How to Get Rid of Acne in 20 Steps
Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people, especially during puberty. It occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Acne can be frustrating and even painful, but luckily, there are many things you can do to reduce its appearance and prevent it from coming back.
1. Understand Your Skin Type
Before taking any action to get rid of acne, it’s important to understand your skin type. Some products may work well for oily skin but not for dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, you need to be cautious when using new products on your skin. Knowing your skin type will help you choose the best products for your skin.
- Oily skin: Produces excess oil, making pores more prone to clogging.
- Dry skin: Doesn’t produce enough oil, leading to flakiness and roughness.
- Combination skin: Has both oily and dry areas on the face.
- Sensitive skin: Easily reacts to products and environmental factors, leading to redness, itching, or burning.
2. Cleanse Your Skin Twice a Day
Cleansing your skin is essential for removing dirt, oil, and makeup, which can clog your pores and cause breakouts. However, over-cleansing can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Aim to cleanse your skin twice a day – in the morning and before bedtime – using a gentle cleanser that’s suited for your skin type. Avoid scrubbing your skin too hard or using hot water, which can irritate your skin.
Using the Right Cleanser
Choose a cleanser that matches your skin type and contains ingredients that can help combat acne. Here are some ingredients you can look for in a cleanser:
- Salicylic acid: Reduces oil production and unclogs pores.
- Benzoyl peroxide: Kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation.
- Glycolic acid: Exfoliates dead skin cells, revealing smoother skin.
- Tea tree oil: Has antibacterial properties and reduces redness and inflammation.
3. Use Exfoliating Products
Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week can help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, preventing acne from forming. However, be careful not to over-exfoliate, as it can cause irritation and sensitivity.
Types of Exfoliants
There are two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants contain granules or particles that physically scrub away dead skin cells, while chemical exfoliants contain enzymes or acids that dissolve dead skin cells. Here are some examples:
- Physical exfoliants: Facial scrubs, brushes, and sponges.
- Chemical exfoliants: Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), and retinoids.
4. Apply Topical Treatments
Topical treatments can help reduce acne by killing bacteria, reducing inflammation, and unclogging pores. They come in various forms, including creams, gels, serums, and spot treatments. Topical treatments may contain one or more active ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids, and antibiotics.
Using Topical Treatments Safely
When using topical treatments, it’s important to follow the instructions on the label and apply only a pea-sized amount to the affected area. Overusing topical treatments can dry out your skin and cause irritation. Also, be patient and consistent with your treatment, as it may take several weeks to see results.
5. Avoid Touching Your Face
Your hands carry bacteria and oil that can transfer to your face and worsen acne. Avoid touching your face, especially if you haven’t washed your hands. Also, avoid picking at your pimples, as it can introduce bacteria into your skin and cause scarring.
6. Use Oil-Free Makeup and Skincare Products
Oil-based makeup and skincare products can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Look for products that are labeled “oil-free,” “non-comedogenic,” or “water-based.” These products are less likely to cause acne and are suitable for oily and acne-prone skin.
Choosing the Right Makeup
If you wear makeup, choosing the right type of makeup can help prevent acne. Here are some tips:
- Choose powder-based products over liquid or cream products.
- Use a makeup brush or sponge to apply makeup, rather than your fingers.
- Avoid heavy or thick makeup that can clog your pores.
- Remove your makeup before cleansing your skin.
7. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your diet can affect your skin health. Eating a diet high in sugar, processed foods, and dairy products may worsen acne, while eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains may improve your skin. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Some foods are known to promote skin health and may help reduce acne. Here are some examples:
- Fatty fish: Contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and improve skin health.
- Leafy greens: Rich in antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress, a common trigger for acne.
- Probiotic-rich foods: May improve gut health and reduce inflammation, which can help prevent acne.
8. Manage Stress
Stress can trigger acne by increasing your body’s production of oil and inflammation. Finding ways to manage stress can help improve your skin health. Some examples include:
- Practicing mindfulness meditation
- Getting regular exercise
- Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night
- Spending time outdoors
- Taking breaks from technology
9. Use Sun Protection
Exposure to UV rays can worsen acne and cause sun damage, such as wrinkles and dark spots. Using sun protection can help prevent these effects and improve your skin health. Choose a sunscreen that’s labeled “oil-free” and has an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating.
10. Try Natural Remedies
Some natural remedies may help reduce acne and improve your skin health. However, not all remedies are backed by scientific evidence, so use them with caution. Here are some examples:
- Apple cider vinegar: Has antibacterial properties and can help balance your skin’s pH.
