How to Have Clear Facial Skin
Pimples, cold sores, age spots, blotches and dry skin patches are just a handful of many forces that stand in the way of a clear complexion. Once one blemish subsides, an even larger one seems to crop up in its place. If having clear facial skin is like a far-off pipe dream to you, you may have missed out on some basic skin care strategies that can delay the aging process and prevent many skin issues---including a fatal one---from forming.
Wear sun protective gear when you go outside. A tan may temporarily cover up acne, but it can ultimately cause your body to produce more oils that exacerbate acne, according to the Nemours Foundation. Overexposure to the sun can also cause wrinkles, age spots, freckles, dry skin and skin cancer, says the Mayo Clinic, so avoid the sun between its peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear a face-shading hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen to all exposed areas 30 minutes before you go outside.
Wash your skin with a gentle soap or cleanser and warm water. Using a harsh soap can strip important oils from your face, so your best bet is to use a cleanser that has no added fragrances or dyes. Wash your face no more than twice daily with warm water and just your hands---no abrasive wash cloths---to avoid aggravating your skin or drying out your face.
Buy and regularly apply a facial moisturizer. A moisturizer will help seal in water and protect your skin, particularly if you apply it after you wash your face or take a shower and before you go outside. For extra protection, choose a moisturizer that has a built-in broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and make sure the bottle is labeled "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic," which means that it won't clog your pores, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Apply an over-the-counter acne treatment. It will help to dry up excess oil, slough off dead skin cells and kill bacteria that can lead to pimples, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since over-the-counter acne lotions can contain one of many active ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, you may need to try out multiple products before you find the one that works best.
Wash your hands and objects that consistently touch your face. Since your hands can spread blemish-inducing bacteria, your best bet is to avoid touching your face with your hands unless you are washing your face. However, you can't necessarily stop subconscious habits, so keep your hands clean. Other objects that may commonly touch your face and spread oil, dirt, skin cells and bacteria are your eyeglasses, sunglasses and bike helmet chinstrap.
Visit a dermatologist if you have problematic blemishes. Resist the temptation to pop pimples; that habit can cause infected material to push farther into the skin and aggravate your acne, according to the Nemours Foundation. Your dermatologist can safely treat a big pimple if you want it gone before a big event. He may also prescribe medications or offer treatments such as laser therapy and chemical peels to help reduce your skin problems.
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