6 Tips To Dealing With Acne That Actually Work

By Sam Negrin

Anyone who has struggled with acne knows that it can be debilitating on so many levels. It can be physically painful and emotionally draining, especially when your beauty cabinet is filled to the brim with products that promise to clear skin in weeks, yet weeks go by with no results. BUT, it's not impossible to get to where you want to be! This, I promise you.

Acne
credit: Twenty20

I've tried everything and spoken to some of the biggest experts in the beauty space to find solutions that work. Of course, each person is different and there are many factors that come into play when trying to heal acne. Imbalanced hormones, diet, exercise, stress and pollution all have a major impact on our skin.

The six tips below will undoubtedly help you in your clear skin journey, and if you found success another way, don't be a stranger!

After Your Workout:

Dayle Breaut, founder of Goddess Of Skin, once told me that it's important to clean your skin right after a workout, most importantly, before you've cooled down. She recommends to keep facial wipes close so that you can cleanse immediately. "If your skin cools down too much when you've just hit a massive cardio session, all of the dirt and gunk is now stuck even deeper into your pores. If you clean off before your skin has had a chance to cool, you're getting a better cleanse," says Dayle. (I recommend Bioderma's Sensibio H2O Wipes!)

Supplements Can Help:

Lisa Goodman, founder of GoodSkin LA, recommends taking digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements. "More often than not, acne can stem from an unhealthy gut, keeping it in balance with some supplements and a healthy lifestyle (minimal dairy & sugar!) can really help clear you out from the inside," says Lisa.

Exfoliating Is Key:

Courtney Brooks, Director of Aesthetics at Dennis Gross Dermatology, reminds us that all acne starts with a blocked oil gland. The first step is to properly cleanse and use a chemical exfoliator (like the Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads) and don't skimp on hydration, because you don't want to damage the skin's natural barrier. "An oil-free moisturizer is a great option to keep acneic skin hydrated so it doesn't produce extra oil or sebum, without clogging pores," says Courtney. Spot treatments including salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulfur-based products are great, but don't overdo it on your whole face.

Oil Can Fight Oil:

As mentioned above, hydration is very important, even when you're breaking out and all you wanna do is dry, dry, dry. There are a few conflicting schools of thought on oils, but I've had success, and the key is to make sure you choose the RIGHT type of oil (coconut oil is a no, no). Some options that are known to really help blemishes clear and stay away are jojoba and rosehip. (I love the Ogee Jojoba Restore Face Oil & Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil)

Not All Acne Is Created Equal:

If you have pustules, blackheads or whiteheads, the aforementioned salicylic, benzoyl and sulfur spot treatments are great. But if you're dealing with under the skin, painful cysts, trying to dry them out will only cause a flakey mess. According to Esthetician & Skincare Expert Renée Rouleau, "When the skin's oil glands become hypersensitive to a cascade of hormones, and react by overproducing sebum, the oil glad itself becomes engorged, swollen and hardened with the excess." An ingredient that helps with this type of acne is lactic acid, the Anti-Cyst Treatment by Renée is a hero product.

Your Makeup Makes or Breaks You:

It's important to double-check all of your makeup and do tests to review what might be causing inflammation and clogging. I wish I took a dive into my makeup cabinet sooner because I realized after 10 months of continuous use of my (old) foundation, it was seriously clogging my pores. Do your research! Where are you breaking out? When are you breaking out? Two foundations I've found that keep my skin clear and actually even out my skin post-makeup are Oxygenetix (for daytime, with SPF) and Gressa (for night!).

Be sure to reach out @leaftv if you have any other skincare questions we can answer!