What is the best routine for clear skin?
Whether it is one pimple or cystic acne, dermatologists are frequently asked, "What do we have to do to have clear skin?"
To clarify, clear skin tends to refer to skin that has little or no acne, roughness or spots, all of which are completely normal attributes.
If you do have acne, know that it is the result as a complex interaction of hormones and the skin. That being said, there is plenty of strong evidence suggesting that the products we apply to our faces does make a difference.
When choosing the best skincare routine for clear skin there are several factors to keep in mind. So let's get started.
Top tips for men to develop clearer skin.
As noted - acne can be a complex topic. However here are some of the key areas I suggest men to consider for clear skin.
First and foremost, you want to ensure you are cleaning your face at the end of the day. After that, the most important guidance is to look for an ultra-light daily sunscreen that will both promote healthy skin and prevent future breakouts.
What can I do for clear skin if I'm having a bad flare up right now?
I recommend trying each of these products below - all which are available without a prescription - for men who have acne prone skin.
First, you'll want to clean your face gently with a cleanser containing 2% salicylic acid rather than a scrub. Your acne is mostly caused by plugging of your pores from hormonal influences on your skin. It is NOT because your skin is not clean enough.
You can also gradually start with alternating over the counter creams. The first week or two, just try one of these every other night to make sure your skin can tolerate the treatment. Any burning means you need to stop and give your skin a break and start back slower. Any itching may mean you need to avoid that treatment, especially benzoyl peroxide. Although allergic reactions are not common, it certainly can happen. If this is happening to you, you must avoid all products with this ingredient going forward.
- Benzoyl peroxide: Start by applying a very thin layer to wherever you tend to break out. (Reminder - this ingredient can bleach your clothes/towels) Start with a benzoyl peroxide concentration of no greater than 2.5%
- Adapalene 0.1% gel: Begin by applying every other night wherever you get breakouts. If you have sensitive or dry skin, you can mix adapalene with a light moisturizer such as Cetaphil or Cerave lotion.
I have a pimple right now, what can I do?
Don’t just spot treat. This is one of the most common misconceptions around acne treatment. The goal of a good skincare routine is to prevent new pimples, not necessarily to get rid of the ones you have. However, if you do have a pimple that comes up, you can spot treat occasionally with products that include benzoyl peroxide (as long as you are not allergic) or salicylic acid. Another option is to apply a small disc of a hydrocolloid dressing and most of all, don't pick as this can lead to scarring.
How The Daily promotes clear skin in men
There are many different skincare goals, but clear skin tends to be a top priority I hear from men. There are hundreds of skincare products on the market, but very few are formulated specifically for men's skin. Using the wrong types of products can lead to breakouts and acne.
We now know that acne is not caused by dirt left on your skin. Rather, it's a result from complex interactions between your hormones and the skin.
As teenagers we generally expected some form of acne, in fact, acne impacts nearly 95% of teenagers. While adult men tend to get acne at lower rates than women, adult men are also more likely to get more severe forms of acne compared to women.
Heading into a sales call or meeting without feeling like you have your happiest, freshest skin can be equally as troubling for adults as it is for teenagers. Here's where The Daily comes in.
Additional dermatologist recommendations for acne-prone skin include:
- Any new product should be added every 4-5 days.
- Trying everything at once does not make your acne go away. Using too many products too quickly will only irritate your skin.
- You can sometimes have reactions to these products, so if you have any itching or burning, STOP and consult your dermatologist.
- If you are not experiencing irritation with this recommended skin care routine, you can increase the applications to one cream in the morning and the other at night. Sunscreen products should be your final step and should be applied over any acne medication (e.g. put on your medicine first).
- If you don’t respond after 4-6 weeks of consistent use or have any early scarring, know there are many skincare routines for men to address acne with prescription medications. It is hard to understand sometimes, but treating acne is a marathon, not a sprint. If your body is prone to acne, then understand you are controlling your breakouts not curing them. However, if you have scarring or treatment-resistant acne, some medications certainly help if you need to move your therapeutic ladder on up.
- If you are using a thick hair product that comes onto your face, usually your breakouts will be at the edges (top of the forehead, sides of your temples). Using an effective yet lightweight hair product may help quite a bit.
- Don’t be discouraged. The skin turns over every six weeks. This means that any new treatment will take approximately that much time to truly kick in and work. If it is working, keep it up!