It can be hard to know what your skin needs for it to be and stay healthy. What will help to clear up acne?
How do you get to that place where you no longer have embarrassing blemishes on your face and only clear radiant skin?
Here are 21 tried and true ways to clear your face from acne and get the healthy, blemish-free complexion you want.
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Table of Contents
How can I clear my face from acne?
1. Wash Your Face
When you have acne, it’s especially important to wash your face in the morning and at night. This removes dead skin cells, bacteria and any extra oil from your skin’s surface.
Your oil glands are active all day, and when that oil combines with dirt, makeup, and pollution, it can clog your pores and cause even more acne.
Wash your face daily with warm water and a mild facial cleanser to keep your pores clear.
2. Try A Salicylic Or Glycolic Acid Cleanser
To keep breakouts under control, use a cleanser that has glycolic or salicylic acid. These are available without a prescription and can help reduce the appearance of scars.
With one or both ingredients, a mild fragrance-free cleanser will work just as well as more expensive options.
3. Don’t Over-Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating can give you glowing skin. Scrubbing your face with grainy cleansers, however, will do more harm than good. Over-exfoliating can cause redness, inflammation, and irritation.
And scrubbing a pimple can damage the surrounding healthy skin cells and create an open wound which can lead to scarring. Instead, exfoliate gently and with caution no more than 3 times a week.
To prevent over-exfoliating, start with 1 exfoliating session per week and work your way up. If you have inflammatory acne (pustules and cysts), it’s best to speak to a dermatologist because certain types of exfoliation can make inflammatory acne worse.
How does moisturizing help to clear up your acne? Well, when your skin is dehydrated, your oil glands overproduce oil which can make your acne worse. Hydrating your skin can help re-balance your skin’s oil glands, control acne and improve healing.
When buying a moisturizer, look for lightweight products that won’t clog your pores. Like cleansers, moisturizers don’t have to be expensive but should be non-comedogenic. This means it doesn’t have pore-clogging ingredients and won’t cause acne.
Acne products often have ingredients that dry out your skin, so it’s important to use a moisturizer that will minimize dryness and skin peeling.
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5. Use Non-comedogenic Makeup Products
For a skin-friendly routine, use products labelled oil-free or non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog your pores and cause acne.
Always wash your hands before applying your makeup or skincare products and always remove your makeup before going to sleep or exercising. And remember to wash your makeup brushes and sponges regularly.
6. Watch What You Use In Your Hair
Your hair and what you put in it, can hurt your skin and cause acne. If you have oily hair, keep it pulled away from your face. The oil from your hair can add to the oil on your face and cause breakouts, so wash your hair often.
Avoid hair products like oils, pomades, and gels which can get on your face, block your pores, irritate your skin and cause acne. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner that won’t irritate or inflame your skin.
7. Wash Your Face Towel
If you have recurring acne and use a face towel, the problem could be the face towel. If left unwashed, face towels can harbour and introduce new bacteria to your skin, which can lead to even more breakouts and pimples.
The key is to keep them clean and don’t reuse a dirty face towel. Wash it once per week, or immediately after you use it to prevent acne and pimples.
8. Skip Makeup When You’re Working Out
If you suffer from acne it’s important to wash your face and remove your makeup before you exercise, to minimize the risk of breakouts.
Makeup can trap sweat and prevent it from leaving your pores, which can lead to clogged pores. When the sweat encounters bacteria, it makes a perfect breeding ground for acne bumps and zits. So, skip the makeup whenever you work up a sweat.
9. Wash Your Face Post-Workout
After you exercise, wash your face immediately to help keep your pores clear and remove excess oil. If you can’t wash your face, keep face wipes in your gym bag or locker.
They will help to remove sweat and bacteria from your skin and prevent them from getting trapped, clogging your pores and potentially worsening your acne.
10. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water won’t clear up your acne overnight. However, drinking water will improve your overall health and won’t cause acne unlike the sugar and caffeine found in sodas and coffee.
Drinking water can help keep your skin hydrated, support your overall immune function, regulate your blood sugar levels, and promote natural detoxification, all of which can help fight acne.
11. Change Your Pillowcases
Yes, a dirty pillowcase can cause acne. Unwashed sheets and pillowcases lead to cross-contamination which leads to pimples. 8 hours of sleep gives ample time for dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from your face, hair, and scalp to rubbing off onto your pillowcase.
As you toss and turn the dirt and oil transfer back to your skin which leads to clogged pores and acne. If you leave your pillowcase unwashed, that gunk and grime feed bacteria that can infect your skin.
For these reasons, it’s important to wash your pillowcase once or twice a week to prevent bacteria from building up and causing breakouts.
12. Keep Your Phone Screen Clean
Cell phones can be dirty and yet think of how often you touch your phone. Your phone acts like a magnet that attracts build-up and bacteria throughout the day.
Things like your makeup, facial oils, and environmental toxins accumulate on your screen. And with each phone call, you reintroduce those germs onto your skin, clogging your pores and leading to breakouts.
