Can you get rid of acne and get clear, healthy skin? Advice on how to get clear, stay clear.
Unfortunately, getting rid of acne isn’t as simple as just changing your skin cleanser. Because acne is formed through two distinct processes—the clogging of pores and the buildup of bacteria—and can be caused or worsened by a number of factors, your path to clear skin may involve several steps. However, there are some truths about getting rid of acne that are backed by science. If you want to get clear skin, here are the steps you’ll need to take. But remember, clear skin is about healthy skin, and getting healthy can take time and patience.
To Get Rid of Acne, You Need to Prevent Clogged Pores
All acne breakouts start with a clogged pore or hair follicle that traps oil and allows bacteria to form. Pores can become clogged because a follicle overproduces skin cells (hormonal acne) or because dead skin cells from the skin’s surface aren’t properly removed. No matter what the cause of your clogged pores and acne breakouts, the solution is the same: properly exfoliate your skin. This sloughs away dead skin cells that can cause blockage both on the skin’s surface and below it, exposing the newer, fresher skin underneath. For your back and body acne, try a textured scrub, which will help exfoliate the rougher skin on your body. However, you’ll want to avoid using grittier scrubs on your face. Why is that? The skin on your face is sensitive, and roughly textured exfoliating agents can irritate it, which can actually cause more skin breakouts. Look for an exfoliating cleanser that contains AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids) to remove the dead skin cells and expose the new, healthy skin beneath them. When your skin is properly exfoliated, it helps bacteria-fighting acne treatment ingredients to penetrate deeper and work more effectively.
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: What is the Beta Hydroxy Acid Salicylic Acid and why is it ideal for acne treatment? Get the facts.
To Get Rid of Acne, You Need to Fight Acne-Causing Bacteria
Once your pores become clogged and trap oil, acne-causing bacteria will begin to grow. In order to get rid of acne and get clear skin, you’ll need to not only clear your clogged pores but also combat the bacteria that causes pimples and blemishes. How do you do this? To eliminate acne-causing bacteria, select acne treatment products that contain ingredients specifically designed to fight bacteria, such as Salicylic Acid. As you’re researching acne treatment products, look for ones that not only dry out excess oil, but also actively fight bacteria. Unless you control bacteria, you won’t be able to get rid of acne and get clear skin.
To Get Rid of Acne, You Need to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and the health of your skin is directly related to the health of your body. That’s why using an Inclusive Health® approach to ensure that your skin is healthy from the inside out is so important. Make sure that you do the following:
- Eat a Healthy Acne Diet: While eating a chocolate bar or an order of French fries won’t cause an acne breakout, what you eat can impact the health of your skin. Limit fast foods and processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants.
- “Eat” Your Water Daily: Healthy, acne-free skin is hydrated skin. But drinking eight glasses of water a day isn’t the only way to get your fill. Dr. Murad recommends “eating” your water through water-rich fruits and vegetables. The cellular structure of water in fruits and vegetables will keep you hydrated longer and is easier for your body to absorb.
- Get Enough Sleep and Reduce Cultural Stress: A lack of sleep or too much stress can lead to acne breakouts. Stress, in particular, can cause the adrenal gland to overproduce oil and skin cells, which can mean more bacteria buildup and more breakouts. That’s why it’s important to get a full night of sleep each day and minimize stress in your life.
- Reduce Exposure to Toxins: Toxins from household products, cigarettes and pollutants can impact the health of your skin and cause breakouts. Try to minimize your exposure to toxins and pollutants as much as possible.
To Get Rid of Acne, You Need to Use These Skin Care Best Practices!
While the above three points are the key things that you’ll need to know to get rid of acne, many daily habits can contribute to acne breakouts. Here’s a basic checklist of skin care best practices to get rid of acne breakouts.
- Don’t Touch Your Face: Every time you touch your face, you transfer extra pore-clogging dirt and oil to your skin. Keep your hands off of your face!
- Only Wash Your Face Twice a Day: While it may seem as though washing your face many times a day will reduce oil and therefore reduce breakouts, washing your face too often can actually over-dry and agitate your skin. That ultimately leads to more breakouts. Only wash your face twice a day.
- Combat Back and Body Acne With Loose Clothing: If your acne breakouts include back acne or body acne, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers so that you don’t trap excess dirt and oil against your skin.
- Don’t Sleep With Makeup On: It’s a common trap that acne suffers fall into. You get home late and you’re tired, so you don’t wash your makeup off. That left-on makeup clogs pores, and you’ll almost certainly experience blemishes as a result.
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: What else do you need to know about acne? Test your Acne IQ.
Consulting a Dermatologist About Getting Rid of Acne
It’s possible that clearing up your acne may require hormonal solutions such as low-dose birth control pills or androgen blockers. If you’ve followed all of the above steps and you’re still experiencing painful or cosmetically unappealing acne breakouts, then you should seek the advice of a professional dermatologist.
What Did You Just Learn About Acne?
In this section of the Murad Acne Resource Guide, you should have learned the following key points:
- The first step to get rid of acne is to properly exfoliate your skin to remove the dry, dead skin cells that can clog pores. For facial acne, you’ll want to use acne products with AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate.
- The second step to get rid of acne is to combat acne-causing bacteria that build up in clogged pores. Salicylic Acid is a proven ingredient to combat and kill the bacteria that cause acne.
- The third step to get rid of acne is to make healthy lifestyle choices that include: eating healthy foods that are full of antioxidants, like fresh fruits and vegetables; staying hydrated by “eating” your water; getting enough sleep; reducing stress; and reducing your exposure to toxins and pollutants.
- The final step to get rid of acne is to get rid of bad habits like touching your face or over-cleansing your skin.
Product Resources for Acne Treatment
While your acne treatment solution will depend on the cause of your acne and should be part of an overall skin care program for optimal skin health, the following Murad Acne products can help improve your skin and reduce acne breakouts, regardless of your skin type or the cause of your acne.
Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
AHAs and BHAs exfoliate dead, dry skin cells that can clog pores, while Salicylic Acid eliminates bacteria.
Murad Gentle Acne Treatment Gel
Developed for sensitive skin, this treatment gel exfoliates and fights acne without aggravating the skin.
Murad Acne Complex® Kit
Murad’s proven and popular complete acne treatment solution. 92% of users saw a reduction in breakouts in just three days.* Address all your acne treatment needs, from reducing clogged pores to fighting acne-causing bacteria.