How to Prevent Acne

Three Methods:Maintaining HygienePaying Attention to Diet and ExerciseUsing Acne Products

Common acne (aka "acne vulgaris") is a skin condition characterized by what are often called pimples or zits. It can occur anywhere on the body and at any age, although it typically affects teenagers on the face and back. Some factors, such as being in puberty, can't be altered, but you can take steps to avoid and prevent acne. Keep yourself healthy and presentable by removing factors that contribute to acne.

Method 1
Maintaining Hygiene

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    Wash your face twice a day or more: once at night, and once during your morning routine or after a workout or after you sweat. When you wash your face, wash it gently and with warm water. The heat will open your pores and the temperature is better suited to clean your skin rather than cold water. Make sure your water is not too hot so you won't burn your skin.
    • Make sure your cleanser is suited for your skin. Select a hypoallergenic or acne formulated product. A highly perfumed, harsh soap will often make acne worse.
    • In America and some other countries, the following are excellent and usually widely available: Dove Sensitive, Neutrogena brand cleansers, and Basis. However, there are many "store brands" that may be less expensive and about as good.
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    Use special care in selecting a cleanser if your skin is dry or oily. Both extremes need special care.
    • Too much washing is sometimes as bad as not enough. Acne is not caused by dirty skin. Washing once in the morning, once at night, and if the face is very sweaty or to wash off make-up is plenty. Too much washing can irritate acne, actually making it worse.
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    • Dry skin needs face wash or soap that has a moisturizer.
    • Oily skin does not usually need extra moisturizer - it may make acne worse. However, be careful not to go extremely drying. If your face feels tight after washing, the cleanser may be too extreme.
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    Wash your hands before you wash your face. If your hands are oily and dirty to begin, you will not get the best results. Wash your hands before you wash your face for best results.
    • Do not wash or scrub too hard. Some people prefer to wash their face with a washcloth but this can potentially irritate your skin more; making it more prone to acne. Gently washing your face with your hands is the best way to go.
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    Moisturize after each face wash. Moisturizing your skin is just as important as washing it. When you wash your face, you strip it out of oils and moisture, causing your skin to produce more oil and sebum to compensate the dryness. Your skin needs moisture. Help it replenish that moisture by moisturizing after each wash.
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    Choose the right moisturizer. Depending on your skin type, you may want to choose a different moisturizer:
    • Oily skin: Choose a gel-based moisturizer.[1] Gel-based moisturizers are usually better for oily-skin, as they provide essential moisture without overdoing it.
    • Dry skin: Choose a cream-based moisturizer.[1] Cream-based moisturizers are heavier and longer-lasting than gel-based ones. Doctors usually recommend these for skin that needs something a little more heavy-duty.
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    Exfoliate once a week. Exfoliating means gently wiping off the outer layer of the skin (called the epidermis) in order to help slough off dead skin and unclog pores. See if exfoliating once a week improves the complexion of your skin. You can buy a commercial exfoliating product, or you can make one on your own. Whatever you do, don't over-exfoliate. Exfoliating once a week is plenty.
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    Remove all traces of makeup before going to bed. Avoid going to sleep with makeup on. If you wear makeup, get into the habit of removing it before you go to bed. Make-up that stays on your face can clog pores, leading to acne. If you wear makeup make sure you get oil free foundation of any other makeups If you don't have oil free or can't get some use face powder. Face powder will soak up all the oils from your makeup or face [2]If you know you're prone to leaving makeup on and you don't want to go through the hassle of washing your face, invest in some skin-cleaning wipes that you can use in a pinch.
    • Also be sure to wash off other cosmetics, such as sunscreen.
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    Try not to touch your face with your hands. Your hands are breeding grounds for bacteria because we use them to touch so many things. Touching your face is a big no-no because it cuts down on bacteria transmission. The less bacteria on your face, the lower your chances that you'll develop nasty breakouts.
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    Similarly, avoid sharing daily things and tools with siblings who have acne. These include: towels, make-up brushes or kits, hair bands, etc.
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    Wash your pillowcases frequently. The oils on your pillowcases can cause acne by spreading dirt, grime, and dead skin. At the least, do it weekly, but you can do it every day if you find this tip makes a big difference. Consider having two pairs of pillowcases that you can switch out at the end of each week so that you avoid doing laundry constantly.
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    Pay attention to your hair routine, especially if your skin is oily. How you treat your hair can have a big impact on acne, especially around your forehead. Your scalp releases natural oils to keep your hair lustrous. But too much oil in and around your scalp, while healthy for your hair, can be dangerous for your skin. For this reason, wash your hair at least every other day. Try to strike a good balance between healthy hair and healthy skin.
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    Watch out about applying too much product in your hair. Gels, mousses, and sprays can get into the pores of your skin, clog them, and create pimples. Be selective about how much product you put into your hair, especially if you have acne around your forehead.
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    Stay out of direct sunlight. Exposure to too much sunlight can be harmful to the skin. You probably already know that it can cause skin cancer, but did you know that it can exacerbate acne?[3] When you go outside or expect to be in the sun for a long period of time, wear some noncomedogenic sunscreen to help block out harmful rays. Noncomedogenic just means that the sunscreen will not clog your pores. Wear a hat, too. Note that many acne topical treatments can make sun damage more likely.

