How to Keep Skin Clean & Clear
Your skin is an important organ that your body needs to protect itself from the environment that surrounds you. Keeping your skin healthy not only physically helps your body, but it can also extend the time your skin looks radiant and youthful. Keeping your skin clean and clear is as simple as developing everyday healthy hygiene habits,
Wash your skin twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening, with a mild cleansing soap or face wash. Washing your face removes excess skin oil (sebum), dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria, helping to prevent blackheads and whiteheads from forming. The Mayo Clinic recommends not washing your face more than twice a day, as irritation may occur.
Exfoliate your skin every other day. Exfoliation is the process of using a body or facial scrub that contains small abrasive micro-beads or other substances, such as salt crystals. As you apply the exfoliant to your skin, the abrasiveness of the product helps gently remove dead skin cells, providing a smoother appearance.
Refrain from touching your face. Touching your face transfers dirt, oil and bacteria from your fingertips to your face, which can contribute to the blocking of pores. Squeezing or poking at lesions (such as acne blackheads or whiteheads) can also be detrimental to your complexion as it can further irritate acne problems, and may increase inflammation.
Try acne prevention products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid helps prevent acne breakouts by slowing down the rate in which the skin cells of your follicles shed, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society. Benzoyl peroxide helps prevent acne by creating a hostile oxygen-rich environment for the acne-related bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), reducing the populations of the bacteria on the skin.
Wear sunscreen any time you plan on spending time in the sun. Sunscreen helps prevent the premature aging of your skin, known as photoaging. Photoaging causes premature wrinkles, and can also form age spots (liver spots) on the skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing an SPF of 15 or higher, and also recommends staying out of the sun when possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, when ultraviolet rays are at their peak intensity.
Adjust your makeup routine. Makeup can be a leading cause of breakouts, especially makeups that contain comedogenic (acne causing) ingredients such as isopropyl myristate and synthetic lanolin oil. If going makeup-free is not an option for you, you can help reduce the effects your makeup has on the skin by buying non-comedogenic cosmetics and by always removing makeup before you go to sleep at night.
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