This blog post was written with the stellar help of one of our Skin and Acne Specialists, Julie Bird. Schedule a consultation in person or virtually if you need some solid advice and skin care recommendations to get your skin on the right track.
What Is Acne Detoxification?
When we think of acne, we like to use the word, inflammation. And when things are inflamed, we need to figure out what is causing this. Sometimes it is as simple as external causes, bedding, laundry soap, incorrect skin products, picking your skin, and sweat. Other times it is caused by internal antagonists, like the food we eat, the alcohol we drink, smoking, drugs, and even our medications. Then there are the physiological causes of hormones and genetics, which can often be out of your own control.
Before you head to the Doctor for a prescription of Accutane, check out our list of 7 steps to acne detoxification and try to eliminate these causes first. Here are some tips we have found helpful in keeping acne at bay for our clients.
What You Put Into Your Body Matters
Dairy, processed foods, spicy foods, and alcohol can really add to the inflammation factor in your skin. Try eliminating these for at least 12 weeks to see if your skin starts to settle down- especially dairy.
Drink more water and less sugary, “sugar-free” marked drinks.
Remember C.S.P (Clothing, Sheets, Pets)
Keep your hands, cell phone, makeup brushes and tools, and glasses/sunglasses clean. Wash and spray with alcohol.
If you wear a uniform for work or sports make sure it is always a fresh one. Try not to re-wear clothing that you have sweat in. Having at least two uniforms on hand is excellent so you always have a clean one between washes.
Wash bedding weekly and flip the pillow over mid-week for a fresh start. Teens may not think about changing their sheets independently — maybe a parent does it for them. The same goes for pet owners; if you are like me, you will likely relate to this— dogs love to cuddle in bed. This means all the things they have rubbed on and rolled in are hanging out in bed.
Allergies add another element. Changing your linens more frequently makes a difference, especially your pillowcases. I change mine two times a week. If you struggle with body acne, try not to use a fabric softener in your wash. Sometimes this can leave any oily residue behind and can irritate your already inflamed skin. There are many non-irritating laundry options to choose from.
If you are prone to ingrown hair, try wearing something loose instead of tight-fitting to work out. Sometimes just friction and sweat will cause breakouts and ingrown hair. If you are prone to breakouts where your bra rubs, try to use a sports bra with a broader band when doing workouts to prevent the straps and band from rubbing and digging in.
Wear breathable clothing that wicks sweat well. If you wear hats, headbands or headgear/helmets, wash them with soap and water regularly. Use a clean headband every time. It is common to have acne where these items rub. This acne is typically caused by friction and usually, all look the same color and size.
Hair Care Products
If you use many hair products, be sure to wash your hair regularly- 2-3 times a week. Your stylist will probably tell you this will strip your color faster, so discuss this with them so they know the skin challenges you are working on. You don't want your face resting on a pillow full of whatever was in your hair from the day. It is also a good idea to keep long hair in a low pony to protect your hair from breakage and your skin from product.
Skin Care Products
Just because the title on the bottle says ACNE Clearing or something like that, don’t be tempted to start slinging products in a panic. Find a solid skin coach and work with them closely. More times than not, a professional approach will get your skin on the right track if you follow and stick with the advice. A good skin coach will also refer you to a dermatologist if the results are not as planned. You can schedule a virtual chat with Julie here.
Picking and Squeezing
Picking and squeezing your skin will absolutely cause scarring and long-term problems. Remember, when you pick and prod, it is ugly for ten days; if you leave it alone, it usually goes away within three.
Proper Cleansing Guidelines
Anyone who has acne issues with their skin should follow these guidelines, especially in the beginning when you are trying to get this under control.
- Double-cleanse your hair and face. This addresses two very important challenges. The first step helps to rid your hair and skin of product, debris, pollutants, and allergens. The second cleanse is cleaning up and picking up anything left behind from the first cleanse.
- Do not let the hot water pour on your face thinking it will clean your skin better. It will spread bacteria. Use lukewarm water when washing your face.
- Do not scrub your skin thinking this will clean it better. It will not.
When to Cleanse-Workouts and Morning
If you work out in the morning, try rinsing your skin; then, when you get home from your workout, shower, follow with your prevention (antioxidant serums) then end with protection (SPF).
When you Get Home From Your Day
When you get home from your day and get into your comfy clothes, do your double cleanse, targeted serum, and or moisturizer.
Workouts After Work
If you work out after work, you most likely have your product and makeup on while you're working out. The best solution is to wash your face before your workout. But if you don’t manage to do this, as soon as you get home, follow the same routine above.
In the Shower
When showering, start with your hair and work your way down, starting with hair, face, back, and chest, then down to your feet. This ensures your upper body doesn't have shampoo or conditioner left on that could cause breakouts.
Use a back scrubber in the shower, but don’t over-scrub anything.
Pat your body dry after showering.
- Keep your skin hydrated- moisturized with the right moisturizer, and choose water over sugary or caffeinated drinks.
- Exfoliate gently once a week.
- Be sure to wash your hair after sweaty workouts, then wrap your hair in a quick dry towel.
- If you have an oily/itchy/burning scalp, it may be a build-up of yeast. In this case, you should always blow dry your hair as letting it air dry could allow the yeast to form.
- Dry shampoo helps keep hair fresh in between washes.
Find a Solid Routine and Stick With It
It is never too late to make changes to your skin. Work with a licensed professional to find a routine that helps clear your skin. When you are struggling with acne, you will need to do more work to see results. Adding serums, exfoliants, and masks can change your skin, but they must be the right combination to help improve and correct your condition. Some acne cases may be severe and need to add a topical or oral prescription medication, and a good skin coach will know how to differentiate. A solid and focused regimen that includes consistency and collaboration will help you with your skin problems, as will a regular treatment regimen.
Acne untreated can get far worse. These 7 steps to Acne Detoxification will lead you on a path to your clearer and healthier skin.