Keep Your Face Clean
Whether you're 15 or 51, residue on the skin creates a breeding ground for pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. Avoid this scenario by maintaining a simple cleansing routine, Dr. Wechsler advises. But that doesn't mean scouring off every trace of grime with harsh soaps and aggressive scrubbing. In fact, washing your face too much can actually worsen acne by stripping the skin of lipids and increasing irritation. Experts recommend gently washing twice a day with a pH-balanced cleanser [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
No matter how tired you are, your skin regimen should include nightly makeup removal, especially if you're acne-prone. Various cosmetics, from foundation and primer to mascara and eyeliner, can clog pores and attract pimple-causing bacteria when they remain on the face. They can also lead to collagen breakdown and premature aging, giving you yet another reason to sleep cosmetics-free [source: Kitchens].
Another way to fight acne overnight: change your pillowcase frequently. Even if you cleanse thoroughly, oil, dead skin and hair products can build up on the surface of your pillow, turning your beauty sleep into a breakout nightmare. If your hair tends to get greasy or if you load up on styling goop, considering pulling back your tresses while you snooze [source: Chung].
As part of your campaign to achieve clean, clear skin, adopt a hands-off policy. Touching your face or resting your chin on your palm can spread bacteria and further irritate inflamed areas. And though it may be tempting, never pop, squeeze or pick at your pimples. You'll run the risk of redness, infection and, worst of all, scarring [source: WebMD].
- American Academy of Dermatology. " Hormonal factors key to understanding acne in women." March 16, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/hormonal-factors-key-to-understanding-acne-in-women
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Small changes in skin care routine can significantly improve skin affected by acne and rosacea." February 4, 2011. (July 10, 2013) http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/--small-changes-in-skin-care-routine-can-significantly-improve-skin-affected-by-acne-and-rosacea
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Women More Likely Than Men To Be Affected By Acne As Adults." Science Daily. October 20, 2007. (July 10, 2013) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071019155627.htm
- Aubrey, Allison. "Diet and Acne: For a Clearer Complexion, Cut the Empty Carbs." NPR. February 20, 2013. (July 10, 2013) http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/19/172429086/diet-and-acne-for-a-clearer-complexion-cut-the-empty-carbs
- Burris, Jennifer. "Acne: The Role of Medical Nutrition Therapy." Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. February 20, 2013. (July 10, 2013) http://andjrnl.org/webfiles/images/journals/jand/jand_pc_113_2.pdf
- Chung, Jane. "10 Secrets to Zit-Free Skin." BeautyRiot.com. (July 10, 2013) http://www.beautyriot.com/makeup-beauty/10-secrets-zitfree-skin-g6345
- Daily Mail. "How can I clear up acne?" (July 10, 2013) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-75093/How-I-clear-acne.html
- Giglio, Karina. " Skin Signs: What Your Face Reveals About Your Health." Women'sHealth. November 14, 2011. (July 10, 2013) http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty-and-style/skin-health
- Jackson-Cannady, Ayren. "When 'Younger' Skin Is Not a Blessing.' New York Times. May 16, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/fashion/adult-women-battle-acne.html?_r=2&
- James, Susan Donaldson. "Adult Acne on Rise as Women Age and Hormones Kick In." ABC News. March 16, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/adult-acne-rise-women-age-dermatologists/story?id=15930708#.UeNtsWTXRTR
- Kam, Katherine. "Stress and Acne." WebMD. (July 10, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-care-11/stress-and-acne
- Kitchens, Simone. "Is It Really That Bad to Sleep in Makeup? Dermatologists Tell Us the Truth." Huffington Post. December 18, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/sleep-in-makeup_n_2289084.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Isotretinoin (Oral Route)." (July 10, 2013) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601821
- O'Connor, Anahad. "Really? The Claim: Excess Weight Raises the Risk of Acne." New York Times. January 23, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/really-the-claim-excess-weight-raises-the-risk-of-acne/
- Percia, Jill. "Adult Acne: It's Not a Myth." Women'sHealth. August 9, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/cure-adult-acne
- Rettner, Rachael. Acne in Women Can Signal Hormone Problems." Live Science. November 27, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://www.livescience.com/25049-women-acne-hormone-disorder.html
- Tsai, Min-Chien et al. "Higher body mass index is a significant risk factor for acne formation in schoolchildren." European Journal of Dermatology. May-June 2006. (July 10, 2013) http://www.jle.com/e-docs/00/04/18/fe/article.phtml
- Uscher, Jen. "Nutrients for Healthy Skin." WebMD. April 23, 2012. (July 10, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/beauty/face/skin-nutrition
- WebMD. "10 Tips for Preventing Acne." (July 10, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/teen-acne-13/10-tips-for-preventing-pimples
- WebMD. "Topical Retinoid Medicines for Acne." February 3, 2011. (July 10, 2013) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/topical-retinoid-medications-for-acne
- Wechsler, Amy. Personal correspondence. July 12, 2013.
When it comes to exfoliating your face, you need to proceed with caution. The skin on your face is sensitive! Try these tips for exfoliating your face