Removing Acne: Treatments and Remedies Reviewed
Getting rid of acne never happens overnight, but there are great products that can help you achieve noticeable improvement of blemishes in 48 hours, and removing acne in approximately 48 days or about two months. Here are the top ten methods for removing acne that almost always work.
- Removing acne never happens overnight. Take advantage of any product that has a 30-day guarantee.
- Moisturize dry skin to keep pores open.
- Exfoliate oily skin to keep pores open.
- While you are healing blemishes, conceal them.
- Don’t scrub your skin clean, but use products called scrubs to keep your skin clean.
- Eat yogurt to reduce skin inflammation.
- Don’t rub bar soap on your skin.
- Keep your skin hydrated to keep pores open.
- Use facial waters that “get the red out.”
- Remove makeup every day.
- Test any product on the skin of your forearm before you use it on your face.
1. If you have dry skin, moisturize.
Dry skin is skin that begins to look crinkly, crackly, peeled, or gray after several hours in the sun1. Many of us have dry skin on our heels and elbows, but some of us also have dry skin on the face.
If you have both dry skin and acne, it’s a good idea to moisturize. Why? Moisture makes the skin more flexible. It keeps the pores open, so they don’t plug up with hardened sebum and form whiteheads or blackheads, and existing whiteheads and blackheads are more likely simply to fall out of the skin without any effort on your part at all.
The very best moisturizer is water, but its effects only last a few minutes. If you have dry skin, use a water-based or oil-based moisturizer, but make sure you do not use any product that contains alcohol, which can dry out the skin even more.
2. If you have oily skin, exfoliate.
Oily skin is skin that looks shiny unless it is blotted. It’s possible for skin to be both oily and dry at the same time, especially if it is treated with moisture-robbing skin care products that contain alcohol or menthol. Most of the time, however, if you have oily skin, dryness is not a problem.
Exfoliation is a process of removing both dead skin and excessive oils on the surface of the skin. If you have oily skin, you should use products that contain the beta-hydroxy acid2 or salicylic acid (the only beta-hydroxy acid used on the skin), not alpha-hydroxy acids. Make sure the product is at least 1 or 2% salicylic acid and has a pH of no more than 3.8. If you have dark skin tones, it is especially important to rinse off the product as soon as the instructions say, to prevent irritation and inflammation that can cause persistent spotting of the skin.
3. If you can’t beat your acne, hide it.
You can cover whiteheads and blackheads with concealer makeup. Most of the time people who have acne need yellow concealer for non-inflammatory skin blemishes. Just put a dab of the product on the back of your hand and work it into a feather brush, and then use the feather brush to transfer concealer to the skin. Lightly rub the concealer into the skin to cover the blemish smoothly, with no obvious edges around the blemish.
Pimples may require green concealer then followed by treating the entire face with a flesh-tone foundation matching your skin tones. Remember, concealing pimples is a two-step process. You don’t want to stop with just the green concealer on your face,.
4. Scrub your acne away, but not with a cloth or a brush.
Scrubbing your skin with a washcloth, or worse, a brush, only makes acne worse3. The skin is irritated, and protects itself by making even more oily sebum. Skin scrubs, however, contain mild foaming agents that can get into pores, and tiny microparticles of polyethylene plastic, coconut, or oatmeal that physically remove excess oil as the product is rinsed away. If a scrub leaves your face looking red or feeling tingly, however, take it back to the retailer and ask for your money back. Redness and tingling are signs of skin destruction, not fighting acne.
5. Eat yogurt.
Yogurt contains symbiotic bacteria that not only keep harmful bacteria from multiplying in the lower digestive tract, but also send signals to the immune system4 that they have those harmful bacteria under control. When the immune system gets these signals that it does not have to stay at the ready to fight dangerous infections, it produces less inflammation. This relieves stress on the brain, improving mood and fighting infection. It also relieves stress in the skin, reducing the production of both irritant chemicals like histamine, and also of sebum, which helps protect the skin by releasing essential fatty acids.
