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Zits, spots, pimples, enzymes… call them what you will, but they are an unfortunate skin problem that most people have to deal with at some point in their lives.
Luckily, there are many, many options when it comes to getting those pesky pimples under control, from rigorous skin care regimens to medications, herbs, and creams, to innovative home remedies.
Finding what works for you may be a process of trial and error, but not to worry — this article contains a solution for everybody!
Method One of Three:
Caring For Your Skin
Wash your face twice a day
It is very important to keep your face clean when trying to prevent pimples. Washing your face removes dirt, impurities and any excess oil that has built up on the surface of your skin. Ideally, you should wash your face three times a day, in the morning and noon and in the evening, using warm water and a mild facial cleanser. Use a clean dry towel to pat your face dry.
- Avoid scrubbing your face with a rough washcloth, sponge or loofah. This will only irritate the skin and cause pimples to become even more inflamed. Washcloths may also harbor bacteria, which you want to avoid putting in contact with your face.
- Even though you may be tempted to wash your face more than twice a day if you’re suffering from pimples, be aware that this will not necessarily help your skin. Washing your face too often can dry out the skin and cause it to become irritated.
Use a noncomedogenic moisturizer.
- In addition to looking out for noncomedogenic moisturizers, you should be careful to choose a product that suits your skin type. For example, if you have very oily skin you may want to use a lighter, gel-based moisturizer, whereas if you have dry, flaky skin, you may need a heavier, cream-based one.
- Make sure you wash your hands immediately before applying moisturizer. Otherwise, any bacteria or germs on your hands may be transferred to your face when you apply your moisturizer.
Avoid touching your face or popping pimples
Hands come into contact with more dirt and bacteria throughout the day than any other part of the body, which is why you should avoid touching your face at all costs. In addition to spreading bacteria and risking infection, touching spots and pimples can cause them to become irritated and inflamed, thus worsening their appearance and prolonging healing time.
- Popping pimples, however satisfying it may feel, is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Popping pimples will only prolong their healing time and may even lead to infection and scarring. Acne scars can be very difficult to get rid of, so you will want to avoid this as far as possible.
- It is very easy to touch your face without being aware of what you are doing. Be wary of propping your cheek or chin up with your hand when sitting at a desk or table, or of resting your face on your hand in bed at night.
Use exfoliating treatments and face masks once a week.
- Face masks are great for cleansing impurities and calming the skin, and can turn your regular skin care routine into a spa-like experience. Yet again, they should be limited to about once a week, as they may contain harsher ingredients that are not intended for everyday use.
Avoid overloading your skin with products.
- Too many creams, lotions, and gels can clog your pores and lead to breakouts, so make sure to apply any facial products sparingly, and no more frequently than is indicated on the packaging. The same goes for make-up, which should be applied as lightly as possible and should be thoroughly removed using a facial cleanser at the end of each day.
- Heavily fragranced or chemical-laden hair products may also clog the pores if hair comes in contact with the face, so avoid using these whenever possible. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner which won’t irritate your skin in the shower.
- You should also limit your skin’s exposure to built-up oils and bacteria by changing your pillowcase at least once a week and by washing any makeup brushes frequently.
Protect your skin from the sun.
Although traditional advice encouraged the exposure of pimple-prone skin to the sun, with the belief that this would dry pimples out, modern-day skin specialists say otherwise. The sun’s UV rays can actually cause pimples to become even redder and inflamed than before.
- For this reason, it is important to protect your skin from sunlight by wearing a protective hat and applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Be aware that some sunscreens can be oily and may clog the pores, so look for products that state “noncomedogenic” on the label.
- Stay away from foods like potato chips, chocolate, pizza and fries. These foods are high in fat, sugar and starch, which is not good news for your skin or your overall health. You don’t need to deprive yourself completely, just try to limit your intake a little.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Their water content helps to hydrate the skin while their vitamins and minerals give your body the ammunition it needs to fight pimples. In particular, try to eat fruit and veg with a high vitamin A content (such as broccoli, spinach and carrots) as this helps to flush acne-causing proteins from the system, and with high vitamin E and C contents (oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados) which have antioxidant effects and help to calm the skin.
Drink plenty of water
- There is such a thing as drinking too much water, however, so don’t feel like you have to be drinking constantly. Too much water dilutes the blood and can put your health at risk, leading to seizures in extreme cases. Stick around the 8 glass mark, and you’ll be fine.
- You should also try to stay away from excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol upsets your hormone balance, and an imbalance of hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen is one of the major causes of acne. In addition, alcohol causes damage to the liver, which is the main organ responsible for healthy skin, as it regulates hormones and blood sugar levels, and filters toxins.
Method Two of Three:
Using Creams, Medications and Treatments
Use an over-the-counter cream
- Benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria on the surface of the skin, while also slowing down the production and build-up of oil in the pores. It also works as a peeling agent, helping the skin to rejuvenate itself. Benzoyl peroxide can have a drying, irritating effect on the skin, so you should begin with the lowest available concentration.
- Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is another ingredient which helps to kill pimple-causing bacteria. It also helps to break down blackheads and whiteheads which can develop into pimples once infected. In addition, salicylic acid helps skin to shed old, dead layers, preventing pores from becoming blocked and allowing new skin cells to form.
- Sulfur. Sulfur contains anti-bacterial properties and helps to break down whiteheads and blackheads, preventing them from becoming infected and forming pimples.
- Retin-A. Retin-A contains an acidic form of vitamin A, known as all-trans retinoic acid, which operates like a chemical peel, exfoliating the skin and unblocking clogged pores.
