Dealing with acne can be a pain, literally—as soon as you’ve managed to shrink one big pimple, it seems another one pops up in its place. If this is your experience, you’re not imagining things: Acne is a cyclical problem that needs to be prevented, not just emergency-treated, to break the breakout cycle.
If you just react to a pimple once it reaches the surface, that pimple has been forming for weeks. If keeping clear skin, and preventing acne is your goal (and isn’t it everyone’s?), the key according to Neutrogena®’s acne experts, is stopping clogged pores and inflammation before they start.
And that means adopting the right acne skin care routine.
Start with a Routine Skin Cleansing
Acne prevention starts with one important step: cleansing—but not just slapping on soap and rinsing. The key to getting clear skin is finding the right cleansing product for your kind of acne and being relentlessly consistent by using the product twice a day.
Understanding what kind of acne you have is key to choosing the ingredient that is best to treat it. The most common kinds of non-inflammatory (mild and easily treatable) acne are whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are simply clogged pores; blackheads are clogged pores where the oil has oxidised, or been exposed to the air, and turned black.
One of the best way to treat these kinds of acne are products containing salicylic acid, an ingredient that clears away dead skin cells and unclogs pores. A daily wash or scrub such as Neutrogena’s classic Oil-Free Acne Wash contain the right amount of salicylic acid to keep pores clear with daily use.
Dealing with “Stubborn” Acne
So, what if you have inflammatory (i.e. moderate or cystic) acne?
Though, the precise cause of inflammatory acne is still unknown. The combination of the following factors is contributing to the development of acne; increased sebum production, abnormal keratinization, hyper-colonization of the skin with Propionibacterium acnes, and increased inflammation; making it more difficult to treat and eradicate.
In addition to using with the right cleanser twice a day, every day, there are more steps you can take to prevent clogged pores and inflammation.
Be Careful with Face Exfoliation
First, don’t overdo it with exfoliation because you don’t want to create more inflammation. Plus, make sure to use a mild moisturiser and sunscreen on a daily basis to keep skin balanced and protected.
Neutrogena’s experts say you don’t have to choose a moisturiser or sunscreen with added acne-fighting ingredients, but should take care to use products that are light and non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging).
Once you’ve put together your anti-acne arsenal and started on the road to prevention, the key is consistency. If your symptoms persist, it’s probably best to see a dermatologist. But for most, if you treat your skin like a bank account that you invest in daily, you’ll be rewarded with clear, smooth skin for life.