Last Updated on July 31st, 2019
Nearly every teen has to deal with face acne at some time or another1. How you treat acne on your face determines how long it will be a problem. But gentler methods get rid of acne faster than drastic methods2. Here are ten tips every teen needs for dealing with acne on the face.
Article Table of Contents
By the time you can see a zit, the excess oil causing the problem is already locked inside a pore. Rubbing, scrubbing, or washing hard won’t get the oil out of your skin. It will just injure the surrounding skin and make the pimple even more inflamed and more noticeable.
The best time to treat acne is before it starts. You can do this by removing excess oil off your skin so it does not ever get a chance to clog your pores. The key is to get excess oil off your skin without putting harmful on your skin in its place6. Always use a mild cleanser and let it do the work. Unless you are removing obvious dirt, grime, or makeup, don’t rub your skin when you wash it.
Getting lots of sun to dry out your skin used to be the standard advice for getting rid of acne. It turns out that it is not drying out your skin that makes the difference when you get sun. It’s the blue and red rays of sunlight that kill acne bacteria and reduce oil production in your pores4.
A little sunshine on unprotected skin, up to about 20 minutes a day, helps your skin make vitamin D for the rest of your body7. The rest of the time, use sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn and sun damage. And use a special blue light or combination blue and red light lamp to give your skin gentle light treatment that gets rid of blemishes without drying out your skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is great for getting rid of acne on your back8. If you have single pimples on your back, it can strip off the top layer of the pimple and attack the bacteria inside. The skin on your back and can stand up to benzoyl peroxide treatment.
Use that same strength of benzoyl peroxide on your face and you may have an entirely different experience. Benzoyl peroxide on your face, except in the mildest (2.5% or lower) non-prescription strengths, often causes intolerable itching, burning, peeling, and redness on the face. Other treatments may be needed for face acne.
Acne breaking out just over your eyebrows and on your nose is often due to oils from hair falling over the face. Acne at the hair line at the top of the forehead is often due to hair care products clogging pores. To prevent blemishes on your nose and forehead, keep your hair out of your face and rinse excess hair care products out of your hair with your head tilted backwards.
Sometimes you can’t get acne treated fast enough before a big date, graduation, or some occasion where you will be in photos. You have to cover it up. The traditional advice is to use green concealer to cancel out the redness of a pimple, and then to use foundation makeup to cover up the green concealer. That works out OK until your foundation wears off and people start asking you why you have green spots on your face.
Cover up pimples with a single layer of gold or brown foundation, complementing your skin tones. If you have fair, brown, or black skin, use gold foundation. If you have Asian skin tones, use brown concealer. You may have to experiment to find the right shade for your skin. Covering up pimples with as few layers of cosmetics as possible helps pimples clear up, and reduces the risk of makeup malfunctions as the day goes on.
Blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples on the jawline are often invisible to you but extra-visible to other people. Prevent them by making sure you that any skin care treatment you use on your whole face is applied over your jawline, too.
If you have a problem with cysts or nodules, you might want to treat them with a product known as tretinoin topical, the over the counter version of a medication known as Retin-A. If you put tretinoin topical all over your face, you will open up pores in problem places, but you may also make the rest of your face unnecessarily red. The best way to use product that has potential side effects, or that costs a lot, is just on the places you need it the most, not all over your face. Make sure your hands are clean when you apply spot treatments to pimples, and make sure you wash your hands before you touch your face again.
Moisture in your skin (which is not the same thing as oil dripping out of your pores) keeps it flexible and helps pores stay open. Not every one needs moisturizer all the time, but even oily skin can dry out. Using a little moisturizer when you need it helps prevent whiteheads and blackheads9, especially on the lower forehead and at the sides of the face.
One of the troublesome truths of the cosmetics industry is that the highest-priced products almost never work as well as their less expensive counterparts. Any ingredient added to a product just to impress you is also likely to irritate your skin—and keep you wanting more of the product. The best way to buy your acne products is to get all your skin care products from a single source you can trust, such as Exposed Skin Care.
To be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of clear, healthy skin.