Having practiced dermatology for the past 16 years, I’ve come across a lot of facts and myths about the proper way to treat and clear acne. My personal struggle with acne is what propelled me to become a dermatologist because I believe that everybody deserves to have clear, beautiful skin. Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of acne that I tell my friends and patients who are looking for a solution to their breakouts.
1) Shrink a breakout by cracking an egg and applying the egg white to the head of the pimple with a Q-tip. The protein in the egg will help dry out the pimple.
2) Treat skin by wearing a honey mask for about 10 minutes to help clear acne. Honey is naturally soothing and hydrating so it won’t irritate inflamed skin. It also moisturizes the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
3) Apply a product that contains hydrocortisone. When you can’t make it to the drugstore, if you have products like Cortaid or preparation-H at home, applying these solutions can decrease inflammation in the skin, and diminish redness and swelling. (Please do not use the hydrocortisone for more than 2 weeks at a time. Please consult your dermatologist if the acne persists)
4) Look for a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. This ingredient penetrates deep into pores to break up dead skin cells to remove oil and impurities. Cleansers that contain at least 2% Salicylic Acid like the Daily Cleanser deep cleans to prevent and clear breakouts and blackheads.
5) Stay hydrated. It’s true that what you put in your body effects the health of your skin. Drinking plenty of water every day can promote a more radiant complexion and help prevent dry, dull skin.
6) Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient known to kill acne-causing bacteria. Look for acne treatments that have at least 2.5% benzoyl peroxide or higher like the Acne Lotion found in the 2-Step Acne Clarifying System, or the Acne Spot Corrector, which contains 5% benzoyl peroxide to immediately treat at the first sign of a breakout.
7) Avoid harsh exfoliators. Use caution when scrubbing inflamed skin with a physical exfoliator. Sometimes cleansers with beads or rough exfoliators can actually irritate already inflamed skin and end up causing more redness, and prolong the healing process.
8) Look for products that contain hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a type of humectant that can absorb more than one thousand times its weight in water. Moisturizing gels like the Daily Hydrating Gel contain hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to plump and hydrate the skin while soothing inflammation.
9) Don’t squeeze breakouts. As tempting as popping a zit can be, if not done by a professional, it can cause bacteria to spread and lead to infection, scarring, or another breakout near the original pimple.
10) See a dermatologist. Some cases of severe acne are better treated with oral antibiotics. If you suffer from chronic acne instead of the occasional breakout, seeing a dermatologist can be the best solution to getting clear skin.