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Acne is common but not normal, says expert

Freckles which were once considered ugly are in vogue now and, similarly, acnes are also being embraced by people. While being positive and loving oneself is always good, it is better to find out the reason if there is something happening continuously to your body. According to Dr Rashmi Shetty, a dermatologist, occasional acne is fine but when you have recurring, stubborn, painful breakouts, or too many acne, then you need to address it.

“What’s the problem with saying that acne is normal? It makes people think they don’t need to do anything about their acne,” she said. “Acne is not normal. It is a sign that something is going wrong in your body. Whether that is lifestyle choices leading to oxidative stress, or internal inflammation or gut issues,” she explained further.
Dr Rashmi mentioned three important factors that probably trigger or worsen acne.

Inflammatory foods like dairy and sugar

These foods should ideally be completely cut off when trying to treat acne and avoided when you have acne-prone skin. In fact, while treating severe acne you must cut all forms of sugar including stevia, jaggery, honey, etc. Milk and cheese too must be avoided but curd can be included.

Hygiene

Hygiene of the face and scalp plays a big role when it comes to acne. Not only is it essential to keep your scalp and face clean, but also make sure that your pillow covers, bed sheets, makeup tools, etc are always clean.

Overtreatment and self-treatment

People with acne usually tend to overtreat it. They wash their face multiple times and use too many products and actives. All this can do more harm than good. Additionally, do not self-treat acne!
The dermatologist also explained various red flags for acne-prone skin including not moisturising, skipping sunscreen, and using way too many actives at the same time.

Skipping moisturiser

Moisturising is a necessary step if you have acne because your skin needs hydration and moisture to heal fast and stay healthy, calm, and less inflamed. You should pick a gel-based moisturiser, which is fragrance and oil-free. Choose a moisturiser that contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, glycolic acid, liquorice, and ceramides.

Skipping SPF

Oxidative stress is a big factor associated with acne. Exposing your skin to the sun without an SPF can cause a lot of oxidative stress and free radical damage, triggering or worsening your acne.

If you are among those who avoid SPF because it could clog pores and make skin oilier and sticky then get a physical water-based sunscreen or matte or tinted sunscreen so as to avoid an additional layer of foundation (minimize layering as much as your can if you have oily / acne-prone skin).

Using too many actives

Many people who treat their acne on their own end up using too many actives, which will do more harm than good to your skin. Firstly, too many actives will be ineffective and end up cutting each other out. Besides, actives can irritate your skin, dry it up in an unhealthy manner, lead to inflammation and redness, and cause more breakouts!