Acne Tips: How to Keep Your Skin Clear
Dr. Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Murray Hill shares her acne clearing tips so you can kick off fall with a beautiful complexion.
Everyone loves having clear skin. If you want a clear complexion, it’s important to understand how acne is formed; how to prevent acne; and how to treat it. Acne is caused by a variety of factors, including excess oil production, bacteria, inflammation, genetics and hormonal influences. While it’s important to tailor a regimen to your skin’s needs, here are some important steps you can take to keep your skin looking and feeling it’s best.
Wash your face daily.
Leaving on makeup and allowing oil accumulation can contribute to clogging pores – so keep your skin clean! Especially after sweating – working out or wearing any occlusive clothing – make sure you clean your skin.
Use all non-comedogenic products to avoid clogging pores.
Everything you put on your skin – moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup – needs to be gentle for acne prone skin to allow your other acne products to work. Look for oil-free moisturizers and mineral-based makeup, which is most gentle on acne-prone skin and won’t clog pores.
Eat a healthy diet.
High glycemic index foods, or those that spike blood sugars can flare acne. There are also emerging links between dairy, especially skim milk, and acne. Limit sugar and dairy and fill your diet with antioxidant-packed foods like berries, nuts, and legumes.
No picking and try not to touch your face as your hands can have pore-clogging bacteria. Picking can also lead to scarring – and that can be worse than dealing with acne.
Choose the right treatments for your skin.
Using harsh toners and loading up on spot treatments is more likely to irritate than help. Benzoyl peroxide and glycolic washes and benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid spot treatments can be great in more oily skin, but taper the frequency depending on how your skin responds to these products. If you are dry, you’ll want a more hydrating cleanser with hyaluronic acid as irritation can precipitate breakouts.
Clean the products that regularly touch your skin.
This means your phone, headphones, towels, and sheets. After all, you don’t want to clean your face and then add back bacteria.
Clean your makeup brushes and swap out your makeup.
You don’t want to keep putting dirt and bacteria back on your face after getting on a good acne regimen.
While gentle exfoliation can be helpful in more oily skin, you never want to over exfoliate or scrub your face. If your acne is inflamed, gentle washing with your hands or patting with a washcloth will avoid irritating acne or causing deeper inflammation.
Take care of yourself.
(Try) to get an adequate night’s sleep, take time for stress reduction, drink water and eat as healthfully as possible. A few good habits go a long way on your skin.
See your dermatologist to address the cause of your acne.
It might be time to decide on treatment to address hormonal acne or antibiotics creams/pills based on your skin needs. In office procedures can also heal your skin more quickly and address scarring, depending on your needs.
Michele Farber, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist practicing at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Murray Hill in New York City. Dr. Farber’s expertise includes skin cancer as well as general, cosmetic, and procedural dermatology. Schedule an appointment with her or call 844-DERM-DOC.