Dermatologist’s tips and skin care advice for clearing pimples and blackheads
Know your ingredients to fight acne:
- Benzoyl peroxide is the best non-prescription ingredient to fight the acne-causing bacteria P. acnes. The 2.5% benzoyl peroxide concentration is as effective as higher concentrations, and it’s less irritating. You can spot treat pimples or apply it twice a day to acne-prone skin to prevent pimples. It also helps fight blackheads
- Salicylic acid seeps into oily pores to break up plugs and blackheads. It’s tops for this job if your skin is oily.
- Pyrithione zinc helps reduce the acne-causing yeast called Pityrosporum (also called Malassezia.)
- Retinol is a great keratolytic, meaning it helps to bust up blackheads. It helps to lighten acne scars and hyperpigmentation (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), too. Retinol has great anti-wrinkle benefits and is ideal for skin care that fights both acne and the signs of skin aging.
- Glycolic acid can be used to help keep pores clear, too. Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinol, it is a keratolytic. It also helps lighten acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
Wash your skin and apply products twice a day.
This gives you an opportunity to keep products working for you. It also removes oil, product, germs, makeup, dirt, and debris that can worsen acne.
Create a complete skin care with acne-fighting ingredients built from the essential steps of:
To fight acne, use cleansers and correcting products with the ingredients listed above. Also, use a non-pore-clogging moisturizer to balance skin hydration to fight dryness and irritation. Sun protection is important to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as acne lesions heal.
Get your diet and lifestyle working with you to fight acne.
Acne loves high sugar diets and junk food filled with carbs. Dairy-based foods also make acne worse. Breakouts get worse with stress, lack of sleep and too little exercise, too. Eat lots of veggies, fruit and whole foods. You already know this; now, make the commitment to yourself to do it every day.
If your acne is mostly due to the Pityrosporum yeast, my PF Kit might do the job.
My popular, Ultimate Acne Solutions Kit has professional-level ingredients to fight acne vulgaris (the most common type of acne).
Want more information on acne and how to customize your acne-fighting skin care routine?
Click here for my advice pages to learn what type of acne you have and see how I build skin care routines for my acne patients.