1. Nothing else is going to help if your face isn’t clean: Let’s get real for a second: your face is constantly bombarded with impurities from your hands, the environment, dead skin cells, oils, and more. Most acne comes from the clogging of pores, and the simplest way to combat this is to keep your face free of the debris and impurities that can lead to clogged pores. Even if your acne is caused by deeper issues, cleaner skin can help minimize breakouts.
When washing, it’s important to not over wash and damage the skin. Guys think they need to scrub hard – and while this may be true for dirty hands after a long day’s work, the skin on your face and neck doesn’t need such vigorous cleaning. Wash gently with warm water; you can even use an exfoliating loofah or glove. Always rinse away any excess soap and dry your face with a clean towel when finished. Check out our guide on cleansing. It covers everything you need to keep your skin fresh and clean.
2. Try over-the-counter acne treatments: You may have avoided acne products because you didn’t want to talk to a doctor about it or get a prescription. There’s good news: tons of effective acne treatment options are on the shelf at your local department store. But be careful, a lot of active acne fighting ingredients; like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, and glycolic acid; can dry or damage your skin. You’ll want to start with a small amount to see how your skin reacts. Additionally, you’ll need to start moisturizing your skin, which is next on the list.
3. Start moisturizing: Nearly all products that treat acne also dry your skin. You’ll need to use a moisturizer to rehydrate your skin, keeping it from drying out and flaking. This looks bad and leads to sensitive, irritated skin. It’s important to look for a moisturizer that is “noncomedogenic,” which means it is unlikely to cause acne which some moisturizers can do. We also have a guide on moisturizing with everything you need to know to keep your skin hydrated.
4. Keep up your exercise routine: Exercise is great for your skin just like any other part of your body. Exercise helps stretch the skin to keep it supple and elastic. It also makes you sweat which gives your skin a chance to purge toxins from your system. Of course, you’ll need to change out of your exercise clothes and clean off for your skin. The oils trapped in your clothes from the sweat my actually irritate and cause breakouts if you continue to wear them after exercising. This is a good time to cleanse your face as well, which we covered in tip #1.
5. Stop touching your face: This one sounds easier than it is. The reality is the more you touch your face, the greater chance you have to clog pores and irritate skin with whatever is on your hands. Your hands touch everything, and they have thick, rugged skin that repels dirt and grime. The same isn’t true for your face, so protect it from everything your hands touch by avoiding facial contact. You should also be washing your hands regularly so that when those idle touches happen, the exposure is minimized.