How To Get Rid of Acne: The Ultimate Guide

21 Easy Things You Can Do Today To Get Rid of Acne Fast and Naturally

by Thank Your Skin | Last Updated: June 27th 2016


How To Get Rid of Acne Fast and Naturally

Acne happens for a number of reasons. It can be due to your diet, genetics or the products you use.

However, despite the vast amount of causes, acne can be treated- fast and naturally.

In fact, there are a lot of things you can do to end your skin’s misery.

In this article we show you not just one, but 21 of the best ways to get rid of acne for good.

Nutrition and Diets

This probably isn’t the first time you’re hearing about the link between diet and acne. After all, it’s one of most studied causes of acne. And it’s still a continuing quest as experts are determined to find more evidence. But what makes experts blame food? Well, you’re about to find out.

1. Try a low glycemic diet​

Get Rid of Acne with Low GI Diet

If you’ve been constantly browsing for a solution for your acne, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered the low glycemic diet in your search. 

It’s really a popular topic among acne sufferers who are looking for ways to get rid of pimples.

Low glycemic diet can sound intimidating, or even too technical at first; but what it simply means is cutting out food items that can cause your blood sugar to spike.

Simple carbohydrates such as sugar and rice are the best examples.

What Is The Glycemic Index?


Glycemic index is a ranking, which scales from 10 to 100, that can tell you how fast a food is broken down and absorbed by your body. It measures food’s effect on your blood sugar level.

Food items that score 55 and below belong to the low glycemic index group. Sweet potatoes and most fruits belong to this category.

In contrast, foods that score between 70 and 100 are categorized as the high glycemic group. Examples of these foods are white rice and sugar.

How’s glycemic index related to your acne?

When you eat a certain food that has a high glycemic index, it causes your blood sugar to increase. This triggers the production of free radicals as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines in your body.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines, in case you’re curious, are a form of protein that trigger a systemic inflammation. And when there’s inflammation, there’s (you guessed it right!) acne.

Aside from causing inflammation, high glycemic foods can also increase your hormones, which then trigger your oil glands to produce more sebum and bumps on the face.

But what about low glycemic foods?

Well, studies point out that eating a low glycemic diet can improve acne naturally. The Kitava study, in case you haven’t heard of it yet, is a great example of this.

  • Kitava is a small island located in Papua New Guinea. The people on the island eat mostly starchy plants, with no sugar, cereals or even dairy.
  • Upon assessment, not a single person in Kitava has had acne- even those adolescents hitting puberty. There aren’t even any cases of heart problems, cancer or obesity.

When fat or protein is added to a carbohydrate-based meal, it can lower a meal’s glycemic index. This is because fat and protein can slow down your digestion.

Best example to this is the strips of chicken you can add to your bowl of pasta.

Key Takeaway:

To follow a low glycemic diet, here are some of the food items you can include in your plan:

Low GI Foods to Include in Your Diet

2. Skip dairy and milk

Eliminate Dairy Products to Treat Acne

Milk and dairy are widely known to cause acne. There are actually a lot of studies to back this up.

Apparently, it’s the growth hormones found in these products that are causing pimples. Take for example milk.

Milk contains IGF-1 which is a growth factor intended to help baby cows grow big. For your skin, this hormone makes your skin produce more sebum and causes dead skin cells to clump up together.

Another trigger for acne in milk and dairy products is casein, which is basically a protein. Our bodies sometimes have difficulty digesting casein and it results in inflammation.

But what about the other dairy products? Can they cause zits, too?

Experts’ short answer is yes, and there’s evidence for that claim.

  • Dairy products are hard to digest overall. This means that they can stay in your gut longer than they’re supposed to.
  • The longer they stay there, the greater the chances of them rotting and harboring microorganisms. Once the toxins build up , your skin will be forced to help with elimination.

While dairy and milk can trigger acne formation, it doesn’t mean that all people who drink milk will develop acne. If that is true, then there wouldn’t be a single person without acne today, right?

