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Clear skin isn’t easy

Clear skin isn’t easy
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Some people never have to deal with the difficulties of a spotty complexion; others just take extra steps to manage their acne, something that is possible with diligence. Here are the secrets of the blemish-free.

They never skip a face-wash

They never skip a face-wash
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Wondering how to prevent acne? You might start by considering your choice of skin cleanser and how often you use it, says assistant professor of dermatology, Dr Joshua Zeicher.  “While having acne does not mean that you are dirty, washing your face has been shown in studies to improve the appearance of acne,” he says. “Using a gentle skin cleanser that effectively removes dirt, oil and makeup from the skin can help maintain a healthy skin barrier.” The key is to actually wash your face. Every. Single. Night. Skipping your daily face wash regimen, he adds, may lead to breakouts as dirt, oil and makeup can block your pores.

Check out these natural face cleansers you can make yourself.

They clean their smartphones

They clean their smartphones
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Don’t freak out, but your phone screen is way dirtier than you think. “Studies have shown that your mobile phone is dirtier than a public toilet,” Dr Zeichner says. “If you are not cleaning it regularly with an alcohol swab and it rubs against your face, you may be transferring that dirt to the skin, which combined with friction, may promote breakouts,” he says. Dermatologist Dr Ted Lain adds, “Plastering a phone to your cheek for minutes on end could lead to not only occlusion of the pores, but also infection and then acne.”

Here are some smartphone repairs you shouldn’t pay someone to fix.

They never touch their face

They never touch their face
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Frequent face-touching can cause breakouts, Dr Zeichner says. “Leaning on your palm during the day can create friction against the skin, create inflammation and actually transfer dirt and oil that may get trapped in your pores,” he says. The solution? Don’t do it.

They change their pillowcases frequently

They change their pillowcases frequently
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Even if you are steadfast in your nighttime face washing ritual, not changing your pillowcase on a regular basis can result in breakouts. When you don’t refresh your pillowcase at least once per week, dirt and oil build-up, and when you put your face into the pillow at night, these blemish-causing substances can clog your pores, explains dermatologist, Dr Betty Rajan. The type of pillowcase doesn’t matter much when it comes to the transfer of dirt and oil, but one of the ways that dermatologists wake up with younger-looking skin is by sleeping on soft, less abrasive pillowcases.

Here’s how to Improve your complexion in just one day.

They eat like Greeks

They eat like Greeks
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Add better skin to the list of benefits associated with a traditional Mediterranean diet, says Dr Lain. This healthy way of eating is rich in vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, plus small amounts of lean animal protein and of course, some red wine. “It is clear that the typical [Western] diet, which is high in refined flours and saturated fats, bodes poorly for a good complexion.” This may be one of the reasons that reservatrol, the beneficial compound in red wine, is popping up in skin-care products.

Read on for some amazing health and beauty benefits of olive oil.

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They try to never pick, pop, or squeeze

They try to never pick, pop, or squeeze
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Picking or scratching at your acne leads to open wounds, prolonged healing, and sometimes scarring, Dr Lain says.  “In addition, we all have bacteria on our hands, therefore you transfer bacteria to your face and lead to more infection.”

Find out which skin conditions look like acne but aren’t.

They try to watch their weight

They try to watch their weight
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Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for a host of illnesses including heart disease and some forms of cancer, and there is a link between acne severity and obesity too. “To minimise acne risk, keep your body mass index in the ideal range by exercising, eating correctly, and minimising sugar intake,” Dr Lain says.

Here are 10 things that happen to your body when you stop eating sugar.

They mind their microbiome

They mind their microbiome
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The microbiome is the collection of normal bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on the skin and in our gut. A growing body of research suggests that a balanced microbiome is super important for skin health. “There is no one skin-care product or supplement that will absolutely protect or repair the microbiome,” Dr Lain says, but some studies have shown that people with acne tend to have an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria and that certain probiotics (such as Lactobacillus paracasei) can improve barrier function and make skin less reactive.

Don’t miss these silent signs your gut microbiome could be in trouble.

They try to wash their hair regularly

They try to wash their hair regularly
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All of the natural oils produced by our scalps to protect the hair can also clog pores on the face and lead to acne, Dr Lain says. “Washing hair helps remove the excess oil on the scalp and hair, which minimises the oil at the hairline and forehead.” But avoid heavy, oily hair-care products during styling, Dr Zeichner warns. Touching the skin on the forehead may block pores and lead to pimples.

Here are some reasons for your itchy scalp (besides head lice).

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