Prevent acne and get clear skin!
Most men battle with acne at some point in their lives. It can be unsightly, embarrassing and even cause scarring over time. If you do suffer from acne then, today’s guide is for you as it’s all about how to work toward getting clearer skin. As a bonus, it also works for men who already have clear skin to maintain that acne-free face.
What exactly is acne?
Acne is your skin’s reaction to a naturally occurring bacteria that are on the surface of the skin. Everybody has these kinds of bacteria so the myth that people who suffer from excessive acne are somehow less clean is just a myth unfounded by science.
In the case of acne sufferer, Propionibacterium acnes is the one that will activate on the skin from its normally dormant state causing irritation and then a pimple. More specifically, it is often hair follicles that become clogged with dead skin cells and oils and then become inflamed.
Is acne serious?
Acne can take different forms depending on how the skin has been irritated such as blackheads, whiteheads or standard pimples. Hormone and genetics do both play a sizable role in whether or not you are going to suffer from acne so there is a certain element of luck involved. However, the best way to stop acne from forming is to make sure that your skin is healthier.
Of course, determining whether or not you are more prone to excessive acne is probably going to be unnecessary. After all, if you are more prone then you are likely going to have found out about it already.
Don’t hurry for anything
Before you embark on any sort of treatment plan then it’s going to be a good idea to pay a visit to your dermatologist. As with most medical conditions, it’s best to get a professional opinion and see if you do have a more specific type of acne that is best treated in a specific way. For most men, acne is a condition that can be fairly treated with topical over-the-counter products.
Pay attention to the ingredients in the products you purchase for your skin. Some products may claim to be good for you but based upon the composition of your own skin. They can have ingredients that could react negatively.
So let’s go through step-by-step:
- consult a dermatologist
- figuring out what products are suitable for you
- beginning and maintaining a skincare routine
Follow these steps and start maintaining a routine is probably going to be the single best thing you can do for your skin in the long term.
Key components to a good skincare routine
Use a cleanser to remove dirt, grime, oil, bacteria and other substances on the surface of the skin. It is going to be helpful for your skin. Try to cleanse your face both in the morning and evening. Cleansing alone probably isn’t going to be enough to keep skin that’s already excessively acne-prone from developing more pimples.
But it is a good step and for those who only suffer from a regular amount of acne, cleansing will also go a long way.
Moisturizing after cleansing may seem counterintuitive at first, especially to those with oily skin. You will think if you have just removed moisture from your skin by cleansing then why would you want to add it back. Well simply stated, you have removed the dead skin cells, bacteria and other nasty things from the surface of the skin but you have also removed the necessary amount of natural oils that your skin has to keep it healthy.
Thus adding back some good moisture is going to be beneficial and if you do have more oily skin, your body is probably going to overcompensate and produce more oil than it would need to make up for that lost moisture. So you will probably be even more prone to acne thus moisturizing will be your best bet. Moisturizing is key especially for those areas that are affected by shaving your face but you shouldn’t only localize it there.
Make sure that you moisturize your entire face. Moisturizing is also a great opportunity to add a product that contains a bit of SPF to your routine. After all, a bit of extra sun protection is never a bad thing.
3) Treating the skin
For acne-prone men, this is a two-fold process. The first part here is to exfoliate or use a product that will remove skin cells and buildup in the pores and the second part is to treat the skin with a product that will minimize the amount of bacterial growth on the surface of the skin.
Treat acne with exfoliation
There are two main kinds of exfoliation-physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation.
Physical exfoliation involves products that use granular particles to actually physically scrub the skin to remove dead skin cells. While this process can leave the skin feeling exceptionally smooth, it is also easier to over-exfoliate when using a physical product.
This will create micro-tears in your skin which may harbor more bacteria over time. Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals to remove these dead skin cells. For advanced cases of acne, it may actually be wise to use both a physical and a chemical exfoliant. Consult your dermatologist if you think this might be the appropriate case before using any chemicals.
4) Diligence in your routine
It’s not going to be good enough to do the first three steps only a few times a week. You have to be diligent about this process and make sure that you are doing all the steps as much as necessary. In most cases, twice daily that is once in the morning and once in the evening.
It can be a serious drag on both your wallet and your time to find a product that’s right for you. The main two things you will want to try to get better at are reading product reviews online and reading the ingredients lists of each product to know what to look for.
Once you know how to read product reviews and product labels effectively, you will be able to find products that are right for you. You will probably find that both expensive and inexpensive products are often using the same ingredients so you might be able to save a little bit of money.
1) Salicylic acid
Let’s go over some of the main active ingredients in acne-fighting products starting with salicylic acid. This is also called beta hydroxy acid or BHA and it is a chemical exfoliant that’s a derivative of aspirin. It has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help unclog your pores. Salicylic acid is also recommended for razor burn and ingrown hair sufferers for the same reason.
2) AHA & BHA
These hydroxy acids are both highly effective for deep exfoliation. AHA and BHA are quite similar but overall BHA is just a little bit less aggressive.
This is the term for the family of powerful anti-aging molecules derived from Vitamin A. Retinol is the most common marketing name of this compound. Retinoids are best to be used at night because they can make the skin more susceptible to damage from the sun.
4) Benzoyl Peroxide
This is a classic anti-acne ingredient. It works to reduce the acne-causing bacteria on the skin and because it is often found in high concentrations in some products. But it’s best to consult a dermatologist or start with a smaller dose and work your way up over time as necessary.
You may be aware of it because of its famous smell which is similar to rotten eggs and therefore, you wouldn’t think it would be a great choice for a product that’s going on your face. Sulfur is known for its acne-fighting inflammation-reducing and exfoliating properties so it’s often found in soaps and masks and other similar products where this famous smell is minimized.
6) Azelaic acid
It is a highly effective antioxidant known for its ability to reduce redness and acne in the skin by killing bacteria responsible for inflammation.
1) Many skin-care products can relieve acne but some can also exacerbate it.
You shouldn’t use any products on your face that have alcohol or fragrances in them. Alcohol is often used as an ingredient in many toners because it feels bracing to the skin but it is also a known irritant so it can make acne worse. Similarly, many fragrances can also be irritating to the skin.
2) Expensive does not always mean better.
Don’t assume that the more expensive acne-fighting products are automatically going to be better. After all, the principal active ingredients that fight acne are mostly inexpensive so anything that has a high markup is mostly just going to be marketing.
3) Introduce products into your routine slowly
This is so that you don’t overwhelm or irritate your skin. As some men will naturally have more sensitive skin than others, some might be able to exfoliate and treat more aggressively on a daily basis whereas some could only do it a few times a week.
4) What works for others might not work for you
Everyone’s skin, diet, genetics, and specific needs are different so a skincare routine that has worked wonders for one man is not necessarily going to automatically work for another. It is important that you consider all of the factors that we have outlined here today before you decide on what skincare routine to use.
5) Do not expect immediate results
Approach it with patience and persistence. After all, not only are their many products on the market so you might have to go through a process of trial and error. Most products and dermatologists will recommend that you allow about six to eight weeks for products to really work as best as they possibly can.
I know this can seem like a bit of a long time but once you get up to speed with your skincare routine and everything is working properly, it will definitely be worth it.
Healthy and clear skin can be achieved but it means having to do a little research before buying products and being persistent with the process.
I will love to help you with all your issues. Let me know if you are having any skin-related issues in the comment box.