“Ugh, my acne is ugly!”
“I don’t want people to see me, I’m going through a bad breakout.”
“You’d look nicer without acne.”
Nuh-uh, I need to stop you right there. A lot of people have this perception that acne is a bad thing. They say that acne makes someone look less beautiful. Well, I’m here to tell you that acne is a completely normal occurrence in everyone’s life. Almost everyone has acne or have at least gotten through the acne phase. So as mentioned before, acne is normal, you just have to plan the right acne care in Malaysia for your skin. I know that a lot of people think otherwise and I can’t really change that but I could at least try.
Coming from a person who has a pretty bad case of acne problems, I’ve had my fair share of criticism and unnecessary comments too. I call them unnecessary because it’s not like people don’t know themselves and how their skin is doing. So unless it’s something helpful, try to be mindful of how you comment on another person’s skin. This is because you do not know how your words can affect people. It may hurt their feelings or lower their self-esteem. So as the saying goes, if you do not have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
So yes, acne is very normal. Try to tell yourself that, with the right acne care for it, you will get past your acne phase, especially when you live in Malaysia. That is because Malaysia is known to be a very humid country and that can cause acne. That being said, I’ll be telling you a little bit about why people are prone to acne in Malaysia.
That’s literally it. As mentioned, Malaysia is known to be very humid. Humid weather can cause the pores on our skin to enlarge and absorb more dirt, oil and fine dust or toxins in the air. Pores are tiny openings to hair follicles on our skin. When it gets clogged, a red bump forms with pus inside it. Thus, that’s why Malaysians, or people in countries with similar climates, are more prone to acne.
The Ongoing Pandemic
Ah, here is where I explain what people nowadays call “maskne”. “Maskne” is the portmanteau of the words, “mask” and “acne”. Our skin is very delicate. With the right acne care in Malaysia, one could avoid it. But some people might not be blessed with stronger skin than others. For instance, if anything comes in contact with their skin, they could easily develop acne. In this context, a lot of people develop maskne. This is because, especially for front liners and people who have to go to work, our skin is always in contact with our skin. As mentioned before, humidity increases the risk of acne developing on your face. Wearing masks can increase humidity on the skin at that specific section of the face due to the mask trapping our breathing and sweat. This further increases the risks of developing acne.
There are other causes of acne that further proves that it is a normal occurrence. For instance, hormonal changes. Like when a person is going through puberty. Not everyone will experience it but this is why a lot of people go through acne when they’re in their early teens. Other than that, stress could also cause a breakout. Even when we eat certain things excessively such as, nuts, bread or chips. Acne could even be a hereditary issue. It could’ve been passed down by parents who have acne. If you are taking certain medication like birth control pills, that could also be a cause. The point is, anything could have caused your acne so, don’t think of it as somewhat of an abnormal occurrence.
The Do’s And Don’ts
Do: Wash Your Face Regularly
Even when you’re dead tired, do not go to sleep before cleansing your face. Acne makes your skin sensitive so you have to make the effort to care for your acne when you live in a humid country like Malaysia. Not cleansing your face before you sleep will only further clog your pores as well as dirty your pillow. It is advised that you cleanse your face twice a day: when you wake up and before you go to bed. Cleansing your face when you wake up will help unclog any particles or oil that gathered in your pores while you slept. Thus, after a long day, cleansing your face before you sleep will rid your pores of all the dirt, pollution and oil that may have gathered.
Bonus tip: Double cleanse! Especially if you wear sunscreen or makeup, it is best for you to cleanse with makeup remover or micellar water before cleansing with your regular face wash.
Don’t: Touch Your Face Regularly
If your hand is about to touch your face or scratch an itch on it, stop right there! We use our hands a lot and we’re not always aware of the bacteria and dirt that stays on them. Unless you sanitize your hands 24/7, do not touch your face as that’ll encourage the development of acne. Plus, our skin naturally produces oil to make sure we’re always moisturized and that includes your hands. So not only will dirt get on your face, the oil would too and it could lead to clogged pores.
Bonus tip: Your hair has oil built up too so, try to keep it out of your face as well.
This is one of the most crucial steps of acne care and I learned this the hard way. Firstly, no, aloe vera gel is not considered a moisturizer. I used to not use a moisturizer on my combination-type skin because it would only make it oilier. But over time, it took a toll on my acne and made it worse. So, after many questions, research, testing and failing, I found the suitable moisturizer for my skin type which is the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer. There is always going to be a suitable moisturizer for your skin type to come up with a good acne care plan in Malaysia.
