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What Lifestyle Changes Improve Acne?

Improving acne isn’t just about ointments and cleansers. Everything from exercise to diet and sleep patterns plays a part. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to acne. For a more holistic approach, let’s explore what lifestyle changes might lead to clearer skin.

Acne-Causing Diets

Popular myths about acne say greasy foods lead to breakouts, but it’s a little more complicated than that. The American Association of Dermatology has linked acne breakouts to high-glycemic foods. Common examples include:

  • White bread and grains
  • Soft drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Potatoes, particularly chips and fries

High-glycemic foods raise your blood sugar much quicker than other foods. This puts your body in a state of stress causing it to release cortisol — a stress hormone responsible for regulating sleep patterns, preparing you for fight-or-flight situations, and increasing skin oil production.

Reducing the amount of these foods you consume could be vital to reducing breakouts.

Sleep Quality and Acne

The day after you get bad sleep, your skin and brain functionality will show it. In a 2019 study, researchers found a potential link between poor sleep and acne breakouts.

Over the course of a week, subjects kept a sleep journal and completed a questionnaire about acne breakouts and treatments. Researchers weren’t entirely sure why poor sleep might lead to worse acne, but it may be tied to hormonal imbalances, stress, and elevated cortisol levels.

Acne and Exercise

The American Academy of Dermatology advises people to maintain proper hygiene before, during, and after exercise to prevent acne breakouts. Every time you work out:

  • Remove makeup
  • Wear clean workout clothes
  • Wipe yourself off and all equipment off during your routine
  • Shower immediately afterward

It’s not the workout routine itself that causes acne. Dried sweat and grime clog pores. With clogged pores, dead skin and oil stay on your skin resulting in blackheads, pimples, and acne flare-ups.

Skincare Routines

Skincare products and makeup are a double-edged sword for people with acne. On the one hand, makeup may cover untimely breakouts. On the other hand, it clogs pores. Always remove makeup as soon as possible and never wear it to bed.

Many people believe moisturizers make acne worse. However, light moisturizing is essential for making skin glowing and radiant. Just don’t go overboard and talk to a dermatologist about the best moisturizers for your skin.

Shaving may cause razor burn and cuts that get infested with grease and grime and lead to acne breakouts. Always use a sharp, clean razor and be meticulous about which way you shave. While shaving against the grain gets a quicker, closer shave, it may cause skin irritation.

Ask a Dermatologist About Products and Procedures for Your Skin Type

If you ask your friends about what prevents acne breakouts for them, you’ll get conflicting answers. At Southeast Dermatology of Georgia, we know that everyone’s skin is different. Let us help you decide what products and routines are best for your skin. If you’re still struggling with acne, schedule an appointment today to talk about clinical acne treatments like prescription medications and chemical peels. You and your skin are worth the extra effort.

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