I’ve struggled with acne for many years and know firsthand how difficult it can be to remove. I spent a lot of money buying skincare products that were advertised as acne treatments, but all they did was dry out and irritate my skin and make my acne worse.
My acne breakouts didn’t stop until I made some serious healthy lifestyle changes and completely changed my skincare routine.
Inflammation is the primary cause of acne
Let’s talk about what causes acne.
Skin is our largest organ and acne is an inflammatory response. Acne is your body’s response to ongoing inflammation in your body. It indicates that something in your body is off balance.
Whether it’s the result of hormones, bacteria, a poor diet, or using the wrong skincare products – acne is a response of your body experiencing ongoing inflammation.
If you’re struggling with acne, follow these tips for getting rid of acne breakouts by eliminating inflammation in your body. These tips have helped me so much and I know they will help you too.
Use gentle, fragrance-free products designed for sensitive skin
If you’ve been using your skincare products for a while now and your skin has not improved or has got even worse, stop using them immediately!
A lot of these so-called acne products do more harm than good and actually cause acne by drying out the skin and in turn increasing inflammation.
Remove all the harsh and abrasive products from your skincare routine, even if they claim to be for acne-prone skin.
Use gentle products that are designed for sensitive skin.
Your goal is to use products that heal and restore your skin’s natural barrier so that it can be healthy again.
Instead of harsh astringent cleansers, start using gentle and hydrating cleansers, even if you have oily skin.
It’s really important that your face wash does not strip away natural oils from your skin. Your skin naturally produces oils to help maintain the integrity of your skin barrier. These oils are essential for good skin. Once your skin barrier is compromised, acne starts to develop because your skin is not balanced.
Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more. If you’re not using a moisturizer, start using one now. Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer if you have combination-to-oily skin or a thicker moisturizer if your skin is prone to dryness.
Most importantly, make sure that all the products that you are using are fragrance-free. Fragrance is an irritant and can cause inflammation, so do your best to avoid it.
Properly remove makeup with the double cleanse method
We all know that clogged pores can lead to breakouts and painful cysts, yet so few of us learn to remove makeup properly.
If you wear makeup it’s really important that you remove it properly so that your pores can breathe at night.
The best method that I’ve discovered for removing all traces of makeup is the double cleanse method. This method started in Korea and is now quickly becoming popular in North America.
Double cleansing is simple. First, you use an oil-based cleanser or micellar water to wipe off all the makeup and oil buildup. These products help break down the sebum found in skin and makeup, which are both oil based.
Once that is done, proceed to wash your face as normal with a gentle cleanser and water.
Double cleansing is great if you wear foundation because it cleans pores deeply and removes every last bit of makeup.
Use tea tree oil to treat acne breakouts
I’m a big fan of tea tree oil because it’s a natural acne-fighting remedy that has been used by people for hundreds of years. Originally from Australia, tea tree oil is famous for its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tea tree is very strong on its own so it’s important to dilute it a bit with water before applying it to blemishes. I like to apply it with a Q-tip.
Keep a bottle on hand so that you can use it when you start to see a pimple form. A little goes a long way with this acne-fighting treatment.
Reduce your consumption of dairy products
My acne breakouts reduced significantly when I stopped eating so much dairy. For me, dairy was one of the main sources of acne. I still occasionally eat ice cream, but always notice a few pimples pop up the next day when I do.
If you think you might have food-related breakouts, I recommend tracking what you eat each day in a notepad. This method will help you identify a pattern of breakouts that develop after you consume inflammatory foods.
Dairy can cause inflammation in your body because it contains high levels of lactose, which your body converts to glucose after you consume it. Glucose raises blood-sugar levels and causes an insulin spike, all of which trigger low-grade inflammation and hormonal fluctuations that can lead to breakouts.
If you have food-related acne, eliminating dairy or reducing your dairy intake can be necessary to reduce this inflammation.
Eliminate sugar and highly processed foods from your diet
Like dairy, sugar and highly processed foods increase blood-sugar levels when they are consumed, which can cause inflammation to develop in your body.
Drink A LOT more water
Double or even triple your water intake and you will see fewer breakouts and better skin. Drinking water is not the cure-all for acne, but hydrating helps your skin self-moisturize and cleanses your body from harmful toxins.
Get monthly facials with extractions
A monthly facial from a professional aesthetician at a salon or medical spa can do wonders.
They are a valuable resource to have because they are a great investment in the health of your skin.
A monthly facial is a good idea to add to your beauty regimen if you are prone to clogged pores and comedones (blackheads).
An aesthetician cleanses, tones, and moisturizes your skin during a facial with high-quality products that are formulated for your skin concerns.
After steaming your face to open up the pores, they use professional equipment to gently extract clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads.
Because they are experts in beauty, aestheticians offer great skincare advice. They can help you choose the right products and create a skincare routine that’s right for you.
Change your pillowcases and sheets at least once a week
Good hygiene is so important when you have acne-prone skin. When they are not washed frequently, pillowcases can contribute to acne breakouts because they accumulate bacteria, dirt and oils.
I recommend changing your pillowcases and bed sheets at least once a week.
Never touch or pick your face
Most people don’t realize how often they touch, scratch or pick at their face with dirty hands. Try not to touch your face at all.
Touching your face is a bad idea because it transfers new bacteria to your face that can lead to pimples.
Consider investing in acne laser treatments
Acne laser treatments are great for people with mild to moderate acne. Lasers can reduce blemishes and redness left behind by pimples. It works by targeting and destroying acne-causing bacteria under the skin.
While expensive, most treatments are quick and painless and have a short recovery time.
However, acne laser treatments are not a permanent solution. If you go down this route, you will usually need to do treatments every few months to maintain results.
Consult with a dermatologist
A dermatologist can help you by recommending topical and oral medications. After a dermatologist examines your face and looks into your skincare concerns, they can prescribe treatments such as contraceptives, retinol creams, and over-the-counter acne medications to help you combat acne.
If nothing seems to be working for you, I recommend visiting a dermatologist and looking at those options. Sometimes medical help is necessary to fight stubborn acne that is very difficult to get rid of.