Ever wish you had all mirrors in the house removed and never have to behold yourself in the mirror with those inflamed black heads, red and tender bumps and pus filled pimples. Having to hide under foundation and expensive cosmetics just makes the confidence worth it.
Acne has no respect for gender. However, it makes both male and female its host while targeting their self-esteem. This skin condition destroys self-confidence, making every victim wear self-consciousness as a robe. It makes you want to raise myriad questions about your look: ‘oh! I hope my makeup is still sitting pretty. ‘Hey, what do you think can help me cure these spots? ‘I wish I can wear this makeup all night long. It makes you that freaky person ever checking out different skincare blogs for remedies that can work ‘miracles.’
A celebrity makeup artist, in a chat, explained how some clients who are acne victims usually don’t feel comfortable and want her to try all their possible best to cover the condition using excess foundation and concealer or every product that can make them look flawless.
According to an online acne statistics, there are over 1.5million cases per year in Nigeria among teenagers and young adults.
MedicalNewsToday also says it is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50million Americans yearly.
Acne, also known as pimples, is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles under the skin clog up. This occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil resulting in dead skin. According to the medical dictionary, the sebaceous glands lie just beneath the skin’s surface. They produce an oil called sebum, the skin’s natural moisturiser. These glands and the hair follicles within which they are found are called sebaceous follicles. These follicles open onto the skin through pores. At puberty, increased levels of androgens (male hormones) cause the glands to produce too much sebum. When excess sebum combines with dead, sticky skin cells, a hard plug or comedo forms and blocks the pore.
As sensitive as some skin conditions may be, acne tops the list. Some people feel comfortable asking for help concerning what they can apply to cure it. However, some will engage in personal research looking out for what works for them.
It’s really a struggle for some ladies trying out all skin care products they come across with labels reading, “For acne & clear skin” and spending every cent just to rejuvenate their skin.
Keke palmers, an American actress and singer, in December 2020, dropped her unfiltered pictures that revealed her acne with a lengthy caption of how the journey had been, trying to understand the cause, diving into family history and discovering what the problem was; also how she cried to a doctor for what could necessarily be a cure and was given measles vaccine. But following people’s advice, maintaining a good diet and drinking a lot of water, after doing all that, the result remained the same.
The above disappointment turned her into a researcher embarking on the quest to find solutions to her skin condition. After all, she alone knew how the acne thoughts had taken the best of her nights and she couldn’t give up on herself.
Studying her acne journey revealed that what works for A might not work for B and trusting every online med cannot be the solution.
However, some people try to provide solutions just because they have a product to sell.
-Research: before you can ask for help, you must have discerned what the problem is when you hear otherwise and know the root cause of the skin condition and have proper explanation. So, a dermatologist can tell what to do.
-Know the product ingredients: when you find what works for you, try to do a research on the ingredients and identify the major one and know what to watch out for next time you are shopping for skincare products. Knowing the product or a particular product ingredients helps you to know what could be possible reactions and when to discontinue when you notice something is not working for you.
-When a product fails you, try another: never get disappointed when you try a product recommended by someone or you hear someone else used it and it works magic. If it doesn’t work for you, yes, you will feel bad, but never feel too overwhelmed to look in another direction. There are a lot of trials and errors in getting the perfect skin; even though it might be overwhelming and money consuming, don’t stop trying till you get what works for you.
-Pick makeup products wisely: as someone with acne-prone skin, you do not want to pick a foundation that will clog your pores. Oily makeup products are a no-go area for someone with acne, hence, the regular recommendation for mattefoundations and powders. As mentioned above, endeavour to always check the products’ ingredients before opting for them. Regular washing of makeup brushes should be number one on the list.
Lately, I have come across victims of acne taking pictures without using filters, revealing their scars and feeling confident in who they are from within and not the outlook – that’s the most beautiful and empowering images projecting deep messages to victims and giving them hope to be confident in who they are.
It’s really amazing to see people embracing their acne-prone skin and speaking up more on the effects it had on their self-esteem and confidence. Embracing acne, however, doesn’t mean that they have given up on getting the flawless skin they desire. But it means they are no longer hiding while fighting acne.