Method 2
Paying Attention to Diet and Exercise

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    Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated may help you maintain your clear skin. While there is conflicting scientific evidence supporting the claim that water helps clear toxins out of your body, most scientist agree that drinking water is net-beneficial to your skin instead of net-neutral or net-negative.[4][5][6] You do not need to necessarily drink eight glasses of water per day, but drink enough to replenish what you might have lost in exercise, and drink when you are thirsty.
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    Eat healthy. Doctors are beginning to understand, after decades of inconclusive evidence, that diet does play a difference in whether you get acne and how severe it is.[5][7][8] Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, lean protein, whole wheats and grains, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids, for example) should help your body fight acne. At the same time, it will make you healthier and give you more energy. In addition to the foods listed above, try to get enough:
    • Vitamin A. Vitamin helps your body flush out acne-causing proteins and oil from the skin cycle.[5] Take either 10,000 UI of vitamin A supplements, or eat foods that are high in vitamin A, which include fish oil, salmon, carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
    • Zinc. Some evidence suggests that people with acne don't have enough zinc in their systems.[5] Scientists think that zinc creates an inhospitable environment for the acne-causing bacteria. Foods that are high in zinc include: turkey, wheat germ, oysters, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts.[9]
    • Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy cell turnover and cut down on inflammation.[5] Examples of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seed, salmon, sunflower seeds, and almonds.
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    Stay away from problem-creating foods and diets. Scientists believe that high-glycemic diets — chocolate, French fries, pizza, etc. — are linked to acne vulgaris.[10][11] In addition to high-glycemic foods, milk might also be a major culprit in causing acne, doctors have found:
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    Milk and other dairy products are laden with hormones (testosterone or androgens), which can increase insulin levels, just like sugar and starchy (high-glycemic) foods do.[12] Scientists are now unraveling the very real link between dairy and acne.[13][14] You don't necessarily have to cut dairy out of your diet, but be careful about overindulging in dairy if you're worried about acne.
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    Stay away from excessive alcohol and smoking. These drugs aren't good for your complexion. Studies around the world have linked toxins like tobacco and alcohol to acne.[15][16] If you are a regular smoker or drinker and worried about acne, consider cutting down on these habits if you're serious about seeing an uptick in overall health.
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    Exercise to reduce stress and prevent acne. Exercise is really helpful for avoiding acne because it lowers the amount of stress that your body goes through. Unfortunately, stress is a significant cause of acne, both in children and adults.[17] Therefore, any way that you can remove stress from your life is a "win" for clear skin. Exercise is one of those ways.
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    To help cut down on stress, be sure to sleep enough. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can seriously increase the amount of stress a person goes through, sometimes up for 15% more stress for each hour of sleep lost beyond their normal allotment.[18] Shoot to get between 9 and 10 hours if you're younger than 18 and between 7 and 8 hours if you're an adult.[19]