Key Takeaway:

Acne is caused by a lot of different factors and if you are particularly predisposed, then it’s best if you can avoid milk and dairy products in general.

Almond milk is one of the best alternatives to cow’s milk you can get- that is if you’re not allergic to nuts.

3. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods

Best Ways To Get Rid of Acne

Acne is a form of an inflammatory disease and eating foods that can contribute to this inflammation is like adding insult to the injury.

The typical diet today is rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, which actually have high inflammatory properties. This includes those corn chips, chocolate cake and chicken wings you’re finding hard to resist.

Aside from these fatty acids, your intake of milk, sugar and junk foods can also cause acne. As discussed earlier, foods that have high glycemic indexes can also trigger an inflammatory response in your body.

So, what to eat instead?

To counter the effects of the high Omega-6 fatty acids in your diet, you should look for foods that are rich in Omega-3. Fatty fishes and nuts are great examples of this.

Check out this amazing infographic from DrAxe.com:

15 Omega 3 Foods

Source: Draxe.com

Adding probiotics to your diet is also an excellent idea.

Probiotics can help tame the inflammation in your gut, and eventually the inflammation in your skin.

  • Your digestive system plays a major role in keeping you and your skin healthy. It’s what prevents the pathogens or harmful substances you ingest from fully penetrating your system.
  • If your gut’s health is impaired, your immune system suffers. It will trigger an inflammatory response to ward off pathogens and harmful bacteria.

This is where probiotics enter the picture.

However, with several strains, you should note that not all probiotics are created equal. For your skin, you should look out for strains that can provide your gut with loads of the good bacteria.

The Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are the most prominent ones you should look out for. If you can find a food based vitamin, even better!

When looking for a probiotic source, always consider how much live bacteria there is. The best source you can get includes raw and fermented foods.

Key Takeaway:

Probiotics, when taken internally, line your gut to create a barrier which prevents inflammation from happening. Topically, probiotics work the same way by creating a protective shield against bad bacteria.

4. Drink water, water, and more water

If you’re looking for a cheap solution to your acne, I’d have to say that water is one of the most affordable home remedies you can get.

In fact, water has a lot of benefits not only for your skin but for your general health as well. To begin with, water can help your kidneys in flushing out toxins from your body.

In case there isn’t enough water to help your kidneys do their jobs, your body finds another way to eliminate the accumulated toxins- that means your skin.

Aside from toxin removal, water is also essential to keeping your skin hydrated. When your skin is dry and dehydrated, it causes your pores to get smaller and release more sebum as a way to compensate.

Smaller pores mean an increased chance of toxins and dirt getting trapped. More oil, on the other hand, translates to more zits.

So, how much water do you need?

First, you need to know how heavy you are. You need to divide your weight in ounces by 2 to know how much water you need to keep your body hydrated.

Water helps get rid of acne and pimples

Say, for example, you weigh 160 lbs. This means that you’ll need 80 ounces of water a day or more, depending on your level of activity and your body’s needs.

Sodas, carbonated drinks and fruit juices aren’t included so make sure you only include water when counting glasses.

Key Takeaway:

Keep your body well hydrated to avoid acne; however keep in mind that too much water can also have an adverse effect on your body, such as your blood getting too diluted.

5. Include superfoods in your diet

While there are foods that can cause you to breakout, there are also foods that can help you get rid of acne naturally. And yes, they’re called superfoods.

What Are Superfoods?


Superfoods don’t belong to any food category.

They aren’t even classified as one. What makes them super special is the extra large doses of vitamins and minerals they contain.

They are nutritionally dense so they can help ward off diseases and illnesses to make you live longer and fuller.

Superfood for Acne

As for your skin, here are some of the superfoods that can combat pimples:

6. Stay away from whole wheat and gluten

Gluten free to get rid of acne, pimples, zits

If you’ve tried to eliminate all possible causes of your acne but still continue to have bumps on the face, then it’s probably your gut telling you that something is wrong.

