5 Ways to Get Rid of Acne at Any Age

Keep Your Face Clean

iStockphoto.com/Amanda Rohde

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].

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