Acne can strike at any time, but is most common during times of stress or hormonal change. While we can't always control those factors, we can at least do our part to keep outbreaks from getting worse. By cleaning our faces with a gentle wash, we can cut down on acne causing bacteria. Moisturizing with a lotion, cream or gel that won't clog pores can also reduce our skin's oil production. As for the whiteheads and blackheads that have already shown up, the best thing to do is to leave them alone and allow them to heal on their own. Of course, that's much easier to say than it is to do! If you just can't resist popping those zits and pressing out those blackheads, then at least follow these few simple tips to keep from making things worse.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water. Wash your skin care tool with antibacterial soap and hot water, or disinfect it in sterilizing solution or rubbing alcohol. The key is that your face and anything that touches it must clean!
- Next, using the thin loop of your skin care tool, gently roll out any whiteheads. Use a very light touch because you don't want to damage or scar your skin. If it doesn't pop after trying it from a couple of angles (top to bottom, left to right, etc), then it's not ready. Leave it and try again after several hours.
- Position the flat loop over the blackhead you'd like to extract and press down firmly, but gently. Do not drag the tool across your skin.
- Lastly, wash your hands again. Then wash your face and moisturize it. Clean your skin care tool and store it.
- Apply an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment containing benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or sulfur as its active ingredient. For more severe acne, see a dermatologist for prescription options.