It used to be considered simple common sense that eating yogurt or even baker’s yeast would clear up the skin5. Now scientists know the reasons why. A small serving of yogurt every day, preferably between meals, will keep the colon’s supply of useful bacteria healthy and help skin problems including both acne and eczema in check.
6. Just say no to bar soap.
Bar soap is never good for cleansing the skin, especially when there is acne on the skin. It certainly is not useful for removing acne. Rubbing a bar on the skin grinds soap film into pores, making a sticky mess with the oils that are naturally inside. The foamier the soap, the bigger the bubbles, the more likely it is to dry out the skin, and the ingredients that make soap smell good can also cause skin allergies. Use acne cleansers on the skin, letting them to do their work without rubbing and scrubbing, rinsing them off with warm water and patting the skin dry with a clean towel.
7. Just say yes to water.
Water hydrates the skin6, keeping pores open so acne never gets a chance to get started. You don’t have to drink unusually large amounts of water to hydrate your skin. No one ever cured acne by sloshing while they raced down the hall to the bathroom. And you don’t have to keep your home so humid that your pet turtle does not need terrarium.
The way to get the right amount of water in your skin is to apply water to your skin whenever you can. You don’t want to streak your makeup, but simply splashing your face with water before you put on makeup increases the moisture in your skin up to 500% until you take off your cosmetics.
There are some hydrating products you really don’t need. Any kind of collagen you put on your skin does attract water, but it keeps the water on your skin, not in your skin. This may make your skin look plumper until you rinse the product off, but it will do nothing to keep pores open or to remove acne.
8. Just say yes to facial waters.
There is a special kind of water that is especially helpful if you have acne: Facial waters. These are waters from natural springs that are rich in sulfur, magnesium, or selenium, minerals that calm the skin7 and fight infection. Splash you face with facial water after you rinse off your cleanser, allowing the water to evaporate off your skin rather than toweling your skin, or use it before you use moisturizer and other makeup.
9. Be sure to remove makeup every day.
It is important to remove makeup completely every day. Leaving cosmetics on the skin all night allows them to break down into fatty acids that feed staph bacteria8 —the bacteria that cause “zits” with yellow centers that are uglier and harder to conceal than pimples.
10. Test any new product to make sure you are not allergic to it, and then give it 30 days to work.
Allergic reactions to acne care products are rare, but they happen. It is always a good idea to test just a small dot of the product on the skin of your forearm, leaving it there for 24 hours to make sure it does not cause any kind of inflammation or irritation. If it doesn’t, then you can use it on your face.
Don’t expect any product to remove acne overnight, or even in a week. Your skin may begin to look better almost immediately when you use some treatments, but most of the time it’s best to take full advantage of your 30-day money-back guarantee, such as you get when you buy Exposed Skin Care.
- Rittié L., Fisher G.J. Natural and Sun-Induced Aging of Human Skin. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. 2015;5(1):a015370.
- Kornhauser A., Coelho S.G., Hearing V.J. Applications of hydroxy acids: classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity. Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology. 2010;3:135–142.
- Kraft J., Freiman A. Management of acne. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2011;183(7):E430–E435.
- Meydani S.N., Ha W.K. Immunologic effects of yogurt. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000;71(4):861-72.
- Vaughn A.R., Sivamani R.K. Effects of Fermented Dairy Products on Skin: A Systematic Review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2015;21(7):380-5.
- Popkin B.M., D’Anci K.E., Rosenberg I.H. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Reviews. 2010;68(8):439–458.
- Carbajo J.M., Maraver F. Sulphurous Mineral Waters: New Applications for Health. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017.
- Lee H.J., Jeong S.E., Lee S., Kim S., Han H., Jeon C.O. Effects of cosmetics on the skin microbiome of facial cheeks with different hydration levels. MicrobiologyOpen. 2018;7(2):e00557.
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