Silent gluten sensitivity is real and not all people are aware that they have them unless they stopped eating gluten-rich foods.

Is it that bad?

Well, to begin with, the symptoms associated with silent gluten sensitivity aren’t as harsh as those in a full-blown celiac disease. Most of the time, it just results in a minor inflammation of your intestinal tract and subsequently, your skin.

You may also experience bloating and constipation from time to time but because they are subtle, even asymptomatic at times, it’s really hard to tell if you have it.

To check, there are actually two ways.

The first one is getting your antibodies against gluten checked. The presence of anti-gliadin antibodies can indicate your sensitivity to gluten.

Or you can just remove all gluten sources from your diet following these simple ideas:

  • Take away all grains that can contain gluten. This includes wheat, rye and barley.
  • Remember that not all gluten sources are in grain form. Even beer, ice cream cones and pizzas contain gluten.
  • Look for indicators of gluten-free products. Statements such as “No Gluten” and “Gluten Free” can mean that manufacturers have complied with the standards.
  • You can also keep an eye out for allergen statements in the products you buy.
  • Include fresh whole foods, healthy fats and fish in your diet.

As for results, you should give your system around 23 days to naturally respond to a gluten-free diet. This is to allow the antibodies from your previous diet to wear off.

Key Takeaway:

Gluten might be the cause of your acne. So try to eliminate it from your diet for at least a month to find out.

Gluten can appear in foods you wouldn’t think contain gluten. Unless marketed as gluten-free, even soy sauce and beer can have it.

7. Consume more Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega 3 Foods

Contrary to what most people believe in, not all fats are bad for the skin. In fact, there are fats that can actually help you get rid of the bumps on your face.

Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), have anti-inflammatory properties that particularly target two inflammatory chemicals responsible for breaking your skin out- PGE2 and LTB4.

If you have inflammatory or cystic acne (read: large painful zits), then increasing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids can surely help. Generally, you’ll need around 2,000 mg of this fatty acid a day to achieve its best effect.

In case you are wondering about its sources, there are Omega-3 fatty acid supplements you can try. For an all-natural approach, however, then your best bet is on oily fishes.

You just have to be very careful in selecting your fish source as some types of fish contain toxic levels of mercury. To give you a clearer idea, here’s a list of fish types that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids but low in mercury content.

  • Anchovies
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Oysters
  • Salmons
  • Trout

In contrast, you have to limit your intake of tuna, marlin and king mackerel as they have the highest level of mercury according to experts.

Aside from fishes, you can also get Omega-3 fatty acids from plant and nut oils. Great examples of sources include canola, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnut.

As for the bad fats? Make sure to avoid soybean, peanut and sunflower oil as they have a stimulating effect on the inflammatory chemical PEG2.

Key Takeaway:

Consuming enough Omega-3 fatty acids can help you get rid of your zits. However, consuming it for a long time can also cause issues with oxidative stress (read: free radicals and cellular damage).

8. Level up your diet with green smoothies

Drink Green Smoothies for Acne

A lot of people are taking interest in green smoothies. They’re healthy, quick to do and… green.

While the color can make you cringe, green smoothies aren’t really that bad. As a matter of fact, they’re delicious.

You can also add a combination of greens and colorful fruits so you won’t generally get bored with it.

And with the benefits you’ll get, I’m pretty sure you won’t get enough of it.

So here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of smoothies:

  • Its chlorophyll content, which basically gives plants their green color, has bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Smoothies are also rich in Vitamin K, a mineral that can help diminish your scars.
  • Its sulfur content can decrease inflammation. It also has a keratolytic property, which means it can help shed off skin.

Here's a quick and easy recipe for any green smoothie beginner:

Green Smoothies For Acne Recipe

Visit SimpleGreenSmoothies.com for even more awesome recipes!