- Azelaic acid. Azelaic acid minimizes the appearance of pimples by preventing the build-up of oil and reducing inflammation and bacterial growth. It is especially effective for people with darker skin tones.
Ask a dermatologist to prescribe a stronger topical cream
- Most prescription creams contain active ingredients derived from vitamin A. Examples include products such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene. These creams work by encouraging cell turnover and by preventing hair follicles from becoming clogged.
- There are also a number of prescription antibacterial creams, which work by killing bacteria on the surface of the skin.
Think about taking a course of antibiotics
- Unfortunately, many people nowadays easily build up a resistance to antibiotics, so this form of treatment will not always work effectively.
- Some antibiotics (such as tetracyclines) will reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, so women should use a backup form of contraception when following a course of antibiotics.
In case of severe acne, consider isotretinoin treatments
- When taking isotretinoin, acne may become worse before it gets better. This flare-up will usually only last for a couple of weeks but can sometimes last for the duration of the treatment.
- Some of the side effects associated with isotretinoin treatments include dry skin and eyes, dry, cracked lips, sensitivity to sunlight, and more uncommonly, headaches, hair loss, mood changes and depression.
- This treatment has been linked to severe birth defects, so it cannot be prescribed to pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive. As a result, women will be asked to take a pregnancy test before being prescribed this medication.
If you are female, think about using oral contraceptives
- Oral contraceptives can in rare cases produce serious side effects such as blood clotting, high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease, so make sure to discuss this option thoroughly with your doctor before pursuing it.
Find out about professional treatments
- Laser therapy. Laser therapy works by penetrating deep within the skin and damaging the oil glands that produce sebum – an excess of which leads to pimples.
- Light therapy. Light therapy targets the acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin, reducing inflammation and improving the texture of the skin.
- Chemical peels. A chemical peel burns the surface of the skin in a controlled fashion, causing the top layers to peel away and revealing the fresh, new skin underneath. This treatment is particularly good for getting rid of any marks or scars left behind after the pimples themselves have been cleared away.
- Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion uses a rotating wire brush to exfoliate the top layers of skin, revealing the smooth new skin underneath. It can be somewhat uncomfortable and can leave the skin looking red and raw for a number of days until it has fully healed.
Method Three of Three:
Using Home Remedies
Use tea tree oil
- Tea tree oil is an essential oil and therefore extremely concentrated. If you overuse the oil or apply it undiluted to unaffected skin, your skin may become dry and irritated, so use sparingly, and only when needed.
- One study found that tee tree oil was just as effective at combating pimples as its chemical-laden counterpart benzoyl peroxide. The tea tree oil did take slightly longer to take effect, but also produced fewer negative side effects.
- You can apply the honey as a spot treatment, or use it as a face mask, applying it all over the face on clean, slightly damp skin. As honey is non-irritating, you can leave it on for as long as you like.
- One point that must be made is that honey, like many other home remedies, works to clear up pre-existing pimples (due to its anti-bacterial nature) but will do little to prevent future pimples from popping up (especially those caused by hormonal imbalances).
Try lavender essential oil
- To use, apply a dab of undiluted oil directly onto the pimple using a q-tip. Take care not to get any on the surrounding skin, as lavender oil can be irritating on the skin when undiluted.
Use aloe vera
Take a big piece of aloe vera. Rub it on the pimpled place. Massage on the skin with the aloe vera on the pimple zone. Leave it for half an hour. Wash it off with hot water.
Try an ice cube
- An additional tip is to make ice cubes from strong green tea and use these on the pimples instead. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, studies have shown that a certain antioxidant green tea can actually help to reduce sebum production.
- Opt for an all-white, fluoride-free toothpaste, if possible, and make sure that you apply it directly onto the pimple, rather than on the surrounding skin, as other ingredients in the toothpaste may irritate and even burn the skin.
- Alternatively, you can make a face mask by crushing up five or six aspirin tabs and adding enough water to make a paste. This can be applied all over the face and left on for about ten to fifteen minutes, before washing off.
- To use, simply cut up a fresh tomato and rub the juice from a slice directly onto the target pimple. Do this twice a day and you should begin to notice an improvement.
- Lemon juice should not be applied to your skin during the day, unless you plan on staying indoors. This is because the juice makes your skin photosensitive, increasing the risk of sun damage.
- As with many other home remedies, the lemon juice should only be applied directly onto the pimple, and not on the surrounding skin. This is due to the chance of the citric acid in lemons burning the skin.
Remember to have patience. It may take several weeks or months to notice an improvement in your skin after beginning any new treatments or skincare regimes. However, if several months have passed and there is still no improvement, you may want to explore alternative options.
Use Steam. It decreases itchiness and redness.
Drink plenty of water as it flushes out toxins from the body.
If you have Clary Sage essential oil, it works well and better than Lavender essential oil.
Exercise to reduce stress which can cause pimples. Exercise also has other dermal benefits.
Lemon can harm your skin and cause inflammation. Only apply it on your pimple by blotting it directly onto it, avoiding the skin. Remember to wash the lemon off because it may make your face sticky.
Avoid touching your face more often with your hands cause they may have germs,avoid overloading your face with products such as creams,gels and e.t.c.
I good product to use is Noxema face pads+ cream. Another good product to use is biore charcoal acne cleanser with salicylic acid in it!
Discontinue use of any medications that irritate your skin. That’s it and enjoy your pimple free skin.
Most home remedies are not backed up by modern science and will not work for everybody. When it comes to natural treatments, it may be a process of trial and error to find out what works for you.