Imagine you were unknowingly sabotaging your skin care by improperly using your acne treatment, and what is supposed to be helping your skin is actually making it worse.
Turns out, this may be more common than we think.
Having acne, it’s tempting to want it gone as soon as possible, and we sometimes make choices for our skin that damage it. Follow the steps outlined below to guarantee that your acne treatment will do exactly what it’s supposed to, with the least amount of side effects.
(For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about acne treatment applied to the skin.)
1. CHOOSE ONE ACNE TREATMENT
If your acne treatment consists of a treated cleanser, treated toner, treated scrub and a treated moisturizer, you’re using too much. Too many acne products can cause unnecessary irritation, which will impede the ability of anyacne treatment to do its work. Pick one or two treated acne treatment products, and opt for gentle, non-stripping products for the rest.
2. DON’T JUMP RIGHT INTO MAXIMUM STRENGTH
If 2.5% benzoyl peroxide works well, 5% should work better, right? Not always.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is using an acne treatment that is too strong for their skin or using it too often. Sure, you can use 5% benzoyl peroxide three times a day, but only if your skin needs it. Always start with the lowest concentration and build up to where your skin is content. It’s easier to use a gradual approach than to mess up your skin and back-track.
3. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS
Some products, especially an acne treatment, can cause problems if you don’t apply it as directed. You might end up with worse clogged pores and blotchy, red, irritated skin.
Skincare companies are great at putting full directions on their products, especially for an acne treatment.Follow the directions to receive the best results.
4. ALL-OVER TREATMENT
If you want to get the most out of your acne treatment you should apply it all over your problem areas instead of just spot treating. An acne treatment like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol should be applied directly on clean skin to be most effective. Of course, you can spot treat only, but what about the spot beside it that’s already brewing a pimple?
5. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
Treat your acne treatment like gold and use it sparingly. You don’t need a lot for it to work, and skincare isn’t cheap! Apply a pea-sized amount to your fingertips and dot it on your problem areas, then spread it evenly over the entire area.
6. ONLY USE ON DRY SKIN
Don’t apply your acne treatment on damp skin. Damp skin is more easily penetrated, making your acne treatment even more potent and irritating. The last thing you need is more bumps and irritation! Trust me, your acne treatment will work much better on clean, dry skin.
7. BE CONSISTENT
You also need to be consistent. Regularly forgetting to use your acne treatment won’t give you the results you want.
8. BE PATIENT
While you’re being consistent, you also need to be patient.
With an acne treatment, you may notice some immediate improvement, but most of the results come after a period of consistent use. For some people, this might mean waiting 6 weeks, for others a few months. The results will come if you’re patient.
9. IT GETS WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER
This is a hard pill to swallow, I know, but it’s so important to understand this.
Purging is common for an acne treatment, so you can expect your skin to get a little worse for a while before it starts to improve. Expect dryness, flaking, redness and even some light breakouts – this is normal. Push through this initial purge and you’ll have clear skin waiting on the other side!
Don’t skip out on the moisturizer just because your acne treatment is doing the brunt of the work. Our skin needs the added moisture during this time especially, and not moisturizing can lead to worsened acne and damaged skin.
11. PROTECT YOUR SKIN
I can’t stress this enough. When we use an acne treatment our skin is especially sensitive to the sun. This means that sun exposure can not only worsen acne and existing acne marks, but it can undermine your skin’s ability to heal, undoing all the work of your acne treatment.
12. DON’T STOP USING IT
If you want to keep seeing results, don’t stop using the product. Your acne isn’t gone, your acne treatment is just keeping it under control.
You can try to scale back your use gradually, but don’t stop using it altogether once you start seeing results.
The last thing you want to do is sabotage your skin care routine by misusing an acne treatment. Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most out of your acne treatment so that clear, beautiful skin is within your reach.