“While many of the active ingredients we use and recommend for treating acne are effective, they can also be dry or irritating or hard on the skin,” says Dr. Garshick. “If you use too many things, it can cause excessive skin irritation and, as a result, lead to dryness, tenderness, skin irritation.”
Not only can being overly aggressive with your routine make an angry pimple even redder and more irritating, but it can also lead to more of your annoying friends appearing elsewhere on your face. “Excessive irritation can potentially have the opposite effect and cause more breakouts because your skin can’t really regulate oil production,” says Dr. Garshick. “In addition, the skin is not able to effectively get rid of the outbreak if it has already suffered secondary irritation and inflammation.”
To make sure you do not overdo it and you are on the road to clearer and calmer skin, Dr. Garshick says there are five acne routine rules you should always follow.
5 rules of acne routine to follow
1. Separate your active ingredients
Typical active ingredients in acne treatment are retinoids (which increase cell turnover, preventing the accumulation that can cause acne), salicylic acid (which exfoliates the skin and cleanses the enzyme) and benzene peroxide. (a topical antiseptic that targets acne-causing bacteria). For the most part, these are not the ingredients you want to layer.
“I usually recommend doing the retinoid at night and then either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide during the day,” says Dr. Garshick. “Especially when you are starting an acne treatment regimen, it is always best to leave out your active ingredients.” This is especially true for benzene peroxide with retinoids. “There are some recipes available that combine these two ingredients and, in this case, when it is specifically formulated as such, it is generally considered okay, but it is usually not a good idea to apply both at the same time,” he says. Dr. Garshick. “It can cause some additional irritation and possibly affect the effectiveness of both.”
If you use a cleanser with active ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, you can probably use it with a different active product, just be careful as your skin adapts to these formulas.
“Because cleaners are not allowed, it is generally safe to use them in the same place in a routine. [as other actives]”, Says Dr. Garhick. “So, if you use your cleaner that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it is usually okay to put a retinoid on top of it. But my general preference for most people, especially when they start, is to single them out – one in the morning, one in the evening. “Once your skin has a tolerance and you feel you need to use more, you may be able to get rid of it.”
2. Keep spot treatments and treatments separate
The best, most effective acne treatment is prevention. But if you are dealing with active pimples, spot treatments can come to the rescue. These formulas are extremely powerful, so you do not want to confuse them with your daily acne treatment routine.
“If you do a salicylic acid stain treatment and then put a retinoid on top, chances are the area may be more likely to become red, irritated and possibly more noticeable than the outbreak itself, so I usually say just stick. with one or the other “, says Dr. Garshick.” If you plan to stain for a few days, do not apply your regular treatment [acne-fighting] face cream continuously with this treatment. “
If you feel you need to keep both spot and comprehensive treatments in your routine, be sure to remove them as you would with your other active activities – one in the morning, one in the evening.
3. Do not apply hydrocolloid patches over the active ingredients
Hydrocolloid patches, also known as pimple patches, remove pimples by removing oil and dust from white spots.
“Hydrocolloid patches are generally great, and some actually have a little salicylic acid or an active ingredient built in,” says Dr. Garshick. “One thing to note, however, is that you do not necessarily want to apply it as a patch if you have active ingredients on your skin. Because the patch is adhesive, it will create some degree of blockage on the skin. So if you have your retinoid “Leave the patch under it for 12 hours or something else, you can increase the chances of irritation.”
While Dr. Garshick is a fan of pimples for pimples, recommends applying them only on clean skin without the involvement of other active ingredients.
4. Take a break if you see irritation
Although some acne-fighting ingredients are known to cause a little irritation, the skin does not want you to endure just any redness, stinging, burning, peeling or dryness. “These are all signs that you have probably caused some irritation and it is worth modifying either your routine or the frequency with which you do it,” says Dr. Garshick. If it is very bad, it may be helpful to take a break from your acne products.
“It’s much better for your skin to give your skin a chance to repair itself, rather than just keep going,” says Dr. Garshick. “The chance of your acne healing when it is red, irritated and inflamed is very small, so give your skin this opportunity and then continue the shape.”
5. Be patient
“Many of the ingredients are good, but not all people with acne need them,” says Dr. Garshick. “When I start an acne treatment regimen or routine, I usually say it ‘s best to start by incorporating one ingredient at a time, seeing how your skin reacts and then adding more if needed.”
And remember: Even the most effective routine will take some time to work — there is no miracle cure that will magically reduce overnight outbreaks. “With acne, it can take two to three months for many of these treatments to really work and we can really see the difference,” says Dr. Garshick. “It’s important to be patient and know that just because you do not see an immediate effect does not mean that this ingredient is not good for you. It may just take longer.”
A dermatologist shares her best tips for managing adult acne:
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