- Use mild soaps and don’t overwash or overscrub your skin.
- Avoid abrasive sponges or washcloths.
- Use only oil-free moisturizers, oil-free or gel foundations, and powder or gel blushes.
- Don’t pick, squeeze, or pop your pimples.
- When in doubt, or if your problem is severe, seek professional help.
- Restrict astringents to occasional and sparing use.
It is important to reemphasize here that vigorous scrubbing, the use of harsh soaps (and so-called acne soaps), and the use of washcloths or polyester scrub brushes, in a misguided attempt to wash away or dry up acne, leads to dry, chapped, flaking skin— skin that is too dry and tender to withstand the often slightly drying side effects of most antiacne topicals. The notion of scrubbing away at acne is so ingrained in many people that when their skin does grow dry and chapped from overwashing, they choose to give up using their medications rather than cut back on washing.
Without question, certain cosmetics, particularly heavy, oily makeups, aggravate acne by clogging pores. Dermatologists call this condition acne cosmetica. At one time, many doctors advised patients with acne to avoid using any makeups at all. Nowadays this need no longer be the case. However, when choosing cosmetics, be sure to look for oil-free or water-based formulations and specifically for products advertised as noncomedogenic (i.e., noncomedone forming, nonacne forming). These have been tested by daily application to the skin of a rabbit’s ear for several weeks to determine whether or not they cause acne. Allercreme, Almay, Clinique, Dermage, and Revlon produce noncomedogenic cosmetics for people with oily or acne- prone skin.
Excerpted from Super Skin–A Leading Dermatologist’s Guide to the Latest Breakthroughs in Skin Care, by Nelson Lee Novick, M.D.
Last updated : 2/10/2023