From choosing products to clear skin tips, be sure to follow these anti-acne dos and don’ts.
Dos and Don’ts for Clear Skin
Acne doesn’t have to rule your life—and treating breakouts shouldn’t either! Clear skin starts with a few basics, and the most important is using acne skin care products with proven, dermatologist-recommended ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulfur. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to incorporate ingredients that are extra-nice to your skin as well, so keep an eye out for witch hazel, aloe vera, charcoal and kaolin clay, too. Once you have your product routine in place, it’s time to start thinking about the lifestyle factors that can contribute to acne breakouts. Friends and family may try to give you acne advice, but clear skin is within your reach when you follow this list of dos and don’ts.
DO give your acne products a chance to work.
Sure, we all want clear skin overnight, but acne products need time to work. One of the biggest mistakes people make when treating acne is giving up on their skincare products too soon—and switching to new products can make acne worse (especially if they aren’t formulated with the ingredients necessary to fight breakouts). The easiest way to select a routine and stick with it is to choose a step-by-step regimen designed with your skin’s needs in mind. AcneFree offers three anti-acne regimens, including options for sensitive skin and severe acne.
DO apply acne treatment products to your whole face.
Even if you just have blackheads on your nose or only break out on your chin, you should use your acne cleanser and treatment lotion on your entire face. This helps keep already-clear areas free of breakouts while giving problem spots the acne-fighting ingredients they need. The only exception is your acne spot treatment, which should be applied only to active pimples.
Acne-prone skin needs moisture, too, especially when you’re using acne-targeting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. You don’t have to worry about a moisturizer causing breakouts if you’re using a product designed for acne, and skipping the moisturizer altogether can actually make your skin produce more oil that can lead to clogged pores and more pimples.
DO wash your body after you shampoo and condition your hair in the shower.
Shampoos, conditioners and other hair-styling products usually contain a variety of ingredients that can clog pores—and lead to face and body acne. Make sure you wash your face, back and chest with an acne cleanse after you’ve taken care of your hair.
DO change your pillowcase every few days.
Does it make sense to put your face on a pillowcase that’s covered in oil and acne-causing bacteria when you’re fighting breakouts? Nope. To maximize the results of your acne treatment products, be sure to wash or change your pillowcase every few days.
DO keep an eye on your diet.
For the record, it’s a myth that chocolate and greasy foods cause acne, but that doesn’t mean what you put into your body doesn’t impact your skin’s appearance. At the same time, there’s no miracle “acne diet” that delivers clear skin either. But for the sake of your skin and your health as a whole, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet high in lean protein, fruits and vegetables while limiting sugar, simple carbohydrates and processed foods to help your body (and your skin) function at optimal levels.
DON’T wash your face too much.
Remember, acne isn’t caused by dirt, and over-washing can cause your skin to produce even more oil and lead to extra dryness or irritation. The ingredients in your acne treatment products work hard to fight bacteria and keep skin clear long after you apply them, so you really only need to wash your face in the morning, at night and after exercising.
DON’T pop your pimples (or try to).
Popping an acne pimple is asking for trouble. You can injure your skin, spread bacteria, cause an infection, make a scar or all of the above. To reduce the inflammation and relieve tenderness reaching for an acne spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide is the fastest way to get rid of a pimple.
DON’T forget to clean your phone.
Your phone is home to a bevy of bacteria, including the type that causes acne. These bacteria can move from your face to your fingers to your phone and then get transferred back to your face when you take your next call, so be sure to disinfect your screen regularly.
DON’T use dirty makeup brushes.
When was the last time you washed your makeup tools? If you’re fighting acne, you should try to cleanse any brushes or sponges you use on breakout-prone areas at least once a week to prevent oil and bacteria from building up. Tools used to apply foundation, concealer, blush and bronzer should be at the top of your list.