That refers to removing the top layer of dead skin cells. Some dermatologists recommend using a rough washcloth or specially designed product to do just that. "But your skin is already irritated if you have acne," says Kligman. Don't use brushes, rough sponges, cleansers with granules or walnut hulls, or anything else of that nature on the delicate facial skin, says Klein. For the back and chest, where skin is less sensitive, you can try one of the acne scrub pads along with soap that contains benzoyl peroxide, he adds.
Watch out for oily products.
That goes for oily pomades on your hair, heavy oil-based moisturizers, and even oily cleansers. "The classic that I hear from women is that they use only cold cream on their face," says DeLeo. "They think they're avoiding wrinkles, but dry skin doesn't cause the skin to age, exposure to the sun does."
Use water-based makeup.
If you're not sure--and DeLeo says some cosmetic labels are misleading--set the bottle of makeup on the counter. If it separates into water and powder, it's water-based, he says. If it doesn't, it contains oil. He also advises that you opt for powder blushes and loose powders. Eye makeup and lipstick are OK because you don't generally get acne in those areas.
Forego the facial.
DeLeo warns that most people giving facials aren't trained to treat acne-prone skin properly and may end up doing more harm than good.
Don't rest your chin on your hands.
Try not to constantly touch your face. "People who do a lot of telephone work will get chin-line acne," DeLeo says. It causes trauma to acne, just like picking the pimples does. Tight sweatbands and chin straps from sports equipment can have the same effect.
Some cosmetic companies make a paper product that can be pressed onto the skin to soak up oil, says Kligman. "It's a very simple procedure," he says. "It doesn't help the acne, but it helps relieve the oiliness, which is disagreeable "
At one time, sun exposure was believed to help acne, says Klein. However, too much sun can lead to skin cancer and premature aging, making the risks outweigh the benefits. He suggests protecting the skin with a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. "Look for one that's oil-free or noncomedogenic," he says. Unfortunately, many waterproof products are too likely to clog oil glands to use on the face, so you'll need to be diligent about reapplying the sunscreen often.
Chocolate, french fries, and other foods have not been proven to have anything at all to do with causing teenage acne. "It doesn't matter what you eat," says Kligman. Eating chocolate, nuts, or greasy foods is not to blame when it comes to the zits on your face. On the other hand, if you notice a correlation between something you eat and your face breaking out, most dermatologists agree that you should avoid the offending food. "Maybe one out of 100 or even 1,000 patients will have some relationship of acne to certain foods," says Moshell.
This is still somewhat controversial, but some doctors believe that high levels of iodine, found in some multiple vitamins and in iodized salt, may encourage acne.
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