We’ve all been there before. You wake up and see a face covered in acne reflected in the mirror. Grimacing at the unfortunate state of your face, you get yourself ready to tackle the problem. You wash your face 2-3 times a day, apply a really strong medicated astringent all over the face and then spot treat with even more medication. You then continue to moisturize your face with oil-free lotion. An hour later, you find yourself dismayed that your face is once again oily and shiny… and another zit!
The problem in the above scenario is two-fold. First, you’re washing your face too often. The oil on your face is not the enemy. The natural oils and healthy bacteria on your face are necessary for a clean and healthy complexion. You need to maintain a healthy balance of the two. The bigger culprit is more likely a problem with your diet and/or hormonal imbalances (there will be an article with this topic).
Second, you’re using too many oil-free products or trying to dry out the face too much. The human body is a very efficient and smart machine. When you keep stripping the skin of oil, the body will take that as a cue to produce even more oil (sebum) to keep the skin moist. So using oil-free moisturizers and strong astringents may actually be making your face even more oily than before, causing more clogged pores, which then leads to more acne.
So how do you wash the face? The face should be washed thoroughly with a gentle cleanser before bed. Apply a gentle toner (witch hazel is a great choice) and apply a good natural moisturizer (try to find one without too many chemicals). When you wake up, do not wash your face with a cleanser. Merely rinse your face with water to rid your face of any excess oil. Apply your toner and moisturizer and always put on sunscreen.
Note: Water temperature should not be too cold or too hot. Too cold and you will not be able to cleanse away any impurities and too hot will dry out your skin causing faster aging. Water should be a comfortable warm to lukewarm temperature.
There are other methods to cleanse your face, such as the oil-method, which I will cover in another article. Also, be aware that a dirty pillow case can also cause more acne. Be sure to change it often, or at least cover your pillow with a new towel every night.