Acne is the bane of every person’s existence. It's like that ex-boo who just won't go away, no matter what you do!
So, are tired of looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing a big ol' pimple staring back at you? Yes, you can either spend the day trying to cover it up with makeup or face the world with confidence, however, we all know pimples are uncomfortable no matter how confident you are.
That’s why we built this must-read guide on how to get rid of acne and not die trying!
We'll be frank with you: there is no magic cure for acne, but there are a lot of treatments and tricks out there that can help you get rid of pimples fast. So grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and let's get started on banishing those pesky blemishes once and for all!
What is acne-prone skin and how to know if you have it?
Simply put, acne-prone is a condition that makes the skin more susceptible to developing acne vulgaris *which is just a fancy name for acne*.
While you may think that acne only happens when you are a teenager and the hormones are all over the place, that can’t be farther from the truth! You can be born with this skin type or start being prone to breakouts while you grow up, so there is no escape.
But how do you know if your skin is acne-prone? Well, first we need to answer this:
Is acne-prone the same as oily skin?
The answer is no. Oily skin is a skin type by itself, meaning that your skin produces excess oil. Acne-prone skin is a condition that can affect any skin type *yes, even those with dry or sensitive skin*
However, this condition is more common in oily types because the production of excessive sebum can lead to clogged pores, which can finally lead to mild, moderate or severe acne.
Then, how do you know if you have this condition? Here are our lists of signs you should be looking for:
- You tend to break out in pimples or other blemishes often.
- Your blemishes take a long time to heal.
- You have deep, painful cysts under your skin.
How to prevent acne: What you need to know first
Before jumping in the best tricks on treating acne you need to identify the reasons why you are prone to breaking out!
As we mentioned, there are many potential causes of acne, which can be broadly divided into two categories: hormonal and non-hormonal.
Hormonal acne is usually linked to an imbalance in the body's natural hormone levels, which can be caused by puberty, period, stress, or other factors. On the other hand, non-hormonal acne is typically caused by things like excess oil production, bacteria, dead skin cells, or even your hair products.
All in all, there are many different acne treatments, but you need to know what’s causing your acne first! Why? Because, for example, the treatment to eliminate pimples if they are caused by excess sebum is not the same as the one for acne caused by stress!
What helps with acne: Our Unrivaled Guide
Acne is one of the most common skin problems that people of all ages suffer from *even adults, so don’t blame it on the teens*. Though there are a lot of products and treatments available in the market, not all of them work for everyone. If you're struggling with acne, don't worry, we've got you covered.
Here is our unrivaled guide on how to get rid of acne with our easy-to-follow tips that won’t disappoint you:
1. Use a gentle cleanser
Harsh cleansers are canceled! One of the most important things you can do to eliminate acne is to use a gentle cleanser. Harsh soaps and cleansers will only irritate your skin and make your acne worse. Choose a mild, non-abrasive cleanser that will purify your oil glands without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Pro-tip: look for cleansers with salicylic acid! This is one of the most famous topical treatments because it can treat acne by helping to slough off dead skin cells while unclogging pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid to reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne.
2. Don’t be afraid of exfoliating
Dead skin is a pore clogger, that’s why you need to regularly exfoliate your skin. This will help remove dead skin cells and dirt that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. So, add an exfoliation once or twice a week to your skin care routine!
Wanna discover what’s the best exfoliator for your skin type? Here are our favorite exfoliants!
3. Stay hydrated
The most natural and cheapest way to treat acne is drinking water!
Drinking plenty of water is important for keeping your skin healthy. When you're properly hydrated, your skin is better able to fight off acne-causing bacteria. Shoot for eight glasses of water a day.
4. Stop popping that pimple!
Popping a pimple is so satisfying, right? Well, let's talk about how NOT to pop a pimple. Trying to pop a pimple with dirty hands is a bad idea for so many reasons:
For one, it can cause acne scarring, and we all know how difficult it is to fade away acne scars. Secondly, picking at your skin can lead to more breakouts. So if you're trying to get rid of acne, popping them whenever you want is not the way to go about it.
5. But if you are going to pop it, do it right!
We know sometimes it is impossible to resist the temptation of popping a pimple, so, if you are going to do it, you need to do it right!
Wait for the pimple to be ready *aka when you see a white head at the top of it*, clean your skin and your hands first, apply a compress with warm *not hot* water and then use a cotton pad to press the pimple gently.
Warning: Don’t force it out! If the pimple is not popping, it means it is not ready yet.
