5 Effective Acne Skin Care Resolutions

A few easy changes to your acne skin care routine can make all the difference to your skin. These five simple resolutions will have you well on your way to clearer, healthier skin.


Cleanse Your Face Every Night Before Going to Sleep

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This is an important skin care step for everyone, but especially so for acne-prone skin.

Take time every night to thoroughly cleanse your face, even if you don't wear makeup. Doing so will help remove excess oil that may contribute to the development of comedones, or clogged pores.

And don't forget about your neck, jawline, and in front of and behind the ear. These are places commonly overlooked during cleansing.


Stop Scrubbing at Your Skin

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Thorough cleansing is good; vigorous scrubbing of the skin isn't. Avoid abrasive scrubs, scrubbing pads, and rough washcloths if you have acne.

You may feel like you can cleanse your pores with a good scrubbing. But that can actually increase redness and irritation and may even worsen breakouts. Instead, use a soft cloth or your bare hands.

If you feel you need more exfoliation, try an alpha hydroxy acid product, which removes dead skin cells without abrasive ingredients.

Remember, though, that many acne treatment products already exfoliate the skin. If you are using any prescription acne medications, such as Retin A, azelaic acid, or Accutane, do not use any additional exfoliating product unless advised by a doctor.


Remember to Use Your Acne Medications

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Consistency is key in treating acne. To get the results you're looking for, you should use your acne medications every day, or as directed.

It's easy to forget to use your acne treatments, especially when life gets busy.

To help you remember, try using them at the same time every day. Or get into the habit of applying your topical treatments at the same time that you do something else like just after brushing your teeth.

Making it a habit will help you remind you about treatments, and ultimately get you the skin you're working for.


Stop Popping Pimples

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Yeah, you've heard this a thousand times, but here it is again: Popping pimples is bad for the skin.

Every time you pop, squeeze, or pick at a blemish you run the risk of damaging the follicle wall and increase the chance of scarring. Picking at your skin will lengthen healing time and can push infected material deeper into the dermis.

Remind yourself of that when you feel the need to squeeze a breakout.

If you're a chronic "pimple popper," you may have to make a conscious effort to stop obsessing in front of the mirror, searching your skin for new zits to pick. The rewards will be worth it.

(Can't stop popping to the point of damaging your skin? You may have a form of acne called excoriated acne. Talk to your doctor to get treatment.)


Make an Appointment to See Your Doctor

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Too often people put off seeing a doctor about their skin because, they reason, it's "only acne." Acne is most treatable when it's in its earliest stages.

There are many effective over-the-counter-treatments for acne. But if you aren't noticing improvement after 6 to 8 weeks of treatment, see your doctor.

No matter if your acne is mild or more severe, if you are having trouble controlling it, it's time to see your doctor. Don't put it off. Your dermatologist has an arsenal of acne treatments, one of which will work for you.

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