Breakout prone? Bookmark this easy list of do’s and don’ts to get rid of acne ASAP

July 14, 2021

So you woke up this morning, and—BAM. A pimple popped up during your supposedly restorative sleep. While acne is, of course, temporary and nothing to hide your face over, if you want to get skin back to a healthier place more quickly, below are our top, super-simple do’s and don’ts to always remember.

But first, what makes acne and pimples form so fast, anyway? Your sebaceous glands normally help moisturize and lubricate your skin. However, the combination of stress and hormones can cause an overproduction of oil. This can blend with dead skin cells, build up bacteria, form clogs and trigger the inflammation that leads to blemishes.  

DON’T touch your face. 

We know how tempting it is to constantly feel the pimple to see if it’s shrinking or hurting less (those deep ones under the skin can be killers). But the oil from your hands can actually cause more harm than good, adding more oil where you least want it. 

DO apply a warm compress. Or ice it. You pick (just not the spot, literally).

A warm compress can help bring everything to the surface, which can reduce inflammation. Lie down for about 15-20 minutes and take a moment to destress. Since stress can help trigger breakouts, a little bit of relaxation couldn’t hurt. Or applying ice can help, as well. Simply grab an ice cube from your freezer, wrap it in a thin towel and hold it against the pimple for 3-4 minutes. Repeat throughout the day, which can relieve pain and reduce swelling. 

DON’T pick your pimples. 

The best way to get rid of spots? By leaving them alone! It can feel satisfying in the moment to pick or squeeze that pimple and watch it pop—but not only does it then take longer to heal, it can also lead to scarring. As tough as it is to just look at that red spot on your face for a few days, it’s just so much better to leave. It. Alone. 

Are there any products that will help? 

Yes, most likely there are acne-clearing products out there for you. Try products formulated with salicylic acid, a fast-working ingredient that clears, treats and prevents breakouts. You can typically find it in various product forms, from cleansers to spot treatments to moisturizers. 

So what’s the bottom line? 

We know it can be tempting to pick and squeeze those troublesome spots,. but ultimately it’s really best to do as little as possible: Treat it, leave it and before you know it, those pesky spots will be on their way.