Acne; One of The Fiercest Battle In a Lady's Life

One of the fiercest battles in a lady's life is the fight against acne (aka pimples). Only a lucky few of the population of females above the adolescent age are naturally free from this great "enemy". Not like the men are exempted, but do they really care? 

Check the dressing table of an average lady and you will always find at least one facial cleanser/ skin care product applied everyday (usually morning and night). You go to bed every night not without washing your face, drying it with your towel and applying your dearly loved skin care product with the hope of seeing a dazzling smooth face the following morning.

It is usually a bit discouraging when you wake up and these poka dots of sebum are still littered around your face. But we don't give up, right? How about I tell you one thing you've  probably never taken note of, but could be a major "fertiliser" for your ever blooming acne?

You should have heard of the saying that goes "even kins are guilty". This could be a perfect description of how much your towels contribute to the growth of acne on your face. Yes, towels are often homes for bacteria and fungi which could eventually lead to a worsened growth of acne on your face. A towel might look clean, but can actually collect a ton of dirt, dust, makeup, oil and dead skin cells that you can't even see. Towels are often damp hence becoming comfortable breeding sites for microbes. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control detected E.coli bacteria on reusable towels, which cause acne, breakouts, fungal infections and more.  So think of how much of bacteria and fungi you "apply" while drying your face.

“People who have extremely dry or sensitive skin, those who are acne prone, and people with skin conditions like eczema are the most at risk for a dirty towel causing breakouts since their skin barrier isn’t functioning as well as it should be,” says Dr. Zeichner, a new York city dermatologist.

If a towel has to be used for absorbing moisture on the face, it MUST be a clean and dry one. It might take you having more than one towel so you can always have at least a clean dry towel at  your disposal. Another alternative is the use of paper towel (or toilet roll as it is usually called). This is a very hygienic alternative as it could be used to dab the face and disposed immediately. 

The multipurpose use of towels should also be avoided. Towels should not be used as handkerchiefs, wrappers, bedspreads etc. Also, towels used for the face should not be used for other parts of the body such as hair. This could introduce unfriendly microbes from other parts of the body to the face. The skin care products you put on your body such as moisturisers, fragrances, and hair products might have adverse effects when they end up on the face. They could block skin pores and hence, the break out of rashes and other related irritations including acne.

It is not only important to have a separate towel set aside for drying your face, but to make sure that it stays super clean and dry, meaning it should be washed or replaced with a new one every couple of days. If you're prone to breakouts, you might want to get a fresh face towel even more frequently. Towels could be kept dry by removing the from damp areas such as bathrooms to places where they will be reached easily by breeze to keep moisture away.

Never share your towel with anyone. You're spending the night at a friend's place? Fold your clean and dry towel and tuck it in your bag. It's as important as that facial cleanser you did not forget. Snugging into your boyfriend's clothings could be cute, but his towel should not be used for your face. 

Use soft towels for your face rather than that hard material you're scrubbing against your face. The daily repeated friction of the rough towel pulling against the skin, strips it of essential oils, leading to dryer, more irritated skin; while prolonged tugging and pulling can lead to sagging. Bamboo towels, pure cotton towels, muslin towels etc are recommended. 

The littlest things make the biggest difference. There are others factors that could cause the growth of acne all over your face, but make sure a dirty towel is not one of them.

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