Prevent pimples, acne, and blackheads

How to prevent acne, blackheads, and pimples with a few skin care tips.

While acne, blackheads, and pimples are not harmful to the body, persistent blemishes can severely weaken a person's confidence and self-esteem. The reasons for developing acne are complex, and thus the skin care solutions for every individual can vary slightly. Keep in mind that it is usually a combination of factors, and keep trying new things until you notice improvement. It can take up to 6-8 weeks with any treatment before your skin is completely clear.

The skin is the most visible of the body's organ systems, and therefore it is also the most apparent depiction of general health. The first thing you should do to get your skin looking healthy is to drink plenty of water and avoid toxins such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and excessive sugar or sodium. This will help the liver perform its job of cleaning wastes out of the blood. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not cause acne, although a nutritionally sound diet is a factor in the prevention of acne. Few specific links between diet and acne have been proven, with the exception of foods high in sugar.Some vitamins, such as vitamins A and E can improve the overall health of your skin and increase skin cell turnaround.

Pimples consist of oil, also known as sebum, that has blocked a pore just underneath the surface of the skin. Bacteria may become trapped in sebum causing infection, which is why you should wash your face with anti-bacterial soap at least once a day. Use a daily cleanser containing salicylic acid to prevent acne from appearing and a spot treatment for pimples containing benzoyl peroxide. Use these sparingly because they can easily cause your skin to become dry or irritated, and start with only a tiny amount. You may also want to use an oil-free moisturizer applied nightly or after you wash your face to prevent excessive dryness. While it seems that washing your face more often would prevent acne and pimples most effectively, irritation can actually worsen acne and also cause many other problems. Blackheads are not dirt but oxidized sebum that has risen to the surface of the skin. You can gently remove them with pore strips manufactured by Biore, Ponds, or Neutrogena. If you have more severe forms of acne, such as large nodules and cysts, you should see a dermatologist.


Hormones are one of the main causes of the overproduction of oils leading to acne, and stress may be a contributing factor because of its effect on hormone levels. Testosterone tends to make acne worse, which is why acne tends to be the most persistent in young adolescent males. If you think hormones are the cause of your acne, a doctor can prescribe medication to help you, such as birth control pills for women.

You should never try to squeeze or pop a pimple because this can result in nasty infections and scarring, lasting far longer than the pimple would have had it been allowed to heal on its own. Avoid touching or picking at your face or resting your face on your hands when you sit sleep to avoid transferring oil to your face. Also try to keep your hair out of your face and avoid using lots of styling products like hair spray. Be gentle with your skin, particularly around the eyes, and pat it dry rather than scrubbing it.

Topical treatments containing retinol, a form of vitamin A, will help prevent pores from becoming clogged by causing new cells to form and old layers of skin to be sloughed off. A gentle exfoliator may be effective for the same reason. Retinol will also help reduce pore size, which will help prevent pores from becoming clogged, and its regenerative properties can even improve the appearance of scarring. Use retinol products sparingly because they can cause irritation and sun sensitivity.

If you decide to cover blemishes with makeup, be careful what products you use. It is advisable to wait until your skin has begun to clear up before using much makeup at all. Stay away from makeup containing lanolin and isopropyl myristate, and also do not use products that cause irritation. Look for products that are "oil-free" and "fragrance-free". You can cover up reddish pimples with a greenish tinted cover-up stick to help balance the tone of your skin. Always carefully blend makeup so that you do not make your cover-up more obvious than your acne. One unusual trick models use is to apply a tiny dot of mascara to an acne for an instant beauty mark instead! However, this will probably not fool your friends.

If your acne is particularly persistent or severe, you should see a dermatologist. The most common prescriptions for acne are hormone treatments and antibiotics. Be sure to tell your doctor if you think you might be pregnant because some acne medications have been known to cause severe birth defects. Minor surgeries today, such as microdermabrasion can even significantly reduce the appearance of acne scarring.

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