Developing good skin hygiene habits can often significantly help prevent acne flair ups.
Clean Skin Gently. Most doctors recommend that people with acne gently wash their skin with a mild cleanser, once in the morning and once in the evening and after heavy exercise. Washing removes the excess oils on your skin. It is not recommended that you wash excessively or scrub too rigorously since this can actually worsen the acne problem.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and cleansers are often helpful. Be sure to read and follow usage directions carefully. Patients should wash their face from under the jaw to the hairline. It is important that patients thoroughly rinse their skin after washing it. Astringents are not recommended unless the skin is very oily, and then they should be used only on oily spots. Doctors also recommend that patients regularly shampoo their hair. Those with oily hair may want to shampoo it every day.
Avoid Frequent Handling of the Skin. People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their blemishes risk developing scars or dark blotches. People should avoid rubbing and touching their skin lesions.
Shave Carefully. Men who shave and who have acne can test both electric and safety razors to see which is more comfortable. Men who use a safety razor should use a sharp blade and soften their beard thoroughly with soap and water before applying shaving cream. Nicking blemishes can be avoided by shaving lightly and only when necessary.
Avoid a Sunburn or Suntan. Many of the medicines used to treat acne can make a person more prone to sunburn. A sunburn that reddens the skin or suntan that darkens the skin may make blemishes less visible and make the skin feel drier. However, these benefits are only temporary, and there are known risks of excessive sun exposure, such as more rapid skin aging and a risk of developing skin cancer.
Choose Cosmetics Carefully. People being treated for acne often need to change some of the cosmetics they use. All cosmetics, such as foundation, blush, eye shadow, and moisturizers, should be oil free. Patients may find it difficult to apply foundation evenly during the first few weeks of treatment because the skin may be red or scaly, particularly with the use of topical tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide. Oily hair products may eventually spread over the forehead, causing closed comedones. Products that are labeled as noncomedogenic (do not promote the formation of closed pores) should be used; in some people, however, even these products may cause acne.