1. Hands off. Whatever you do, don’t pick at your skin. Better yet, hands off completely! Touching your face seems fairly harmless but it makes your face one of the dirtiest parts of your body – and you’re only spreading acne-causing bacteria, dirt and oil. While you may think that it will make those pesky spots go away faster, picking actually worsens the situation and prolongs the healing process. Not only are you distributing bacteria to and from an affected area, but you’re also creating an open wound that will, more likely than not, lead to a post-breakout scar. Remember: most blemishes only last for a week or so; post-acne scarring can last for months… or longer.
2. Know thy acne – and tailor thy treatment accordingly. Blemishes were not created equal, so don’t assume that one product will do the trick. Sure, Salicylic Acid is ideal for acne-prone skin overall, but when it comes to spot treatments, there’s a proper product for every type of pimple you’re experiencing.
- Cystic acne is characterized by sore, sometimes painful bumps under the skin typically found along the chin and jawline. (We recommend: Buffering Lotion)
- Papules are inflamed, clogged pores that appear as painful red bumps. (We recommend: Anti-Acne Serum, Healing Cream)
- Pustules are your classic idea of acne. They appear as red, inflamed bumps that come to a pus-filled whitehead. (We recommend: Anti-Acne Serum, Drying Lotion)
- Whiteheads are clogged pores that appear as tiny, raised bumps on the skin. Unlike blackheads, the sebum trapped in the follicle never gets the chance to surface and therefore doesn’t oxidize (change color). (We recommend: Drying Lotion)
3. Be gentle with your skin. Easy does it; less is more. We have a tendency to go overboard when all we want is to get rid of a problem, but piling on the products and using anything that’s too harsh will only further exacerbate any condition. After consulting with your dermatologist for recommendations, introduce new products one at a time to allow your skin to adjust (and also so you’ll know what’s the culprit behind any negative reactions). Avoid harsh products as they’ll dry out the skin and further irritate already problematic skin.
4. Balance is key. It’s the same concept as giving back as much as you take. Acne products can be drying no matter how gentle; therefore, it’s imperative that you restore moisture into the skin. A lightweight, oil-free moisturizer best suits acne-prone skin.
5. Wash your makeup brushes, pillowcase and towels often. These are the objects that have the most contact with your face and, therefore, are notorious for harboring and transferring acne-causing bacteria, dirt, dust and oil. Clean often and you’ll see that your skin becomes noticeably clearer with fewer blemishes and congestion.