Below are some simple steps to manage acne:
Cleansing: this is the first and the most important step in your acne journey. Getting a good cleanser that works well for you can solve half of your acne problems. And to remind you yet again, make sure to look out for active ingredients; salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. For active acne, foaming cleansers are usually advisable and our recommendation is the Cerave Acne Foaming Cleanser. And for mild reoccurring acne, we recommend Urban Skin Rx clear skin cleansing bar. Have it in mind that these are just our recommendations which we have gotten good reviews from close relations managing acne. If you use makeup, make sure to double-cleanse; wipes are never a good option for removing your makeup. For someone with acne, use micellar water to get a good clean before using your major cleanser.
Exfoliating: This is also another important step. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and when done from time to time, an obvious improvement will be seen. There are two types of exfoliation; the physical and the chemical. Physical exfoliant are your sugar scrubs which is not advisable for your acne. Using physical scrub on your facial acne can cause irritation and redness, which can make your acne worse. Chemical exfoliants come in various concentrations; the weaker formulas can be bought over the counter while the stronger are usually applied by a dermatologist. Chemical exfoliants are best advised for acne-prone skin and should be used once a week after cleansing. We recommend The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2%.
Mask: clay masks are very good for acne as they have the potential to absorb oil from the skin and prevent blackheads and whiteheads. These types of acne form when your pores are clogged with excessive dirt and oil. There are a lot of excellent clay masks but we have got good reviews on the Aztec Secret clay mask. Masks should be used at least three times a week.
Moisturizer: hydration is key! Just as your body needs water to function so is your skin, your face in particular. You only need a pea-size of moisturizer for your face. Moisturiser prevents your skin from stripping off its natural oil. There are quite good numbers of moisturizer. You can pick the ones for all skin types or pick the ones made for your skin type. We recommend Cerave A.M Facial Moisturizing Lotion or Neutrogena Hydro Boost.
Sunscreen: I’m literally on my knees on this. Do not start a routine without a sunscreen. This is very important – sunscreen protects the skin from the sun. Sun exposure can cause great damage to your skin; before you know it, you are fighting hyperpigmentation or melasma alongside your existing acne. There is a myth that sunscreen should only be applied outdoors. The fact is sunscreen should be applied even when you are indoors. As long as it is daytime, apply your sunscreen. One of the challenges of sunscreen people complain about is the white cast it leaves on your face. But fear not, there are a good number of sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast and affordable. We recommend The Black Girl sunscreen and Skin Aqua.
Diet: do not forget what you put in your mouth also contributes to your acne! Eat vegetables, fruits, drink enough water and take vitamin supplements. Treating acne from within goes a long way than just focusing on topical treatments. Instead of downing sodas, make smoothies at home and drink up! Save your body from sugar and preservatives.
Hygiene: I saw a tweet recently and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It says, “You are not suffering from acne, your pillow case is just dirty.” In as much as it was a hilarious tweet, there is a truth in it. Washing and changing your pillow case frequently can improve your acne. Then make sure to cover your hair with a satin bonnet before laying that beautiful head of yours on your pillow. The oil from your hair; either from creams or shampoos can fall on your pillow, which has your face on it and can clog pores. Also, wash your hair regularly and to the back to prevent your face from contact with your shampoo and conditioner. And I will rather you use paper towel for your face than your normal towel that you get to wash weekly. Towels carry a lot of dirt we don’t even know, from cleaning the body to where it’s being hung and this is very bad for your acne.
These simple steps can help manage your acne, with consistency and determination. Although it might be exhausting, have the ultimate goal at the back of your mind – a well hydrated clear skin. As mentioned above, do not let acne run your world, you own your skin, you have control over it, you are in charge. So, give no room for bullying from your own skin. LOL!
As you start your regimen to combat acne, go out and have fun, take pictures and allow no negative comments or opinions define your beauty. It is acne you have, you’ve not killed anybody! Stay healthy, stay beautiful!