- Tea tree oil: Has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce acne severity.
- Aloe vera: Has anti-inflammatory properties and can soothe irritated skin.
11. Don’t Overwash Your Face
While it’s important to keep your face clean, overwashing your face can damage your skin’s natural barrier, leading to dryness and irritation. Aim to wash your face twice a day, and use lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser. Pat your face dry with a clean towel, rather than rubbing vigorously.
12. Get Professional Treatments
If your acne persists despite your best efforts, it may be time to seek professional help. Dermatologists can offer various treatments to reduce acne, such as:
- Prescription topical treatments
- Oral medications, such as antibiotics or isotretinoin
- Chemical peels
- Laser therapy
What to Expect from Professional Treatments
Professional treatments can be effective in reducing acne, but they may come with side effects and risks. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of each treatment and help you choose the best option for your skin.
13. Don’t Smoke
Smoking can worsen acne and cause premature skin aging. Quitting smoking can improve your skin health and prevent further damage.
14. Change Your Pillowcase Regularly
Your pillowcase can harbor bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells, which can transfer to your face and cause acne. Changing your pillowcase every 2-3 days can help prevent this. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach or with your face pressed against the pillow, as it can cause friction and irritation.
15. Use a Humidifier
Dry air can cause your skin to become dry and flaky, making it more prone to acne. Using a humidifier can add moisture to the air and improve your skin health. Aim for a humidity level between 40-60%.
16. Don’t Eat Spicy Foods
Spicy foods can cause sweating and inflammation, which can worsen acne. Limit your intake of spicy foods or avoid them altogether if they trigger your acne.
17. Get Regular Facials
Facials can help improve your skin health by removing impurities and dead skin cells and promoting circulation and hydration. However, be cautious when choosing a facial, as some types may worsen acne. Look for facials that are tailored to your skin type and acne severity.
Types of Facials for Acne-Prone Skin
Here are some types of facials that are suitable for acne-prone skin:
- Microdermabrasion: Uses a special machine to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores.
- Chemical peel: Uses acids to exfoliate dead skin cells and reduce acne.
- LED light therapy: Uses different wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation and kill acne-causing bacteria.
- Hydrafacial: Uses a special machine to clean, exfoliate, and hydrate your skin.
18. Don’t Share Makeup or Skincare Products
Sharing makeup or skincare products with others can transfer bacteria and cause acne. Use your own products and avoid trying new products on your skin without doing a patch test first.
19. Consider Your Hormones
Hormonal changes can cause acne, especially in women. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can help regulate hormones and reduce acne. However, they may come with risks and side effects, so consult your doctor before taking them.
Symptoms of Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne usually appears on the lower face and jawline and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:
- Irregular periods
- Excessive hair growth
- Weight gain or loss
- Mood changes
20. Stay Positive and Patient
Getting rid of acne takes time and patience, and it may take a while before you see noticeable results. Don’t give up and stay positive. Also, be gentle and kind to your skin, and avoid harsh treatments or products that can damage your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by various factors, including excess oil production, bacteria, dead skin cells, inflammation, and hormonal changes.
Can Diet Affect Acne?
Yes, diet can affect acne. Eating a diet high in sugar, processed foods, and dairy products may worsen acne, while eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains may improve your skin.
What Type of Makeup is Best for Acne-Prone Skin?
Oil-free, non-comedogenic, and water-based makeup is best for acne-prone skin. Avoid heavy or thick makeup that can clog your pores.
How Can I Prevent Acne Scarring?
To prevent acne scarring, avoid picking at your pimples and seek professional treatment for severe or persistent acne.
Is it Normal to Have Acne as an Adult?
Yes, adult acne is common, especially in women. Hormonal changes, stress, and lifestyle factors can contribute to adult acne.
Getting rid of acne requires a holistic approach that includes proper skincare, diet, lifestyle modifications, and professional treatments. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can reduce your acne and improve your skin health. Remember to be patient, consistent, and gentle with your skin, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.
|– Cleanse your skin twice a day using a gentle cleanser that’s suited for your skin type||– Use hot water or harsh cleansers on your skin|
|– Use oil-free makeup and skincare products||– Use oil-based makeup and skincare products|
|– Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains||– Eat a diet high in sugar, processed foods, and dairy products|
|– Manage stress through meditation, exercise, and sleep||– Smoke or use tobacco products|
|– Use sun protection with an SPF of at least 30||– Overwash your face or use harsh exfoliants|