6. Use a spot treatment
If you have a pimple that just won't go away, try using a spot treatment. Spot treatments are designed to target specific areas of your skin, and they usually contain more powerful ingredients than your regular facial cleanser.
You can try adding conventional acne treatments with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or tea tree oil to your regime if you want to get rid of pimples.
7. Moisturize the heck out of your skin!
It's important to moisturize your skin, even if you have mild or moderate acne. A good moisturizer will help keep your skin hydrated and healthy, which can prevent breakouts.
Not applying moisturizer can actually be making acne worse, so you should choose a light, oil-free moisturizer that won't clog pores.
8. Eat healthily
Even though eating fast food is deliciously tempting, foods with too much oil can end up clogging your pores and boosting sebum production
Eating a healthy diet is good for your overall health, and it can also help your skin. Foods that are high in antioxidants, like berries, can help reduce inflammation. Omega-three fatty acids, found in salmon and other oily fish, can also help to keep clear skin.
9. Clean everything your face touches
From your pillowcases and towel to your phone screen, everything you put near your face should be tidy AF!
Why? Because of this things are full of germs that can worsen acne by generating a bacterial infection. So, it is best if you wash them weekly in order to prevent pimples from appearing.
10. Only use non-comedogenic products
These are products that won’t clog your pores for the sake of it.
You have no idea how common it is that acne is caused by the comedogenic ingredients found in skincare products *yes, even acne products*.
That’s why you should always look at the labels to check for pore-clogging ingredients like coconut or argan oil, the big favorites of every DIY tutorial out there!
11. Don’t overdo it
While it’s important to keep your face clean and treat this skin condition, you don’t want to overdo it as this can actually worsen existing acne. Washing your face more than twice a day can strip away natural oils that your skin needs to stay healthy. Additionally, scrubbing your face too hard can irritate your skin and lead to inflammatory acne.
12. Look for oil-free products
Let’s get this straight: if you are acne-prone, that means that you are more susceptible to acne flare-up and congestion than other skin types. This is because the oil glands in your skin produce more oil. When this excess combines with dead skin cells and bacteria, it can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
So, when you are already over-producing oil, it’s important to use products that won’t further clog pores or irritate the skin. That’s why oil-free or non-comedogenic oil products are a must for anyone with acne-prone skin.
But, does this mean you can’t use any oils at all? No!
You just need to stay away from pore-clogging oils and only use the ones your skin can actually absorb, like tea tree oil.
13. Keep Your Hair Off Your Face
Your hair can actually be one of the biggest contributors to acne breakouts. This is because hair follicles contain oils that can transfer to your face and clog your pores. To avoid this, make sure to keep your hair away from your face as much as possible and wash it regularly to keep hair follicles clean.
You can also use a headband to keep your hair off your face while you are doing your skincare routine!
11 Acne treatments that are worth trying
Acne is never fun, but with the right treatment regimen, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence! From benzoyl peroxide to glycolic acid, here are our number-one ingredients you should be looking for if you want to treat pimples:
1. Salicylic acid
An acne patients’ all-time favorite! Salicylic acid is often found in cleansers, toners and spot treatments. It unclogs pores, exfoliates dead cells and reduces inflammation related to mild acne and even severe acne.
2. Benzoyl peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is commonly found in spot and other over-the-counter treatments. It works by killing bacteria, drying out pimples and reducing redness.
3. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is good for acne because it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This means that it can help reduce the redness and swelling of pimples. It can also kill the bacteria even in cases of bacterial resistance.
4. Green tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are great for keeping your skin clear. Plus, it's a gentle way to exfoliate your skin without using harsh chemicals.
This is one of the most famous home remedies for treating acne since you can drink green tea to enjoy all its benefits. However, you can also find the ingredient in prescription drugs for acne or topical products.
5. Azelaic acid
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in wheat and barley. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, making it an effective acne treatment. In addition, azelaic acid helps to regulate sebum production and prevents the build-up of dead cells that can worsen acne vulgaris.
Important: This ingredient is generally well-tolerated, but some people may experience mild side effects, such as dry skin, redness, and itching.
6. Lactic acid
This is one of the most well-known alpha-hydroxy acids. It effectively exfoliates the skin, helping to get rid of dead cells and revealing new, healthy skin cells underneath. Moreover, it has antimicrobial properties, which makes it effective to decrease acne skin conditions.
7. Glycolic acid
Another AHA and one of the most popular ingredients in skincare products today. It's praised for its ability to brighten and even out the skin tone, as well as its anti-aging properties. But did you know that this acid can also be used to treat acne?
