Men’s skin is three times thicker than women to hold more oil glands and collagen. That is the reason why men age slower but have to live with pimples or acne.
A pimple is a clogged skin pore that is infected with bacteria. White blood cells rush to help fight the infection and the result is that ugly red bump you find on the morning of your first date or your important corporate presentation! Here are some tried-and-tested tips to prevent pimples:
- Cleanse your face three times daily with a gentle foaming cleanser to remove oil and dirt, but for acne-prone skin, look for cleansers with salicylic acid to exfoliate clogged pores. Cleanse with your hands and not a cloth or sponge which may irritate the pimple and cause it to burst.
- Use a scrub with granules to remove dead skin cells and a clay based mask weekly to help unclog pores and absorb excess oil. Avoid cream, gel or paper based masks as it does not have any oil absorbing properties. Men’s skin tend to produce more dead cells and excess oil so this step is important.
- Shampoo your hair daily and use a coal tar shampoo if you have an oily scalp. It reduces hair oil, which will aggravate your acne. As pimples are pores that are blocked with excess oil, it helps to keep your hair and pillow covers clean. Use a headband to pull back your hair at night if it touches your face and do not use greasy hair products such as gels, wax or mousse.
- Take a multivitamin to nourish your skin. Acne can sometimes be a signal that something is wrong and lacking in your body and this makes it react by producing excess oil to clog pores. Eat your carrots because it contains Betacarotene (Vitamin A) to strengthen skin’s tissue and can also prevent acne.
- Avoid dairy products which exacerbate acne. Studies have shown that iodine prevents the skin from eliminating the toxin produced by the acne bacteria and causes the inflammation to stay persistently.
- Avoid alcohol as it dissolves the nutrients in the blood and it thins the capillary wall of blood vessels, dilating more blood to inflame the acne further. When you drink a glass of beer, you will pass out more water because alcohol depletes your skin moisture. Drink eight glasses to of water instead to detoxify your largest organ (the skin) through perspiration.
- Quit Smoking. Researchers in Italy have discovered that smoking causes acne breakouts, and brings out non-inflamed pimples and blocked pores lying beneath the skin layer, causing them to be inflamed.
Lastly, stop picking. Rubbing or scratching the pimples as it may result in permanent scars and will not help get rid of the pimples.
Illustrated and compiled by Adam Chua, Face of Man. 27 August 2013