Breakouts! It’s something all of us go through once in a while—especially during those times we expect to be pluperfect. Of course, zits come about when oil or debris, blocks hair follicles which in turn enable the growth of bacteria inside, thus leading to acne. Indeed, even if you are genetically gifted, even the most perfect of complexions can experience a bout or two of breakouts. However, these unexpected episodes may be more likely caused by other factors that one may unwittingly experience during the course of day to day living. What are these “avoidables?” Here are a few:
Pore-Clogging Ingredients. Some facial products just contain ingredients that can immediately clog pores. One culprit for instance is the super-heavy and rich mineral oil that is frequently used in moisturizing agents. Other ingredients to watch out for include silicone in skin care products and cosmetics—both of which are on the watch list as pore-cloggers. What to do? Just be judicious in your choice of facial products. See if the word “non-comedogenic” is on the label, it simply means that it is formulated not to clog pores. At times, however, even if you use non-comedogenic products and yet you still have breakouts, it just might be that allergies are at play and that you are allergic to the product. If such is the case, consulting a dermatologist might be in order.
Too much treatment. Sometimes, leaving well-enough alone would be better. Perhaps due to the zeal with which people want to avoid having zits, overusing topical and over-the-counter treatments have become more of a problem than the solution. Unfortunately, there are a lot to choose from like topical salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulphur soaps and ointments and so much more. These treatments have issues as well, including making the affected skin look even more horrid than possible, burning the skin if used often and the like. To say the least, these outcomes actually make treating the affected areas difficult and worse make the breakout hard to conceal.
What to do? Ironically, most professionals recommend an OTC to help with the aftereffects of too much treatment. Products with hydrocortisone address inflammation and redress, after which a dab or two of concealer—preferably with non-comedogenic and bacterial properties helps soothe and prevent breakouts from deteriorating further.
Spicy Foods. Spicy foods are delicious in food but unfortunately bad for breakouts through no fault of their own. It seems that most spicy foods contain acidic lycopene which help trigger allergies and yes, breakouts. What to do? Take a break—literally, from eating spicy foods. By doing so, it will enable you to determine if spicy foods are actually the trigger that causes breakouts to occur, thereby giving the skin enough time to heal.
Using the wrong shampoo. Shampooing daily has become a habit for most people. What they don’t realize though is that shampoo contains a number of chemicals and ingredients that can clog pores—and worse, not only on the face but also on the chest and the back (bacne) due to the rinsing involved. What to do? When rinsing or washing shampoo, just keep the flow of the shampoo away from the body, so as not to irritate your chest, back and face. This will enable residue to avoid these areas and not clog pores that will eventually lead to breakouts.
Scrubbing too hard. This is a no, no for very practical reasons and should be stopped, especially when breakouts are inevitable... Scrubbing the skin too hard may leave the skin smooth but it also damages it. Likewise, scrubbing helps spread the bacteria that causes acne on the skin. What to do? Just gently wash the face and moisturize the face with products that contain pore-clearing ingredients such as alpha hydroxyl acids, glycolic acid or lactic acids.
Avoid another person’s facial hair. Beards and moustaches may look good, but they do cause
friction and help trigger breakouts, but not necessarily on the offending individual. Not only that, rubbing one’s skin on prickly hairs actually help stimulate oil production that can also cause blemishes and skin burns. What to do? This may be the tricky part but simply asking the person to shave and shave often may be the only solution—otherwise refrain from any contact.
Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and perhaps even vapes. Smoking is not only dangerous to one’s health but also to one’s skin. Cigarette smoke actually decreases the amount of oxygen that goes to facial skin and also irritates skin thereby producing more oil and possibly more breakouts. What to do? Just don’t smoke. Period.
Squeezing Zits. Picking at zits is bad for a number of reasons it may cause infection, result in dark spots due to the injury that it does to the skin and contribute to dark spots. It also helps stimulate too much oil production and can spread the growth of bacteria that causes breakouts. What to do? Resist the urge to squeeze and just allow the zit to heal on its own—preferably without the company that a full-blown breakout will provide.
Stress. Is the state of your mental health weighing you down? Chances are a full-blown breakout will follow. When stressed, the body produces cortisol and more of that hormone is produced as long as you are stressed. In turn the hormone stimulates oil glands to make testosterone that in turn increases oil production and clogs pores. Unfortunately, the stress cycles is repetitive and until the cause of the stress is known, expect breakouts to recur. What to do? Contemplation, meditation and activities that help release pen-up stress will help body, mind, soul and skin.
Detergents and soaps. Of course not all soaps and detergents should be avoided. Just those that
contain harsh chemicals that remain on clothes and skin that help trigger full-blown breakouts on different parts of the body, including the face, back, posterior, chest and the like. What to do? Choose a dermatologist approved detergent or soap that’s ideally fragrance and dye-free.
Not washing after a workout. Sure, keeping that thin film of sweat after a hard glowing is one way of showing-off that healthy afterglow. However, letting sweat, dust and oil remain is one recipe for a zit breakout. Unfortunately, most people refrain from washing after exercising. Hence, the preponderance of breakouts not only on the face, but in other parts of the body as well. What to do? Of course, washing or bathing after a workout is ideal. However, if bathing and washing is not an option, wiping with facial wipes before a workout and after will help in removing that film of dirt and grime—thus, minimizing the chance of breakouts.
Sun Exposure. Sunshine is great for the skin—but only in the morning, when you need to create vitamin D. Otherwise, keeping indoors to prevent breakouts is better as too much sun exposure can dry the skin, which then stimulates oil production that can lead to unwanted breakouts. What to do? Keep out of the sun and slather sunscreen—preferably the non-comedogenic kind.
There are other alternatives for minimizing breakouts and the after-effects of breakouts. Taking Cosmo Skin Grape Seed Extract (GSE) is one way of lightening dark spots caused by acne and other factors. The procyanadins in GSE also help in keeping the skin youthful and supple. The skin renewing properties of Cosmo Skin Kojic Soap is also ideal for preventing and minimizing breakouts. Kojic soap gently and effectively exfoliates dead skin cells while washing away grime—it’s perfect for washing up before and after a workout, along with Cosmo Skin Shower Gel and Body Wash which is formulated with collagen, olive oil extract, vitamin C and arbutin that effectively eliminates excess oil, dust and dead skin cells that results in a healthy, brighter, supple and younger looking complexion that hopefully will remain breakout free.