It’s best if you can take your smoothie as soon as you finish making it. If there are any leftovers, just put it in the freezer and enjoy the rest later.

Key Takeaway:

Adding green smoothies to your diet can greatly improve your skin and your health naturally.

However, be careful when adding honey or maple syrup to your smoothies. Loading it with sugar can bring you more acne than prevent them.

Lifestyle Changes

9. Commit to regular exercise

Exercise and Healthy Diet For Acne

You’ve probably seen a lot of articles and studies explaining the relationship between acne and diet but it’s seldom that you read about the link between acne and exercise.

In fact, most of these articles will probably tell you that exercises can cause acne flare-ups.

While there is a bit of truth to that, the real deal is that increasing your physical activity can help lessen your breakouts. However, improper skin care before, during and after an exercise routine can really predispose you to pimples.

Your dirty sweatband, makeup or even your hands can trigger an acne. For some people, it’s the humidity in the gym that makes them breakout.

Technically speaking, it’s not the actual exercise that will make you breakout. On the contrary, exercise has the following benefits for your skin:

  • It helps increase blood flow to your skin cells while flushing out toxins and free radicals naturally.
  • Exercising can also help relieve stress, a major enemy of your skin.
  • It tones your muscles and skin.
  • Sweat has a potent bactericidal component which can kill several types of bacteria.

What type of exercise should you go for?


By now you might be wondering what type of exercise should you go for. The answer is low-stress exercises or those activities that are low in intensity.

If you do high-intensity workouts for a long period of time, it can cause your stress hormones to increase as a form of adaptation. Increased stress hormones equate to increased acne and that is something you surely wouldn’t want, right?

Don’t worry. Low-intensity exercises, despite its name, can still burn you some serious calories.

Exercise intensity levels can be measured through the heart rate and oxygen consumption of the person doing the activity. If an exercise causes an immense increase in the heart rate, it is considered a high-intensity exercise.

What exercises can you do to get rid of zits?

How to prevent exercise-induced acne

Before you get your gears and start exercising, make sure you know the basic skin care for exercisers. Without the right information , it’s relatively easy to put your skin at risk of the negative effects of exercising instead of the positive ones.

Now, take your pens and write this list down:

  • Wash your hands.

This is a cardinal rule when it comes to acne prevention whether you’re hitting the gym or just your yoga mat. Your hands can harbor thousands of bacteria and dirt and once you touch your face, it’s an instant acne trigger.

  • Wear your sunscreen.

If you’ll be hitting outdoors, make sure you slather a good sunscreen on your face and body. And remember to reapply every two hours and after you swim or sweat.

Keep in mind that a cloudy day doesn’t mean there are no harmful UV rays that can damage your skin. You should still apply sunscreen liberally.

  • Avoid walking with bare feet in the gym.

Wearing a pair of slippers, particularly in the locker or shower room, is one of the best ways you can prevent fungal infections.

  • Cleanse your face.

Exercise can help flush dirt and toxins out of your pores through sweat, but if you fail to wash it off completely, it can encourage bacterial growth.

  • Drink and hydrate.

One of the best enemies of your skin is dehydration as it can make your pores smaller.Small and tight pores can trap oil and dirt which can then lead to inflammation and, eventually, acne.

Key Takeaway:

It’s best to go bare faced when you’re hitting the gym. Makeup can clog your pores and prevent toxins and sweat from getting out.

10. Get enough sleep

Sleep, just like eating, drinking, and breathing, is essential to human health. Without enough sleep and rest, you could suffer a lot of potentially lethal effects.

Health Benefits of Sleep Infographic
  • When you don’t get enough sleep, your stress level increases and your body starts to produce stress hormones to protect itself.
  • One of these hormones is cortisol, which is known to have a direct effect on your skin’s sebum production.
  • Aside from this, lack of sleep can also contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation overtime.

This, however, doesn’t mean you can use it as an excuse to get out of bed later than you’re supposed to. Oversleeping can also bring you some health issues.

