Keep those dirty hands off your face!
Touching your face can lead to an increase of acne for some people, this is because you are transferring dirt and oil from your hands onto your face. Touching your face can cause irritation of pre existing acne and blemishes, which can cause the spread of these blemishes to new places. With irritation, comes redness, swelling, bleeding, flaking...need I say more? The best way to combat touching your face is well...not touching your face! But if you need to remember to wash your hands thoroughly before putting on skincare, makeup or scratching an itch.
Wash your face!
It is very important to wash your face to remove makeup, oil, dirt and other residue off your face before you hit the hay. Cleansing your skin at night will reduce sebum on the skin and the ability for acne-causing bacteria to thrive inside your pores. This means less break outs! Create a clean palette to prepare your skin for your night time skin care regiment. Your skin repairs itself at night, so with a clean face your night time products can achieve their job! Don't have time to wash your makeup off at night before bed? Keep some facial 3in1 wipes by your night table to quickly remove everything. It's better than nothing!
Hair first, face last!
What's your shower routine? Before bed? In the morning? Doesn't matter! Just make sure that the last step in your shower routine is to wash your face. Many shower products contain oils in them, such as your shampoo and/or conditioner. If you condition your hair after you have washed your face you will have residue from the conditioner seeping down the skin, which will most likely be absorbed, and clog pores. It's important to remove that residue with your facial cleanser as the last step in the shower so that you will not breakout from the chemicals and oils that are not meant for the face!
Harsh Exfoliants are a NO-NO!
Think that by using an exfoliator that you're scrubbing away all of your problems? Think again! Stay away from facial scrubs that contain "natural" exfoliating ingredients such as ground up nut shells, fruit pits (ex. St. Ives apricot scrub) as these are too harsh on the skin, and create micro lacerations (cuts) to the skin causing irritation, sensitivity and sometimes infections (and the spread of ance!). Instead of using natural exfoliant particles , use man-made ones such as silicone beads. Silicone beads are sphere shaped and have no rigid edges like nut shells and fruit pits. These beads will not cause lacerations on the skin, but will still slough off old dead skin cell buildup. Do not over exfoliate either! Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, but it also removes the sebum from the skin. Exfoliate skin once or twice a week maximum. Over exfoliating can lead to dryness, and then the over production of sebum, causing oilier acne prone skin. There are also other ways of exfoliating your skin other than with scrub exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants work by dissolving the dead skin cells, sweat and and sebum that have accumulated on the upper layers of the epidermis. These chemical exfoliants contain either AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA's (beta hydroxy acids) like glycolic acid, phenol, salicylic acid, lactic acid etc. But be careful! People with sensitive skin may not be able to use these products, and may cause burning. Another form of exfoliants are natural enzymes! These come from some fruits, which digest the skin cells on the surface of the skin. Papaya and pineapple are great sources of these enzymes and have been used for thousands of years as beauty treatments. They are great for people with very sensitive skin, or looking for a natural alternative to exfoliating.
Throw away that old cotton pillowcase!
Switch your pillowcases to satin or silk! Not only is it more luxurious but it's a lot better for your skin....and hair! A traditional pillow case is made from cotton, which absorbs moisture. The moisture comes from your skin and hair! It can leave your skin feeling dehydrated (which can cause over production of sebum) and will absorb the oil from your face and hair onto the pillow, and if you don't wash your pillow sheet regularly can cause re-occuring breakouts. Satin and silk are cool in temperature which will calm skin that is irritated, sensitive and dry. They also help with aging (who would have known!?) because silk and satin have a smooth and almost slippery feel, which will not tug on the skin like cotton will. This will prevent premature aging of the skin, breakage and tangling of the hair! And did you know that Satin is recommended to patients that are receiving chemotherapy because it creates less pull on the delicate hair strands! Now sleep on that!