Glycolic acid works by dissolving the bonds that hold dead cells together. This allows for the cells to be sloughed off, revealing the healthy skin underneath. In addition, it has antibacterial properties, which make it an effective acne-fighting ingredient.
8. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is a type of plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks. The bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant contain tannins, which are compounds that have astringent properties.
When applied to the skin, witch hazel can help to tighten pores, reduce inflammation, and decrease redness. It is also effective in reducing acne by helping to kill bacteria and dry up excess sebum.
9. Fish oil
An oil your skin won’t hate!
It is a natural source of omega-three fatty acids, which are known for their ability to ease inflammation. When applied to the skin, the oil can help to reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne. This oil can also help to improve the appearance of your skin by making it softer and tighter.
10. Oral antibiotics
If you have moderate to severe acne, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral antibiotic. These are helpful in reducing the inflammation and bacteria that contribute to breakouts. However, oral antibiotics can cause side effects like stomach upset, dizziness, and yeast infections.
11. Laser treatment
Laser treatments can be good for acne, but they're not always the best option. If you have mild to moderate acne, lasers may help improve your skin by targeting the bacteria that causes acne. However, they are often too expensive.
The best skincare routine for acne-prone skin
If you are acne-prone, you know how frustrating it can be to find a skincare routine that actually works. Exfoliating comes before or after moisturizing? When can you use salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or the spot treatment for acne scars? Should you apply a thin layer o a handful of products? Here’s what you should be doing:
Step #1: Cleanse
No matter your skin type, you should always cleanse your face first. This is especially important for those with acne, as it's important to remove excess sebum and dirt from the skin.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid during your morning and nighttime routine, and don’t be afraid of trying double cleansing with oil-based and water-based products.
Step #2: Toner
After cleansing, apply a toner to help balance the skin's pH levels. This will help to decrease inflammation and redness. Be sure to choose a toner that is alcohol-free, as alcohol can dry out the skin and make breakouts worse.
BONUS Step #2.5: Serums *just if you want*
Serums are a great way to target specific skin concerns. If you're struggling with breakouts, look for a serum that contains ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil. These ingredients will help you to get rid of pimples fast without affecting skin health.
Step #3: Spots treatments
If you have active pimples, you'll want to apply a spot treatment directly to the affected areas to reduce acne.
There are many great treatment options on the market that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These ingredients will help to kill the bacteria that causes acne skin conditions.
Step #4: Moisturizer
Choose a light, oil-free moisturizer that won't clog your pores. This will help to keep the skin hydrated and reduce acne.
Step #5: Sunscreen
Last but not least, layer some sunscreen! This is important for all skin types, but it's especially important for those with acne. Sun exposure can make breakouts worse, so be sure to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Acne DYI’s: Do or Don’t?
Unfortunately, the internet is full of bad advice when it comes to skincare. A quick Google search for "home remedies for acne" will give you a ton of results, but not all of them are backed by science. In fact, some of them can actually make your acne even worse.
So, which are these “miraculous” natural remedies you should be avoiding? Here are the most common ones:
One popular home remedy for acne is using lemon juice as a spot treatment. While lemon juice does have some antibacterial properties, it's also very acidic. This can dry out your skin and make it more prone to irritation, which can lead to more breakouts.
Baking soda is really famous in the DYI world because it can *apparently* dry pimples fast. However, there is no scientific evidence to support its use for acne. Additionally, baking soda can be drying and irritating to the skin.
If you choose to still use baking soda, be sure to dilute it with water and only apply it to the affected areas.
In recent years, these oral medications have also been gaining popularity as a treatment for acne. Must tutorials say you should smash aspirins and put it directly on the pimple to dry it, but does that really work?
Yes, it can help reduce the swelling and redness of pimples, however, it also can dry and crack your skin, so it is better not to use it too much
Honey is a natural antibacterial, so it can help to kill the bacteria that are causing your acne. It's also packed with antioxidants, which can help to decrease inflammation and redness. And it's hydrating, so it can help to keep your skin from getting too dry.
Nevertheless, common honey *the kind you find in farmers' markets* can be full of bacteria, which can lead to more pimples.
Acne-fighting skincare products: Where to find them?
Now you know how to banish acne off your face! It’s not going to be easy – but it is definitely possible!
Acne can be a stubborn beast but armed with the right information and products, you can start to see improvements. That’s why we hope this guide has armed you with the knowledge you need to get started on the road to clear skin and not die trying.
Happy online shopping and don’t forget to let us know which product was your favorite!