It can sound tricky but the truth is, it’s not really about the number of hours you spend sleeping , it has got to do more with the quality of your sleep.

You may have experienced waking up after a full 6 hours of sleep feeling drowsy and tired. You may also find it hard to resist grabbing that cup of coffee just to fully wake you up- even just after getting out of bed.

And just as these things happen, small but angry bumps form on your face.

So how do you ever stop it?

  • Don’t mess up with your circadian rhythm.

Biologically, our bodies respond to an internal clock which signals our system when to sleep and when to wake up. Technically, it involves light and darkness.

This means that playing with your computer or even just your smart phone at night can trick your mind into thinking it’s still day and you need to stay awake.

To ensure a good sleep, avoid using any of your gadgets at least one hour before you get to bed. It can also help if you expose yourself to natural outdoor lighting during the day.

  • Make your room conducive for sleeping and rest.

To train your mind, it’s best if you can limit non-sleep related activities from your room. If you work at home, make it a point to do your tasks in a separate area.

It’s also a good idea to take your TV out of your room to prevent sleeping distractions. If you’re going to read books, make sure they aren’t mentally stimulating, such as sci-fi and thriller stories.

Or else, a good book can keep you up all night.

  • Eat several hours BEFORE your bedtime.

Ideally, you shouldn’t be eating anything around 3 to 4 hours before you sleep. If you eat, say an hour, before your bedtime and you fell asleep, your body will be more focused on digesting the food in your stomach.

You should take note that when you sleep, your system functions at a much slower rate. Digesting the food will prevent your body from fully repairing itself.

There’s also a good chance that you’ll wake up feeling heavy and bloated.

  • Do a daytime exercise

Doing some form of exercise during the day will enable your body to release excess energy and, in turn, will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. Make sure, however, that you don’t do any exercise a few hours before your sleep.

Key Takeaway:

Having proper restful sleep could help you control your acne.

If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep fast, you can take a warm shower at night or fill your room with a calming scent, like lavender.

11. Ditch smoking

Stop smoking for acne

The studies showing the relationship between smoking and acne are a bit inconclusive and conflicting to date.

But let me show you a few of the reasons why I’m including it in this list.

Study #1:

This particular study shows how smoking can trigger insulin resistance in a person. Smoking is a known stimulant for catecholamine production, a hormone that can interfere with the action of insulin.

Study #2:

This report explains the correlation of smoking and post-adolescent acne in women. It contributes to the concept of “smoker’s acne”.

Study #3:

This study suggests the increasing Vitamin E requirement of smokers. Without the right amount of vitamin E, the skin is at risk of dryness and signs of premature skin aging.

Still not convinced yet?

Aside from aggravating your pimples, smoking also has a lot of negative effects on the skin, such as narrowing the blood vessels in the area. Once the blood vessels become narrow, the amount of blood that can reach the cells of your skin greatly decreases.

It also diminishes collagen and protein production which can mean loss of skin elasticity.

And it doesn’t matter how many packs of cigarette you smoke every day. In fact, even just being exposed to cigarette smoke can trigger inflammation and acne in some people.

Key Takeaway:

It's best to ditch smoking completely for your skin and health.

12. Limit your alcohol intake

Treat acne by reducing alcohol

While alcohol is often portrayed as a way to de-stress and relax, it actually does differently when it comes to your skin. The truth is, it can wreak havoc.

And I’m not even exaggerating on that one.

Alcohol can lower your body’s immune system. Lowering your resistance means more chances of bacteria staying and proliferating in your skin.

Drinking alcohol can also cause your blood sugar levels to spike and your hormones to be imbalanced. It can cause liver and kidney damages, too.

But should you stay away from all alcohol to get rid of zits?


Well, not all of them are bad for your skin. Some are just a little less evil, if I may say.

Aside from the actual alcohol in a drink, it’s the other ingredients in the drink that can contribute to your acne.

