This Lankan girl speaks from experience!
One morning, I was ranting about the pesky pimples that had popped up on my face over the weekend. One of my co-workers chimed in with, “Looks like you have adult acne,” and I was taken aback. Pimples are not that big a deal but acne is a serious skin condition. Acne was never a problem I had growing up. Even during my teens when hormones were having a rager, only a few zits popped up here and there, and generally when I was on my period. When it started worsening with time, I finally decided to put all my questions to Dr. Shanika Arsecularatne, MBBS, Dip. in Aesthetic Medicine (USA).
Dr. Arsecularatne says that having a few pimples occasionally is fine but if you have bumps on your skin all year around, it’s definitely the time to seek out a professional as acne is a skin disease. Just as you’d consult a doctor when you have a fever for more than a couple of days, acne warrants similar medical attention.
According to Dr. Arsecularatne, revamping your skin routine should be next on your list. Firstly, writing off your usual face wash for an acne-controlling or oil-controlling face wash is a must.
Stop slathering on a thick layer of moisturizer. “Our pores are like a sponge. So when you layer heavy moisturizer on top, you’re blocking the overproduced oil from being released onto the surface, and this clogs pores,” confirms Dr. Arsecularatne. Instead, she recommends, oil-free, non-comedogenic gels or lotions.
Dr. Arsecularatne says the anaerobic nature of the clogged pores helps the growth of bacteria which ultimately leads to those painful pimples. To prevent this, she advises using an ointment which contains benzoyl peroxide on the pimple itself (PSA: Don’t rub it all over your face as this could cause discolouration or slight burns!).
“Our skin requires zinc, selenium, antioxidants, B complex and vitamin C to function at its optimum and repair itself.” The good doctor advises on getting some help from very skin specific vitamins.
Dr. Arsecularatne is adamant that flawless skin is impossible without lifestyle changes. If stress is a constant in your daily life, slotting in a stress-buster, being mindful of cross-infecting, changing pillowcases regularly and being mindful about the food you eat (buh-bye hot buttered cuttlefish) go a long way in controlling your acne.
Now go treat your skin!
This article was originally published as ‘The War On Acne‘ in the April 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more beauty advice, grab a copy of our latest magazine.
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