6 ways to improve problem skin

If your complexion is riddled with blemishes and breakouts, your confidence and self-esteem may suffer. While spot treatments and appropriate products can help, here are some less obvious ideas that you can try.

1. Stop touching your face. Every time you absentmindedly pick at a blemish, rest your chin in your hands, or rub your forehead, you transfer bacteria from your hands to your face. If these bacteria make their way into your pores, acne can develop. You can also spread bacteria from blemishes to other areas of your face, making existing breakouts even worse. Find another way to keep your hands occupied, and make a conscious effort to make as little contact with your skin as possible.

2. Do not scrub your skin roughly or wash your face too often. Over-cleansing or treating your skin roughly encourages the overproduction of sebum, or oil. This oil can clog your pores, leading to breakouts. Wash your face twice a day, at most, with a gentle cleanser and using a gentle touch.

3. Keep track of what you eat. While this seems like a silly suggestion, you may have food allergies of which you aren’t aware. Some allergies manifest with symptoms that mimic acne or rosacea, but eliminating the problematic food(s) can cause your symptoms to clear. If you notice any correlations between what you eat and when you break out, try trimming the offending food from your diet for a few weeks. If your skin clears, you have probably identified your culprit.

4. Always wash your face in the evenings. The dirt, grime and makeup of the day should be washed away before your head ever hits the pillow. Left to sit on your skin, these contaminants can clog your pores and prevent your skin from breathing, leading to breakouts and irritation. If you are often too tired to wash your face properly, keep some facial cleansing wipes on hand. These pre-moistened washcloths take just seconds to clean your face, leaving you with no excuses.

5. Wash your pillowcases at least once a week. Oil from your skin and hair, along with your hair products, sit atop your pillowcase. When your face rubs against it during the night, these are transferred to your face. Keep breakouts to a minimum by washing your pillowcases in hot water frequently. If you have severe acne, you may need to wash them every other day.

6. Keep your office phone and cell phone clean. Holding a phone against your face is a great way to cause breakouts. Just like touching your face with your hands, resting a phone against your skin transfers acne-causing bacteria to your skin. Use an antibacterial wipe or a wipe meant especially for electronics to clean these items a few times a week.

Having problematic skin does a number on how you feel about yourself. While ridding yourself of acne and breakouts may seem impossible, by cleaning up your environment and changing a few habits, you can achieve the clear, glowing complexion you desire. –