin of oil prompts your body to produce more, exacerbating acne and oiliness.
Some of our beauty habits might sound innocent enough, but can really do damage over time. Here’s a list of pesky habits that we should all kick:
- Hair fiddling: This one might be the hardest to break, since we don’t always notice ourselves doing it. People tend to play with their hair—twisting, bending, and even breaking it—out of boredom or to just to keep our hands busy. But, this seemingly harmless habit can lead to breakage, tangles and oily strands.
- Popping pimples: We know how tempting it is to attack a blemish that’s taking over our face—but doing so can cause serious scarring and even spread pimple-causing bacteria (plus oil from your fingers) around the face. Attempt to banish acne before it even forms with ZENO Hot Spot Blemish Clearing Device.
- Sleeping with makeup on: Cleansing our faces is often the first thing that falls by the wayside at the end of a busy, exhausting day. But not washing leaves pores clogged with leftover makeup, dirt and sweat—which leads to dull and break-out prone skin. Keep cleansing wipes like biodegradable Yes To Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes on your nightstand so you never forget to wash up before you doze off.
—By Maite Gonzalez, beauty intern