There are many over-the-counter products available for treating and helping to prevent acne. Some are developed specifically for this purpose, and contain acne medications and substances designed to unclog pores and reduce the chances of acne from developing. Others are simply cleansers, designed to do nothing more than cleanse the skin and remove excess oils and dirt, which helps control breakouts.
So which products are helpful, and which could actually be harmful to your skin? Soap is one of the most basic products used to cleanse the skin, and for some people is okay to use on acne afflicted areas. It can, however, aggravate these areas depending on one's skin type, skin sensitivity, and actual acne condition. That is why it is important to use a cleanser that will work best with these factors. This will help you avoid further irritation to the skin and will promote faster healing. If you have sensitive skin, stay away from fragrant soaps, as the chemicals in them can cause breakouts.
If your skin is oily, use soaps that are virtually oil-free, as products containing a substantial amount of oil will add oil to your skin, causing the pores to become clogged and subsequent breakouts to occur. Cosmetics can cause acne to worsen. Certain makeup products contain chemicals that while on the skin, clog the pores and irritate the skin, causing breakouts. If you are suffering more breakouts than normal, or if you feel something is irritating your skin, you may want to find out what is in your cosmetic products that might be causing this to occur. Instead, use cosmetics that are non-cometigenic, meaning they won't clog your pores.
If a product irritates your skin, stop using it and find one that doesn't. Product containers now contain information about what is in the product, and what it should be used for, and often times, what skin types it works best on. You can gain information by reading these labels. As mentioned above, remember not to over wash your skin, as this can cause it to become irritated and breakouts to occur.
Also, wash gently. Harsh scrubbing will not remove any more dirt and oil than gentle scrubbing, and will also cause irritation. Do not squeeze pimples, as this causes the bacteria to go deeper within the skin, and the area around the pimple to become irritated and inflamed. Instead, cleanse the area and use a toner to alleviate the problem and bring out the pus.
Be sure to choose your acne products carefully. You might even try sticking to one brand for your daily regimen, as this will help you be consistent. Often times, a specific line of products is engineered to work together, and will promote healing and prevention in the same way. Stay away from harsh products that can irritate your skin, and change products if what you are using is not working for you. Consult a physician if use of over-the-counter hygiene products isn't doing the trick.
Bjorn Gutter writes articles on health related subjects. Read more of his articles about acne treatments on acne treatment