Anti-acne tips for a clear year

Anti-acne avengers assemble! It’s a new school year, and whether you’re headed back to high school, off to college, or getting back into the workplace rhythm after vacation, this is no time for acne flares.

We know acne can trouble us at any age, in any place, for all manner of reasons. Your skin type and genetics may predispose you to adolescent acne, or hormone shifts may trigger adult acne. Some things you just can’t control. But this time of year, the American Academy of Dermatology wants to remind you of 10 things you might be doing, inadvertently, to make your acne worse. These bad habits are all related to your skin care routine — something you may think is your greatest anti-acne weapon.

Here are a few of the AAD’s anti-acne mistakes, and how to repair them.

Try a new acne treatment every week or so. This approach can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.
What to do instead: Give an acne treatment time to work. You want to use a product for 6 to 8 weeks. It takes that long to see some improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, you can try another product. Complete clearing generally takes 3 to 4 months.

Apply acne medication only to your blemishes. It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts.
What to do instead: To prevent new blemishes, spread a thin layer of the acne medication evenly over your acne-prone skin. For example, if you tend to breakout on your forehead, nose, and chin, you’d want to apply the acne treatment evenly on all of these areas of your face.

Use makeup, skin care products, and hair care products that can cause acne. Some makeup along with many skin and hair care products contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. If you continue to use them, you may continue to see blemishes.
What to do instead: Use only makeup, sunscreen, skin and hair care products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.” These products don’t cause breakouts in most people.

Share makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators. Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes. Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer their bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.
What to do instead: Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators.

Sleep in your makeup. Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you sleep in it.
What to do instead: Remove your makeup before you go to bed. No exceptions. If you’re too tired to wash your face, use a makeup remover towelette. Just make sure it’s a non-comedogenic towelette.

You can read the rest of the AAD’s anti-acne tips here.

And as long as you’re turning over a new, clear leaf for the new school or work year, don’t forget to see us at Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena for a full range of anti-acne treatments and products, from our own Anti-Acne Kits (with those noncomedogenic wipes the AAD recommends) to clarifying facials (we can do them for “backne,” too!) and peels, to Blu-Light and Photo-Dynamic Therapy (PDT) treatments to fight bacteria, to the best in scar reduction. Our physicians also offer prescription anti-acne treatment if necessary, and we’re open on Saturday mornings for your school week convenience! Contact us today, and here’s to a clear year.

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