Now that we have found our skin type, made it through the summer and realized we will be wearing masks longer than expected, we must get creative with our approach to healthy skin and pesky breakouts.
Now that we have found our skin type, made it through the summer and realized that masks will be with us for longer than expected, we have to get creative with our approach to healthy skin and pesky breakouts. It isn’t news that once per month we may experience an overnight break out along on the cheek and jaw line courtesy of our “oh so friendly” hormones who invite themselves into our lives (ugh!) That’s once per month…we deal with it, but with the mask, though a life saver, causes new levels of skin congestion – a mix of sebum, bacteria, stress and carbon dioxide. This congestion normally results in acne.
Let me state importantly, that acne is a very common skin condition and can be managed and in some cases cured/prevented if treated correctly. Acne can be categorized into two fields, inflammatory and non-inflammatory. With that being said, one blackhead does not mean you should be treating your entire face with the strongest form of benzoyl peroxide! Instead the solution should be identifying what type of breakout you are having and how to treat and manage it. Here are four of the main types of pimples:
These annoying breakouts are caused by follicles blocked/closed with oil. It leaves only a small opening allowing a “white head” to be visible. Because it air tight no oxygen is able to reach it. This is why the colour remains white and the texture is like solid coconut oil.
Oil and dirt get trapped in the follicle but the pore is open wide enough so that the contents come in contact with oxygen, this causes the black colour. These are often deeper than whiteheads and if left untreated can leave the pore open permanently or scarring.
Oil, dirt and bacteria get trapped fully beneath the skin and get infected causing pus to form. These are normally painful around the area and look inflamed. Due to what is inside them, they often spread pretty easily when popped incorrectly.
Similar to a pustule, these are pimples caused by oil and bacteria being trapped beneath the skin. However, these are without a head so removing them is difficult. They are often inflamed and if picked can leave deep scarring. Sometimes if left untreated can develop into cysts.
You can’t dream of clear skin and it happens, you have to put in the work and be consistent to reap the rewards. This means, these breakouts will not disappear on their own, an effective but safe treatment plan is needed. Here’s the breakdown:
1. Use a skin appropriate cleanser twice per day. DO NOT go to sleep in makeup or without doing your skin routine. Regular bar soaps SHOULD NOT be used as cleansers… EVER!
2. Depending on your skin type, exfoliate 2 – 3 times per week. Try to avoid using scrubs with large granules, beads or beans; these will create tears in your skin causing further breakouts.
3. Use an antibacterial or antimicrobial toner that will clean deep down in your pores. For a budget friendly option, try witch hazel. You can also opt to use one with niacinamide or tea tree based.
4. Grab yourself a niacinamide serum – you’ll thank me later.
5. Never skip this step; moisturizing your skin will put the proper barriers in place to prevent stripping. Find a treatment based moisturizer that will continue to fight the breakouts after your routine. Avoid using heavy oils like coconut oil!
Acids to consider – Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide Azaleic acid.
Most often than not, it’s best to see an esthetican if you begin to have these types of breakouts. I do not recommend that you pop these at home, as you risk having the bacteria spread but also causing permanent scarring. You may follow steps 1-4 listed above however, if you notice that they hurt (which the normally do) get an Advil liquid gel, make a small hole and apply some of the gel onto the bump (NEVER Toothpaste) and allow it to dry down. This will significantly reduce the pain and irritation prior to your skin specialist visit.
Acids to consider – Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Azaleic acid, glycolic acid
P.S – Invest in a facial extractor, this will help you to remove blackheads and whiteheads easily at home. However, if you aren’t sure, book an appointment with a skin specialist.
You aren’t alone battling acne caused by the masks; we’ll get through it together. Talk soon, Daina.