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Hey guys, I've been reading these boards for about five months now and I just wanted to compile a basic list of all the essential acne skin care details that everyone should know about when attempting to combat acne. Here it is:

1. Use a mild cleanser
Due to clever marketing campaigns, many people mistakenly believe that they must use a powerful medicated cleanser in order to cure their acne. This is not the case. In nearly all cases, the medications in the cleanser will not be able to cure acne because it is immediately washed off. In fact, these medicated cleansers are very likely to cause irritation and should be avoided. A simple oil-free, gentle cleanser is essential.

2. Never use too much of a product.
If it says to use a pea-size amount, don't get anxious and use a lot more than that in hopes that it will work faster because it won't. Using too much causes unnecessary irritation and, often, this irritation leads users' to quit using the treatment before it has time to work. Also, you should never combine acne treatments in hope that it will be twice as effective. Some people will use a medicated face wash, a medicated wash cloth, and two medicated topicals. This is highly damaging to the skin and only worsens the condition.

3. Don't stop a treatment until you've given it time to work.
Many people stop using a treatment before it has time to work it's magic. These people then mistakenly believe that the treatment does not work. However, most topicals take at least a couple of months to start working and it may take six months to experience significant results, but eventually they will work. Stopping right in the middle in the worst thing you can do because you cause acne to come out but since you don't stay on the treatment, you never allow it to go away. Essentially, you walk away with a worse case of acne than you started with and you blame it on the topical when really it's because you didn't use it properly.

4. Don't scrub your face after washing; either pat dry or let it dry naturally.
Scrubbing spreads bacteria and you want to minimize the spread of bacteria. Along these lines, you also want to change your pillowcases daily. This isn't that hard: buy a pack of white t-shirts and put one over the pillowcase each night. The next night, you use the other side of the pillow and the night after that, you turn the t-shirt inside out.

5. Use a moisturizer with an SPF.
People mistakenly believe that if they have acne, they should keep their face dry at all times and they think that using a moisturizer will make their acne worse because it will make them more oily. This is not the case. Regardless of whether or not dry skin causes an increase in sebum production, it is better for you face to be healthy and replenished. Just because you have acne, doesn't mean you have to suffer through dry, flaky skin as well.

6. Be prudent about what you eat.
Without getting into a topic that doesn't seem to have a resolution, I just want to say that although many educated people will claim that diet isn't related to acne, it definitely couldn't hurt to have a healthy diet. In regards to acne, I think the best one can do is simply to limit their intake of carbs. This basically means cutting out unnecessary sugars, which most people should do anyway. Along these lines, you should limit intake of juices and sodas. Although these may taste good, they don't help your body at all. Water is something that is more effective at quenching thirst and it serves numerous physiological functions as well.

7. Exercise.
This just generally makes you more healthy. WHen I sweat, I imagine that my pores are getting a chance to breathe and let all the bad stuff out. It also makes you feel better about yourself and your body.

8. Oral antibiotics should be avoided.
Sure, you may see some short term results, but in the long run they cause much more harm than good. Often times, the acne comes back stronger because the milder case of acne was killed, but a new strand of bacteria develops in response to this. I'm not sure why physicians still prescribe these.

9. Don't hesitate to try Accutane.
Accutane is a drug that needs to be respected, but as long as it is not abused, there should be no problem. Usually, you will experience less side effects with accutane than you will with topicals such as benzaclin and tazorac. I know a lot of people who took accutane in high school and I thought they were crazy either because they didn't have that bad of acne or because I thought they should just let it run it's course rather deal with the risks of accutane. However, now I see these people and their faces are so clear and I think to myself that I should have considered it as an option. These people don't have to worry about acne anymore and they stopped it before it became a problem and before they had to suffer through years and years of torment.

10. Don't hesitate to use a foundation.
This applies even to guys. You may fear that it may cause you to break out, but as long as long as you pick something non-comodomgenic, you will be fine. It is better than having to worry about people looking at your ugly spots or red face.


ALTHOUGH I HATE HAVING ACNE, IT HAS DONE MANY POSITIVE THINGS FOR MY LIFE! For example, I now eat healthier and this will help me for the rest of my life. I exercise regularly and I have a body that I am very proud of and acne was all the reason I needed to motivate me to go to the gym and now I love it. I also take much better care of my skin than other people. When people who never experienced acne are older, they will have wished they took as could of care of their skin as I do now.





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