The Battle Against Breakouts


No matter age, gender, or ethnicity; we’re all prone to the occasional break out. The good news is that there are steps we can take to getting the clearer and healthier skin we want.

Decrease Stress

It takes a toll on nearly every part of your body, including your skin. In a study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that during exam time, students who felt stressed had more severe acne breakouts than did those under less pressure. That’s because stress increases the body’s production of hormones such as cortisol, which can make skin oilier and decrease its ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria, says Lisa Donofrio, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine. To keep that frazzled feeling under control, regularly practice stress-management techniques, like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. This “can help conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and seborrhea,” Donofrio says.

Improve Your Diet

You, and your complexion, are what you eat so being aware of what you put in your diet is imperative to keeping your skin healthy. Certain foods with a high glycemic index, high sugar and carbohydrate content can spike insulin levels and lead to growth of pore-clogging cells.

With the holidays approaching, make sure you’re substituting sweet treats with the foods that are full of vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin A (carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and salmon)

  • Vitamin E (seeds, nuts, and leafy greens)

  • Vitamin C (oranges, broccoli, blueberries, and guava)

You should also consider trading in your hot apple cider for green tea. “If your complexion is red or blotchy, this tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can be soothing,” says Andrea Cambio, a dermatologist in Cape Coral, Florida. “Iced is best because hot beverages can worsen redness and other symptoms of rosacea.” Another benefit: The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea may help prevent the collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles as well as sun-induced DNA damage in the skin (think lines and discoloration), according to some experts.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep can take a can take a huge toll on you and your skin. The stress it puts on the body, causes it to release more adrenaline and cortisol, which can trigger breakouts and other skin problems, says Barbara R. Reed, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado, Denver. (And research from China found that insufficient sleep was a significant risk factor for acne among adolescents.)

They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason!

Use Gentle Skincare Products

Remember that skincare products aren’t one-size-fits-all so knowing your skin type and allergies is essential when experimenting with new brands. If you are noticing a reaction from any of your products, cease use immediately and you’ll see an improvement in about two weeks or so. If the irritation continues, be sure to contact your dermatologist for a mild topical hydrocortisone cream to apply to the area.

Stick to gentle, fragrance-free and hypo-allergenic products that will be easier on your skin.

Quick Tip: Applying tea tree oil to a pimple before bed is a great, natural way to clear up a blemish. Be careful with the amount you use because too much can dry out the skin and lead to further breakouts. A small drop on a q-tip should do the trick!

Do Your Laundry

Making sure to wash your clothes, towels, pillowcases and sheets routinely eliminates bacteria that can cause acne flare ups not just to your face, but your body as well.

Wash Up After Your Workout

Exercise is important because it increase blood circulation, sending more oxygen to your skin cell and carrying waste away. But keep in mind that sweat from physical activity can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Showering and washing your face thoroughly each workout will help you avoid this.

Mind the Cell Phone

You may not be aware of how dirty it really is. According to Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, studies have shown that our phones have more bacteria on them than a public restroom! To avoid introducing these germs to your skin, clean your cell phone twice a day and when you can, use the Bluetooth setting on your device.

Treat Yourself to a Facial

Ideally, you should be getting a facial every three months and if you’re looking for a deep clean, SkinSpaMED’s Custom Clarisonic European Facial is the best choice for the job. The system is a custom-designed, relaxing spa treatment that is harmonized specifically for your skin type. Using a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, it gently yet thoroughly remove 6X more makeup and 2X more dirt and oil from your pores than cleansing with your hands alone. To schedule an appointment, or to learn more about our custom facials, visit the SkinSpaMED website or call our Dallas spa at (972) 392-3895, or Colleyville at (817) 281-8181.