To reduce bacteria, clean your screen daily with an alcohol wipe. And whenever possible, use the speakers or headphones so your phone isn’t resting on your face.
13. Wipe Down Your Headphones
Wearing headphones might be better than having your phone rest against your face but certain types of headphones (ones with wires specifically) can contribute to breakouts.
This is especially the case if you wear them during exercise, if they’re kept at the bottom of a handbag or if you keep them on for long periods. Sweat, oils, dirt and bacteria collect on and around the headphones, then transfer into your skin and encourage bacteria and yeast to multiply and cause acne.
So take some time and an anti-bacterial wipe to quickly disinfect your headphones daily.
14. Stop Breakouts Before They Start
If you find that you’re constantly fighting to get rid of acne, then your ultimate goal is to stop acne from forming in the first place.
For this, you might need to use acne medication. Over-the-counter acne products can work for mild acne but if your acne is inflamed, and stubborn, and especially if you have severe acne or nodular breakouts, you’ll need a prescription medication.
If that’s the case don’t hesitate to give your dermatologist a call. Your dermatologist can help devise an acne treatment plan to help you clear your skin.
15. Track Your Trigger Foods
Do you have more acne, days after eating dairy or sugary foods? Trigger foods don’t affect everyone, but you should take note of whether after eating certain foods you get a sudden onset of breakouts.
Foods that cause a spike in insulin can lead to inflammation and cause acne flare-ups. Leafy greens and brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and nutrients and can help lessen inflammation and improve skin quality.
Other skin superfoods include eggs, nuts, legumes, and quinoa. Try to limit your intake of dairy, which can contain hormones and antibiotics that can worsen acne breakouts.
You can also limit processed carbs, like white bread and baked goods, and cut back on sugary sodas and sweets. And eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy sources of protein and limit alcohol.
16. Don’t Pick Your Face
You’ve probably heard this one before because it’s so important for healthy skin. But don’t pick at your face, it won’t help clear up your acne.
When you’re prone to acne, picking tends to cause more harm than good. It can lead to inflammation, infection, and scarring and will take the spot twice as long to disappear. Picking or popping a pimple exposes your pores to even more bacteria, including those from your hands.
If you want to get rid of a pimple or two, try an acne patch before bed and you’ll wake up with it dramatically diminished. However, If you have a pimple that hurts, see a dermatologist.
A dermatologist can perform specialized treatments to safely get rid of the pimple while minimizing the risk of infection.
17. Resist The Urge To Squeeze
This tip goes hand in hand with keeping your hands away from your face. It’s never a good idea to squeeze pimples. Squeezing can lead to inflammation deep in your skin, which triggers scar formation and stretches your pores.
A safe way to draw out a pimple is, by using a cloth with hot water to excavate the pus and then applying a spot treatment. But don’t squeeze it.
While it’s easier said than done, it’s important not to stress because stress can make your acne worse. The greater the stress, the greater the breakout.
If you’re dealing with a stressful event or situation, try to find healthy ways to relieve your stress. Some great options include exercising daily for at least 30 minutes, breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, writing it out, or listening to your favourite music.
During times of stress, it’s also important to stick with healthy eating, sleep, and skincare routine. And if you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by your acne then speak to your doctor or dermatologist.
19. Leave It Alone
Sometimes the more you attack a pimple, the worse it gets. Popping, squeezing, scrubbing and medicating can all take a toll on your skin.
Instead, try to prevent acne before it shows up rather than chasing it when you feel it forming. If you wait for your skin to break out, then try to treat it with various acne medications, you run the risk of ending up with dry spots, inflammation, and acne flare-ups and your skin will never get ahead.
It’s more effective to find and follow a daily skincare routine that prevents acne before it starts.
20. Don’t DIY
There are many DIY tips available for clearing up acne. From using household items like toothpaste or rubbing alcohol to dry out a zit, to creating your face masks.
DIY can be fantastic and work well for some but it’s important to keep in mind that many DIY treatments aren’t acne solutions. Applying toothpaste or rubbing alcohol to acne will more likely cause irritation and dryness.
Instead, stick with over-the-counter and prescription spot treatments that are specially made to clear up acne. Products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, for example, are very effective for treating acne without the harmful side effects of some DIY treatments.
21. See A Dermatologist And Medicate If Necessary
It’s important to know that you don’t have to figure it out all on your own and that you can seek help. If you have cystic acne, seeing a dermatologist who can work with you and provide effective and specialized in-office treatments, and medication is often the best option and will help you heal in the long run.
When it comes to clear skin, pay attention to what you put on your face, like your cleansers, moisturizers, makeup and unwanted bacteria from your fingers.
Taking note of lifestyle factors, like sleep, diet, and stress management can make a big difference to your skin, too.
If you’ve tried several treatments to clear up your acne and nothing works, make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist to discuss other treatment options. They can work with you to find effective treatments or prescription medications to help clear your skin.
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