If you suffer from acne, you most likely want to find a quick and effective remedy. You want to get rid of your acne, Fast!
It’s important to understand that there is no cure for acne. But there are many effective acne treatments that can get your skin under control.
When it comes to self-treatment, patience is key. There is no magic wand to wave for clear skin. Finding products that work and using them long enough to see results can be frustrating.
But remember, healthy skin requires a commitment, not a miracle.
What is acne
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that happens when hair follicles under the skin become clogged. Our bodies produce oil to help the skin from drying out. This oil is also called sebum which combines with dead skin cells to plug the pores.
This clogging of the pores causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.
Most breakouts occur on the face but can also present on the chest, back and shoulders.
Depending on its severity, acne can lead to emotional distress like depression and anxiety. The sooner you start treatment, the less likely you may be to suffer from those emotional impacts.
What causes acne
Acne is caused by overactive oil glands in the skin and a buildup of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, which leads to inflammation in the pores. Oil glands get stimulated when hormones become active during puberty. That’s why people are likely to get acne in their teens.
Signs will vary depending on the location and severity of your condition but may include:
- Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
- Blackheads (open plugged pores)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic lesions)
Measure your results
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. This popular economics maxim holds true when trying to get rid of acne.
Keeping a skin care journal will help you to stay on track and organized with your regimen. It will allow you to notice small changes and track which ingredients are working for you and which aren’t.
You can use a log like the one below that is part of our Free Essential Skincare Toolkit. Download the guide and print out your skincare tracker and product review sheets to help measure your progress.
Skin care tips to get rid of acne
- Keep skin clean and hydrated. Wash twice a day (especially after sweating)
- Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Washcloths or mesh sponges may irritate the skin
- Don’t overwash or dry skin out, this can lead to more oil production and thus, more acne. Washing twice a day is fine
- Keep your hands off your face to limit the amount of dirt and bacteria on the skin
- Treat your entire face with your product not just your blemish (unless it’s a spot treatment). This will stop new pimples from forming by cutting back on the bacteria present on the skin
- Avoid greasy foods and dairy
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
- Stay out of tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin and many acne medications make your skin more sensitive to UV
Avoid these foods to get rid of acne
Does diet play a role in acne? The jury is out, but here’s what we do know: certain foods can trigger and aggravate your skin, so it’s best to avoid them.
More studies are correlating that eating a low-glycemic diet may reduce the amount of acne you have. Low-glycemic foods include most fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, beans, and steel-cut oats.
If you’re like most Americans, you consume plenty of high-glycemic foods and drinks which tend to raise your blood sugar quickly.
When your blood sugar rises quickly, from eating high glycemic foods, it causes the body to release insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone that manages the effects of growth. Having excess IGF-1 in your blood can cause your oil glands to produce more sebum, increasing your risks of acne and inflammation.
Here are some foods that are high glycemic and can trigger your acne.
Foods that can help clear your skin
Acne is associated with eating a diet rich in calories, fat, and refined carbohydrates. Popular fast-food menu items like burgers, hot dogs, nuggets, french fries, sodas, and milkshakes, are mainstays of a typical Western diet and may increase acne risk.
Here are some foods that will actually help clear your skin.
Acne ingredients checklist:
We know that hormonal imbalances cause acne and can be triggered by stress and food. But what we put on our skin is equally important. Avoiding oil-based and highly emollient products is important. Heavier oils can aggravate acne by trapping oil in pores, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Here are some common ingredients to avoid:
- Acetylated Lanolin
- Algae Extract
- D & C Red
- Isopropyl Palmitate
- Lauroyl Lysine
- Lauric Acid
- Stearic Acid
- Oils (coconut, almond, cotton seed, argon, mink, sesame, soybean, castor, jojoba, avocado)
- Butters (shea, coconut, cocoa, avocado)
Wondering what’s actually OK to use on blemish-prone skin? Salicylic acid and retinol are two ingredients that almost all the experts we consulted cite as being fantastic for treating acne-prone skin. Chemical exfoliants, like glycolic acid, can work to remove the excess and penetrate deeper into the skin to clear the clogged pores.
ingredients that can help with an acne breakout:
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Salicylic Acid
- Alph-hydroxy Acids
- Tea Tree Oil
When to see a doctor
When starting a skin regimen to combat acne it’s important to be patient and go slowly. You need to give the products a chance to work.
Trying too many at once can cause irritation and dry skin out, which will make your skin look worse.
It’s best to try only a few products at once. Use them for a month and keep a skin care journal to monitor your progress. If you are not seeing results, swap out one of the products.
Over-the-counter remedies can produce great results but if you can’t get rid of your acne on your own, you may want to see a dermatologist. They can prescribe prescription topical medications and oral antibiotics.