Acne (Part III) – How To Get Rid Of Acne? October 15, 2020 Sreeja Shrestha This is the last post of my acne series and if you guys have been following me then you probably already know that clear skin does not come from overloading your face with anti-acne treatments, rather it comes from balancing your BAM – Barrier, Acid Mantle, and skin microbiome. Now if you are new here and BAM sounds alien to you then I highly recommend that you check out my acne series part I and part II. Go for it first because without understanding BAM and other related stuff, you will never be able to get rid of your recurring cycle of acne. Moving forward, this blog post is solution focused and I will be talking about few tips and tricks that you can follow for striking a healthy balance between your BAM. You guys know the drill, let’s talk about one element at a time- Skin barrier Once your skin barrier is compromised, your skin becomes more sensitive and reactive. Luckily you can restore it and it’s not that difficult, it just requires a little bit of awareness, patience and these three steps – Ditch your complicated skincare regimen – Our skin is really smart guys and it has the ability to heal itself so sometimes you need to take a step back from your ten step Korean routine or your regimen of chemical exfoliation because that is not what your skin needs when your barrier is compromised. I am a skincare junkie and I love my skincare acids, serums, and exfoliators but they are just supplements for your skin and your skin can function even without them, exactly like our body can function without taking multivitamins. In fact, when your barrier is damaged these ingredients can cause more irritation to your already sensitised and reactive skin. So, it is best to take a break from all your retinol, retinoids, strong active ingredients, anti-acne treatments, alkaline foaming face washes, drying toners with alcohol, AHA, BHA, PHA, Chemical peels, fruit peels or vegetable peels or any kind of peel. Just stay away and give your skin the time it needs to repair itself. Go back to basics- I don’t mean that you ditch everything from your skincare because that might make your situation worse, so build an effective skincare routine using a gentle cleanser, a hydrating moisturizer, and a sunscreen. Non-negotiable. Do some damage control When you are rebuilding your skin barrier, you need to focus not only on rebuilding it but also on protecting it from potential damage. Protect your skin against free radical damage by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and by incorporating antioxidants (like vitamin A, C, and E) into your diet and your skincare products. Do not wash your face with hot water as it will leach out all its natural oils, therefore, making your skin more sensitive. Skin’s acid mantle Taking care of your skin’s pH is really important as an imbalance can lead to depletion of good bacteria and a rise in the number of harmful bacteria on your skin. There are three ways to restore the pH balance of your skin- Avoid exfoliation of all sorts– Physical, chemical, or any other as exfoliation removes the top layer of your skin. I know exfoliation is the key to glowing skin but not when your skin’s pH is compromised as it will only leave you exposed to bad bacteria and environmental stressors. So just take a step back and don’t exfoliate for some time, give your skin a chance to rejuvenate itself. Avoid harsh cleansers and harsh anti-acne treatments– Toss out all the cleansers that have harsh ingredients and opt for low pH mildly acidic cleansers. This will help to keep your acid mantle under check. If you are someone who suffers from acne, then you can consider switching from benzoyl peroxide to genteler options like niacinamide as this can help treat your acne without compromising your skin’s acid mantle. Incorporate skin loving ingredients– Include moisturizer that has ingredients like ceramides, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that can help rebalance your acid mantle along with preventing it from further damage. Skin’s microbiome – These good bacteria keeps our skin healthy by moisturizing and protecting it along with reducing inflammation. Now when we use a lot of anti-bacterial products on our skin, it kills these good bacteria, which in turn gives more space for the bad bacteria to thrive. But luckily it is very easy to balance the microbiome of our skin by eating pro-biotics like yogurt or by taking probiotic supplements. Working out regularly and ditching your harsh cleansers can also significantly improve the health of your skin microbiome FINAL THOUGHTS – So, my point here is that there is a direct relationship between your acne problems and your BAM imbalances. And trust me if your skin is imbalanced then no amount of anti-acne products or active ingredients are going to work for you. We need to stop this crazy chase for a miracle anti-acne product and instead commit to a basic skincare routine and more healthy lifestyle choices. Love Sreeja S.