Got Acne? Try These Tips to Fix Your Skin!

Young woman holding a toothbrush and placing toothpaste on it.

Getting rid of acne around your mouth may be as simple as switching your toothpaste.

You can spend years of your time and thousands of dollars of your money trying to find fixes for common acne problems. Ten of the most common complications of mild to moderate acne, however, are problems you can fix on your own for a minimum expenditure.


  • Specialized acne problems often have specialized acne solutions.
  • If you have a problem with pimples breakout around your mouth, switch to brands of toothpaste and mouthwash that do not contain an ingredient called SLS. It can also help to use plain lip balm and lip gloss or no lip products at all.
  • If you have a problem with painless purple pimples on your nose, avoid sudden changes in temperature and spicy foods, as well as any skin products that make the skin tingle.
  • If your acne coverup streaks, use powder foundation.
  • If your acne coverup clumps, use cream or liquid foundation.
  • Hold your head back when you rinse off shampoo or conditioner.
  • Use moisturizer around your eyes if that area of your face is the only place you get blemishes.
  • Loosen chin straps to reduce chin acne.
  • Be sure to shower shortly after you work out to prevent acne breakouts under tight uniforms or workout outfits.
  • Keep acne gone for good with a complete acne treatment system such as Exposed Skin Care.

1.  Tiny red pimples break out around your mouth.

When acne is worst at the corners of your mouth or on your chin, toothpaste and lip balm are the usual culprits. Most brands of toothpaste contain an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (or, if you live in Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, sodium dodecyl sulphate, which is the same chemical named under a different chemical naming system). Chapstix and most other lip balms have flavors. Both kinds of chemicals can make your skin break out when the product foams off your lips or out of your mouth.

The solution is simple. Use different products. Buy toothpaste that is SLS-free, and use plain, unflavored lip balm. Sometimes that’s all that is needed to get rid of stubborn acne.

2. Tiny red and purple pimples break out on your nose and across your cheeks.

Any time pimples are purple—but tiny and not painful—rosacea is likely to be the problem, especially if they break out on the nose or across the cheeks. The problem with rosacea is not clogged pores. Rosacea is caused when tiny blood vessels underneath the skin leak. Small spots of oxygen-rich red blood and oxygen-deficient purple blood can pool visibly under the skin.

There are two ways to deal with rosacea, by strengthening your “plumbing” and by making sure you don’t stress the “pipes.” Help blood vessels grow stronger by eat foods that are rich in the purple pigments known as proanthocyanidins, such as buckwheat, berries, and purple plums. Minimize stress on blood vessels by avoiding sudden changes in temperature, especially cold to hot. When you get overheated, your body tries to cool off by sending blood to the skin, and this can be too much for the blood vessels in your face.

3. To cover up blemishes you spend an hour on your makeup and it begins to streak an hour later.

Streaks in makeup are caused by excessive oil in the skin. After you cleanse your skin, blot it dry with a towel you use just once before laundering. Then use cream-to-powder or powder foundation instead of liquid.

4. To cover up blemishes you spend an hour doing your makeup and it begins to clump an hour later.

Clumps in makeup are costs by excessive dryness in the skin. Use moisturizer, and apply cream or liquid foundation instead of powder.

5. You get nasty red pimples where you shave.

Red pimples over ingrown hairs don’t go away. They just get worse as the immune system tries to dissolve the ingrown hair and the skin grows thicker and thicker trying to keep the inflammatory chemicals around the hair from invading neighboring tissues. Especially if you are male of African or Hispanic descent between the ages of 16 and 30, always use a fresh razor when shaving whiskers or hair. This condition called acne keloidalis nuchae can strike the skin of the face, scalp, or neck, any skin that has been shaved with a dull razor. Once this form of acne has started, only medical means can reverse it. It is much better not to let this form of acne start.

6. You get blackheads on your upper forehead just below the hair line.

If you have a problem with blemishes on your upper forehead, chances are your pores are being clogged with hair care products. Shampoos, conditioners, volumizers, dandruff treatments, and oils for treating split ends get on the forehead and trigger the formation of whiteheads which quickly darken to blackheads.

There are certain hair products that some people should not use at all. If you have dark brown or black skin tones, for example, acne can be triggered by the use of pomades. But whatever hair products you use, keep them off your forehead by leaning back as you rinse your hair after shampooing or any other hair treatment.

7. You get blackheads on your lower forehead just above your eyebrows and on your temples at the sides of your eyes but nowhere else.

If you get blackheads on your lower forehead just above the brows or at the sides of your face near the eyes, the problem usually is not that your skin is too oily. The problem usually is that your skin is too dry. Apply alcohol-free moisturizer to these areas of your face, and only to these areas of your face, keeps your skin soft and supple so pores don’t get clogged, and existing whiteheads and blackheads literally fall out of pores.

8. Brown spots form where blemishes heal.

The skin heals irritation by making the pigment melanin. The darker your skin is before it is inflamed, the more melanin it makes, and the more pigment remains in your skin after acne is gone.

If you have Asian skin tones, fight brown spotting by using arbutin powder and/or vitamin E creams on pimples even while they are healing. This way the brown pigment never accumulates.

If you have dark brown or black skin, use kojic acid on your skin as soon as acne heals, to slowly reverse pigmentation so it does not become permanent.

9. You get acne on your chin but nowhere else.

Usually acne on the chin line results from pressure on the chin, typically from a strap holding a hat, helmet, or retainer. Loosen the strap and be sure to use a gentle skin cleanser every day after you take off the head gear.

10. You break out after you work out.

A form of acne called acne mechanica forms where clothes, uniforms, or protective sports gear traps sweat. You can reduce breakouts by showering as soon as you finish your competition or workout, using a shower mitt while you are in the shower to exfoliate dead skin or hardened sweat and skin oils.

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