Still, having acne prone skin is not the end, and it’s actually very easy to manage, if you have the right tools and know-how. Whether you’re dealing with hyperactive oil glands, or a severe breakout of acne, here are a few things you can do to keep your skin radiant and looking fresh.
Why Is Oily Skin Prone to Acne?
Sebum is basically a waxy, oily substance that helps protect your skin and helps moisturize it. Despite the problems you get with having oily skin, sebum is actually necessary to help maintain healthy skin. As we’ve mentioned before, your skin only becomes oily when your sebaceous glands, the glands responsible for creating sebum, becomes a little hyperactive.
This can happen because of a number of reasons, including hormonal imbalance, such as what happens when you go through puberty, or if your body is suffering from certain skin conditions or auto-immune diseases. Too much sebum on your skin can lead to clogged pores, oily skin, and of course, acne. While this commonly happens on your face, it can happen on different parts of your body as well.
Acnes form when the sebum gets mixed with dead skin cells, hair, and dust to form blockages on your pores. These blockages prevent any oil from getting out of these pores, and they basically turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. One such bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes from the acnes family of bacteria, causes your pores to swell, so you end up developing pimples or acne.
Safely Removing Acne On Your Face
Removing acne can be tricky business, as doing it improperly can make things worse. You might end up bleeding in the process, with the wound becoming a point of entry for the bacteria to infect the rest of your body. Here are some techniques that you can do to help you get rid of acne safely.
Spot Treatment With Essential Oils
While it may seem that adding oil to oily skin would make the matter worse, you can actually use essential oils to treat acne, thanks to their antibacterial properties. Oils like tea tree oil can help kill the bacteria that’s causing the inflammation, while still doing the same job sebum has of protecting your skin. The best part is that the essential oil does all this without causing dryness, irritation, or further inflammation like some over the counter creams would.
If you notice acne forming on your face, put a bit of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and gently dab it on the affected area. Be as gentle as possible, and try not to pop your pimple by accident in the process.
Popping the Acne Safely
If you need to get rid of a pimple, but don’t have the time to wait for the essential oils to kick in, you can always just pop it. Of course, if not done correctly, you can make yourself bleed, and if it’s particularly bad, it can turn into an acne scar.
The most important thing you need to think of when popping an acne is cleanliness. You don’t want to make a mess of it and infect the entire area. This is why the first thing you need to do before popping anything is to wash both your hands and your face thoroughly, especially the affected area. Make sure to dry the area gently so you don’t accidentally pop the pimple prematurely.
Next thing you need to do is take a small sewing needle and sterilize it by submerging it in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes. After this, insert the needle into the widest part of the pimple. There shouldn’t be any pain when you do this, and if you pricked the right part, it shouldn’t draw any blood.
Next, using a gauze or a cotton ball, pull your skin taught on either side of the pimple, in order to safely drain it through the pin prick you just made. Pushing the pimple itself to drain it is not advised, as this can push the bacteria that’s clogged in your pores deeper into your skin. Once the acne is sufficiently drained, sterilize the area again using a cotton ball drenched in alcohol and let it dry.
Treating Acne Scars
Of course, popping an acne isn’t always going to be successful, regardless of how hard you try. Scars can develop when a pimple was improperly dealt with, though it’s not unheard of for an acne to develop a scar even though you’ve never touched it. It simply developed to the point that it had damaged your skin.
Still, acne scars aren’t that difficult to deal with. They tend to be superficial, so despite being actual scars, they’re not as permanent as regular scars.
Here are some remedies you can use at home to help you deal with acne scars. They’re mild acids that more or less have the same functions. They are common ingredients in many acne scar creams, and are mostly used to help reduce redness, swelling and can even exfoliate the skin. They do have some nasty side effects for people with sensitive skin, so use it with caution.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
Again, these have more or less the same function, so you can simply choose the one that best suits you.
Daily Skin Care Routine for Oily and Acne Prone Skin
When it comes to acne, prevention is better than cure. Oily skin itself is not a guarantee that you’ll be developing acne, but if not taken care of, it’s very likely you’ll be getting breakouts easily. To help you maintain a more radiant and acne-free skin, here are some habits you should start doing.
Wash Your Skin Thoroughly
Oil alone doesn’t cause acne, but when mixed with dead skin, dust and stray hairs, it does become a problem. So a good place to start is by washing away all the microscopic debris on your face that can potentially clog your pores, and the best way to do this is by using a lot of water, and a good hypo-allergenic soap. Give your skin a good scrubbing, and be sure to be thorough.
Oil Control Products
If your skin produces too much oil, then you should use skin care products that can limit the amount of oil on your skin. Oil control products work by either cleaning away the oil that’s already produced by your skin, or by closing up your pores so the amount of oil that comes out of them is limited. The best time to use such skin care products is right after washing your face, once you have a clean slate to work with, basically.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
A well-hydrated skin is a healthy skin, and healthy skin can easily fight off bacteria that can cause acne to develop. Even if you do still get acne, if your skin is well-moisturized, the likelihood of that acne turning into an acne scar is lowered. Use a good moisturizing cream after you’ve washed your face, and also make sure to keep yourself well-hydrated by drinking ample amounts of water everyday.
This particular method is more of a quick-fix rather than an actual habit to be done daily. Because acne are basically an inflammatory reaction to an infection, you can deal with them by simply using anti-inflammatory creams. You can use most over the counter creams for this, but try not to overdo it, since they do have adverse side effects.
Common Mistakes When Dealing With Oily Skin
Over-washing and Over-Cleansing
The way many people react when they discover that they have oily skin is wash their faces as often as they can. While this may seem like a good idea on paper, you’ll actually be doing more harm than good. Washing your face too often can strip away the oils that are meant to protect your skin and keep it healthy. This can lead to your skin drying out too quickly, and will tend to crack, creating areas where bacteria and other microbes could invade your body.
The same can be said with cleansing. Cleansers, while very beneficial at cleaning the dust, dead skin cells and hairs from your pores, they also aren’t choosy at whatever else they “cleanse”. The skin itself is home to many beneficial bacteria that don’t actually cause harm to you, and over-cleansing can lead to your skin’s microbiome being ruined.
Believing That Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Hydration
Because oil on your skin gives the impression that it’s moisturized, a lot of people believe that if you have oily skin, you don’t really need to hydrate your skin. This isn’t true. The main purpose of the oil on your skin is to lock in the moisture that’s already inside of it. If there’s very little moisture on your skin, there’s not much point in having too much oil. As a matter of fact, your skin can still dry out even when there’s a healthy layer of oil over it. So do yourself a favor and keep yourself well-hydrated.