- Detox your skin.
Adult acne is a common complaint that can be persistent and difficult to treat. The first step in controlling acne is to stop over-scrubbing, over-treating and over-touching your skin. Using too many skin care products can irritate skin and worsen breakouts. Stop using them and wait a few days to see if your skin calms down. Then try adding products back slowly, one at a time.
- Calm and treat existing pimples.
Use an over-the-counter product with salicylic acid or ask your dermatologist for a topical prescription medication that contains benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin. If your skin doesn’t respond, ask whether a short course of a low-dose antibiotic may be helpful or if your acne might be related to another condition.
- Fine-tune your diet.
For some people, certain foods can worsen acne. The culprit may be chocolate, dairy or a salty snack food. Try keeping a food diary for 6 weeks. When you experience a breakout, look back at the foods you ate two days earlier. Once you’ve figured out the suspected acne trigger, eliminate that food from your diet
- Moisturize your skin regularly.
Extremely dry skin can have an acne-like reaction, so use a soothing moisturizer every day. Try one that includes a calming agent, such as Strivectin SD Sensitive Skin. These skin care products can help protect your skin from the drying elements and give it a chance to heal.
- Rely on a retinoid.
Retinoids help keep pores from clogging up with dead skin cells and breaking out all over again. Ask your dermatologist about prescription retinoids, which are excellent, or try one of the over-the-counter products available from ROC, Oil of Olay, Neutrogena or Shiseido, which are also very good.
- Live well.
Adult acne often is related to stress and tension. To reduce stress in your life, try deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or another activity like tai chi. Be sure to get enough sleep—at least 7 hours a night. Well-rested skin is healthy skin. Limit your consumption of alcohol, which can worsen acne in some people.
- Try a home remedy.
Home remedies that can heal blemishes fast include toothpaste, contact lens solution and tea tree oil. A dab of toothpaste overnight, a bit of contact solution, or a drop or two of tea tree oil may help reduce inflammation and redness and dry out a blemish rather quickly.
- Reach for an OTC steroid cream.
Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream (1%) can help reduce skin redness and irritation fast. You can also use hydrocortisone for other occasional minor skin irritations.
- Talk to your dermatologist.
Stubborn cases of adult acne that don’t respond to other treatments require stronger methods. Ask your dermatologist to inject a tiny bit of steroid solution into the blemish. For widespread breakouts, prescription gels such as Epiduo and Duac can clear skin quickly—in as little as a day.