Acne breakouts cause a horrible rift in your beauty routine. If you have moderate to severe acne, follow these steps to achieve a clearer & brighter complexion.
The first step is to thoroughly cleanse your skin. Ignore all those rumors you’ve heard that cleansing will only make the acne worse. People with oily skin get severely clogged pores, which in turn causes acne. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re using a quality exfoliator and facial scrub to flush oil, dirt & bacteria from those pores! If you’re looking for a cheap but quality brand that you can use every day, try St Ives Apricot Scrub, which costs around 4.00 at a drug store. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, and want a scrub to deeply exfoliate only a couple times a week, go for either Skin Obsession Microdermabrasion Crystals, costing around 14.00 at www.skinobsession.com or Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Scrub, which costs around 40.00 at Sephora. skinobsession.com or Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Scrub, which costs around 40.00 at Sephora.
The St Ives Apricot Scrub is a creamy exfoliant that can be used both morning and evening. Wet your face with warm water, apply a quarter size dollop of Apricot Scrub and rub in circular motions all over your face. Use the same process for either of the Microderm Crystals you choose – scrub in circular motions, but only use these scrubs 2-3 times per week since they are meant for heavy duty exfoliation. For people with severely clogged pores and oily skin, you can use the Apricot Scrub twice daily, PLUS a Microderm Scrub a couple of times weekly.
The second step is to rinse away the cleansing granules and medicate your open pores with a Salicylic Acid Wash. One of the best foaming washes is called Acne Free 24/7 Foaming Face wash. You can purchase it at a drug store for about 7.00. Using your bare hands and medium-hot water, rinse away the cleansing granules. Next, using a body glove (pictured) to apply the Acne Free Foaming Wash in circular motions all over your face. Continue for approximately one minute, then rinse all traces of the soap away and dry your face with a fluffy towel.
You can find body gloves in the same department as loofahs and eye pillows at your local drugstore or Walmart. They only cost about 3.00 and work wonders for removing facial gunk and stimulating circulation. The combination of the rough surface of the body glove and the Salicylic Acid in the face wash will remove any remaining debris, dead skin, and blackheads. The Salicylic Acid in this particular formula also keeps working for 24 hours, to deter bacteria from forming in your pores.
Acne prone skin can also benefit from a weekly peel-off mask. Since you may find that your pores are impacted with oil, dirt & makeup, a peel off mask will pull these obstructions from pores and allow your acne treatments to work more effectivley. This type of mask is tough to find, but one of the best is Freeman Cucumber Peel Off Mask and can be purchased at any drugstore. After you've completed the second step, apply it to your entire face or just where blackheads are a problem. Allow to dry for about 20 minutes, or until the mask is no longer sticky to the touch. (Drying can be expedited by using a small fan or hair dryer set to the cold setting.) Peel off the mask starting from the bottom and pulling up towards your forehead. You’ll be amazed to see just how much debris was missed during cleansing & is now stuck to the mask!
The third step is to spot treat breakouts with a product containing Salicylic Acid. One of the best “zit zappers” on the market is called Acne Stop, which is a liquid containing both Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid. The combo of these two ingredients really seems to heal a blemish within a couple of days, and is even effective on cystic acne. If you can catch the blemish right before it’s about to emerge, most times it will heal without ever coming to the surface. This one can be purchased from a website called Skin Obsession http://www.skinobsession.comand costs around 12 bucks a bottle. I’d suggest dampening a q-tip with the solution and dabbing it on breakouts in the morning and evening. You can use this solution on your entire face for a deep-cleansing peel. However, be prepared for an immediate stinging sensation and moderate peeling over the next 4 days. I do this about once a month because it is really effective in purging pores. Two days after applying it to your entire face, using one of the Microderm Scrubs listed above will get rid of flakiness and provide your face with a renewed glow.
The fourth step is to apply a treatment to your entire face. The method in step three is great for spot treatment of existing breakouts, but don’t forget that you need to also apply a product to your entire face to keep pores clear and prevent new breakouts from forming. An excellent product for this purpose is any item containing benzoyl peroxide. Proactive Benzoyl Peroxide Repairing Lotion is effective at fighting acne, but does not dry out the skin and lead to flakiness when applied to your whole face. Benzoyl Peroxide alone is usually not strong enough for those of us with major breakouts and/or cystic acne – which is why many people say that Proactive doesn’t work for them. The problem is that they are not spot-treating breakouts with a Salicylic Acid formula before using the benzoyl peroxide. By using both treatments, you get rid of existing acne while also preventing future breakouts.
The fifth step is to apply moisturizer. If you have EXTREMELY oily skin, the moisturizing properties in the Proactive Benzoyl Peroxide are probably enough for your skin to feel and look hydrated. However, if you skin feels tight after applying the Proactive Lotion and/or if you have dry flaky areas, apply a moisturizer only to the dry spots, but make sure you select an item that is oil-free. The best moisturizer for those with oily skin is Dr. Brandt Pore Effect Refining Cream. It can be purchased at most Sephora stores or online for $55.00. This specific moisturizer minimizes pores, and also contains tea tree oil to keep pores clean while providing light moisture. Biore, Neugrogena, and Clinique also offer decent moisturizers for people with acne prone skin. If you are battling an especially rough flaky area, try Nivea Crème – a gentle lotion that heals most dry patches within a day or two.
Don't forget to apply Mattify! Powder for Oily Skin before using any foundation, to protect your pores from clogging!
This may seem like many steps, but if you follow this regimen twice daily you will notice a drastic improvement in the clarity and softness of your skin, and a significant reduction in the number of acne breakouts!
For additional tips on how to stop acne, and to view the best products to stop acne, check out Acne Care Secrets website.