Zits. Pimples. Comedones. Whiteheads. Blackheads. Blemishes. Whatever you want to call them, breakouts happen to the best of us. Whether you get a once-monthly hormonal outbreak or struggle with acne on the regular, one of the hardest parts of dealing can be the process of waiting for your skin to clear and begin the repair process.
Much of what you've been taught about treating acne likely involves attacking it with aggressive products and treatments, but there are other (better) ways. Instead of fighting the skin when it is struggling, our favorite strategy is a bit different. Here are some of our top tips to treat acne with a more progressive, holistic and healing-focused approach.
FIVE TIPS FOR HEALING A BREAKOUT
1.) Resolve not to pick or pop
When we're dealing with breakouts and blemishes, the urge to pop or pick at lesions can be hard to resist. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible for the skin to heal. Continuing to mess with acne will usually make things worse by increasing irritation and inflammation. We also risk spreading bacteria this way, which can potentially worsen the severity of breakout activity.
Popping pimples aggressively can permanently damage the skin and result in scarring. So instead, when you feel tempted, reach for a tool or product that you know will support your skin and treat your face instead of touching it. Read on for some ideas.
2.) Keep your routine business as usual
When a breakout comes along, sometimes our first instinct is to drop whatever it is we've been using and reach for every aggressive acne product we can find. And apply it all at once. While this can work temporarily, these products can be very harsh for the skin.
Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salycilic acid are great for treating acne and fine in small doses. However when we overdo it with these products, they can end up over-drying the skin and stripping the natural protective barrier. When this happens, the skin may react by over-producing oil and breaking out even more.
Instead, try to stick with a simple routine, using products you already know work for your skin. The skin likes consistency, so continuing to hydrate and nourish it will help your skin to function as normal and heal faster.
3.) Focus on fighting inflammation
The majority of breakouts are the result of either internal or external inflammation (or some combination of both). Therefore, incorporating products or tools that fight inflammation topically can be very helpful for speeding up the healing process. Ingredients that work well to fight inflamed acne are: niacinamide, resveratol, chamomile, green tea, azelaic acid, kaolin clay and aloe.
Another good way to treat inflamed acne is with cold therapy. Applying a cold compress or a chilled tool (such as a cold roller or jade roller that's been submerged in cold water) can do wonders to reduce redness, irritation and inflammation. You can even use just an ice cube and roll it on the skin. Spend a least a few minutes each day applying cold to the skin and you will be amazed at the results.
4.) Incorporate ingredients and tools that promote skin healing
In addition to treating inflammation, another important component to treating a breakout is to encourage the healing process. Some ingredients you can look to for boost your skin's immunity and promote new cell growth are: vitamin C, vitamin A or retinol, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, green tea extract and niacinamide.
If you suffer from regular breakouts, some tools we love for promoting skin healing are LED light therapy and microcurrent. Blue light LED is commonly used to treat acne, as it helps to both reduce acne bacteria and fight inflammation. Red light therapy helps speed up cellular turnover to aid in the healing process, as does microcurrent. Both LED therapy and microcurrent were discovered originally by doctors and surgeons for wound-healing and are very effective for acne lesions.
5.) Don't be afraid of facial oils
While this one may seem counterintuitive, we actually love facial oil for helping the skin bounce back from blemishes. Oils not only feed the skin but help correct imbalances in oil production that may be contributing to breakout activity.
Some oils that acne responds well to are: jojoba and squalane for which are very similar to the skin's natural oil. You can also look for a blend with anti-inflammatory oils like calendula and black cumin, skin bolstering oils like tamanu or grapeseed, or an anti-bacterial such as tea tree oil. Applying a light layer before bedtime or incorporating oil cleansing into your routine are two easy ways to experience the magic of a good facial oil.
GLOWTOCOL FAVES FOR HEALING ACNE
Skin Healing Serums