How do I prevent Acne

Below are 16 strategies to prevent acne/pimples and be on your way to a clearer skin.

  1. Keep your skin clean. Gently wash your face up to twice daily and after sweating. Choose a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Apply it with your fingertips, as scrubbing with washcloths, sponges, and other tools can irritate your skin.
  2. Stay hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, your body may signal your skin’s oil glands to produce more oil. Dehydration also gives your skin a dull appearance and promotes inflammation and discoloration. To keep your body well-hydrated, aim to drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Drink more:
    • after exercise
    • when pregnant or nursing
    • when spending time in a hot, humid environment
  3. Know your skin. Your skin type can help you determine which products to use and avoid. You can use the following parameters to identify your skin type, but you can also consult a dermatologist for help if you’re still unsure:
    • Dry. Your skin often feels flaky and tight.
    • Oily. Your skin tends to look shiny by the end of the day.
    • Combination. You have both dry areas and oily areas. The oily area is usually the T-zone, or your forehead, nose, and chin.
    • Sensitive. Your skin reacts easily to products and is prone to rashes, discoloration, or irritation. You can have sensitive skin along with any of the above skin types.
  4. Choose the right skin care. Use gentle skin care products and ones that say “alcohol-free” on the label. Avoid products that can irritate your skin, including astringents, toners, and exfoliants. These products can dry your skin and make acne appear worse.
  5. Use a moisturizer. Moisturizers help skin stay hydrated, which makes a big difference for acne-prone skin. If your skin gets too dry, it will produce oil (sebum) to counterbalance the dryness; and an excess of sebum can cause pimples. Be sure to check the ingredient list before purchasing a moisturizer to make sure it’s fragrance-free and noncomedogenic. Picks for the best moisturizers for acne include:
    • Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
    • CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion
    • Origins Clear Improvement
  6. Limit makeup. While you might feel tempted to use makeup to cover up pimples, know that doing so could clog pores and trigger outbreaks. If you don’t want to nix makeup from your daily routine, opt for a foundation or concealer that’s noncomedogenic and fragrance-free so your skin doesn’t become even more irritated. Be sure to gently wash any makeup off at the end of your day and especially before going to bed.
  7. Shampoo regularly. The oil from your hair can cause acne on your forehead. If you have oily hair, shampoo more often than you do now and keep your hair away from your face.
  8. Stick to your treatment. Trying new acne treatments too often can irritate your skin and cause breakouts. Give your treatment time to work. It may take several weeks to few months before you see a difference.
  9. Keep your hands off. Touching your face throughout the day can cause acne to flare. While it can be tempting to pick, pop, or squeeze your acne, doing so will make the acne take longer to clear and increase your risk for scarring and dark spots called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  10. Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Along with increasing your risk for skin cancer, tanning damages your skin and can worsen acne. Some acne medications can also make your skin very sensitive to damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds.
  11. Try tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil is a popular natural remedy for pimples. Tea tree oil contains a compound called terpinene-4-ol, which has been shown to kill certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as increase white blood cells to promote healing. To use tea tree oil for pimples, apply a drop or two to the inflamed area. You can also add a few drops to your daily cleanser or moisturizer. To avoid skin irritation, perform the following patch test:
    • Apply a few drops behind your ear or under your jaw.
    • Wait several hours to a day.
    • If irritation occurs, dilute the oil with water, in a 1-to-1 ratio, before you use it.
  12. Avoid popping pimples. While it might feel practically impossible to resist squeezing that larger-than-life whitehead on the tip of your nose, your best bet is to avoid popping zits. Popped pimples often bleed, but they can also make the problem worse by:
    • Becoming inflamed and clogging surrounding pores
    • Getting infected
    • Leaving behind scars
  13. Use over-the-counter acne treatments. Over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments can help heal pimples, and sometimes even prevent them in the first place. Just know that overusing OTC treatments can sometimes lead to irritation and dryness, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s usage instructions. Here’s what you should know about the most common active ingredients you’ll find in OTC acne treatments:
    • Benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide works best on inflammatory acne, like cysts and red bumps, because it kills acne-causing bacteria.
    • Salicylic acid. This ingredient is ideal for blackheads and whiteheads because it works to unclog pores and reduce inflammation.
    • Sulfur. Sulfur is a natural ingredient that’s often gentler than the two mentioned above. It can dry out dead skin cells to unclog pores and absorb excess sebum.
  14. Use French green clay. French green clay is an absorbent, mineral-rich clay with healing properties. According to 2010 research Trusted Source, French green clay has potent antibacterial properties. It helps draw out impurities, reduce inflammation, and absorb excess oil that may lead to pimples. You can buy French green clay in powder form. You mix this powder with water to make a face mask. You can also add other skin-soothing ingredients such as yogurt or honey for a more dynamic natural mask.
  15. Avoid Stress. Stress doesn’t cause pimples, but it may make them worse. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), your body produces more oil-stimulating hormones when you’re stressed. Some options to help manage stress include:
    • yoga
    • meditation
    • journaling
    • massage
    • aromatherapy
    • exercise
  16. Avoid certain foods. Diet may also factor into acne. Some of the common culprits contributing to skin concerns like acne include processed foods, dairy products, alcohol and refined sugars.
    • Reducing your intake of these foods or adopting an anti-acne diet may help ease your breakouts.
    • If reduction doesn’t seem to help your acne flare-ups, you can try an elimination diet to more clearly identify the cause. This can help you identify any foods that trigger acne for you.
    • Important: Before beginning any new type of diet, it’s best to check with a dietitian to make sure you’re still consuming the right amount of calories and nutrients for your body’s needs.