P.S.- Try not to believe products that say “suitable for all skin types”. Most of the time, that’s not the case.
Don’t: Forget To Use Sunscreen
Unless you want to easily get skin cancer, do not forget to put on sunscreen. If you don’t wear makeup, putting on sunscreen should be the last step before heading out. But if you do, then put it on before your makeup so you have a layer of protection from harmful UV rays. Other effects of not using sunscreen are premature wrinkles as well as hyperpigmentation.
Do: Drink A Lot Of Water
Yes, this has been said millions of times but hey, if it works, it ain’t stupid. Being dehydrated, or not hydrated enough, can lead to dry skin. When you have dry skin, there is a possibility that your body would try to produce more oils, increasing the build-up of dead skin cells and possibly clog your pores. Thus, drink enough water, you lovely dehydrated being.
Don’t: Pop That Pimple
I know your first instinct when you see a pimple on your face, is to pop it. But please, don’t. I noticed that when I used to do that, more would just pop up. This is because, unless you’re a professional pimple popper, squeezing pimples will push the bacteria and pus deeper into your skin. This could cause redness, swelling and might leave you with scars that won’t easily disappear. Be patient, don’t pop that pimple.
Lots Of Research
It’s been around two and a half years since my acne started popping up, and it’s still here. I’ve been through almost all the ups and downs, including the lack of self-love. So trust me when I say that it takes a whole lot of patience and a whole lot of research. I’ve gone through multiple skincare routines to finally have a solid one. I started with incorporating The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide serum into my routine and it helped significantly. After that, I started using products from Malaysia’s very own Kayman Beauty and incorporated them into my acne care routine. Their cleanser was very gentle yet effective at the same time, it helped bring down my acne over time.
But after that, MCO came and took a huge toll on my skin. It was the worst my skin has ever been. I always looked up articles or tips to get my skin better. To avoid wasting money, I would use SkinCarisma.com, search the product and go through the ingredient list and go through the pros and cons. So, don’t jump to buying a lot of stuff but instead, research each product before buying them.
Plan Out A Proper Routine
You don’t need a lot, just a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and lastly, sunscreen. All the serums or face masks you hear about are additional acne care for your skin in Malaysia. However, remember that everyone’s skin is different. So, don’t plan your routine or buy a certain product based on other people. Get to know your own skin and what it needs so you can plan your own routine. Personally, because of my combination skin, my whole routine consists of Simple’s products. Their cleanser, toner and moisturizer is just the right routine for me.
Visit A Proper Dermatologist/Medical Aesthetician
Yes, no matter how much research I did, I just couldn’t fully trust the Internet. My acne wasn’t getting worse but it wasn’t getting better either. So, I went for a consultation with a skin specialist. They told me that what I was going through was simply acne. Nothing serious and nothing bad. Thus, at least my mind was at ease knowing that it wasn’t something else that was more serious. I showed them what I used in my skincare routine and they approved it and said I could continue using them. If you’re worried about your skin, get it checked instead of showering it with a lot of different products which will only make it worse.
Make Sure Your Hygiene Is Kept Up
I think one of the things I got used to while trying to treat my acne is keeping my surroundings clean. I always made sure that I’d wash my face every day, I’d try to be conscious of whenever I wanted to touch my face and I’d wash my bedsheets and pillowcases at least once a week. If you feel like washing your bed sheets regularly is troublesome then you should, at least, wash your pillowcases regularly. This is because that is the one thing that comes in contact with your skin the most. You wouldn’t want dust mites, any other tiny mites or bacteria crawling on your face while you sleep, would you?
Give It Time
No matter how you’re treating your acne with care in Malaysia, don’t expect results to show overnight. It takes time for the products you use to take effect on your skin. Sometimes days, maybe weeks or months. Everybody will go through the process differently. You have to be patient, give it time. Don’t rush your skin and it’ll be good for you. So, whether you’re testing a product or taking meds from a skin specialist, don’t give up after a day or a week but give it time.
Bottom line is, everyone has different skin. Acne is a normal and natural phenomenon that happens to a lot of people. Plus, whether or not you have acne should not change who you are as a person. So, it shouldn’t make you love yourself less. As cliché as it sounds, embrace your flaws and treat yourself right.