Start from scratch
- There's a condition I like to call acne
treatment overkill. It happens when us
acne sufferers accumulate too many creams
and cleansers and use them way too often.
All that cleansing (and all those chemicals)
is not what your skin needs. Yet it
can be scary to quit, because even if the
current treatments aren't working, there's
still the lingering fear that if we stop
using them our acne could get even worse.
Don't let that fear determine your skin care
regimen. Get back to the basics, start from
scratch, and quit all those topical creams
that aren't doing you any good. Follow my
guidelines. Keep only a gentle, non-drying
cleanser and, if you really need it, a
temporary spot treatment, but use them no
more than once or twice per day.
Start from the inside
- Most acne isn't caused by surface dirt or
bacteria, so why obsess over topical
treatments? If you want to really change
your skin in any lasting way, that change
has to start from the inside. So
a serious look. Eat fewer high-sugar, high-carb
foods and more fruits and vegetables.
Remember, just slathering a bunch of
chemicals onto your face isn't going to make
much difference if the biological functions
causing acne remain the same. You need to
change your body's metabolism, which brings
us to the next tip...
Take a potent vitamin supplement
- I recommend Clearade or Clear5. Improving your
diet is great, but if you've got acne,
sometimes you need more of those key
vitamins and minerals than a balanced diet
can provide. That means taking a supplement.
But don't waste your time with one that's
just a cocktail of vaguely related vitamins
and herbal extracts. Take a serious
supplement that packs a powerful punch of
Typical antioxidants aren't enough. You need to
change how your body regulates skin oil.
The 30-day rule
- This goes for any acne treatment, be it a
topical cream or a natural supplement. No
treatment is ever going to work for you if
you don't give it a chance to work. Acne
sufferers are often stressed out and quick
to despair. I'm here to tell you to quit
acting like a child and suck it up!
With any new treatment, you should give it
at least a solid 30 days and use it exactly
as directed. No skipping. Be consistent.
Don't see results in the first or second
week? Feel like quitting in a teary-eyed fit
of rage? Good luck ever getting clear. If
your body is used to pumping out acne and
has been doing so for years, you shouldn't
expect that biological process to just
reverse overnight. Be realistic and have a
little discipline. Even many prescription
treatments take time to kick in.
Patience prevents scars
- Most acne scars are not caused by acne,
they're caused by you. The
general rule is "don't pick at your
pimples". You've all heard it a million
times before. If only clear skin was that
easy, right? Well, when it comes to scars,
it almost always is.
The truth is, popping a pimple that is
ready to pop is hardly ever a problem.
I'm talking about those "red bump" pimples
that clearly display a white pustule right
near the surface of the skin. It's when you
get impatient that things get bad. Never,
ever, ever try to pop a deep cyst. If
you've got a red, irritated bump, but the
white acne pustule is still deep under your
skin, just leave it alone. Maybe
apply a spot treatment, but do not try to
force it out ahead of its time. That's how
acne scars form, and the last thing you want
is a deep crater in your skin that could
stay with you for the rest of your life.
If it touches your skin, keep it clean
- Another piece of advice every acne
sufferer has heard before is "stop touching
your face". That's generally a good idea.
Your hands touch a lot of things and
typically accumulate a bunch of dirt and
bacteria. But it's not just your hands I'm
talking about here.
Think outside the box. What else touches
your skin? How often do you clean your
pillowcase? Your bed sheets? Do you wear the
same undershirt for days? Do you use a
gallon of hair gel and then comb your hair
down over your forehead? Good hygiene means
keeping the surfaces your skin is frequently
in contact with clean, even the ones we
don't always think about.
Consistency, consistency, consistency
- Your body likes to keep things consistent.
It likes to go to bed at about the same time
each day, get about the same amount of sleep
each day, take meals at about the same times
each day, etc. Skin care is no different.
Even after the 30-day rule, you have to stay
committed to your clear skin regimen. You
can't be frequently skipping days when it
comes to taking your vitamins, or only
washing your sheets when they get
"really bad", or eating
salads one week, but ignoring your diet the next.
You wouldn't expect to get in shape by only
exercising once in a while. The same goes
for stopping acne. You need to decide on a
daily regimen and stick to it!
Remember, nothing is going to change if you only do