With over 50 million Americans suffering from acne, it is by far the most common skin condition around. June is Acne Awareness Month, which means that if you’re not already informed about how to treat your acne, now is the perfect time learn. We tapped Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, to give us the top 8 mistakes her acne patients make when caring for their skin and how you can learn from these missteps.
Acne Mistake: The Skincare Products You’re Using are Way Too Harsh
Acne can be an inflammatory condition, and using harsh products can irritate the skin even further and worse breakouts. Your skin is a sensitive organ and using gentle cleansers and other skincare products, rather than harsh and abrasive formulas, can prevent acne flares.
Try: Purifying Cleanser
Acne Mistake: You’re Doing DIY Acne Treatments
Get out of the kitchen and stop using Pinterest as a skincare source. Skilled scientists and chemists have already done the hard work of developing extremely effective acne treatments. Instead of applying a random concoction of toothpaste and sugar, talk to your dermatologist and seek out the best skincare on the market.
Try: Redefining Serum
Acne Mistake: You’re Performing Bathroom Surgery
Rather than try and pop that pimple on your own—regardless of how many “sterilized” tools you have at the ready—put your hands down and walk away from the bathroom mirror. If you try and pop your pimples on your own, you’re going to do more harm than good. Popping your acne will not only increase your chance of scarring (it can leave a mark on the skin for weeks) it could also introduce further dirt and bacteria onto your skin. Find an effective spot treatment or book a dermatologist visit for a super-quick cortisone injection. The good news is that most insurance carriers will cover the cost.
Acne Mistake: You’re Using the Wrong Makeup
Does this sound familiar? The moment you get a pimple, you cover it up with makeup. However, if your makeup is oil-based, it might actually be the reason you’re breaking out. All of the makeup you use should be labeled as “non-comedogenic.” With all your energy spent trying to keep your skin looking clear, wouldn’t it be a shame to let your makeup ruin it?
Acne Mistake: You’re in Denial
There are many people that have suffered with acne for years before doing anything about it. Denying that you have acne is one of the worst ways to approach the situation. Whether you have occasional breakouts or a more severe case of acne, if it’s something that bothers you, get motivated and seek treatment.
Acne Mistake: You’re Drying out your skin
It can be easy to assume that drying out your skin is the best way to prevent acne, but this is false. Your skin needs its natural oils and by robbing the hydration from your face, you could throw your body’s oil-production into overdrive to compensate. The key is to use moisturizer, but make sure it’s oil-free and noncomedogenic.
Acne Mistake: You Didn’t Wait Long Enough
Acne treatments work, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It may take several weeks of using the right products to see results. Keep your eye on the prize—clear skin. Spending a few minutes a day applying the right products or taking your acne medication will be well worth it in the end.
Acne Mistake: You’re Skipping the Sunscreen
If your skin is oily and acne-prone, you might be tempted to skip the sunscreen. This is a bad idea on many levels. Those with acne sometimes falsely believe that sun exposure will help “clear up” their acne lesions, but it can do the opposite. While a tan may temporarily camouflage your acne, it can cause premature aging or even worse—skin cancer. A better bet is to use a bronzer for that tan glow and to always apply sunscreen. Look for oil-free formulations that won’t clog pores. Some acne medications can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, making sunscreen usage even more crucial.
Try: Solar Defense Tinted