TheraClear Blog

The Dos and Don'ts of Acne

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Don't wash your face too much. Wash it twice a day and no more. Over–cleansing can irritate your skin and make your acne worse.

Don't use harsh cleansers or soaps. Instead, use a mild cleanser. If you have very oily skin, use products made for your skin type.

Don't use exfoliating scrubs because they can irritate inflamed skin.

Don't pick, pop, squeeze, or otherwise mess with your skin. Squeezing blemishes or whiteheads can lead to infection or scarring. It almost always makes the acne you have worse. You should never tangle with a whitehead — they'll go away on their own in a few days anyway. If you have a pimple with a yellow, pus–filled center and you must pop it, see How to Pop A Pimple (above)

Do look for face–care products and makeup with the words noncomedogenic and nonacnegenic. No product can guarantee you trouble–free skin, but these are better choices because they're less likely to irritate your skin.

Do use an antibacterial soap or a benzoyl peroxide wash on your back and other areas where you have acne.

Do see a dermatologist to remove blackheads. They have the tools and the know–how to safely remove blackheads without causing scarring or infection. If you have just a few blackheads, use a comedone extractor, available at a beauty supply store. Using your fingers to squeeze them out can spread bacteria and can cause scarring. It's best to remove blackheads after a warm shower or bath, when your skin is soft. And always disinfect any tools with rubbing alcohol before you use them on your face.

Do wait 20 to 30 minutes after washing your face to apply a Retin–A cream. That will make your skin feel less sensitive to the Retin–A.

Do apply topical acne medications to the entire problem area, not just the zits you have now. The idea is to stop new zits from forming.

Don't pick at dark skin. Picking can leave dark spots on the skin that can take a while to fade away. It can also cause keloid scars.

Do wash your pillowcase every night and always use clean face towels if you have acne–prone skin. Dirty towels and pillowcases can harbor bacteria and germs that can make acne worse.