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Acne in the Tropics: How to Deal

When we first started Clearly, we had focused on reaching out to teens since the incidence of acne normally drops off after the age of 19. But to our surprise, adults in their 20’s and 30’s were signing up for subscriptions alongside teens… why?

While we know that incidence rate of acne remains high even into adulthood, we have an additional hunch. Although there haven’t been large-scale epidemiological studies done in Southeast Asia, conditions here make it easier for acne to thrive.

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Here are some points to consider:

  1. The heat and humidity that comes from living in the tropics stimulates sebum production which in turn causes more breakouts on acne-prone skin.
  2. High UV exposure from the sun can quickly darken spots where acne once existed, making spots more prominent.
  3. The Asian diet centers around refined carbs like white rice and noodles. These carbs increase blood sugar, insulin and ultimately the production of androgen hormones. Why does this matter? Harken back to those wonderful teenage years when hormones would kick sebum production into overdrive and cause a wave of breakouts. Eating all those refined carbs may create a similar effect.
  4. About 90% of East Asian adults are lactose intolerant, yet we see a lot of Asians consuming dairy. Every individual’s response to lactose may be different but increased sebum and mucous production are common reactions.
  5. Towels are hard to dry due to the humidity, especially in the evenings when there is no sun. Damp towels are breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus and mildew which may disrupt our skin’s microbiome when we use dirty towels on our skin.
  6. Eight of the top ten countries that produce coconuts are in Asia so it is common to have coconut oil in our cosmetics, creams, moisturizers and soaps. Refined coconut oil is comedogenic and should not be applied to acne prone skin.

While living in the tropics may make conditions a little more ‘sticky’ for acne to show up, don’t get too hot and bothered.

There are simple steps we can take to reduce breakouts, even in this heat.

Back to the Basics

This may be rudimentary, but you’d be surprised how many people wash their face improperly. We’re inundated with marketing about soaps and cleansers and many of us wash and exfoliate excessively believing that it will help with acne-prone skin.

Unless you have extremely oily skin, washing your face with a gentle soap twice per day is the best strategy. Overwashing has little positive impact on acne and may in fact worsen existing acne if it is causing irritation.

As for acne cleansers and washes, in most cases they are overrated since the active ingredient is not left on for enough time to penetrate the skin before they are rinsed off.

Go with a simple cleanser and follow these steps:

  1. Using lukewarm water, get the soap wet. Do not wash your face while you’re in the shower.
  1. Apply the soap to your skin and rub gently with a circular motion using your fingertips or a soft, clean washcloth. Do not use abrasives, loofah sponges, brushes or scrubs
  1. Splash your face with lukewarm water until the soap is completely gone. Expect to rinse your face for just a few seconds
  1. Using a clean, soft cotton towel, pat your skin until it’s dry

First Line Treatments

If you are experiencing acne, Benzyol Peroxide (BP) is your first line treatment. BP has the dual function of bringing oxygen into your pores (thereby killing anaerobic P. acnes bacteria), removing dead skin cells and helping to clear blocked folicles.

High concentrations of BP may be just as effective as low concentrations with less irritation so start with a 2.5% concentration and move up in strength as needed.

Apply a thin layer of BP to areas of your skin that has acne or is acne-prone. Start out applying every other night and increase the frequency if there is no irritation. Be patient. BP takes some time before results start showing. You can pick up BP at your local pharmacy. As for brands of BP, Clearly recommends using high-quality generics since the active pharmaceutical ingredients are the same. The price premium you are paying in a branded product is largely marketing and packaging.



The Big Guns + Good Habits

If BP alone has not worked in the past, consider using the Clear Out formulation. It is packed with three active ingredients which work together to address acne from several angles: retinol to flush out the dead skin that is the material that forms clogs; AZA to reduce redness and inflammation; and pracaxi oil, a potent antioxidant.

In addition to serums and lotions, we cannot over-stress the importance of the good habits that must go hand-in-hand in order to maintain healthy skin.

For the acne-prone amongst us (and we are many), watch for the points above and practice all the great stuff that does come from living in the tropics anyways: don’t stress, sleep more, keep hydrated, and enjoy the bounty of local fruits and vegetables.

If you are out in the sun, remember to apply your sunblock (non-comedogenic of course)!


FREE TOOLKIT TO CLEAR ACNE

Answer 3 easy questions to get Clearly Basics' Toolkit to clear acne!



#RealResults

See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

@megdaviesx I’ve suffered with acne since I was 12 years old. Now at 25 I just accepted that I’d always have acne prone skin. When I came across Clearly, I had pretty much run out of hope, thinking ‘well why the hell not give it a go!’. Only 2 months into my new routine, and I can’t believe this is my skin!! I am happy to go out of the house without makeup on but doing makeup isn’t a chore anymore either. My confidence has grown and I can’t believe I didn’t find Clearly sooner!

@amysacnehealing Yes I know the lighting is different but look at the difference in the texture 😍. Yes I still have acne, that hasn’t gone away however…the fact that my texture has improved has increased my confidence so much. I really do believe this is all down to @clearlybasics I’ve been using their power duo for about 3 weeks and I’ve noticed such a difference in the size of my acne spots…my face doesn’t hurt as much nor is as itchy as it was.

I would definitely recommend giving them a whirl it’s the only products that I can honestly say has made any difference to my skin. The difference it has made in 3 weeks is fab!

@itsangels_makeup I’ve started using The Power Duo + Protective moisturizer nearly 6 months ago after many positives reviews that I’ve read.
The first thing that I’ve experience has been the “purge” coming with clear out and it can last a loooong time.
So this reviews is for people like me who experienced the purge for more that a month or two: keep going.
Because when I was about to quit I’ve seen a huuuuge difference with my skin. My skin is so much smoother that it was before Clearly Basics.
So keep going, use Clearly Basics and stay positive!

@skinwithak @clearlybasics helped maintain my skin after oral prescription and honestly their products have helped so many, I get many DM’s thanking me for recommending Clearly Basics and how it’s helped them.

If I knew about @clearlybasics prior to my course of oral prescription I would’ve definitely gone with using Clear Out for sure!

@theclearskinroad My @clearlybasics update!! The photos on the left were October 2nd and the photos on the right were today (October 11th).

I’ve been using the Power Duo for Clearly Basics for about 2 months now, and now starting to see quick results! My favourite is the “Clear Out” 🤗 Loving the results and exciting to keep using Clearly products!

@fi_ding I just wanted to post my progress, firstly to thank Clearly for giving me my confidence back! I have suffered on and off with my skin for years, the contraceptive pill kept it under control for a long time but since stopping any hormonal contraception my skins been up and down like a yo-yo! I really didn’t want to go down the route of prescription oral medication, personal choice, so when I read about Clearly Basics (after ALOT of research) I decided to give it a go. Even after a few weeks I could tell a difference, and after a few months, the difference is huge! My skin was angry, painful and inflamed. Its now way way calmer, with only a couple of spots popping up around that time of the month. And I’m overjoyed with that! I next plan on tackling the red marks left behind so I can feel even more confident make up free. It does take time, but be patient, and consistent, and it will work! No foaming face washes seem to have helped for me too. Thanks again clearly 🤗😀

Individual results may vary