Dealing with acne can be stressful, especially when nothing seems to work (and when your acne worsens with said stress). And, to make matters worse, breakouts always seems to make themselves known at very inconvenient times — e.g. the morning of a job interview, before a first date, on school picture day, and so on and so forth. But, while it may seem like a lost cause, there are ways to fight back and get rid of acne. That said, it’s less about products and more about lifestyle choices.
Curious to know more? We tapped a top New York City dermatologist to find out how to achieve acne-free skin. See her best acne tips, ahead.
1. Don’t touch!
According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified dermatologist, Assistant Professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and author of the book, Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, touching your complexion is a big no-no. “Keep hands off your face, as there are bacteria on the fingers that get into your skin and cause breakouts,” says Jaliman.
Next: Your makeup matters
2. Look for makeup with specific ingredients
Wearing makeup on top of acne can be a recipe for disaster and often lead to even more breakouts. With that in mind, Jaliman suggests using non-comedogenic makeup formulated with salicylic acid for those prone to blemishes.
Next: The one thing you should never, ever do to acne-ridden skin.
3. No picking, squeezing, or popping — ever!
We hate to sound like a broken record, but picking, popping, or squeezing pimples can wreak havoc on your complexion. And, according to Jaliman, also cause scarring.
Instead of going to battle with your skin, try applying a topical acne treatment or deep-cleansing face mask.
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4. Avoid touching your cell phone
Another thing to be weary about? Your cell phone. “Use earbuds for talking on the phone because [your cell phone is] full of bacteria,” says Jaliman.
Next: An unexpected treatment for acne.
5. Try an all-natural treatment
Looking for an all-natural treatment that targets acne? “Use a topical Manuka honey mask,” says Jaliman. “This gets rid of all the bacteria and inflammation,” she adds.
To use Manuka honey as a face mask, apply the sticky substance to your complexion as you would any other mask and leave it on for 15 minutes. Use a warm washcloth to remove and follow up with a toner and acne-fighting moisturizer.
Next: Steer clear of these foods.
6. Say no to dairy, sugar and highly processed foods
When it comes to skin care, your diet matters. And, according to Jaliman, “it’s important to eat right.” Whether you are prone to breakouts, or not, Jaliman suggests avoiding things like dairy, sugar, and highly processed food for a clearer complexion.
Next: Keep an eye out for this ingredient.
7. Makeup primers matter
In addition to makeup ingredients, makeup primer ingredients also matter. “Avoid makeup primers with silicones,” says Jaliman. “Silicones will clog the pores and make acne worse,” she adds.
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