Acne is a concern for many people in Singapore, as we have all heard stories about how acne can result in deep and permanent scarring due to a lack of acne treatment. Facial pimples and breakouts should not be ignored, as they can gradually result in associated skin issues such as bacteria infection, inflammation, pus-filled lumps, and scarring. Many of our patients are eager to solve their acne problems because it causes great discomfort. Most of the time, they would rather have prevented acne right from the beginning, instead of taking reactive action.
Today, our doctors would like to share their top 10 tips for acne prevention. Read on to get valuable insights on how to prevent acne.
Tip #1: Keep your face clean
The face is your image to the world, and it’s important to keep it in a clean and pristine condition regardless of whether you have acne. Do wash your face twice a day to get rid of dead skin cells, impurities, or excess oil. Washing more than three times a day is not recommended as it may result in dryness. Here are some tips for a good facial wash routine:
- Use warm water and a mild facial cleanser.
- Do not use harsh soaps e.g. body soaps as they may cause irritation or inflammation. Wash your face using your hands, or a soft cloth.
- After rinsing, it’s important to dry your face with a clean towel. Do not reuse the towel as this will result in accumulation of bacteria.
Tip #2: Moisturize
If you are actively using acne products, they tend to have ingredients that dry your skin. Hence, do use a moisturizer that minimizes peeling and dryness. Sometimes, patients are fearful of using moisturizers as they assume it will cause oilier skin.
When shopping for moisturizers, do look out for “non-comedogenic” on the label – this means that it will not cause acne. In addition, there are moisturizers that are designed for different skin types, so choose one that best suits your skin type. One of your key deciding factors should be the choice of a water-based moisturizer, and not an oil-based product, as this will definitely worsen any existing facial pimples or acne breakouts.
Tip #3: Try an over-the-counter acne treatment product
Over-the-counter acne products can be bought without a doctor’s prescription. They can be helpful if you are actively working to keep the acne from forming. Most of them contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid. These curb bacteria and dry your skin. Do start with a small amount as over-usage may result in drying and peeling. Subsequently, you can calibrate your frequency of usage to suit your skin. One example of a popular OTC topical retinoid gel is Differin.
Nevertheless, if you have sensitive skin, do use these products carefully. If you are not sure what medication to use, it is advisable to seek out acne skin treatment in Singapore.
Tip #4: Use makeup sparingly
If you are experiencing a pimple breakout, do avoid wearing any makeup such as foundation, blush, or power. In case you really need to wear makeup, do wash it off when you are done with the day.
Always shop for oil-free cosmetics that do not contain added dyes, or chemicals, as these are not good for your skin. Likewise, do look out for makeup products that have “non-comedogenic on the label”, as these will not cause acne. Lastly, it is important to run through the ingredients list on the product label before you make your purchase.
Tip #5: Watch what you put on your hair
Our hair is often in close contact with our face, and this is even more so for women with long hair. Try to avoid using oils, gels, or fragrances on your hair. They may block your skin’s pores and irritate your skin, especially if they constantly get on your face.
Look for a gentle shampoo and conditioner to use. If you are suffering from acne breakouts, it is important to wash your hair regularly, as oily hair adds to the oil on your face. For girls, with long hair, it will be beneficial to keep it away from your face.
Tip #6: Avoid touching your face
Many of us have the habit of touching our face or using our hands to prop up the cheeks or chin as a reflexive action. Breaking this habit is crucial, as bacteria may spread from the hands to your skin, and also irritate inflamed areas. Most importantly, do not pop or pick your pimples, as this may result in infection and scarring.
Tip #7: Stay in the shade
This tip applies to many skin issues and not just acne. Avoiding direct exposure to the sun can make a big difference to your skin quality. UV rays can increase redness and inflammation, causing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which appears as a dark discolouration.
There are some acne medications that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it will be good to stay in the shade when you are consuming these medications.
Avoid spending too much time in the sun especially between 10 am to 4pm. Wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to cover up your skin as much as possible. Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 at least twenty minutes before you go out into the sun. Again, look for the term “non-comedogenic” on the sunscreen label to avoid causing any new pimple formation.
Tip #8: Nourish your skin
Food is the giver of life. Thus, it is important to consume healthy fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to avoid consuming any junk food or greasy dishes. Also, avoid dairy products and foods which have high levels of processed sugar, as these may trigger acne.
Tip #9: Exercise regularly
Exercising daily helps to rejuvenate your immune system, as well as your skin. Avoid wearing exercise clothing or using exercise equipment that may cause skin abrasion and irritation. Take a shower after you exercise – this helps to keep your skin clean, and has the psychological benefit of putting you in a calmer and clearer state of mind.
Tip #10: Reduce stress levels
Studies have shown that stress can be a trigger for acne outbreaks. Hence, it is crucial to take some time off to de-stress. This will help not just your skin but makes for a happier and healthier lifestyle overall.
There are many effective acne treatments in Singapore. However, prevention is always better than cure. Our doctors at Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic hope to equip our readers with important information needed for acne prevention and treatment If you are keen to seek out expert guidance on your acne, you are always welcome to reach out to our medical team who will be able to help you solve your skin issues.
- Thielitz, Anja, et al. “Topical Retinoids in Acne – an Evidence‐Based Overview.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 13 May 2008, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1610-0387.2008.06741.x.