Hot Showers Make Acne Worse

There are few things greater in life than hot water. Think about it: Hot tubs, showers and tea all bring us joy and relaxation.

On top of that boiling water kills microbes in water and allows us to cook food. Hot water has no doubt been an essential facet of human life for thousands of years.

But did you know that hot showers make acne worse?

Do you ever notice how your skin gets itchy and red when you step out of a hot shower? And to make matters worse, it’s now winter and your skin will be even drier.

Let’s take a deeper look at why this happens

Understanding Your Skin’s Anatomy

Our bodies naturally secrete oil to thinly coat our skin. This oil has a few roles, including retaining moisture and keeping bacteria from entering the body.

Not only do soaps, topicals, pollutants etc. disturb this balance, but when we add hot water to the mix it makes matters worse. What happens is that the hot water ‘dilutes’ the oil on the skin making it more malleable. This allows the moisture that was being retained by the skin to escape, leading to dry skin. The hotter and longer your showers are, the more noticeable this will be.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s better to be aware of the fact that hot showers make acne worse, than to continue to let your skin worsen. Not all hope is lost though, there are ways around it.

Give Cold Showers a Try

While hot showers are soothing and relaxing, cold showers are less than pleasant. Yes, these can be brutal, especially in the winter time but they’re a good choice for healthy skin and a healthy body.

One reason for this is that cold temperatures increase circulation by taking blood away from the extremities and sending it towards our vital organs. Once the cold temperatures let up the blood flows back out, and thus gets circulation going. This is good for skin because we need a healthy blood flow to get nutrients to our skin.

A second reason is that unlike hot water, cold water does not do as much damage to the surface of the skin. You’ll notice that your skin retains a lot more moisture following cold showers.

Showers in General

In all honesty, showering and washing your face every day is probably not good for your skin. Yet, we live in a world that requires us to stay squeaky clean. And you don’t want to be smelly and dirty do you?

What you need to do is strike a healthy balance with your washing. First of all, unless you’re an athlete or rolling around in mud and dirt all day there’s really no reason to shower more than once a day.

I’m not going to get in a detailed discussion of how often to shower because I’m not your father, but when it doubt shower less if you are acne prone. I realize that goes against collective thought but I think it’s truly better for skin.

The Plan

So let’s put a plan together to help keep your skin clear and healthy in regards to showering.

  1. Do you need a shower? Don’t shower for the sake of showering; shower when you actually need it.
  2. Limit hot water use as much as possible. Start out using hot (preferably lukewarm) water so that you can wash yourself, and then slowly turn down the dial until it gets cold.
  3. Limit Products On Your Face: Shampoo and soaps can wreak havoc on that precious balance of oil on your face. Do your best to avoid getting these products on your face, both directly and indirectly, when possible.
  4. Pat Dry. Better Yet air dry it. Rubbing a towel on your face is irritating to acne.

Well there you have it. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be. You’ve been bathing since you were a child and I have faith that you can do it fine, however, it’s in your best interest to implement the aforementioned changes.

Post any comments or questions below.

How To Stop a Pimple In Its tracks

If you have a face full of pimples, then you probably won’t be overly concerned with a single, solitary spot. Rather, you should be concerned with tackling the underlying causes of the problem. Check out my Quick Start guide to get your skin in top shape ASAP.

For many people however, a single pimple is enough to give them a cause for concern. In this instance there are certain steps to take to prevent that pimple from becoming a monstrosity and a bane to your existence.

The most important mantra to remember is that:

“The best offense is a good defense.”

While that pertains more to sports, it does hold value when it comes to skincare. In order to prevent pimples from surfacing, you have to make sure you’re doing everything right in the first place to stop them from coming into existence.

This includes following the routine your dermatologist laid out for you, eating a healthy diet, taking the proper vitamins and minerals, additional health supplements, juicing fruits and vegetables, getting adequate sunshine and more. If you fail to follow these with consistency and persistence, then you can guarantee you will have many breakouts in the future.

