The Most Important Acne Tips, All in One Place
If clear, healthy, beautiful skin is on your list of improvements for the New Year, look no further for all the acne-fighting tips you need to get the skin you want in 2017. Say bye to blemishes and banish breakouts once and for all by committing to a handful of habits that ensure your skin gets the care and attention it needs to be its very best.
As beauty editors, we've seen acne tips of all kinds—from topical solutions to lifestyle overhauls and everything in between—and over the years we've figured out our favorites. To help you easily digest the best advice out there, we've rounded up the very best tips for getting your skin on the right track now and beyond.
Keep scrolling to see all our best acne tips, all in one place.
Exfoliating is a key part of the skincare process, especially if you're combatting acne. Celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau told Byrdie that in addition to cleansing nightly, it's important to use an exfoliating wash. She suggests using exfoliants like glycolic acid, AHAs, and BHA, and enzymes such as pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple, exfoliating for three nights straight then taking a break for three nights and so on.
Bobbi Brown Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain & Orange Exfoliating Mask ($47)
Moisturize and Protect
Once you've cleansed, it's important to restore moisture to the skin and protect against sun damage with an SPF. If you don't moisturize regularly, you run the risk of drying out your skin, which will in turn cause it to overcompensate by producing more oil. SPF is an essential component of your daytime moisturizer, as acne products and exfoliants make you more vulnerable to sun damage.
La Mer The Reparative Face Sun Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($135)
Don't Pick at Your Skin
As tempting as it may be to pick or pop a pimple, prodding at your skin is best left to a professional. If you pick at your face, you greatly increase your odds of seriously damaging your skin and ending up with permanent scarring or hyperpigmentation. Even touching your face too frequently brings the dirt and bacteria from your hands right to your sensitive pores. Break the habit once and for all, and say hello to clearer, less irritated skin.
Cure From Within
How you take care of your body from the inside is just as, if not more, important as how you take care of it on the outside. Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas has advised Byrdie that the key to glowing skin is to start with your diet. "I would strongly suggest avoiding sugar, dairy, and wheat," she says. Instead, load up on veggies with every meal and consider treating yourself to a daily green juice for an extra boost of nutrients needed for a beautiful complexion. Simply staying hydrated will greatly improve your skin, so be sure to always carry a water bottle with you. There's no point in lathering on pricey moisturizers if you aren't keeping skin hydrated naturally from within.
Don't Work Out in Makeup
Even if you sneak in a sweat session on your lunch break or just after work, it's important to wash off your makeup first. Holly Byerly, an esthetician for VMV Hypoallergenics, told Byrdie that "exercising while wearing makeup can worsen acne-prone adult skin." In addition to exercising with a clean face, it's important to thoroughly cleanse the skin after perspiration to prevent clogged pores and breakouts caused by sweat.
Get More Sleep
Getting a good night's rest can drastically improve your overall health and attractivenes. If you're not getting enough sleep, you'll see the negative effects play out on your skin—from a ruddy complexion to stubborn breakouts. A Japanese study found that stress, lack of sleep, and sweat were the three most common acne triggers among a group of teenagers. Another study found that psychological stress can increase by 14% for every hour of sleep lost per night. It's called beauty sleep for a reason. Stop skimping on sleep, and you'll be significantly reducing the stress factors and other ills keeping you from the clear, healthy skin you desire.
Don't Just Wash Your Face
It's not just your face you need to keep clean and cared for if you want beautiful, clear skin. You need to regularly wash materials your face comes in contact with—your pillowcases, your sheets, your face towels, your makeup brushes—if you want to avoid bacterial buildup that could wreak havoc on your skin. There's no point in washing your face before bed if as soon as you rest your head on your pillow—and for the next several hours—you're subjecting your pores to the unwashed bacterial and chemical buildup in your bedding.