If you’re dealing with breakouts, you probably feel like you’ve tried everything to get rid of acne! Although acne is pretty common, that doesn’t stop it from being upsetting and frustrating. That’s exactly how I used to feel!
About a year ago, I finally cleared up my acne! Not without suffering for years with horrible, painful, and annoying cystic breakouts. It felt like everything I did, well, did nothing.
After a year of discovering new things about my skin and skincare in general, I’ve learned so much about acne. Here are some tips that helped me get rid of my acne, that might help you too!
I fully understand the struggles that come with acne, and that’s why I want to share some tips that really helped me with mine. I am by no means an expert, or a dermatologist, just someone who wants to help others dealing with this extremely annoying problem. Always consult your doctor or dermatologist when it comes to your acne treatment plan.
How To Get Rid Of Acne: Acne Fighting Tips
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Wash Your Face- The Right Way
Some types of acne are caused by greasy, congested skin. The best way to combat and get rid of acne, and an essential thing for everybody, is removing your makeup and washing your face at the end of the day.
To really ensure your skin is properly cleansed, and all dirt, makeup, and oils are removed, a double cleanse is your best bet. Double cleansing is just what it sounds like, cleansing your skin twice. Your first cleanse should be with an oil-based cleanser or cleansing balm. (Some popular choices include; Farmacy Green Clean, Banila Co. Clean It Zero, and Youth To The People Superberry Dream). This removes all of the makeup, dirt, and other impurities from the day. Then follow up with a regular cleanser, suitable for your skin type and concerns. This helps remove every thing else and deeply cleans your skin.
A double cleanse really ensures that you have thoroughly removed anything from your skin that could clog your pores or cause breakouts. And it’s not restricted to those with acne only. Everyone benefits from a double cleanse, especially if you wear makeup or SPF during the day.
Also, always make sure you wash your hands before cleansing. You don’t want to bring the bacteria from your hands onto your face. And gently pat dry your skin with a clean towel!
Clean Your Phone
If there’s one single item most people take everywhere with them, it’s their phone. So, it’s pretty obvious that the phone you take everywhere with you is most likely harboring all kings of bacteria, dirt, and oils.
Whenever you bring your phone to your face, or touch your face after using your phone, you’re talking all of those germs with you. Regularly cleaning your phone may help prevent your skin from breaking out, or at least help prevent you from spreading your acne and making it worse.
It’s also a good idea in general to keep your phone clean. Set a reminder at the end of each day to wipe it down, or make it a part of your nightly routine.
Clean Towels & Pillowcases
Just like your phone, your towels and pillowcases have a habit of collecting dirt, oils, and bacteria. Make sure you’re changing and cleaning them frequently to help prevent breakouts.
Pillowcases should be changed every 7-10 days, but for those with acne, you definitely want to change them more often. Aim for a couple of times a week. Swapping out cotton pillowcases for satin or silk can also help keep skin clear. Silk and satin are less absorbent and pull less oils from skin. You’ll be less likely to spread acne and your skin will retain moisture better, keeping your moisture barrier in tact.
Towels shouldn’t be used for more than a couple of days, but for those with acne, you’ll want to use a clean towel every time you wash your face. Consider only drying your face with a wash cloth, to avoid using the same towel you use for your body.
Acne Fighting Ingredients
To really help get rid of acne and keep your skin healthy, active ingredients in your skincare routine are crucial. There are a few different acne-fighting ingredients to choose from, and they’re all good for different types of acne and skin types.
Whenever you introduce a new skincare product or ingredient into your routine, its super important to read all directions to help you make sure you’re using it properly. Many of the ingredients listed below can cause irritation. If you’re unsure of what to use, consult a dermatologist.
Benzoyl peroxide is a common and often affordable ingredient that can help get rid of acne. It works by killing bacteria that causes acne, and it helps remove oil and dead skin cells. Try: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide.
Salicylic acid, also known as BHA, is another super common acne-fighting skincare ingredient. It prevents pores from becoming clogged. It also helps with inflammation, reducing swelling and redness. Try: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids, like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and malic acid to name a few, are another choice for battling breakouts. These work by exfoliating dead skin cells, calming inflammation, and renewing skin. Try: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment.
