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Everyday hacks to combat acne

If you're contending with any of the different types of acne on a day to day basis, you'll be pleased to know that there are a number of small changes you can make that might positively affect your skin. Everyone's acne will respond to slightly different things based on our individual body type, so you never know what might end up helping you. Try changing your routine by introducing one of these tips at a time, so that you'll know which one has the biggest effect on your skin.

Earlier to bed to battle stress

You probably don't need any confirmation, but the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School asserts that poor sleep can cause stress and/or irritability. We all know what it's like to have to head to work or school having had a shoddy night's sleep; your mind wanders and you're more likely to feel down or anxious. More bad news? This extra emotional stress can negatively impact existing cases of acne.

Researchers are still unsure of exactly why it is that stress causes acne flare-ups. Some dermatologists think that an increase in glucocorticoid production (brought about by stress) affects the skin's structure and creates abnormalities. Also, it is known that sebum-producing cells have stress receptors, and so they may produce more sebum when the body is under stress, leading to more pore-clogging and therefore more acne.

Switch to wholegrains

Although it is still arguable whether diet does or doesn't influence acne, some evidence has been found to suggest a link between acne flare-ups and foods that have a high glycaemic index such as sugary snacks, white rice, pasta and bread. These foods cause our blood glucose levels to rise quickly rather than moderately or slowly, and a study conducted on Australian males aged 15-25 seems to show that switching to a low GI diet can improve acne symptoms. Try introducing more wholegrains, beans and veggies into your diet and see if you notice a change.

It is important to note that experts are not saying that diet causes acne, simply that foods can aggravate the condition. If you plan on altering your diet, be patient and stick with any moderations or omissions for three months to see if it works. Also, keep up with your standard acne treatment routine of cleansers, washes, moisturisers, sunscreen and anything else that you use to control your acne.

Work out

Although you may be terrified of sweat in case it clogs your pores and leads to more breakouts, exercise has so many more benefits for your health and well-being that outbalance any potential negatives. Anyway, experts are not all agreed on the fact that sweat does, in fact, clog pores. Some say sweat is mainly composed of water and electrolytes, not sebum, and so doesn't pose you any harm, although others warn it can still irritate the skin. Either way, exercise drastically reduces high stress levels, which as we've already seen are connected to acne.

Another major benefit you'll feel from working out is boosted blood circulation, which means more oxygen is carried to your skin's cells, helping them dispose of waste products. A post-exercise shower should be all you need to ease worries of sweat irritation.

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