Even sticking faithfully to a thorough skincare routine can’t save you from the occasional breakout. Acne flare-ups happen to all of us, and somehow, they alway seem to appear right before an important event like a prom, performance or wedding day. You should absolutely practice best prevention methods against acne, but since pimples are inevitable for all of us, you should know how to deal with breakouts when they happen.
So, you’ve broken out. Here’s how to make that acne go away as quickly as possible.
Benzoyl peroxide topical treatment
First things first: cleanse your face and then apply an over-the-counter topical benzoyl peroxide gel. Benzoyl peroxide has a proven track record of safety and efficacy for the treatment of acne. Just keep in mind that it’s not for everyone. Some very sensitive skin types may find the effects of benzoyl peroxide too drying or even irritating, so if you have a history of very sensitive skin, you might try applying a gel with a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide (2.5 percent or lower) and only applying it once a day, before bed.
If it burns, don’t do it
We get it, you’re desperate to get rid of your acne as quickly as possible. But it’s not worth burning your skin off with a benzoyl peroxide treatment if it’s clearly too intense for your skin. Same goes for tanning, indoors or out - getting too tanned or burnt and then flaking off acne is emphatically NOT doctor recommended.
Drying out acne-stricken skin will not only give you even more skin problems, but furthermore it won’t even successfully get rid of your original acne problem. Maintaining a hydrated complexion is crucial to fighting acne. If your sebaceous glands sense you’re drying out, they’ll start pumping out even more oil - the last thing you need if you’re trying to get rid of acne. So, remember this: oily, broken out skin still needs moisturizing!
Too much of anything can damage your skin, including exfoliation. On the other hand, when you’ve broken out, your skin could use a little more exfoliation than usual. Under normal conditions, your skin needs regular exfoliation as dead skin cells stick to the skin and clog pores. When you’ve already broken out, some deeper cleaning and more frequent gentle exfoliation will both remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. The LUNA™ or LUNA™ mini provides the perfect solution for daily thorough deep cleaning - yes, they can help prevent breakouts, but they can also get you through a breakout faster by unclogging pores and removing dead skin.
Let your skin breathe freely for a few days. While there are many cosmetic products on the market that claim not to clog pores, play it safe and after you’ve broken out, go face-naked. If the day of your anticipated event arrives and you’ve still got a few zits left, then break out your foundation and concealer.
Change your pillowcase and sleep on your back
It’s not like your jogging in your sleep, but we do tend to sweat at least a little during our eight hours a night. And even if you’re relatively disciplined about changing your sheets once every two weeks, if you’re prone to breakouts, that’s probably not frequent enough. Change your pillowcase every other day and replace with a fresh, clean one to be sure your pillows aren’t contaminating your pores. Make sure the towels you're using to wash your face are fresh and clean, too.
Work up a sweat
As if you needed another reason to exercise. But seriously, if you’re facing a beautiful skin deadline and you need to work through a breakout as quickly as possible, one of the best things you can do is exercise every day. Sweating helps clear out the pores and increase blood flow to your face, clearing up your skin and making it more radiant, too.
This may not blow your mind, but if you’re trying to tame a break out, eat a healthy diet, sleep at least eight hours a night, and don’t binge drink. Good advice for life in general, too.
Is it actually acne?
If you wake up to a seriously inflamed complexion and your typical acne routine isn’t make a dent, consider some alternatives - it may require a trip to your doctor. Sometimes inflamed irritation and bumps on your face aren’t acne - sometimes it’s an allergic reaction to something, like a new product you’ve started using, a medication you’ve just begun taking, or something as simple as the fabric softener or dryer sheets. It could be bug bites or poison ivy from your camping trip last weekend. It could be a dramatic change in hormone levels - puberty isn’t the only time that hormones can wreak havoc on your face. Perhaps you’ve just started a new hormonal form of birth control, or your hormones are fluctuating due to your monthly cycle or pregnancy.
Skin problems can be tricky to pin down - and no, flare ups are not necessarily always acne, so when in doubt, visit your doctor. To get more helpful tips and tricks, sign up for the MYSA newsletter now!
Disclaimer: The information on this website and any related links are for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, contact a professional healthcare provider.