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.

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.
  1. High UV exposure from the sun can quickly darken spots where acne once existed, making spots more prominent.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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)!


#RealResults

See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

@_myskinstory 😭 I feel like I’m an addict and someone has taken away my drugs 😂 Saturday night I came to the end of my @clearlybasics Clear Out bottle. After consistently applying it every night for 3 months along side Niacinamide & Zinc so last night I had nothing to apply. (Right picture: a few days previous. Left picture: This morning) As soon as I woke up I knew it different feel great! 😭 Regardless off the other amazing benefits that a 2% Retinol & AZA has; I JUST WANT MY GLOW BACK!! I’ll dedicate my next post to the ingredients and how they ‘clearly’ work!!

@gabriela.akrapovi Absolutely so happy with this product! My cheeks were congested and had so many breakouts and redness I didn’t know what to do anymore. I tried everything. I kept seeing Clearly Basic showing up on my Facebook and Instagram and thought what the hell and decided to order the complete trio moisturizer pack. It came in cute packaging and the directions were clear. I started using it two months ago and my god there is a lot of improvement!! My cheeks are less congested and red. I have mostly dark spots but the lighten up is definitely helping with that! I rarely get any big breakouts and even if a pimple starts to show the Clear Out stops it in it’s track. The Protective Moisturizer is great for my sensitive skin and helps keep my skin feel moisturized but doesn’t make my skin go oily. I definitely would recommend this product and I can’t wait to see how my skin will be in the few months using Clearly Basics! Thanks Clearly Basics!!

@carliedaniel18 I have suffered with acne since i was 13, After years of medication, and spending absolutely £1000s on products that didn’t work i decided to try prescription oral medication, and it was the hardest 8 months of my life. I got all the side affects, and even though eventually it did clear my skin after being off it for just 3 months my skin got bad again especially hormonally!

I then came across clearly basics, although the reviews were good I was very reluctant as it wasn’t cheap and could be another dud that didn’t work! Eventually I gave in as I always do and it was the best decision ever! I can’t believe I hadn’t come across this sooner, my skin has cleared up so much. It’s made my skin soft and glowy as well, it genuinely is everything in a bottle!

@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!

@beas.bareskin Clearly Basics have been with me for about a week and I’m so happy I’ve been using their product!!!!!

My fave between these 3 is the “Lighten up” one because it has definitely helped with the redness! The redness on my cheeks are slowly dimming down and the texture of my skin is so soft and smooth.

You may not be able to tell cuz pictures don’t do it justice but if you were to have felt my skin before I used their products compared to now you can definitely feel the difference !!!

@by.emmataylor So there’s been some progress with my scarring🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼.

These are Clearly Basics results for 1 month of using the lighten up, you can use CODE EMMA for 10% off at the checkout (only if u want)

Individual results may vary