- Stop popping the pimples and zits. This will only risk encouraging your acne to stay due to inflammation, irritation, and possibly infection. If a pimple comes up in a particularly bothersome place, learn how to target a single pimple. And if you're determined to pop, learn how to pop a pimple safely and properly.
- Remove dead skin cells regularly by exfoliating. Use a gentle scrub with natural exfoliants like ground walnut shells, or use an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Remember that over-exfoliating can actually increase the likelihood of acne by irritating the skin. Pat dry, rather than rubbing, since rubbing can cause irritation to the fresh, skin you've just revealed.
- Use a good toner. Spray onto face or wipe on with a cotton ball and wipe off with a clean, dry cotton ball. This gets rid of excess cleanser and tightens pores. Good, inexpensive choices include plain witch hazel for normal to dry skin, or 3% hydrogen peroxide for oily skin. 70% ethyl rubbing alcohol can also be used for severe oiliness, but it can really dry out your skin and irritate it more. Some toners are medicated, too, and this stage is the best stage for using a medicated product if you're only going to use one medication.
- Bacteria in pores is one cause of pimples. Reduce the amount of bacteria by using toners containing anti-bacterial agents like alcohol, peroxide and benzalkonium chloride, and by using creams that contain benzoyl peroxide, which kill bacteria as well as cause the skin to regenerate faster.
- Maintain a routine. Most acne treatments take time to work. It usually takes between two and eight weeks before you see any significant improvement, so you are going to have to be patient. Once you've gotten your acne cleared up, it's important to continue with the treatment that's working so it does not return.
- If all else fails, contact your GP. They may be able to prescribe specific mild antibiotics that can eliminate acne.
- Acne medications may cause your skin to initially break out worse than before because all FDA-approved acne medications (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur) are causing your skin to regenerate faster. This brings existing acne pimples already under your skin (but not visible yet) to the surface, which in turn causes a massive but fortunately temporary break out. Give the medications about one to two weeks and you will notice a big difference in the quality of your skin.
- See a dermatolagist if over the counter remedies do not work. They specialize in skin care and can prescribe you medicines that help you improve it.
- Don't stress out! Stressing out can only makes acne worse. Find ways to stay calm in your life.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated can help your condition improve, because the "waste management" control system in your body requires a lot of water to do its job. Without enough water, the body has difficulty removing some waste products efficiently.
- Look for face washes which contain the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide. This is the key ingredient in some of the best face washes. use a 5-10% benzoyl peroxide of mild to moderate acne and 10% for severe.
- Try smashing one tablet of asprin in a small bowl, then adding lemon juice to the mixture. Apply to the affected areas overnight. It boosts the healing process, while reducing redness.
- Try putting toothpaste (paste NOT gel) on your face, cover it with a bandage and keep it on all night, when you wash it off in the morning your acne will look better. The astringent and surfactant nature of the toothpaste will help diminish the appearance of pimples. But the toothpaste has been known to burn sensitive skin of the face, so be careful. If your face does burn, stop acne treatments, and work on healing your burn.
- If nothing is working for you, drink four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted with water daily. It works very well for some people and is worth a try.
- You can also try taking a Zinc tablet everyday.
- Phototherapy or blue-light therapy is an increasingly common form of treating facial or body acne. It uses light that interact with porphyrins in skin bacteria to reduce bacteria production and rectify acne. Many dermatologists use this form of treatment in a clinic setting, but it can be costly and time consuming. Health Canada recently approved a new product that has the same therapeutic effect, but it can be administered by the individual.
- Whilst getting a mild facial sunburn can help get rid of acne by accelerating the removal of pimpled skin and thus forcing the body to generate more skin faster, this increases the risk of skin cancer considerably.
- Do not use too many different types of acne medication at the same time. It can cause more irritation and increase your acne.
- Consult a doctor if your acne is open or bleeding.
- Benzoyl peroxide-based products can (and usually eventually do) bleach hair and fabrics. Be extremely careful using them around brightly colored or dark colored fabrics, as you can end up with ruined towels and shirts.
- Make sure you are not allergic to products/ingredients mentioned in this article before using them.
- Be careful with what prescriptions you take! Some oral prescriptions can cause irreversible liver damage. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist before taking them.
- Don't buy multi-step "activ" style solutions. If you read the labels, they contain the same active ingredients that other over-the-counter acne medications contain: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur.
- If you try using toothpaste, be warned as the burns can leave worse marks