What Not to Do When You Have Acne

When you have a breakout, chances are you’ll do anything to get rid of it. A lot of the information on the internet leads us to believe that if we only implement a certain step or use a certain product, our acne will immediately disappear. In reality, though, these misconceptions are misleading and may actually have the exact opposite effect on our skin than what we’re after.

With that said, here are 5 things to avoid when treating your acne:

1. Over-Cleansing

While you may believe washing your face several times a day will improve your complexion, especially if you have oily skin, resist the urge. Over-cleansing can actually make your acne worse by drying out your skin, and it’s the reason why dermatologists recommend washing your face only twice each day. For acneic consumers with oily skin, cleanse in both the morning and the evening, and always pat dry with a towel. Otherwise, simply rinse your face with warm water in the morning, and use a cleanser in the evening. Foaming cleansers often contain harsh ingredients that can be damaging, so always use a gentle cleanser like MD Complete’s Restoring Cleanser, which helps exfoliate and soothe the skin.

2. Rough Exfoliants

Certainly, a sugar scrub is incredibly gratifying because it literally feels like you’re exfoliating all the impurities away. However, despite popular belief, rough exfoliants with abrasive properties can further irritate your existing acne. Make sure you are checking the ingredients of your products, and if you are drawn to a scrub, try something with salicylic acid instead like Clarifying Gel Mask which has natural exfoliating properties to gently and effectively deep clean your pores.

3. Picking

As tempting as it may be, avoid picking. Aggravating your blemishes will not only prevent them from healing but may also lead to permanent scarring which can be very difficult to treat. Plus, touching your face transfers acne-causing bacteria to your skin, creating new blemishes and making your current condition worse. If you can’t resist the urge (because let’s be real, we’re all human and it happens sometimes), make sure your hands are clean and use an antibacterial spot treatment like Neosporin on the affected area to reduce redness and inflammation more quickly.

4. Hot Water

It’s a common myth that using hot water to wash your face will open your pores; but, pores don’t open and close with a fluctuation in water temperature. Rather, warmer water loosens the stuff trapped inside of your pores, allowing your products to sink deep into your skin and exfoliate beneath the surface. Additionally, hot water strips your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Although hot water may feel good, opt for lukewarm water to prevent damaging your skin and to better control your breakouts.

5. Slathering on the Product

Whether you have one blemish or a whole breakout, it’s easy to assume that the more product you slather on top of it, the better. Regardless of the ingredients within the product, any product in excess is not only unable to do its intended job, but can also have reverse effects on your skin. Always use each product as directed, and remember that a little often goes a long way!