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Are you making your acne angry?
We all have a few things that really grind our gears. For me, the top anger-inducing offenders are easy to list: slow walkers, bad manners, and acne that decides to grace me with its presence at the worst possible time. A burst of blemishes is never fun, and acne can certainly be one of the things that makes us the angriest; but we’ve got a newsflash for you: your skin isn’t loving life either. Yep, ironically, acne gets angry too, and we’re often the culprits behind our faces’ frustrations. Think about it: with all the topicals and treatments you’re heaping upon it, plus all the elements our complexions face, it’s a lot for any blemish to handle. The truth is, our skin is hard to please. We’re trying to do all the right things: we buy it expensive products, we take the time to learn what it does and doesn’t like, and we even work to keep it healthily hydrated with a constant stream of h20 that leaves us frequenting the bathroom far more often than we’d like, and yet, it’s still not happy. Pimples are a little like people – their tempers rise and fall due to different aggressors, and it’s all about learning about what serves as a trigger and what doesn’t. Luckily, if you can combat the anger your acne is feeling, you might just find that one of the sources of your own frustrations simultaneously disappears. Welcome to acne-sufferers anonymous – we’re breaking down the steps to keeping both parties at peace.
RELATED: How to beat your breakout cycle
Step One: Be Gentle
When dealing with pimples, it’s important to go easy on yourself, both mentally and physically. First, try to stop blaming yourself for your blemishes. Unfortunately, some skin types are prone to acne regardless of how well you’re taking care of your complexion, so try not to get caught up in negative thoughts – instead, use that time to find a treatment that will do the trick. Now, let’s get physical. It’s also vital to be gentle with your hands – in other words, this is a no-picking zone. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re making the problem (aka the pimple) go away; constant or forceful squeezing can definitely do more harm than good, as you can inadvertently push the plug of debris deeper into the skin, or even cause scabbing or scarring that will long outlive a temporary blemish.
Step Two: Quit Overworking
When you’re feeling frustrated with your face it can be tempting to jump in the shower in a bid to scrub the blemishes right off. But realistically, acne can’t be exfoliated away, and you can make the problem worse by over-scrubbing. In most cases, acne is caused by an issue below the skin’s surface that comes to frustrating fruition on your face, so tearing the top off of a blemish won’t actually fix the problem that lurks below. Don’t get us wrong, exfoliation is an important step in pimple prevention, but it’s best to opt for a chemical formula rather than a physical one to keep your pores gunk-free without physically tugging or irritating the skin. Constant cleansing isn’t the answer either; a twice daily face wash (one in the A.M. and one in the P.M.) is plenty. Add another cleanse post workout if your day includes a sweat session, but try using a gentler formula to avoid over drying your face.
bh loves: Nu Skin® Clear Action® Foaming Cleanser, Neutrogena ® Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser
Step Three: Stop Sabotaging Yourself
Feel like you’re ticking all the right blemish-banishing boxes to no avail? Self-sabotage could be the cause. When it comes to topicals and treatments, consistency is key. Quit jumping from product to product in a desperate haste to exile acne, and be patient with your products. Most generally take 6 to 8 weeks of steady use to kick in and make a difference, so be sure to give them the time they need to work effectively. The results will reward you.
Step Four: Don’t Bury the Problem
It’s safe to say you’re not always feeling like your most fabulous self mid breakout, so makeup that sits on the heavier side is often a necessary evil. Whilst coverage may be necessary, it’s important to choose products that cover blemishes without suffocating them. Some clever concealer and foundation formulas, like ones containing salicylic acid or other bacteria-nixing ingredients, actually help to treat the pimple whilst concealing it, so reach for these for a double-whammy effect.
bh loves: L’Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation, freezeframe® blemish bomb
Step Five: Ask For Advice
If you’re struggling to keep your head calm when your complexion isn’t, you don’t have to face the problem alone. If nothing on the store shelf seems to be working (even if you’re following the instructions to a tee), it might be best to book in some time with your dermatologist. A session with an expert will allow you to better understand the root of the problem, plus, they’ll be able to prescribe a bespoke product regime specifically catered to the category of acne you’re dealing with and the ingredients that can fight it.
Main image credit: Getty Images
When do you notice an uplift in acne inflammation? Do you have any great tips for calming your complexion when acne flares up?