There are many highly effective over-the-counter remedies that work well to battle blemishes. Read up on what will work for you and keep acne back in high school where it belongs.
Q: I have had acne that is pretty bad for a couple of years now. I have to use tons of makeup to hide it whenever I go out because I feel embarrassed to let people see my face. Is there makeup that can help improve acne?
A: The bad news, according to New York dermatologist Kenneth L. Edelson, is that acne is genetic. If your parents had it, then you probably will too. The good news is that there are many highly effective over-the-counter remedies that work well to battle blemishes. To figure out what products are right for you, first identify your skin type.
If you have oily skin, use a cleanser with 5% benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (try Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash), then a topical benzoyl peroxide product directly on the pimples. Try: Oxy Balance Emergency Spot Treatment. This should be done in the morning and at night. Try to avoid heavy creams and oil-based products. If you have dry skin (but are still prone to acne), use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil and a noncomedogenic moisturizer like Eucerin. Then use a topical water-based benzoyl peroxide product directly on the pimples. Try: Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 5. This should also be done twice a day. Be careful not to use the benzoyl peroxide all over as this will overdry your skin and cause more redness.
Here are some steps to help clear up and prevent acne:
1. Keep your hands off your face. Try not to pick or squeeze pimples, which can make them more inflamed or cause scars.
2. Don't scrub. Most people with acne and/or clogged pores tend to scrub their face harder, which irritates the skin. Instead, use a gentle cleanser in the a.m. and p.m.
3. Easy on the foundation. Makeup used to cover up pimples tends to clog pores and cause more blemishes. Try using a concealer with a zit-zapping ingredient like salicylic acid.
4. Identify blemish patterns on your face. Look at the way you hold the telephone, whether you sleep more on one side of your face or if you hold your head up with one hand when sitting. Try to avoid doing these things.
5. Start a treatment skincare routine. Cleansers, toners and moisturizers containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide kill the bacteria causing inflammation.
6. Get serious about it. If you're taking care of your skin and it still doesn't clear up, it may be a good idea to consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe a stronger product, like Retin-A.
If your at-home treatment isn't working, you'll need to see a dermatologist for prescription-strength products. A dermatologist will also be able to give you an injection of cortisone directly into a pimple to instantly shrink the swelling.
As for makeup, use cover-up products that also treat the problem. Avoid oil-based foundations and cover-ups. Try Cover Girl Clarifying Concealer with salicylic acid. Just dot on the pimple to hide the redness.