The 3 Most Searched Skincare Questions By Pakistani Women

Acne

The highest searches for acne were in Islamabad. Acne is one of the most universally common skin conditions. Acne does not discriminate — it affects men and women of all ages. It can also be terrible for one’s self-esteem. It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one struggling with this and that most of the models you see on TV with flawless skin have been airbrushed within an inch of their lives. Everyone gets acne! If it wasn’t so common, so many women wouldn’t be searching for remedies. Take some comfort in that strange unity, ladies. This is a collective fight!

What Is Acne? 

Acne begins in the deeper layers of your skin. The pores become clogged with excess sebum and oil, with your dead skin cells not turning over fast enough. This buildup causes the formation of a pimple. Once it reacts with the bacteria in your hair follicles, it causes inflammation and ends up as whiteheads as well. Acne is not specific to any age group and can be triggered by anything from your genetic predisposition, lifestyle, to hormonal changes.

What Are The Most Common Forms Of Acne, And How Do You Treat Them? 

Blackheads

These are essentially clogged pores that are the most visible on your nose. Dead skin cells mix with the oil inside the lining of the pores, and when the oil rises to the surface of the pores, it oxidizes. This turns it black. Pore strips are an incredibly popular and commercial treatment for them, but are an extremely aggressive way of dealing with blackheads! Not to mention, only a short-term solution at most. Instead: Use salicylic acid 2% in the required areas. 

Regular Zits:

These are those little red bumps that are often sore when touched. Zits are the most common type of pimples and are caused by excess build up of sebum. Gentle cleansing and some light exfoliation with either a soft washcloth or a scrub that dissolves into a paste when exposed to water. Products with benzoyl peroxide & salicylic acid 2% will help to treat any active acne as well. Check the back labels on skin care products when you’re out shopping, and see if you can spot these two ingredients!

Larger Pimple

This is when the zit begins to enlarge over time because your skin is trying to fight off an infection. It is best to go see a dermatologist if you suffer from acne like this since store-bought products can only help so much.

Acne Tips:

  • Having acne doesn’t mean your skin is dirty – don’t wash it more
  • Use sunblock – it prevents scars from darkening when acne heals
  • Hydrate your skin. Your skin produces more sebum when it perceives de-hydrated skin
  • Don’t pick your acne, it causes scarring
  • Foods that cause spikes in your insulin levels can be linked to acne so reduce your sugar consumption for a few weeks
  • Get your vitamin D levels checked. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to acne
  • Stick to a regular skin care routine that involves exfoliation 2-3 times a week. This will help cell turnover making sure dead skin cells don’t get trapped
  • Keep your makeup brushes clean

Brightening 

The highest search result for brightening was from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 

Vitamin C can be applied to your skin to even out your skin tone, protect you from the effects of pollution, and improve your general hydration which keeps your skin supple. It’s recommended to be used as the first step right after you cleanse so that the ingredient comes into the absolute closest contact with your skin, and absorbs well. If you are new to using Vitamin C serums then you should start out using it at night – this way you are not risking sun exposure and sensitivity during the day. You should also only start using Vitamin C in moderation, and then build up from maybe once a week, to once a day. This helps you monitor how your skin is reacting to the serum and avoids the potential for any kind of unwanted reactions. Don’t forget your sunblock too!

Vitamin C serums come in many forms. The rockstar is Ascorbic Acid; like most rock stars though, this form of vitamin C is highly temperamental. Vitamin C serums come in varying strengths ranging anywhere from 5% to 20%. These percentages can be confusing since it depends on the specific brand’s formula. To play it safe and start with a 15% serum. If you find your skin reacting to it with breakouts or tenderness, then reduce usage. Use a layer of moisturizer in between your skin and vitamin C, and over time reduce that buffer. It’s also important to remember: if it doesn’t have a percentage labelled, step away from the serum. Do not layer any kind of vitamin C serums with salicylic acid if you have acne-prone skin! Both combined can be extremely aggressive. Remember, less is always more when using serums, so pick one.

Skin Whitening

The most searches for this topic came from Punjab. Skin whitening works by inhibiting the melanin production in your skin. Melanin is a pigment in your skin that protects against the effects of UV damage and absorption. Inhibiting melanin production in your skin can increase the risk of sun damage and if you are using whitening products you need to be using sunscreen. Store bought creams can have hydroquinone of up to 2% for anything higher you would need to get a prescription. Speak to a dermatologist when going down this route, as this ingredient should be used carefully and under supervision. A gentler product is Alpha Arbutin, which also inhibits melanin production. Both should be used sparingly, only on the spots that you have issues with and can take up to three months for the change to be noticed. Newer gentler alternatives that are found in whitening creams are soy and licorice root. Be cautious when using these ingredients and stop using if your skin reacts. Remember to moisturize as these ingredients can be extremely drying for the skin.

Face bleaching is not helpful for acne-prone skin as it irritates your acne even more. Bleaching your skin should be done sparingly and remember if it is mixed incorrectly it can cause extreme dryness and inflammation. Bleaching has temporary effects, a better alternative for brightening is Vitamin C as it provides more long-term benefits.

If you have multiple skin concerns do not begin to treat them all at once. Look at what your major skin concern is first – this is the condition that is probably triggering the others (in most cases, it is acne).

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