6 Surprising Ways To Get Rid Of Acne That Have Nothing To Do With Washing Your Face
When it comes to getting rid of acne, it can sometimes seem like you've tried every remedy to no avail. Luckily, despite all your inquiries and research, there still may be some surprising ways to get rid of your acne. Everyone's skin is different, but you never know what unique treatment your skin could react to.
Even if you've passed your teenager years and still have persistent acne, you're definitely not alone. Acne affects over 50 million people annually, according to statistics from the American Academy of Dermatology. Acne is caused by a number of factors, including overactive oil glands and clogged pores, but other things like genetics, hormones, stress, and your period can make acne worse.
"Great skincare starts from the inside and then out," says Lindsey Blondin, lead esthetician at George the Salon in Chicago, over email. "When your body has issues and toxins to deal with, it purges them and it has to come out somewhere. One of the many places your body rids itself of toxins, illness and stresses in the body are through its largest organ — the skin."
Face washes and other products can sometimes do the trick, but certain acne can be pretty stubborn. If you're looking for new ideas to get rid of those pesky pimples once and for all, try these six surprising ways to get rid of your acne.
1. Apply Ice
If you feel an acne bump or cyst coming on, head to your freezer for an effective and cheap remedy. Roll an ice cube over your bump for two minutes, and repeat up to six times a day, but avoid pressing the ice cuber in to hard or holding it over one place for too long. "Ice takes away the swelling by reducing inflammation around the pimple, while also killing the top layers of skin cells via a process called 'cryotherapy' to help acne medications reach the lesion easier and kill bacteria," says Alissa Chasen, B.A., L.E., founder of PoreSpective Acne Clinic over email.
It may seem counterintuitive, but moisturizing could be the answer to your skin woes. "Even if you think you have oily skin, you still need to moisturize daily and correctly," says Evelyn Chen, founder of NERD Skincare, over email. If you dry out your skin too much, it may begin overproducing oil, so stick to a water-based moisturizer to prevent this from happening. Oil balance and water balance are two different things," says Chen. "Excess oil causes acne, water doesn't."
3. Take Probiotics
Multiple studies show improvement of acne and rosacea with daily probiotic use. Probiotics are "friendly" bacteria that can be taken as a supplement or found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, and more. "They improve digestion, prevent constipation, synthesize Vitamin K, and keep a balanced pH level (a plus for acne sufferers)," says Rebecca Lee, founder of RemediesForMe.com over email.
4. Cut Down On Sugar And Dairy
It's time to put down that ice cream. A 50-year review of clinical studies found that foods with a high glycemic index and foods that contain dairy can not only worsen acne, but trigger it too. "A healthier diet that includes brown rice, complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, fish, chicken, fresh fruits, and vegetables without processed foods is much more effective in controlling acne," says board-certified NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman M.D. over email.
5. Use Honey
"Honey prevents and kills bacteria in your skin," says celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar over email. Honey is an antibacterial, so applied topically to acne, it can help destroy any acne-causing bacteria.
6. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is not only tasty, but it's a great cure for those breakouts. Multiple studies show that when applied topically, green tea helps reduce acne, as it reduces sebum production, inflammation and bacterial growth in acne-prone skin.
Everyone's skin reacts differently, so test out each remedy to see which one works best for you.
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