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Keep acne at bay

6 Sep 2020 By HUBERT VAZ

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles and causes spots and pimples: Dr Ana María Anido Serrano

Summertime, sweaty skin, exposure to dirt and dust, as well as stress, can often make one an ideal subject for acne of varied types. And, if one is genetically disposed too, then the outcome may not be something you like to see in the mirror. 

They say, if there’s one thing common among teenagers around the world, its acne. And, if your parents had acne during their teenage, the chances of you being genetically disposed to acquiring it can be high. But, it’s not something to worry about, since worry can actually worsen the condition. 

According to Dr Ana María Anido Serrano, consultant dermatologist, co-CEo and medical director, Sandiane Dermatology Cosmetology & Laser Centre, “Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles and causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules are all types of acne lesions. it commonly occurs during puberty when the sebaceous glands activate, but it can occur at any age (mainly 12 -24 years).”

 Pointing out that acne is not ‘dangerous’ but can leave skin scars and affect the psychological status of the patient, she noted that, in some cases, presence of acne on facial skin can affect the quality of life. 

She explained that the glands produce oil and are stimulated by androgen hormones produced by the adrenal glands in both, males and females, and that treatment depends on how severe and persistent it is.

 “The risk factors may include genetics, hormonal changes, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, use of oil-based makeup, etc,” she said, adding, “The role of sugar and fatty foods triggering acne has not been scientifically proven but one should try to avoid junk foods, chocolates and fatty foods.”


Do look for cleansers with either alpha hydroxy acids (lactic or glycolic) or beta hydroxy acids (salicylic), or even better, a combination of the two. 
Do use mineral makeup. 
Do see a dermatologist if your skin doesn’t respond to over the counter products. 
Do wait for 20 to 30 minutes after washing your face to apply acne creams. 
Do apply topical acne medications to the entire problem area, not just the zits you have now. 
Do moisturise every day. 
Do try some tea tree oil on your skin. 
Do gentle facials formulated for acne-prone skin once a month. 
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. 
Drink plenty of water, at least 2-3 litres daily. 
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Don’t wash your face too much. 
Don’t use exfoliating scrubs too often because they can irritate inflamed skin, causing tiny tears. 
Don’t pick, pop, squeeze, or otherwise mess with your skin. 
Don’t overmedicate. 
Don’t get too much exposure to sunlight. 
Don’t go to bed without removing your make-up. 
Don’t have junk food, fatty foods and chocolates. 


Make-up ingredients to avoid

If you are prone to getting acne, it is better to use creams and make-up items that do not contain these ingredients:

Essential oils 

Avoid products with ingredients like essential oils and natural fragrance, in addition to synthetic perfumes. Essential oils are extremely concentrated compounds that can be irritating if applied directly to the skin. it is better to dilute them in a carrier oil before application.

Coconut oil 

Considered a skin saviour for those with ultra parched skin, coconut oil is highly comedogenic (it can clog pores) and can pose some serious risks for acne-prone skin. Coconut oil has unsaturated and saturated fats, including lauric acid which is known to cause breakouts.

Cocoa butter 

Though it’s a rich emollient ingredient that offers great hydration, cocoa butter, like coconut oil, is an extremely comedogenic ingredient that can clog pores and contribute to breakouts. So, if you are prone to acne, it is better to avoid using cocoa butter for your skin.

Common salt 

Sodium chloride, or common salt, is commonly used in cleansers for its exfoliating benefits and its ability to thicken formulations to achieve a desired texture. However, it may contribute to getting breakouts and so is best avoided.

Denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol 

When used in toners and exfoliating products, which are used over the entire face, these specific forms of alcohol become drying and irritating to the overall health of the skin, especially if you have skin on the dryer side.




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