This is an important skin care step for everyone, but especially so for acne-prone skin. Take time every night to thoroughly cleanse your face, even if you don't wear makeup. Doing so will help remove excess oil that may contribute to the development of comedones, or clogged pores. And don't forget about your neck, jaw line, and in front of and behind the ear. These are places commonly overlooked during cleansing.
Thorough cleansing is good; vigorous scrubbing of the skin isn't. Avoid abrasive scrubs, scrubbing pads, and rough washcloths if you have acne. You may feel like you can cleanse your pores with a good scrubbing. But that can actually increase redness and irritation and may even worsen breakouts. Instead, use a soft cloth or your bare hands.
If you feel you need more exfoliation, try an alpha hydroxy acid product, which removes dead skin cells without abrasive ingredients. Remember, though, that many acne treatment products already exfoliate the skin. If you are using any prescription acne medications, such as Retin A, azelaic acid, or Accutane, do not use any additional exfoliating product unless advised by doctor.
Consistency is key in treating acne. To get the results you're looking for, you should use your acne medications everyday, or as directed.
It's easy to forget to use your acne treatments, especially when life gets busy. To help you remember, try using them at the same time every day. Or get into the habit of applying your topical treatments at the same time that you do something else like just after brushing your teeth. Making it a habit will help you remind you about treatments, and ultimately get you the skin you're working for.
Yeah, you've heard this a thousand times, but here it is again: Popping pimples is bad for the skin. Every time you pop, squeeze, or pick at a blemish you run the risk of damaging the follicle wall and increase the chance of scarring. Picking at your skin will lengthen healing time and can push infected material deeper into the dermis. Remind yourself of that when you feel the need to squeeze a breakout.
If you're a chronic "pimple popper," you may have to make a conscious effort to stop obsessing in front of the mirror, searching your skin for new zits to pick. The rewards will be worth it.
Too often people put off seeing a doctor about their skin because, they reason, it's "only acne." Acne is most treatable when it's in its earliest stages. There are many effective
over-the-counter-treatments for acne. But if you aren't noticing improvement after 6 to 8 weeks of treatment, see your doctor.
No matter if your acne is mild or more severe, if you are having trouble controlling it, it's time to see your doctor. Don't put it off. Your dermatologist has an arsenal of acne treatments, one of which will work for you.