Step by step acne relief
There isn't much mystery about how a pimple is created. Hormones cause the body to produce excess sebum. For various reasons (usually a clog), a pore is unable to release sebum to the skin's surface. P. acnes bacteria begin to multiply in great quantities in the clogged cell, leading to infection and inflammation. The inflammation leads to the swollen red spot we call a pimple.
Fighting the causes of acne can help get rid of pimples. These are the things you can do to diminish the causes of acne:
Each of these three tactics is addressed in our recommended skin care regimen. The steps in the regimen are:
We will discuss the outline of the regimen below. For detailed instructions, click the links above.
Using a mild cleanser, you will wash your face gently and completely. Men need special directions in how to shave properly to keep from irritating their skin. Toners and harsh cleansers may dry out the skin and lead to irritation associated with the use of benzoyl peroxide. Learn more about proper cleansing.
Gentle exfoliation helps to unclog pores as well as to prevent future blackheads. Again, "gentle" is the key word here. We recommend a 1-2% salicylic acid product (or an 8% alpha hydroxy acid product, if you can't tolerate salicylic acid) along with very gentle mechanical abrasion (think washcloth) to remove dead skin. Learn more about exfoliation.
Once the skin is cleansed, it's time to eliminate the bacteria that cause inflammation. We recommend a benzoyl peroxide product with a 2.5% concentration. Don't get "maximum strength" products -- 2.5% works just as well and doesn't irritate the skin as much as a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide. And be sure to use enough! Learn more about proper disinfection.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can both have drying effects on the skin. It's important to use a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer to prevent over-dryness and irritation of the skin. Some people skip this step but it can be risky to do so. Learn how to choose the right moisturizer.