“Why does my face keep breaking out?” a question many of us often ask ourselves, as we check ourselves in the mirror every morning.
The answer, unsurprisingly, is often found within you. Look at your daily habits and routine or your food preferences and lifestyle, and you’d probably be able to identify which of the many bad habits you have is the real culprit.
An acne occurs when the pores on the surface of the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin cells, or bacteria from environmental exposure. Beneath each pore, there lies a singular hair follicle and a sebaceous gland. The gland produces sebum, an oil designed to keep your skin lubricated and soft. When the gland goes haywire, for many different reasons we will discuss below, it produces excessive sebum. The oil will be pumped through the follicle, picking up dead skin cells and bacteria along the way out. When all of these clump together near the surface, a plug forms which then turns into an infection. The body, naturally, then responds with an accumulation of red and white blood cells to fight the infection, resulting in redness and inflammation we commonly call acne, pimple or breakouts.
Persistent acnes, painful wounds, embarrassing scars, and even collars with blood stains; these could be something some of us are very much used to, unwillingly, until we tend to spend so much time and money trying to find whatever solution that seems to work. But did you ever sit back and think what is possibly causing this, and if you could just tackle the problem from the root?
Sure enough, break outs are more prone to men in their teens and 20s, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get seasonal break outs in your 30s and 40s. When you are young, anything from hormones to stress could contribute to your skin breaking out. When you get older, your skin gets exposed to more pollution and harmful elements around you, which in turn makes it more prone to breakouts and other skin problems as well.
So, assuming you are old enough to have passed the hormonal acne problem stage, what do you think is causing you to persistently break out?
A study recently published in the journal Frontiers of Environmental Science stated, “Exposure of the skin to air pollutants has been associated with skin aging and inflammatory or allergic skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or acne, while skin cancer is among the most serious effects.” This is particular relevant to men who work in cities or working environments involving fumes and heat. Industrial smoke, chemical air particles, and car fumes are not just harmful to your lungs; your skin suffers too. And in a tropical climate such as ours, the excess sweating and oiliness contributes to collection of dead skin cells and bacteria even faster than you could imagine.
Secondly, your daily habits. Good daily habits that can benefit your skin include drinking lots of water; eating fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates and proteins; and making sure that you control or reduce your stress. But many of us are not doing it right. Remember, a healthy diet provides the nutrients that your skin needs to stay strong and defensive, and to regenerate itself through all the physical and environmental stress it gets. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, as staying hydrated gives the skin the sufficient blood it needs to self-preserve. For men whose work requires them to be under the sun for long, maybe you could try wearing sunscreen or moisturisers to protect your skin from harmful UV rays or even excess sweating.
Wrong or irregular skincare routine is also sometimes to blame. Discipline and consistency is the key, which many men fail to follow. Every time you cleanse, you should consider completing the course with a toner and moisturiser thereafter. Whilst cleansing twice a day, as advised by most dermatologists, would clear up the impurities and oil on your face, using a toner would remove any excess dirt and impurities from your skin from deep within. Thereafter, always aim to moisturise your face after cleaning and toning regimes, as hydrating your face keeps it generally looking good and prevents excess oil production.
Skin break out is a very common condition amongst most adult men. However, it is not a problem without solution, nor is it difficult to prevent. With the right balance in your lifestyle and change in habits, let’s hope you probably won’t have to keep asking yourself “Why does my face keep breaking out?”.