When you have spots, the last thing you want is MORE SPOTS. Every time I think my skin is improving, another flareup is waiting just around the corner. There are several EASY ways to prevent your acne from spreading, helping you to get a few more ‘good skin days’.
When you wash your face, I would always recommend using a muslin cloth or a facial cleansing brush; like a Clarisonic to remove product, makeup and dead skin cells. However, how you maintain your cloth or brush is incredibly important and will prevent spreading bacteria around your face. When cleansing my skin, I prefer to use a fresh cloth each time and when I do use a Clarisonic, I replace the brush pad regularly.
Some people prefer to get a couple of uses from a single cloth, which is fine; so long as you are cleaning it thoroughly after use with antibacterial wash. You will also need to ensure you leave the cloth somewhere to dry out. If it stays wet bacteria will grow, similarly to when a kitchen sponge is left in the sink. If you have a facial cleansing brush you will need to leave it propped up to dry out.
Never use a brush over broken skin or on pustules that will easily burst under the pressure of the bristles. This will spread the infection around your face as you cleanse. When using a cloth; take care not to rub excessively; as this will cause inflammation which can lead to more breakouts.
If like me, you live in a hot climate and become a sweaty betty throughout the day, cleansing your face or splashing it with water will reduce your chances of blocked pores.
Avoid using granule exfoliators. Instead use active enzyme products that eat at the dead skin cells giving you a wonderful glow. Using a physical exfoliant can spread the bacteria by piercing the infected areas.
Related Post: Have you tried washing your face?
3. TOUCHING & SQUEEZING
We all know we shouldn’t do this, right? But it’s so hard! I’m not going to pretend that I don’t pick and squeeze my spots, but when I do occasionally listen to my own advice, I notice a massive difference in my complexion. Squeezing our spots at home, is one of the quickest ways to spread infection.
If you feel your skin won’t heal without an intervention, then I would highly recommend seeing a skin specialist who can extract them for you in a sterile environment.
Limit the amount of time you allow yourself look in the mirror analysing your skin, this inevitably leads to touching and squeezing. GUILTY! (Absolute mirror hog!)
When my skin is really bad, I like to wear my hair down to cover up the lumps and bumps of my acne. Unfortunately this is one of the worst things you can do as the oils and products in your hair come into contact with your highly sensitised skin.
When you shampoo and condition your hair, be sure to rinse it thoroughly off your body. If you suffer with back acne, hair products will aggravate your skin and lead to more blockages.
If you can, the best way to wash your hair is over the bath to ensure none of the perfumes and chemicals in your hair products touch your face/back. If you don’t have the luxury of a bath, I always cleanse my face and body after I have washed my hair; to be sure it is free from conditioner.
Using shampoos and body washes without SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) will also go a long way in reducing inflammation and stress to your skin. SLS is a very stripping chemical used to emulsify products, which leads to skin sensitivity in most people.
I have spoken before in a previous blog about having a ‘Makeup Detox‘. Check your products and make sure they are not contaminated. If you have cosmetics with a pump or pipette, they will be likely be unaffected unless you brought them into direct contact with your skin.
Avoid putting your fingers directly into your concealers or foundation pots. Instead use a cotton bud or spatula to dispense the product. If you have a stick or brush concealer, apply it to your hand first. This will prevent you from applying bacteria to your face everyday as you conceal.
Avoid getting your makeup brushes in direct contact with your products unless you have a clean makeup brush.
If you have acne, I would recommend washing your makeup brushes after each use. Like with your cleansing cloths, you need to ensure they are dried correctly to avoid growth of bacteria.
For those of us who are trying to save the planet by washing our clothes at 30 degrees, washing at low temperatures doesn’t remove all bacteria. If you have acne on your body, it might be worth using a cleaning fluid in your wash cycle which kills 99.9%.
In colder months, wearing hats and scarfs can also lead to aggravating acne. Ensure you wash them regularly and avoid any fabrics that can irritate your skin.
If your acne is very inflamed and painful, it is possible that your spots will burst during your sleep. Therefore, changing your pillow case regularly will prevent sleeping on bacteria breeding grounds. If you have acne on your body, I would recommend extending this to all of your bed linen and not just your pillow case.
In recent weeks I’ve been introduced to a company called Silvon – ‘bedding for better skin.’ There sheets are woven with pure silver which naturally eliminates acne causing bacteria. And of course I bought the whole set!
Getting the right amount of sleep is as equally important to ensure you are giving your skin a chance to heal itself overnight. If you have trouble sleeping, take a look at my blog Beauty Sleep to catch a few more zzzzs.