Having acne-prone skin can present a daily challenge. But there are plenty of different treatment options available to prevent and control breakouts. Here are some tips for obtaining clear and healthy looking skin no matter its condition:

Clean Your Skin

It’s important to keep your skin clean by washing it daily. The goal is to remove any dead skin, makeup and impurities that have accumulated throughout the day. Gently massage the surface and rinse with warm water. To avoid further irritation and inflammation, especially during a breakout, use a mild cleanser. Avoid scrubbing your skin, which will spread bacteria, by using your clean hands or a fresh, soft washcloth, then rinse and towel dry.

Minimize the Use of Makeup & Hair Products

Let your pores breathe… Especially during a breakout! You may be tempted to cover up blemishes, but it can worsen the existing acne. If you decide to wear makeup, try to use oil-free cosmetics without added dyes or chemicals. Additionally, your hair products can have a similar effect on your complexion. Avoid using fragrances, oils and harsh chemicals on your hair as they can drip onto your face and block the pores. For longer hair, simply keep it pulled back off your face. As always, be sure to cleanse your skin before you go bed whenever you wear any product.

Hands Off!

This may sound simple enough, but may be one of the hardest to accomplish. It’s amazing how often we touch our face and skin throughout the day. Steer clear of propping your chin or cheek on your hands or avoid touching your face in general. Pressing against skin cells can not only spread bacteria, but it can further irritate already inflamed skin. And never pick or squeeze pimples with your fingers. It can lead to further infection, worse breakouts and even scarring. Keep your hands clean and off your face.

Use Over-the-Counter Acne Products with Care

Though effective, over-the-counter acne products contain the antibacterial agent benzoyl peroxide, which can cause peeling and drying of the skin. Any active ingredients can also cause redness and scaling for those with sensitive skin. Use these ointments with caution by applying small amounts at first and adjusting as needed.

Live Healthy!

One of the best things you can do for yourself, and your skin, is to live a healthier lifestyle. How you eat and treat your body is directly related to how you look and feel. Believe it or not, fatty foods and sweets will not trigger outbreaks, but the absence of vitamins and minerals in your diet won’t help either. Foods rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene are essential to healthy skin. Including more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet will help you look and feel great. Additionally, exercising regularly can reduce stress and enhance blood flow which contributes to other acne fighting regimens. Avoid wearing hats and similarly constrictive clothing that cause excessive sweating, which can increase skin irritation and bacteria. And again, always shower afterwards to clear your pores.

Acne can be a common occurrence for many people, but injecting some of these tips into your daily skin care routine can result in less breakouts and healthier skin. If severe acne continues to plague you do not hesitate to call a doctor or dermatologist as prescription medication may be necessary.