I used to fall into this trap. My skin would look great for a few days, I’d slack off on my health and skin regimens, and then like clockwork I’d notice a few blemishes. I’d then furiously hop back on my routine, and within a few days my skin would clear up. I would then slack off again, I’d breakout and the vicious cycle would continue.

It is CRUCIAL that you follow this program to a T day in and day out if you want your skin to look its best every day. I know it’s tough, but if you make it a top priority it won’t be difficult for long.

Now, let’s get down to business.

The Routine

I’m going to assume that you woke up one morning and you noticed a pimple getting ready to surface. Usually a spot won’t op up without fair warning. The biggest ad gnarliest bastards tease you and slowly surface.

For the entire day you should limit, if not entirely avoid, and foods that may exacerbate your skin. More importantly though, you want to eat foods that help reduce inflammation. I say that because from what I noticed, consuming particular fruits and vegetables do more to help my skin than junk food does to hurt my skin.

Does that make sense?

I have a juicer and what I’ll do is make one with at least half a dozen organic carrots. While Cod Liver Oil provides the lion’s share of vitamin A, juiced carrots give my body a ton of vitamin A in the form of Beta-Carotene. I’ll also add in some leafy greens and a little fruit to taste.

My skin is noticeably better the day after one of these juices. If you don’t have a juicer, it’s something I would urge you to look into. Check out my recommendation.

In addition to a juice, you want to consume additional whole fruits and vegetables. You should also seek to limit excessive carbohydrates, and eat healthy fats like almonds, avocados and fish.

The next step is to make sure you’re supplementing properly. If you notice a blemish(es) surfacing then you’re going to want to bump up your typical dosages. Here’s my recommendations:

  1. Cod Liver Oil: 3 tsps.
  2. Vitamin D: 10000 IU
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: 3 tbsps.
  4. Coconut Oil: 3 tbsps.
  5. Zinc: 60 mg

These are by no means dangerous amounts to consume, but not amounts you need to consume every day. For a few days though it’s what I would follow to stop a breakout.

Hopefully it’s a nice day outside, if so, spend as much time outside as possible, almost to the point where you’re going to get a sunburn. What this will do is to make sure your body I getting more than enough vitamin D. While excessive sun is bad for your skin long term, in my opinion it’s fantastic for helping to get rid of spots.

I’ll put it this way: My acne has never been worse the day after I’ve spent a ton of time in the sun. That’s just anecdotal evidence, but I stand by it. Now, if you do get a ton of sun, there is no need to take any vitamin D that day. However, if it’s winter or a gray day outside, then stick with the 10000 IU I recommend.

To cap it all off, at night, use the 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. I don’t recommend this often, but when you feel a spot surfacing, or after it already has surfaced, then is the time to use it.

Additional Words of Wisdom

Make sure to through the day without worrying and obsessing over one spot. That won’t help you physically or mentally. Remember that all spots will go away eventually, so there’s no point in obsessing over it.

A few other things to keep in mind: No hot showers (at least on your face) and there is no need for cleansers (“cleaning” a blemish is pointless since it’s already there). Also, try to avoid makeup and for God’s sake stop putting crap on your face!

The Next Day

The day after you follow this routine I can guarantee your skin is going to look a whole lot better. There’s one little problem though…

Following a routine like this means that your immune system is going to be functioning at full capacity, which in turn means that white blood cells will be on the hunt for nasty bacteria. These white blood cells will make their way to the blemish you’ve been trying to get rid of and camp out there. This is the ‘head’ of the pimple.

Most people like to pop these; dont. Don’t!

DO NOT POP THE PIMPLE!!!

Sure, popping it gets rid of the whitehead, but only temporarily. And even so, you’re going to be left with a bright, red spot.

My suggestion is to just suck it up and deal with the whitehead. It’s just a little speck, it’s not the end of the world. It should subside within another day or two.

On the other hand, sometimes the pimple will actually subside altogether, depending on how early you caught it. Regardless, if you follow the routine, these types of things won’t happen much in the future.

I mentioned quite a few products I use, so if you want to learn more about them check out this page.

