Struggling with acne? You’re not alone, trust us! Most people battle acne at some point in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the most common skin conditions. Whether you’re a teen dealing with acne for the first time or faced with acne as a twenty- or thirty-something, it’s equally as frustrating. Luckily, we have some Dr. Obagi-approved tips to help you get through.
- Keep your face clean, but don’t overdo it! Washing too much or overscrubbing can exacerbate your breakout. Gently cleanse your face no more than two to three times a day being careful not to overscrub. Pat, don’t rub, your skin with a clean towel to dry your face after washing.
- Don’t touch! We know how hard it is to resist, we’ve all been there, but touching, picking, and squeezing leaves dirt and oil behind on your skin, which can cause more breakouts and worsen existing blemishes, not to mention increasing the chance of scarring.
- Check out the labels of your skin care products and makeup. Do they read ‘non-comedogenic’ and 'oil-free'? Some products can actually clog pores, so look for these key phrases to be sure your products aren’t working against you.
- Salicylic acid is great for exfoliating inside the pore and removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, reducing and preventing breakouts.
- Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial agent that helps to kill acne causing bacteria directly. Lower concentrations will be less irritating and drying to the skin.
- Retinoids have a ton of anti-acne (and anti-aging!) properties - they work to unclog pores and shed dead skin cells, which allow other products to penetrate the skin more easily. They normalize oil production, leading to fewer breakouts. Also, retinaldehyde, specifically, shows antibacterial activity targeting acne causing bacteria.
- Don’t forget the SPF! Some products used to treat acne can make your skin more susptible to harmful UV rays, so sunscreen is key. Opt for physical sunscreens containing titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide that won’t clog your pores.
- Assess your diet - studies have shown that certain individuals will experience an acne flare up within 4 days of eating chocolates, drinking a lot of milk, or overindulging in dairy products.
- Minimize stress. Stress is a major factor when it comes to skin health, so consciously minimizing stressful situations can help to manage breakouts.
- Exercise regularly! Exercise is known to be a great way to relieve and reduce stress (see above). Remember to clean your face shortly afterwards - keep cleansing wipes in your bag so you can clean your face right after working up a sweat.
- When in doubt, leave it to the pros! Treating acne can be tricky and there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your derm to get on a regimen customized specific to your skin.
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