How to Clear Acne in a Week
You don’t have to be a middle-school student to have persistent acne breakouts. In fact, the FDA reports that among adults aged 11 to 30, 80 percent of Americans suffer from the common skin disorder. Acne occurs when oil, bacteria and dead skin cells clog pores and form inflammation. There are four types of acne that range from mild bumps to deep, painful lesions. For most people, a good skin-treatment regimen of cleansing and topical medications will control acne and prevent breakouts.
Cleanse your skin with mild soap and water at least twice a day. Although acne is linked to bacteria, oils naturally produced by the body, and pores clogged with dead skin cells, good skin hygiene is important for keeping pores clean and removing excess sebum–oil produced by oil glands.
Apply benzoyl peroxide to areas prone to breakouts. While benzoyl peroxide comes in formulations of 2.5, 5 and 10 percent, it’s recommended to start with the lowest formulation and only increase the amount if you do not see results. Using too much benzoyl peroxide could dry skin and cause irritation.
Apply an over-the-counter alpha hydroxy acid, like glycolic acid, to existing lesions and locations where you feel a pimple forming or expect acne to occur. Many women suffer from hormonal acne, a type of acne that forms when hormones trigger the oil glands to produce sebum. This acne is more likely to occur in the same locations prior to menstruation, during pregnancy or during times of emotional distress. Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) help remove dead skin cells that can cause acne. It can also reduce inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic. AHAs can also stimulate cell regeneration and reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Exfoliate your skin two or three times a week. Use a store-bought facial or body scrub, or make your own using one part baking soda to three parts water. An exfoliator will slough off dead skin cells and help unclog pores. While these products may say that they’re safe to use daily, exfoliating too often can irritate skin.
Apply a salicylic acid astringent or topical cream on the areas affected by acne after cleansing your skin before bed. Salicylic acid helps breakdown whiteheads and blackheads.
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