Acne can be embarrassing, painful, and extremely discouraging to deal with on a daily basis. In my late teens and early 20’s, I had a bad bout of acne that ignited my passion for skincare. Before I had acne, I didn’t realize that it was such an emotional thing to go through because, well, everyone sees your face and even the best makeup out there can’t hide the textural difference. So I was on quest to heal my acne prone skin and not feel like I had to hide my face from the public unless it was under dim lighting. (Yes, that is exactly how I felt.)
After working as an esthetician in the medical spa world for five years with great Doctors, I learned a great deal about what works for acne prone skin, and what doesn’t. So, I am excited to share with you 8 ways to help acne! If you don’t currently struggle with acne, make sure to share this post for your friends that do.
1) Cleanse Correctly: Cleansing your skin especially at night is an important step when you have acne. Make sure to cleanse your skin twice: once to remove makeup and then a second time to thoroughly cleanse the skin. Make sure to avoid using a washcloth because they can be too aggressive and instead, use an anti-bacterial cleansing tool like the Clarisonic.
2) Don’t Pick: Picking, popping, and squeezing your blemishes can not only cause scarring, but can cause more blemishes. If you pop or extract a zit without the proper sanitary tools or don’t get all of the infection out, it can spread the bacteria underneath the skin causing more blemishes. Instead, keep away from your acne and see an experienced esthetician who knows how to do extractions correctly and effectively. (I think that doing extractions with the use of a sterilized lancet and gloved fingers are the best way to successfully extract a blemish without spreading bacteria. Some states only allow estheticians to use a metal extractor tool, which I have found to not be as successful. This is just my opinion.)
3) Stop Touching: Along with not picking your skin, it is also important to avoid touching your face. Think of all the gross things your fingers touch throughout the day like dollar bills and door knobs that carry bacteria, then imagine transferring that to your already acne prone skin. Not a good idea as it can trigger a breakout. So keep your hands away from your face and keep an anti-bacterial hand lotion near by. Also make sure to clean your cell phone screen regularly and switch out your pillow case often.
4) Kill Acne Bacteria: Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the best topical acne medicines that works to kill acne bacteria. You can buy it in small doses over the counter, or you can see a dermatologist and have a stronger medicine prescribed. It works by targeting the bacteria on your skin called P. acnes and also reducing skin inflammation and oil production. Benzoyl Peroxide can be really drying, so be careful with how much you apply to the skin. Along side Benzoyl Peroxide, using an oral antibiotic prescribed by a dermatologist can also be helpful in clearing acne.
5) Exfoliate: Exfoliation is a tricky thing when you are struggling with acne. Using a scrub or anything harsh on active acne is not a good idea and can cause irritation. Instead, use a topical exfoliating cream like a medically supervised Tretinoine that helps exfoliate inside the pore. You could also try using a salicylic acne treatment that works by exfoliating the top layer of skin allowing white and black heads to break down.
6) Follow Directions: Make sure to follow the instructions of the acne medication that you have. It can be easy to over-do-it and think that the more product(s) you put on your face, the quicker your acne will go away. Unfortunately, you can do real damage to your skin (like giving yourself a chemical burn) if you put too much product on. It’s better to start with less product and then work up to the recommended dose.
7) Be Patient: It takes between 4-6 weeks for you to start really seeing a difference when you are using products for acne. Along with following directions, don’t get discouraged when you don’t see much of a difference week one of using a regimen. In addition, when you are using products like Tretinoine, your skin can sometimes look worse initially as your pores loosen and purge the debris. This is normal and it will get better especially if you are using it in conjunction with a Benzoyl Peroxide.
8) See a Dermatologist: If you have tried everything over-the-counter and can’t seem to get your acne under control, see a Dermatologist. They have prescription products that work really well to clear active acne.
Have you ever suffered from acne? I know that it is a hard thing to go through, so that’s why I wanted to share with you some skincare tips that could potentially save your acne prone skin. What are your skincare solutions to get rid of your blemishes? Share in the comments below!
note- I am not a dermatologist, if you have acne questions and concerns, please seek out a dermatologist. There are affiliate links within this post, see disclosure page for details.