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By Natasja, 7 march 2023

This is how you take control of pimples or acne

Sebaceous glands in overdrive
Pimples, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, everyone can suffer or develop them. From acne in puberty to the monthly solo pimple on your chin or an outbreak around the menopause. As a teenager, pimples can have a big impact on how you feel and even as an adult, pimples can be quite annoying. After all, they are clearly visible on your face and they can also be painful, so you are constantly confronted with them. So, you want to do something about them quickly, but in a responsible way and preferably with organic products. But first, how do they actually form? Pimples appear when the sebaceous glands in your skin become overactive and the pores become clogged and inflamed. They are caused by hormones and in some cases by your genes or medications. Once a pore becomes clogged, the P. acnes bacteria multiplies. The immune system responds by sending white blood cells to the pore to fight the inflammation. The white pus head that you eventually see are dead white blood cells. External influences like UV radiation, air pollution and stress can also exacerbate pimples. This makes it difficult to prevent them, but there are definitely things you can do to reduce their severity or keep them under control.

#1: Cleanse your face thoroughly (but gently)
To help prevent pimples, it is important to remove excess oil, dirt and sweat from your skin every day. In the morning and in the evening is sufficient; cleaning your face more frequently can worsen the pimples. Also, check the ingredients of your cleanser. It should preferably be alcohol-free - alcohol dries out the skin - and fragrance-free. When your skin feels oily or dirty, you may be tempted to scrub vigorously. However, you should avoid doing so: scrubs with grains can irritate acne-prone skin, worsening the acne. Therefore, opt for a mild cleanser, like the Dirty Faace Cleanser from Faace. This is a creamy gel cleanser that cleanses your skin and soothes it at the same time. If you prefer a foaming cleanser, there is the ClearCycle Purifying Foaming Cleanser from Suki.

#2: Use an acid
Just because you shouldn't scrub your skin, doesn't mean you shouldn't exfoliate it. You can do this in a controlled way with an AHA or BHA acid. Sometimes, they are added to cleansers, but you can also find them in masks. AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid and examples include glycolic and lactic acid. BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acid, of which salicylic acid is the most well-known. BHA is often recommended for oily skin with clogged pores, but it is also suitable for dry skin. Both acids help to remove dead skin cells and soften the skin texture. Use them in moderation, a maximum of two to three times a week. You can do this, for example, with the Period Faace Mask from Faace, which contains white willow. This ingredient provides the active substance salicin, a natural derivative of salicylic acid that is very effective against pimples. You can also find salicylic acid in the ClearCycle Purifying Concentrated Toner from Suki, which you apply with a cotton pad - after cleansing and before your skincare - all over your face.

#3: Hydrate your skin
Moisturizers help the skin stay hydrated so that the skin barrier remains intact. If your skin is dry and dehydrated, this can have a counterproductive effect on the sebaceous glands. They will produce more sebum, leading to more pimples. By hydrating your skin well, the sebaceous glands are soothed and the skin will be less oily. Unfortunately, many moisturizing creams contain synthetic fragrances or other ingredients that can irritate the skin and cause even more pimples. Ingredients like mineral oils (Vaseline/petroleum jelly) and lanolin (wool fat) are also no-nos because they are comedogenic. This means they clog pores and contribute to the formation of pimples. Therefore, it is better to choose a clean formula with organic ingredients, like the ClearCycle Purifying & Balancing Lotion from Suki. You can also use the Retinol Moisturizer from Baebody, for example, as a night cream to fight pimples. 

#4: Control your inner dr. Pimple Popper
As tempting as it may be to squeeze that massive whitehead on the tip of your nose, don't do it! It may seem like a good idea to clear it out, but it can actually push the inflammation deeper into the skin and spread the infection under the skin. This can eventually cause scars, red spots or discoloration. What you can do, is spot-treat the pimple with LUÉ by Jean Seo's Clear Spot Control, which targets the inflammation inside the pimple. It also quickly reduces the size of pimples.

#5: Reduce stress
Stress itself doesn't cause pimples, but it can make them worse. Research has shown that when you're stressed, your body produces more sebum-stimulating hormones. Stress and lack of sleep also lead to an increased production of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates the skin to produce more sebum. This increased sebum production can clog pores and lead to more pimples. Well, 'reducing stress' is much easier said than done... But it's important to make time for self-care during the day, even if it's just for a few minutes. You can do this, for example, by treating yourself to a relaxing self-massage. The Massage Oil from SKINHAPTICS or the Relaxing Face & Body Oil from Made by Coopers are both great options for this.

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