1. If your acne is minor, you could choose to do nothing. With minor outbreaks, pores will eventually clear themselves, and pimples will disappear. In some people, this may be a matter of a few, short days, whereas, in others, it may take a little longer.
2. You could also use some form of over-the-counter acne treatment. These products usually dry up the oil and/or promote the removal of dead skin cells. When buying the product, look for lotions with benzoyl peroxide (which dries oil and kills bacteria), sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid (increases cell turnover), or alpha-hydroxy (increases cell turnover). Many people have sensitivities to one or more of these ingredients, so if you notice irritation (redness, flaking, etc.), you can try a product with a different active ingredient.
3. For any acne that isn’t easily treatable with over-the-counter products, see your healthcare provider. Almost half of all teenagers have acne severe enough to be treated by a specialist. There are strong medicines available to treat severe or persistent acne. Different medicines deal with pimples in different ways: they may reduce your skin’s oil production, fight the bacteria that cause infections, or increase skin-cell turnover (taking away the dead cells that may clog pores). Your healthcare provider can help you determine the right skin care routine for you.
Do’s and Don’ts of Skin Care
- Time your daily facial cleaning after you’ve worked up a sweat. That’s when your pores are open and cooperative.
- Eat a salad and a couple pieces of fresh fruit each day. The vitamins and minerals in these foods help act as detoxifiers in your body, booting out unwanted food chemicals.
- Drink up to four quarts of water a day. This will help flush out impurities in your system that can add to clogged pores.
- Up your daily fiber intake by munching on a handful of walnuts or almonds or adding 3 teaspoons of ground flaxseed to a healthy shake or salad.
- Don’t pop your pimples or pick at your face. The bacteria under your fingernails will only cause the acne invasion to spread.
- Don’t cleanse your face when you first wake up. Your pores aren’t open completely.
- Don’t scrub your face with rough cleansers.
Pimples are common. So don’t worry too much if you wake up with one (or several). They really are more noticeable to you than everyone else.