1) Thoroughly cleanse the skin. This might seem like an obvious step to reducing breakouts but some people neglect to do this important step. Clogged pores, whether it is from dirt, oil, or left over makeup exacerbate the breakouts. To clean skin better than just with your hands or wash cloth, try using a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic that will remove 6 times more dirt and oil than just your hands alone.
2) Use the right ingredients. Acne fighting ingredients are a key step to clear skin. Use products formulated with ingredients like azelaic acid, camphor, resorcinol, glycolic acid, lactic acid, pumpkin enzymes, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, totarol, ascorbic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. These are all powerful ingredients that will help fight breakouts, treat the root cause, and work to heal the skin. Ask your esthetician which treatments, products, and ingredients will work for your type of breakout.
3) Discover the cause. There is not just one form of acne. There is acne cosmetica (caused by cosmetic use) , hormonal acne, bacterial acne, systemic acne (brought on by illness, medication, or diet), and asphyxiated acne (caused from surface build up on the skin because cell turnover is slow). You can tackle your breakout and treat the root cause much better if you get an idea of why it is occurring. An esthetician will take you through a question and answer session to try to rule out possible causes and discover if it’s a product you’re using, if it’s from your new medication, or even if that time of the month is the cause.
4) Moisturize. Okay, okay we know what you’re thinking. If your skin is already oily and suffering from breakouts, then why on earth would you use a moisturizer? Yes, acne is caused by an increase in oil production but over-drying the skin will cause it to over compensate and produce even more oil! This will result in further breakouts and exacerbate the problem instead of addressing it. Use a light, calming moisturizer made for acneic skin to keep your oil levels at a healthy range.
5) Use a sunscreen. Products to treat acne can make the skin sun sensitive, increasing the risk for sun damage and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Use a broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher everyday on any exposed skin, because exposure to UV rays (even if only walking to your car or exposure to fluorescent light bulbs) can cause inflammation and slow the treatment process of your breakout.