If you're sick of grappling with acne, you can fight back and win with a daily treatment regimen. Washing your skin is the first step -- it keeps dirt and oil at bay so zits can't get a foothold on your face. Follow up with medication, such as benzoyl peroxide, and you'll be saying goodbye to that acne sooner than you think.
Twice-daily cleansing -- every 10 to 12 hours -- is a must if you're itching to get rid of your acne for good. Whether you wash up at the sink or in the shower, always use lukewarm water. Hot water dries out and irritates skin even more, so it's best avoided. Your choice of cleanser matters, too -- skip alcohol-based products and alkaline bar soaps. Instead, opt for a gentle body wash or cleanser that contains mild surfactants.
When you're ready to clean up, splash your face, neck and other acne-prone areas with water. Squirt a generous amount of cleanser into the palm of your hand. Rub hands together to lather the cleanser, then gently smooth it over skin for about 10 seconds. Rinse with clean water and pat your skin dry with a clean, soft towel. Let your skin dry for up to 15 minutes before continuing the treatment regimen.
Pimples are no match for a daily dose of benzoyl-peroxide treatment. This product oxygenates skin and dries out oily zits. Look for a 2.5-percent benzoyl-peroxide product at a drugstore or in the pharmacy department of a grocery store. The amount of treatment to use varies, depending on the product and your needs. In general, use a small amount at first, then gradually increase the dosage over a period of two to four weeks. To apply the product, smooth a thin layer over your skin, but avoid the eye area. Let the product dry for up to 15 minutes, and do not rinse. Apply benzoyl peroxide once daily for the first week, then twice daily after that.
Soften Your Skin
Benzoyl-peroxide and other acne medications can seriously dry your skin out. To compensate, it's smart to hydrate daily with gentle moisturizer. Pick a moisturizer that's non-comedogenic. Look for one that contains lipids or silicone oils -- such as dimethicone -- for best results. Humectants, including hyaluronic acid and glycerin, help your skin hold moisture. Apply the moisturizer daily after treating skin with benzoyl peroxide. Smooth a generous amount over skin; do not rinse off. Apply moisturizer again as needed throughout the day if your skin feels dry or flaky.
Add Glycolic Acid
If your acne hasn't backed down after one month of treatment, add glycolic acid (AHA) to your regimen. To use, swap glycolic acid for your regularly nightly moisturizer two to three times per week. You can also make a solution of 1/2 moisturizer and 1/2 glycolic acid to use every night of the week. Glycolic acid works well to get rid of flaking skin, too.
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