If you’re a young man and you experience acne, you’re not alone. Around 85% of people have suffered some form of acne. And while it’s commonly considered to be a ‘teenager’s problem’, the average age of acne sufferers has increased over the last decade from 20.5 years old to 26.5 years old.
Besides the main factor, genetics, various other factors like lifestyle, stress, sleep, and diet are responsible for cases of acne. If you suffer from acne, changing up these factors by cutting out certain foods and ensuring you get adequate sleep can help to improve it.
For most cases, however, all that’s needed to get clearer skin is adopting a consistent skincare routine. In this post, we take you through the 3 simple steps to clear skin.
This method is a basic skincare routine that relies on three basic types of product. Which products you choose is a matter of personal preference, but there are a huge range of exfoliants, cleansers, and moisturisers to choose from and to accommodate every price range.
Whatever the underlying cause of your acne, all acne is brought about by the same thing. A spot shows up when a sebaceous gland (where your skin produces its natural oils, or sebum) becomes blocked, and this blocked pore gets infected by bacteria living on the skin.
The first step of the routine helps to deal with the blocked sebaceous glands. Exfoliating is a fantastic way to help unblock clogged pores, preventing the build-up of sebum that may eventually become a spot.
For those with acne-prone skin, exfoliating at least twice per week is advisable. However if your skin is not irritated by exfoliating more frequently, there’s nothing stopping you from exfoliating as much as once per day. This will help to minimise blocked pores.
Good to know: If your skin is sensitive to scrubs, you can use a chemical exfoliant to achieve similar effects without causing flare ups.
The second step in our clear skin routine, cleansing, helps to deal with the bacteria that are responsible for acne. Colonies of bacteria live on your skin at all times, and they are actually crucial to maintaining skin health.
These bacteria feed on the oil produced by your skin, and when the level of oil is greater, the bacteria reproduce more. Bacterial infections tend to occur when the populations of certain types of bacteria increase to a level that is too high. As well as this, bacteria which is not native to the skin, which you may be exposed to throughout the day, can contribute to breakouts.
For this reason, cleansing is essential to preventing acne. Cleansing washes away the oils which have built up on the skin, as well as any external bacteria which you may have been exposed to, considerably reducing the chances of experiencing breakouts.
Cleansing should be done every day, first thing in the morning, as an absolute minimum. If you exercise during the day, or sweat more for any other reason, it’s advisable to cleanse as soon as possible afterwards, as sweating provides food for the bacteria that cause acne.
Whenever you cleanse or exfoliate, dirt, grease, bacteria, and other environmental pollutants are stripped away from the skin. These are all positive consequences, but they come with a downside. Moisture and nutrients which are beneficial for the skin are also stripped away in this process.
Moisturising not only replenishes the lost nutrients and hydration, but helps to form a barrier against dirt which can contribute to blocked pores, and bacteria which can cause infections of sebaceous glands. Every time you cleanse or exfoliate, you should aim to moisturise immediately afterwards.
For some, certain moisturisers will exacerbate blocked pores, leading to blackheads. If you experience this, try picking up a non-comedogenic moisturiser, which will have all the same benefits without causing this issue.
Good to know: You can pack in additional nourishing benefits before moisturising with a serum. Try the Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum or the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti Oxidant Serum.