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Acne and Normal Skin

5 Tips to Help You Treat Acne in Normal Skin

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Updated March 28, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Oftentimes, when you think acne you think oily skin.  But you're battling breakouts and wouldn't call your skin oily at all.  In fact, you consider yourself to have a normal skin type -- not too dry or too oily.   

But acne can occur in all skin types, even in "normal" skin types.  The good news is, you can treat it effectively.

1. Don't Just Spot-Treat

Acne treatments work by stopping pimples before they form, so spot treating only existing blemishes won't clear up your skin.

To get acne under control, apply your treatment medications everywhere you tend to break out -- even if you don't see pimples. Be proactive by stopping new pimples from forming, rather than reactive and only treating once they have appeared.

 

 

2. Get a Good Moisturizer

Don't underestimate the drying power of acne treatments! While some people relish the oily respite, your less oily skin may end up feeling dry.

Your skin will probably feel better with regular use of a moisturizer. A light lotion may be all you need, but don't be afraid to go with something richer if your skin feels especially dry. Either way, definitely choose an oil-free, noncomedogenic brand to avoid clogging pores.

3. Use Your Treatments Regularly

To really get good results, you've got to use your acne treatments consistently. Try not to skip days. If you're not using your treatments reliably, as directed, you won't see improvement.

If you have problems remembering your acne treatments, try leaving them out in plain sight to jog your memory, or use them at the same time each day. This makes your treatment routine much easier to remember.

4. "Harsh" Doesn't Equal "Effective"

While some irritation may be unavoidable, the product that stings like crazy, burns like heck, or makes your skin slough away in layers isn't necessarily the most effective. An acne treatment doesn't have to be harsh in order to be effective.

Don't seek out the harshest, most drying product you can find. You can get good results from a treatment that doesn't hurt your skin or make you peel severely. In fact, that's the goal! Always treat your skin gently and with care.

5. See a Dermatologist, if Needed

There are plenty of good over-the-counter acne treatment products out there, the most effective of those contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. They’re always a good starting point when looking for an acne treatment.

Don't waste valuable time and money trying every acne treatment on the shelf, though. If you're not getting results with an OTC product after about 3 months of use, it's time to call on your doctor.

Acne is a super common skin problem, so your derm has plenty of experience treating it. The sooner you make that appointment, the sooner you can expect results.

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