Acne can detract from your appearance and cause emotional distress, but blemishes can be managed effectively without expensive potions. Learn to separate the myths from the facts about acne. Get your flare-ups under control with safe and affordable remedies.
At-Home Acne Prevention Steps
- Use non-comedogenic skincare products. A comedo is another name for a pimple, the blemish you see when oil and other debris clog up a pore. Look for moisturizers and sunscreens that are labeled as being non-comedogenic because they’re less likely to block pores.
- Use water-based makeup rather than oil-based. Many lip colors contain oil, so apply them carefully if you’re prone to acne.
- Keep your hands off your face. Try to keep your hands and fingernails away from inflamed areas to avoid transferring bacteria. Scratching or squeezing blemishes can lead to infection and scarring. Medical experts perform acne surgery but they have special training and use sterile instruments.
- Stay fit. Most medical authorities dispute the idea that greasy foods cause greasy skin. Still, your skin is bound to look better if you take care of your overall health. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, and get adequate sleep.
- Stress can trigger breakouts, so pursue activities that help you relax and relieve stress.
- When exercising, dry your skin with a clean cotton towel. Avoid leaving your skin in contact with sweaty clothing for long periods.
If you’re a young person, the good news is that most people enjoy clearer skin automatically when they reach their late teens or early 20s. Even if you do experience adult acne, you’ll find that most cases respond to treatment.
- Practice good hygiene. It’s a myth that acne indicates poor hygiene, but gentle cleansing twice daily will clear up most blemishes. Avoid aggressive scrubbing or washing too frequently because that could make your skin dry and irritated. Avoid over-drying your skin with products such as alcohol. Skin that is too dry will produce more oil.
- Pick the best nonprescription cleanser for you. Mild soap alone often works, but there are many affordable nonprescription products if you need something more. Benzoyl peroxide lotions work by killing the bacteria on your skin and in your pores. Alpha-hydroxy and salicylic acid work by drying up blemishes.
- If you experience side effects like excessive peeling or red, scaly skin, you may want to try tea tree oil that kills bacteria but is gentle on your skin.
- Refine your cleaning techniques. Pore cleaning strips make it easy to target problem areas and peel away debris quickly. Approaches that are more traditional also work. Apply a warm washcloth to help open your pores and swab your skin gently with cotton balls.
- Learn about neem oil. Some people swear by this staple of Ayurvedic medicine. This extract from evergreen trees that grow in India and other countries is reported to help heal acne when used in creams or capsules. You can find it online or in health food stores.
- Be patient. You’ll need to wait a month or two to evaluate the results from most treatments. Some regimens may even make your acne look worse before it gets better. Resist the temptation to use any product more than directed because that may backfire.
When to See a Doctor for Acne
- Consider your psychological and physical health. You may want to consult a doctor if you feel down about your acne or if you have large pimples filled with fluid that can be prone to infection and scarring. Even severe acne is usually treatable.
- Communicate with your physician. Tell your doctor if you’re using home remedies so they can consider those and ensure you get safe care. If home remedies aren’t enough, your doctor may recommend topical or oral antibiotics. Even old scars can often be improved with modern procedures like collagen injections or laser resurfacing.
Acne can be unpleasant but there are effective solutions. A healthy diet is good for you in many ways, but don’t necessarily count on it to clear your skin. Banish your blemishes with natural and inexpensive home treatments and talk with your doctor if you need a little more help.