Did you know that our skin can give us clues about our overall health? It can actually hint at larger internal issues, which means that keeping an eye on our skin is of utmost importance. For instance, rashes, itching or skin discoloration may be warning signals of viral infections, autoimmune issues, or even allergic reactions, and may present themselves before other symptoms appear. Abnormal skin lesions or moles may be taken even more seriously, as they could be signs of cancer.
The skin plays also host to millions of microscopic bacteria. As unwelcome as it may sound, the surface of the skin supports and hosts a range of tiny organisms known as skin flora, which interact, mostly harmlessly, without our knowledge. While bacteria have negative connotations, many of those that find themselves on our skin actually help protect the skin’s surface and aid our immune cells in warding off infections. More often than not, the only time we become aware of bacterial presence on the skin is if we encounter a rash or a pimple. Don’t believe though that acne and breakouts is generally caused by this sort of bacteria, poor diet or dirt on the skin’s surface.
More common culprits behind breakouts are actually hormonal changes, which may be influenced by menstruation or pregnancy, as well as sweating and the use of certain cosmetic or skincare products, which may either irritate the skin if used incorrectly, or block pores.
To help treat existing acne, and prevent further breakouts from occurring, the best thing you can do is to keep the skin clean and ensure that any products you are applying to your face are gentle and not causing any aggravation. That said, cleansing and exfoliation should always be gentle and not overly frequent, as it can inadvertently strip the skin of much-needed natural oils.
Knowing your skin type is important when it comes to cleansing and exfoliation, as those with sensitive skin may only wish to gently exfoliate once a week to avoid undue stress to the skin, while those with acne-prone or oilier skin may benefit from twice-weekly exfoliation, to help regulate the skin’s surface.