Method 3
Using Acne Products

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    Use benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is used to kill the bacteria that cause acne. Benzoyl peroxide comes in different concentrations, but studies show that benzoyl peroxide with a 2.5% concentration is just as effective as 5-10% solutions while being less irritating to the skin.[20] Additionally, benzoyl peroxide helps peel away layers of dead skin on the epidermis, leaving brighter, more rejuvenated skin in its place.
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    Use salicylic acid. Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid kills bacteria responsible for pimple growth. It also causes skin cells to shed more rapidly, promoting the growth of new skin. Put small amounts of salicylic acid onto affected areas before you go asleep, after you have washed your face.
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    Consider using tea tree oil. While this is not specifically bottled for acne, it is a very effective home remedy. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can make the redness and size of pimples less noticeable.[21] In one study, tea tree oil proved to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide in reducing inflamed lesions of acne patients.[22]
    • Because tea tree oil is very strong, dilute it first in a little bit of water before applying to the skin with a Q-Tip or similar instrument. Too much tea tree oil may irritate skin.
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    If things get serious, consult your doctor. A dermatologist is trained to spot and treat skin disorders. The doctor may recommend a prescription containing clindamycin phosphate or benzoyl peroxide, both very popular acne deterrents. Prescription strength medicines are often much stronger than solutions you can buy over the counter.


  • Mixing honey and orange or lemon juice and applying it to your skin helps to reduce acne scars and clears out your pores naturally.
  • Try sleeping on your back as much as possible to avoid making contact between your face and your pillow.
  • Spread honey across your face with the back of a spoon, then lightly press and peel the spoon on and off your face, then wash your face.It will leave your skin very clean and soft..
  • Sometimes the best way of taking care of this condition is by doing it naturally, as in using natural products. Witch-hazel can help when applied with a cotton swab after washing your face.
  • Get facials. Facials will help to cleanse your skin and the one performing the facial may or may not get rid of problem spots.
  • Eat more green vegetables. They have been tied to preventing breakouts.
  • If all else fails and you have severe problems, Accutane (also referred to as Roaccutane) removes the underlying root of Acne and will, in many cases, rid you of the problem forever. It does, however, have several side effects and potential severe ones.
  • Relax! Stress will add to acne breakouts.
  • Be sure not to use too many products at once, as you may not know which one is working or even potentially making things worse. Try one thing at a time.
  • Try soaking a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and dabbing it on your face when you wake up or before you go to bed to clean off the dirt and dry up pimples.
  • Remember that acne is a complicated condition with multiple causes, and what works for one person will not for another. Just because your friend's face cream works for her, does not mean it necessarily will for you.
  • Be responsible when using different products and make sure to look at the warnings and labels.
  • In the morning, splash water on your face and wipe your face with a clean facial towelette. Before you go to bed, clean your skin with a facial scrub.
  • Keep your hair off of your face at all times. Because your hair has oils in it, all it does is cause more acne.
  • Get a prescription for Retin-A or Retinal from your doctor. Combine with Benzyl Peroxide and you'll have face-washing solution.
  • Try aloe vera. This will help with acne scars that already exist and works as a moisturiser.
  • Use hot water to begin washing your face then use cold water to finish because hot water opens your hormones so you can clean them, then cold water closes them to make sure you don't get any dirt on your face until you clean your face next time.
  • You may want to try to test these methods on one side of your face. This will help distinguish the difference between using these methods and not using them, thus proving how effective they are for your skin and whether it is beneficial for you.


  • Never pop a pimple as this can cause scarring.
  • You should only scrub your face if you have no existing pimples. Scrub lightly; avoid scrubbing too much or with too much pressure.
  • Benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect on clothes and hair. It may also increases sensitivity to the sun, so you might find that you burn faster.
  • Anything beyond very gentle cleansing can actually worsen existing lesions and even encourage new ones by damaging or over-drying skin.
  • Creams and lotions may clog pores.
  • Never make any drastic changes in your diet or skin routine without first consulting a medical professional; certain hormones can cause unexpected break outs.

Sources and Citations

  • Wikipedia on acne - More background information about acne vulgaris; what causes it, what's a myth and what's not, and more treatment options.
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