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Acne Tips and Advice

By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Acne Treatment Tips from a Dermatologist

How you take care of your acne-prone skin really matters for your complexion.

Pick the right products and your acne gets better; use the wrong ones and it gets worse. That said, there are different types of acne and they all have different "right" products. 

As a dermatologist, I recommend that you use a Complete Skin Care routine to fight acne to get rid of pimples at any age.

Shop my dermatologist-recommended acne products to treat,

  • adult acne,
  • teen acne,
  • back and chest acne.

By preventing acne, you also allow your skin to heal and allow acne scars to fade.

Knowing how to control your acne involves finding the right acne products for your skin type. - Dermatologist Dr. Bailey

How do acne treatment products work to fight acne?

Acne treatment always works in 2 main ways:

  1. By unclogging pores to get rid of blackheads.
  2. By treating germs (bacteria and yeast) that cause pimples.
Ultimate Acne Solutions Kit dermatologist's

My Ultimate Acne Solutions Kit contains the best ingredients to unclog pores and kill the acne causing bacteria. It also has the best acne-friendly aloe and glycerin moisturizer to prevent skin dryness. 

In spite of the thousands of confusing acne products available, there are only 5 non-prescription acne fighting ingredients and medicines that work well. I have products and routines built from all 5 of these key ingredients at levels that work to stop acne.

What are the best acne treatment ingredients to CORRECT acne?

  1. acne treatment tips products that work
    Benzoyl peroxide (which kills P. acnes, also called C. acnes, the germ associated with acne vulgaris, which is the classic teen acne.)
  2. Salicylic acid (which penetrates deeply into oily pores to help break up clogged pore debris that tucks the bacteria and yeast germ into a nice stronghold where it can worsen acne. Salicylic acid also helps other ingredients penetrate oily pores better.)
  3. Glycolic acid (which helps exfoliate skin to loosen clogged pores. It also helps to brighten skin and lighten the appearance of acne scarring.)
  4. Retinol (which helps to dislodge blackheads, brighten skin and reduce acne scarring.)
  5. Pyrithione zinc (which helps reduce the Pityrosporum yeast that often plays a role in Pityrosporum folliculitis type of 'fungal' acne.)

My dermatologist-developed acne products and skin care routines are built from these 5 key acne fighting ingredients. You can't get stronger acne treatments without a prescription!

3 Reasons to use a Complete Skin Care Routine to heal acne!

How you use your acne products, and what else you apply to your skin, will determine how fast your acne will improve because,

  1. Some skin care ingredients will block and inflame your pores to cause pimples. Avoid those!
  2. Some products inactivate each other so that your routine won't work against acne. Use compatible ingredients at the same time.
  3. Other product ingredients will irritate your skin, cause allergic reactions and make your acne treatment frustrating.

Take the Guess Work Out of Your Acne Treatment

Complete Skin Care for Acne

In order to properly treat your acne, first you need to determine the type of acne you have (see list below). Next, you need to build a Complete Skin Care Routine to maximize results, prevent scars and prevent dryness and irritation. There are 4 essential steps in a Complete Skin Care Routine, which you'll do twice daily:

  1. CLEANSE
  2. CORRECT
  3. HYDRATE
  4. PROTECT

Be sure to cover each of these steps in your skin care routine because it's important! Know that some products cover two steps, such as an acne fighting medicated skin cleanser that will CLEANSE skin and CORRECT acne. 

Use only acne-friendly products on your acne-prone skin

Avoid pore-clogging ingredients like oils in all the products that you apply to your acne-prone skin. This includes makeup and sunscreens which are notorious acne culprits.

Pick products that fit your skin type and your skin's sensitivities to avoid irritating your skin.

Have you noticed that overly harsh acne products send you running for oily moisturizers to soothe skin irritation? Your face gets red and your acne worse. Don't over-do-it with drying products and overly strong treatments. And don't forget to moisturize!

Acne Types and Their Treatments

acne treatment tips from dermatologist

Let me guide you. I use my 35 years of clinical experience to build my acne treatment routines. This gives you access to a dermatologist without actually needing an appointment! 

I've recommended the same acne-treating skin care routines to patients in my dermatology practice for years. Find the type of acne that you have below. If you want more information, click the link to see more about the routine I recommend:

Facial Acne Vulgaris Treatment (this is the most common type of acne).

acne vulgaris treatment tips dermatologist's

Typical acne vulgaris includes a lot of blackheads and pimples that may become cysts. It often starts on the nose and T-zone and gradually worsens to involve the entire face. Pimples are usually tender, red and come to a pustular head. I have 3 different routines:

#1: Facial Acne Vulgaris Treatment, if you have normal skin and are tolerate most acne treatment products.

Most people fall in this group and start with my Ultimate Acne Solutions Kit plus their favorite acne friendly sunscreen. Get everything you need to conquer acne and balance skin hydration for a clear complexion.

Ultimate Acne Solution Kit
 

#2: Facial acne vulgaris treatment routine when you are allergic to salicylic acid.

Read more to treat acne if you are allergic to salicylic acid

#3: Facial Acne Vulgaris Treatment for those whose skin is intolerant to benzoyl peroxide.

Read more about how to treat acne without using benzoyl peroxide. 

    Pityrosporum folliculitis treatment tips for fungal acne
    Facial Pityrosporum Folliculitis
    Type of 'Fungal' Acne Treatment.

    Here, small closed clogged pores and blackheads group along the hairline, jaw and neck, eventually covering the forehead and involving the rest of the face. Pimples are often bright red and both itch and sting, coming to a pustular head. Acne lesions often heal leaving brown marks. Know that you can have this type of acne along with acne vulgaris.  

    I usually start with my Pityrosporum Folliculitis Kit which has everything you need to attack this common cause of acne as well as acne vulgaris in one routine. 

     

    treat fungal acne with this dermatologist developed skin care

     

    back acne
    Back, Chest and Body Acne Treatment.

    This is often a combination of acne vulgaris and Pityrosporum folliculitis and I use products that cover both conditions. I created my Back Acne Kit to address this common type of acne. Use it daily for clear back and chest skin. 

     

    back and body acne treatment products

     

    Acne and Anti-Aging Skin Problem Combination.

    Adult Acne and Antiaging treatment together

    Many acne fighting products also help slow skin aging. There are wonderful overlaps that create 'sweet-spots' in a really good skin care routine that targets both in my Adult Female Acne and Anti-aging Kit. Women are the ones that usually take acne with them into the adult years but this kit is gender-neutral and also works well for men.  

    Still have more questions? See my FAQ: Acne-Related Frequently Asked Questions