 

Time and Consistency: The most important aspects of an Acne Regimen

It’s the worst feeling in the world: Waking up in the morning, staring in the mirror and knowing that you have to face the world with a face full of acne.

“Screw You Acne!!!”

I know, I dealt with this for a decade, and I’m sure you have to.

Nobody will ever know the length we go to take care of our skin, they will only be able to judge us for what they see on the surface, and this haunts us.

We try everything and nothing seems to work. It’s the same day in and day out.

We cry, kick, scream and curse the world and our genetics for making us suffer.

When will it end?” is the question we always ask.

This website was created in order to help people get rid of acne once and for all. I’ve suffered mild to severe acne and used everything from Accutane to Zinc. There are several things that help, but most don’t. I hope that with this site I can’t cut through the bogus and help you find what really works.

Over the years I’ve found that the one of the most important facets of any acne regimen is consistency. Without consistency, we are vulnerable to allowing acne to rsurface. This means that in order to get rid of acne you are going to have to be extremely dedicated and disciplined. There is no quick fix for acne, nor is there a ‘one size fits all’ method, but there is a way.

The other most important aspect is time. While I have found supplements like cod liver oil do wonders in days, that may not work for everyone. Maybe you’ll need Accutane (although both contain high levels of Vitamin A). Whatever it is that works for you, stick with it!

How long will it take to get rid of acne?

Like I said, it could be a few days, but more likely it will take a few months. Most people don’t have the willpower to do something consistenly for that long and therefore still suffer from bad skin. Although, in many cases people just don’t know what to use. Either way, this site will ‘cure what ails ya’.

 

How many times a day should I wash my face?

Washing our face has become synonymous with treating acne. Because we associate good skin with being clean, and bad skin being dirty, the natural assumption would be that washing our face would help get rid of acne, and the more times the better.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In order to understand how to get rid of acne, we must understand what causes it. I believe that acne is caused by either hormonal imbalances, exposure to harmful toxins and substances, and vitamin deficiencies; science supports this for the most part. Nowhere in medical journals does it advocate that acne is caused by excess exposure to dirt. If acne were caused by dirt and soot a lot more people would have pimples.

So not only is advocating washing your face multiple times per day unncessary, but it’s also harmful for two reasons:

  • Dry Skin/Imbalance: Excessive washing of the face will both dry out your face and….
  • Excess exposure to chemicals: I like to limit the amount of man-made products that go on my face. Wherever I can afford to cut back I will, and in this case I wash my face with Cetaphil once a day, if that.

(all derms agree that over-washing can lead to irritation and a lack of moisture. The rule is to use common sense: Always wash your face after a workout to prevent breakouts, and wash excessively oily skin morning and night. For very dry or sensitive skin, stick to cleansing once daily in the evening.)

Also, please note that when I’m using the term washing your face it assumes that your using a cleanser. You can wash your face more often with just water, but again, more doesn’t mean it’s better.

So should I stop washing my face altogether?

No, and here’s why.

While  I don’t think dirt, soot and things of that nature cause acne, exposure to harmful chemcias can. You may not realize it, but anytime you set foot outside you are potentially being exposed to these chemicals.

Things like exhaust fumes are everywhere and definitely do not have a positive impact on the body. This is something people a hundred years ago didn’t have to deal with.

In addition that, excessive sweating and use of makeup are unnatural to an extent and therefore have the potential to cause acne.

This is why I don’t entirely dismiss washing your face, I just want to set the record straight in that excessive face washing does more harm then good?

So how often should I was my face?

It depends of course, but my recommendation is 0-2 times per day. Here’s what I do: On days I workout I’ll wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser directly after the workout (I usually finish in the early afternoon), and then if I feel like I need it I’ll splash some cold water on my face at night.

So when I say wash your face 0-2 times per day, that’s a maximum of one time per day with a cleanser.

I never understood the concept of washing our face in the morning. It’s not like we’re rolling around in our own filth, assuming we regularly clean and change our bed sheets. And even if we were rolling around in our filth that probably wouldn’t impact our skin much anyway.