• Violeta Camarasa, science journalist

    15 golden rules to control acne

    Acne is a skin imbalance that affects many young people. Although unsightly, acne is not usually serious and can be brought under control with a basic skin care routine. The challenge is to avoid bad habits: to keep acne at bay, first you have to keep yourself in check! Here are 15 tips for daily prevention and treatment of mild acne problems.


    Adolescence is a period of change. Because the body is developing physically and psychologically, the transition can cause certain hormonal imbalances that affect the skin, such as the overproduction of sebum (oil). Although usually not serious, acne is visible and often results in lowered self-esteem. According to some studies, 30% of young people with acne stop going out, which seriously affects their personal development. Do not let acne change your life: look after yourself and visit the dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in the skin and its health. Our tips will help you control this problem that is so typical in young people.


    1. Don’t become obsessed. To keep acne at bay, the first thing is to keep yourself in check. When we want spots to disappear quickly, following the advice of dermatologists is difficult. However, it is important to follow the rules so that your skin does not get worse over time. Patience and willpower!


    2. Wash your face, but don’t overdo it! Wash your face just twice a day, morning and night, and exceptionally, also after sweating if you have been doing exercise. Wash with warm water and a mild soap especially formulated for acne-prone skin. Gently massage your face with circular movements and pat it dry. Treat your body with care. Too much washing, rubbling or very hot water can dry and irritate the skin and aggravate the problem.


    3. Know your skin. Each skin type has particular needs. Find out what kind of skin is yours so you buy products adapted to your particular skin type.


    4. Give your body a helping hand. After cleaning, apply an acne lotion that reduces oil and bacteria. Ask at your pharmacy.


    5. Don’t exfoliate. Forget about exfoliating products and toners, which can irritate and dry the skin: they are enemies, not friends!


    6. No scratching or squeezing or picking! Popping a pimple may temporarily make it less visible. The temptation may be strong, but remember that squeezing a pimple spreads bacteria and increases the risk of inflammation, secondary infections and scarring.


    7. Don’t believe all you read. Tools are often recommended for blackheads, such as ‘blackhead removers’. They are not recommended; let your skin take care of itself and help it along.


    8. Hands off your face! Hands are full of bacteria: keep them away from your face and wash them frequently, especially before applying any product. Avoid resting the face on your hands during the day and while you sleep.


    9. Keep your phone and glasses clean. Like hands, objects that come into contact with the face, such as your phone and glasses, should be kept as clean as possible.


    10. Careful with clothing! If you have acne on other parts of the body, avoid tight clothes, as they do not allow the skin to breathe and can cause irritation. Avoid hats, scarves and headbands, as they are sources of grease and dirt!


    11. Care for your hair! No matter how clean, hair contains oils, grease and dirt. Keep it clean and away from the face, also when sleeping. Fringes are not your friend.


    12. Moisturizer, the unsung hero. Although it may seem strange, moisturizing the skin is crucial to fighting acne. Buy a suitable gentle, oil-free cream from your pharmacy.


    13. Sunbathe in moderation. Although a tan may mask acne, over the longer term it may make it worse. In addition, exposure to the sun promotes premature wrinkling. Avoid tanning beds! Sunbathe in moderation and use a non-oily sunscreen.


    14. Don’t sleep with makeup on! Avoid excessive makeup and when you do use makeup, make sure it is not comedogenic so it does not aggravate the acne. Coloured acne creams will conceal the problem while helping to combat it. And above all, always set aside some time before going to bed to cleanse your face well.


    15. Watch what you eat. Studies indicate that dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt can cause breakouts, so only eat them in moderation. But, to compensate, some good news: there is no evidence that eating chocolate makes acne worse!