How to Get Rid of Acne
Most people find themselves suffering from an acne outbreak at some point, whether it's due to hormones or stress. Contrary to popular belief, pimples don't necessarily mean your skin is dirty or unclean — in fact, over-cleansing can irritate your skin even more. However, hormones aren't uncontrollable, and there are simple changes you can make to eliminate your breakouts. You can have your glowing, healthy, and pimple-free skin back in no time.
- Method 1 of 3: Treating at Home
1. Wash your face twice daily with a pH balanced cleanser of 5&1/2.  The first step to getting clear skin is to set up a regimented cleansing routine to restore the skin's acid mantle and thus discourage acne vulgaris growth. Buckle down and force yourself to wash your face with a pH balanced cleanser of 5.5  when you wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night. As tired or busy as you may be, taking the extra few minutes to cleanse your skin, this will reduce your acne significantly.
- If you have acne on other parts of your body such as your shoulders, back, and chest, give these areas a scrubbing twice daily as well.
- If you wear makeup, never go to bed without washing it all off. Sleeping with makeup on is a surefire way to increase your pimple-count and make getting rid of your acne even more difficult. Use an oil-free makeup remover prior to washing with your regular cleanser to make sure all traces have been removed.
2. Wash your face using oils. Known as the Oil Cleansing Method(OCM), this is a popular method of cleansing in Asia, and is a growing trend. OCM is an alternative cleansing method that is gentler for skin, and of interest for sensitive skin types.
- Look into oils such as olive oil, egg oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, and emu oil.
3. Exfoliate your face. Exfoliates are mild scrubbing products that work to slough (to get rid of) off dead skin cells that build up and cause acne. Exfoliation can be chemical or physical.
- For a gentler approach, use a chemical exfoliator, an AHA or BHA at a pH between 3 and 4 to slough off skin. A chemical exfoliation un-glues dead skin.
- A BHA product often cited includes salicylic acid, it must be between a pH between 3 and 4 to work. A BHA works to slough (to get rid of) off dead skin cells and encourage new skin growth. As a result, you may experience dry skin and scaliness around your acne, but this will dissipate over time as your skin begins to regenerate faster. Use this in a cleanser or spot treatment daily on the acne-affected areas of your skin.
- Aspirin tablets, which contain salicylic acid, a BHA can be ground up and mixed with water and then put on your zits to reduce redness and swelling.
- Rub a light layer of honey into your skin, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Honey has a variable pH from 3 to 6, but at a pH between 3 and 4, it contains AHA's that will exfoliate skin.
- For physical exfoliation, consider purchasing a konjac sponge. It is gentle enough for usage upon your face.
- For physical exfoliation, consider using oatmeal as an exfoliate. Mix oatmeal with honey and rub it onto your face for 2-3 minutes, and gently rinse away the residue with warm water.
- Tea tree oil is an antibacterial agent that can help clear out the microbes clogging your skin. Avoid using undiluted tea tree oil — it'll burn your skin, and worsen acne. Read the warning label on the bottle.
- Create a blend of cucumbers and oatmeal. The cucumbers help to reduce redness and fight off dark spots while the oatmeal soften and soothes irritated skin. Blend the two together in a food processor until it forms a paste, and then apply it to your skin for 15-20 minutes before washing off with warm water.
Method 2 of 3: Treating at a Dermatologist’s or Spa
- Going on a specialized form of birth control (for women) can help to regulate hormones which may be producing your bad acne. Ask your dermatologist if this seems like a good option for you to take.
- In particularly troublesome cases of acne, a specialized drug known as accutane can be prescribed. This is an incredibly intense retinoid treatment that has shown to almost completely remove all acne in users. However, it has the most serious side-effects of any acne-fighting drug and should be used with extreme caution.
Method 3 of 3: Treating Acne with Lifestyle Changes
- Regularly clean makeup brushes to prevent bacterial growth.
- Not only can the sun prolong PIE appearance, it can lead to premature aging including sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles. UV damage is DNA damage. Sunscreen is an anti-aging must for all ages young and old--preventing future skin cancer. It is the fountain of youth in a bottle. Prevention is better than treatment. There is no such thing as safe tanning but There is sun damage.
- Therefore, it is very important that you wear sunscreen everyday, with an SPF of 30.Of note, after SPF 30, there are decreasing marginal returns in UVB protection. The % of UVB protection as a function of SPF Value is a log graph and plateaus after SPF 30. Therefore, there is not much difference in protection between SPF 40 and 50. Sunscreens with a SPF 100 are banned in some countries.
11. Avoid toothpaste, lemons, and baking soda. If used without care, some experiences suggest they may cause irritation or chemical burns on your face.
- For UVA protection, a sunscreen with a high UVA protection of PA+++ or higher of PA++++ as recommended, especially to treat PIE. PPD is the UVA equivalent of SPF; use a sunscreen with a minimum of PPD20. The PA+ system has a + that corresponds to a tier of PPD protection. Of note, different countries use different PA systems. Japan, and Taiwan changed their PA system to a 4+ tier system while Korea uses a 3+ tier system.
- When out in the sun for long periods of time, stick to the shade as much as possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat and light, long-sleeved clothing. Wear sunglasses, especially those that have less melanin in their eyes. Consider carrying a parasol. In Asia, they are a popular fashionable accessory.
12. Avoid apricot scrubs and plastic microbeads as the former will cause microtears and the latter contributes to environmental pollution and bioaccumulation up the food chain.
- Toothpaste, lemons, baking soda, and salt are touted as common convention to treat acne or improve appearance of discoloration but they will damage skin instead. Avoid using any of these ingredients.
- Apricot Scrubs are a cult product but the walnut shells are too sharp to exfoliate skin, and will cause microtears--contributing to photoaging.
- Plastic microbeads are in the process of being considered banned in several states as they pollute waterways and are swallowed by fish.