1. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the most common treatments for acne that can be bought over-the-counter. Salicylic acid is found in body washes, face washes, and astringents. It is also sometimes found in moisturizers. Salicylic acid’s purpose is to get rid of the dead skin cells that can lead to non-inflammatory acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is a stronger treatment for more severe breakouts. It dries up skin cells and can help fight bacteria that cause acne. If you have a few pimples, 2 to 5% benzoyl peroxide will help. If you have frequent, widespread breakouts, use a face wash or lotion with up to 10% benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide is a strong ingredient that can make your skin red and irritated when you first start using it. You may want to use it once a day at first, and then gradually increase to using it two times daily. Also, be careful around clothing and colored hair, as benzoyl peroxide can stain them.
If you have inflammatory acne, which is common during your teen years, you may be able to treat it with retinoids. Retinoids are a type of vitamin A derivative that can unplug clogged oil ducts and prevent cysts and nodules. If benzoyl peroxide doesn’t work, your next step might be to see a dermatologist for retinoids. Retinoids are available by prescription from a dermatologist. Topical retinoids are the first choice for treating acne. There are creams and gels that you can apply up to twice a day. Differin gel and Retin-A are examples. You need to be careful with the sun if you are using these products because they make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. Isotretinoin is a type of retinoid that comes in a pill form that you take every day. It is much stronger than topical retinoids, so your dermatologist will prescribe it as a last resort. If you are a woman, your doctor may request a pregnancy test before prescribing isotretinoin. This is because isotretinoin can have severe fetal side effects. You will also need a form from your parents that says they know about the other possible side effects, which can include depression.
3. Never pick your skin
It can be frustrating to wait for your acne treatments to work, but don’t give up. Don’t pick your skin or pop your pimples. Popping pimples can stretch out your pores and cause pockmarks on your skin. If you do this a lot, you might get scars that are just as noticeable as the original pimples. Pimples can be popped, but you need to be careful. If you don’t do it right, you can push bacteria into your skin and get more pimples. It’s hard to be patient when your acne treatments are working, but it’s the best way to have long-term results.
4. Use non-comedogenic products
If you have acne-prone skin, you should use non-comedogenic facial products. This includes face washes, moisturizers, and sunscreen. It is important to read the labels to make sure the products are non-comedogenic. If they do not say that it is on the label, then it means that the product is comedogenic.
5. Oral antibiotics
If you have an occasional breakout of inflammatory acne, sometimes antibiotics can help. This can be done with a topical cream or gel that you use for a few days, or with oral antibiotics. It is important not to overuse oral antibiotics because your body might get used to them, and then they will not work as well. If you are unsure if you should take antibiotics, talk to your dermatologist.
6. Keep your skin clean as possible
You should wash your skin twice a day as part of your acne care plan. If you get sweaty after gym class, you may need to wash your face quickly in the middle of the day. But be careful not to wash your face too often, because this can dry out your skin and make you break out more. After washing your skin, pat it gently with a clean towel. Rubbing it will only irritate your skin and any pimples you have. Warm water is the best way to cleanse your skin. Hot water will dry out your skin, while cold water won’t do a good job of cleaning it.
7. Scrub your skin once a week
You can help keep acne breakouts away by scrubbing your skin every week. You can use a mud mask to unclog your pores and get rid of dead skin cells. You can also use a gentle exfoliator that has salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy acids.
8. Apply sunscreen everyday
You should use sunscreen every day. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the sun and keeps you from getting cancer. Sunscreen can also help you if you have acne. It is important to use sunscreen when you are using retinoids to treat your acne because your skin will be more sensitive to the sun. Look for a sunscreen that is labelled “non-comedogenic” and “oil-free.” You can find moisturizers that have sunscreen in them.
9. It is advisable to avoid wearing tight clothing
It is not a good idea to hide your acne with bandages or tight clothing. This will make the acne worse because it will trap the oils and bacteria on your skin. Cotton clothing that is loose is the best thing to wear if you have acne. You should also shower right after playing sports or doing any other exercise so that you can keep your pores clean.
10. Eat a balanced diet
You should also think about what you eat. It can be hard to eat the right things all the time with school, activities, work, and your social life. But it is important to try to eat healthy foods. Some foods that can cause acne are dairy products, high-glycemic foods, processed foods, and fried foods. Drinking water may also help keep your skin looking good: A study showed that people who drank more water had less dry skin and fewer acne breakouts.
Acne is a normal part of life. This is especially true during your teenage years when your hormones are changing and can trigger breakouts. However, acne can be treated with the right skincare ingredients and routines. If over-the-counter methods don’t clear up stubborn breakouts, a dermatologist can recommend stronger treatments. If you’re feeling sad or isolated over your acne, it’s important to reach out for support from your parents, dermatologist, or online support groups.