Retinol and Retinoids are the strongest acne fighting ingredients. These are Vitamin A derivatives, that increase cell turnover rate, which helps renew skin and eliminate acne. The strongest form, Tretinoin, is only available by prescription, and is often used to treat moderate to severe acne. You can also try Differin, which is arguably the strongest over-the-counter acne treatment. There are also many products that contain retinol that can help clear your acne. Try: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Texture Renewal Serum.
The skincare you choose should be based on the type of acne you have, the overall health of your skin, and most importantly, the advice of your dermatologist.
A common misconception, that’s thankfully been getting squashed lately, is that those with breakout-prone skin should avoid moisturizing. Everyone should be wearing a moisturizer day and night, regardless of their skin type.
Some acne is caused by a damaged moisture barrier. If your skin is dehydrated, irritated, or inflamed due to lack of moisture, that could possibly be the reason you’re breaking out. Also, many acne fighting ingredients can be drying or irritating, you’ll want to replenish and soothe your skin if you’re using any of those ingredients in your routine.
Oil-free and gel moisturizers are a great option for those with acne-prone or oily skin. They’re much more lightweight, and because they’re water-based instead of oil-based, they won’t clog your pores. They will also provide plenty of hydration. Some of my personal favorites include; Tatcha The Water Cream, Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb, and Farmacy Daily Greens.
Diet & Lifestyle
Both your diet and your lifestyle could be playing a role in your skin breaking out.
A healthy and well-balanced diet with more fruits and vegetables, and less processed foods, is ideal. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and getting enough sleep each night are also super important. Find ways to keep your stress levels low and make sure you’re getting some regular exercise in.
If you think something in your diet is breaking you out, talk to your doctor. You may have an allergy or be sensitive to that food.
Is there anything more tempting to touch than a pimple? As tempting as it may be, avoid touching, picking, or popping your acne.
When you touch or pick at your acne, you can irritate it even more. Pimples may get more inflamed with touching and picking, leading to longer healing time. They can also spread to other areas of your face, due to touching your acne and getting the bacteria on your hands. And whatever you do, never pop a pimple. The bacteria on your face and hands can cause it to get more irritated, or even worse, can cause a really bad infection. You might also end up with acne scars that could take a long time to heal.
If you just can’t resist touching your acne, try using pimple patches. They may not actually make them disappear, but they will place a barrier between your pimples and your hands that are just dying to pop them.
Exfoliating is a great way to help get rid of acne. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
When it comes to choosing the right exfoliant for acne, always go for a chemical one. These are usually formulated with an acne-fighting ingredient, (like salicylic, glycolic, lactic, or malic acid). When used correctly, chemical exfoliants will gently clear pores, remove dead skin cells, and renew skin. You’ll be left with clearer and healthier looking skin.
You’re most likely going to want to avoid physical exfoliants. These are scrubs, which can make acne worse. Grainy scrubs can be too harsh or rough on already inflamed skin, and can actually cause acne to spread. You’ll end up doing more harm than good.
Whatever products you choose to use to help clear acne, make sure you’re using them correctly! I cannot stress this enough!
Always read directions before using any new skincare product, and do a skin test to ensure your skin can handle the ingredients. Whenever trying a new active ingredient, start with a smaller concentration and work your way up. Your skin may need time to adjust to something strong.
Make sure it’s safe to mix your acne-fighting products with other ingredients in your skincare routine. Some products shouldn’t be used together, they’ll cause irritation and other skin problems, so don’t mix actives unless it’s safe to do so.
It’s crucial to give your products enough time to work. Almost all products that help get rid of acne need some time to start working. This could be anywhere from a few days, to weeks, to months. Be patient and consistent, and you’ll be more likely to see results.
And never, ever skip the SPF 30! Many products formulated to fight acne make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Increased risk of sun damage, irritated skin, and aging are some of the things that happen when you skip your SPF, so make sure you’re applying and reapplying your sunscreen!
See A Dermatologist
Some acne can be cleared at home with over-the-counter products. But some acne can’t, and you may need something stronger. Seeing a dermatologist for your acne is the best thing you can do. They’ll know exactly what you need to help clear up your skin.
Everyone’s skin needs, concerns, and issues are different, and a dermatologist can work with you directly to help come up with a plan that works specifically for you.
Although this may not be an option for everyone, due to issues with availability, cost, or other reasons, a dermatologist is always the right idea if you have moderate to severe acne and nothing is working.