1. Wash your face twice daily. The first step to getting clear skin is to set up a regimented cleansing routine. Buckle down and force yourself to wash your face when you wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night. As tired or busy as you may be, taking the extra few minutes to prep your skin will reduce your acne significantly.
2. Use products with benzoyl peroxide. You can use benzoyl peroxide in the form of either a soap or lotion over your acne-prone areas. This product works to clean off dead skin and help your skin to regenerate new, clean cells faster. Look for products that contain 3% or less of benzoyl peroxide to avoid irritating your skin.
3. Try products with salicylic acid. This acid, similar to benzoyl peroxide, works to slough (to get rid of) off dead skin cells and encourage new skin growth. As a result, you may experience dry skin and scaliness around your acne, but this will dissipate over time as your skin begins to regenerate faster. Use this in a cleanser or spot treatment daily on the acne-affected areas of your skin.
4. Use sulfur-containing cleansers. Although we don’t know exactly why sulfur works as a great acne-killer, we do know that it does work. Look for products that contain sulfur to clear up your acne, seemingly by reducing oil production.
5. Use a retinoid. Retinoid cleansers contain ultra-high levels of vitamin A, which help to clean out clogged pores and dissolve away grime. You can purchase over-the-counter retino products or get a prescription for one from your doctor.
6. Find products containing azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is an antibacterial that also helps to reduce redness and inflammation and is found naturally in wheat and barley. If your acne tends to leave dark marks on your skin, try a product that uses azelaic acid to clean your pores and reduce acne-produced dark spots.
7. Use a spot treatment. Spot treatments are specialized products that you apply only to your acne spots rather than over the entirety of your face. Buy a spot treatment from your local drugstore or create your own using products you likely already have in your home.
8. Use a face mask. Face masks contain compounds that soothe your skin and kill bacteria. Using a face mask 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes to dry out your skin and clean out your pores. Buy face masks from your local beauty supply or drugstore, or make your own at home.