As we get older, additional health issues occur—most of which we do not become fond of. One common issue is acne. When you’re in your teens, you expect to go through the terrible acne phase and then grow out of it at some point—before you reach adulthood—however, that’s not always the case. I am in my 20s and I still have that annoying breakout that happens at the most inopportune times. Some women I know in their 40s will have full breakouts and find themselves making an appointment with their dermatologist. There are so many ways to prevent acne, among having a good cleaning regimen and also a healthy diet. Here are the top 5 most common acne treatment mistakes:
1. Not trying an acne treatment long enough
We cannot always expect an overnight miracle treatment—as much as we would want a quick fix. The truth is that our skin reacts very slowly to treatment no matter how sudden a breakout may occur. The worst part: things get worse before they get better. When we begin a new product or new regimen, the best thing to do is give it at least a month before we start complaining about it not working. The treatment starts working from the inside out. So it will take all the dirt and bacteria growing under your skin and pull it out to the surface to be cleaned and removed. While some people do experience inflammation—often mistaken for an infection—giving a new treatment at least a month will help you decide whether or not you should continue it.
2. Trying too many products at once
Layering on the newest miracle creams won’t work “extra” good on your skin any faster. You could be doing more damage than good. This goes along with the first mistake. When we don’t see results fast enough, we move on to another product to see if we find better and greater results. The result may just be irritated skin, or another breakout, from piling too much on and stressing your skin out.
3. Over-scrubbing and over-cleansing the skin
Trust me, I’ve been there, the product won’t work any better or faster by using it more than recommended. Scrubbing your skin too often and too hard will worsen your acne and cause more wrinkles in the long run. Acne does not come from dirt so over-cleaning your face will do nothing but irritate the bacteria that are there—causing more acne.
4. Popping and picking at pimples
We are all guilty of this—even me. But I stopped popping any pimples on my face the second my mother told me about a patient of hers who ended up with a hole in her face the size of a golf ball from popping her pimples and causing an infection. This is a true story. Popping pimples prolongs the healing time and increases your chances of leaving a permanent scar on your face. It can lead to swelling, redness and an infection. Even if you have a sexy date in 40 minutes and a pimple decides to the third wheel it—do not pop your pimple. Treat it!
5. Stopping the use of acne medication once it clears up
Much in the same way we shower every day, you should wash your face every day using what works for you. If it is a prescribed medication, never just stop, taper off from twice a day to once a day then once every other day then twice a week, etc. Acne will take about the same time to return as it did to go away: 4-6 weeks.