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6 things to try when acne won’t clear

Posted by c cho on
6 things to try when acne won’t clear

1. Give an acne treatment about 4 weeks to work. Using a new acne product every few days may seem useful, but that approach can worsen acne. Acne treatment needs time to work. Using a different product every few days can also irritate your skin, causing new breakouts.


If a treatment works for you, you should notice some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It can take 2 to 3 months or longer to see clearing.

If you notice improvement, keep using the treatment. Even when you see clearing, you'll want to keep using the acne treatment. This helps to prevent new breakouts.

2.  Attack the different causes of acne. If you don’t see improvement after 4 to 6 weeks, try a different product. Different treatments target different types of acne and causes of acne - bacteria, oil, inflammation, clogged pores can all cause acne. The second product should target a different causes of acne from the first acne product. If you are using benzoyl peroxide and you do not see results, the second product should contain another type of ingredient, such as salicylic acid. 

    • Benzoyl peroxide decreases P. acnes bacteria
    • Retinoids unclog pores and reduce oiliness
    • Salicylic acid eases inflammation and unclogs pores

      Try 1 or 2 products, and give them time to work. Trying too many products can stress your skin, worsening acne.

3. Wash your face twice a day and immediately after you work out. Acne-prone skin is sensitive. Washing more than twice a day can irritate your skin, making acne worse.

4. Stop scrubbing your face and other acne-prone skin. If your skin feels greasy, dirty, or grimy, you may be tempted to scrub it clean. Don’t! Scrubbing can irritate acne-prone skin, which worsens acne.

5. Stay away from products that cause acne. Study the labels and avoid:

  • pore clogging
  • comedogenic
  • acnegenic

6. Spread acne medication on all acne-prone skin, not just your blemishes. Applying a thin layer on your acne-prone skin helps treat existing acne and prevent new breakouts.

7. Change pillowcases often and wash apparel that touch your face

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