Take for example a clear shot of tequila or vodka. These drinks don’t contain added salt or sugar which means drinking a few would not affect your skin the next morning.

In contrast, margaritas and mojitas, which can be mixed with orange juice and other sweet drinks, can contribute to an increased blood sugar level and acne.

Red wine, with its high antioxidant properties, is often considered good for the skin. But it’s the drink you should avoid if you want to avoid rosacea flare up.

Key Takeaway:

Alcohol can make you pee more, which can cause dehydration. If you’re going to drink, make sure to hydrate yourself with water before and after.

13. Manage stress

If you’re still breaking out despite the series of acne treatments you’ve tried, it’s probably stress.

How stress causes acne?


Stress-induced acne develops during events that overwhelm you, such as exam week or before your final job interview. It isn’t just a coincidence because stress can really make you break out or, at the very least, aggravate your existing acne.

When your body is stressed, it triggers several reactions in your body. It initiates a reaction called the “fight or flight” response where the body produces stress hormones, including cortisol.

These hormones cause your blood vessels to dilate and your blood pressure to increase.

As stress remains unaddressed and these reactions untamed, it sends your immune system into an overdrive and the result is a chronic inflammation.

How to solve it?

Manage your stress. But it’s actually easier said than done.

Back then, people thought that the sun may be the cure to stress-related acne. Sunlight has been known to have a positive effect on mood as well as in stress.

Sunlight also has the capability to lower your immune system which means that it can help decrease the inflammation and redness in your skin. Being exposed to morning sunlight, at least 15 minutes, has been believed to work wonders on an acne inflicted skin.But, there’s actually more to sunlight.

Manage Stress for Acne

Overexposure can also lead to detrimental effects, such as exposure to UV rays, dryness and weakening of your skin barrier.

Additional tips for stress management:

  • Keep a journal and write down your daily thoughts.
  • Try aromatherapy. Some scents, such as lavender and chamomile, are great for easing tension and stress.
  • Get a good massage or try acupressure.
  • Take a short walk.
  • Do stretching. Some yoga poses can relieve muscle tension and strain.
  • Meditate Daily
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing

Key Takeaway:

Stress can sometimes be inevitable. As soon as you notice an impending breakout, you can use products that tame inflammation and oily skin.

14. Take supplements for your acne

Supplements for Acne

If you’ve already done an overhaul on your diet and lifestyle, supplements could be the missing piece that will help get rid of acne for good.

They are those tablets and capsules that can give your skin a radiant and glowing boost from within.

You don’t necessarily have to take all the vitamins and minerals known to man to get clear skin. Instead, you can start with these three best supplements for acne.

Zinc

Zinc has two main roles when it comes to acne prevention. First is that it helps boost cellular turnover and second, it can address your skin’s inflammation.

Ideally, you should consume around 11 mg of zinc if you're an adult man or a young adolescent boy. Women 19 years old and above should have 8mg of zinc daily.

The upper limit, when toxicity should start, for this mineral is around 40 mg/d.

Zinc, although helpful in cases of acne, still poses some threats to a person’s health, particularly when taken in excessive amount. Zinc overdose includes symptoms such as upset stomach, decreased urinary output as well as vomiting.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a widely used ingredient in today’s skin care products. It’s a potent source of antioxidants and valuable in the treatment of inflammatory acne.

Experts suggest you take around 3,000 IU of this vitamin per day for men and 2,300 IU for women. In getting rid of pimples , you can aim for a higher quantity.

Take note that vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which means that it can be stored in your body, specifically in your liver. If you overload yourself with vitamin A, these stores can subsequently burst into metabolites that can affect your liver, bones and even cause miscarriages.

Green Tea Extracts

Green tea is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, compared with drinking a good cup of tea, taking it as a supplement seems to be far beneficial and effective against acne.

Generally, you’ll need two pills of green tea extracts a day. That’s equivalent to almost 1,000mg.

It’s believed to be good not only for acne issues but also to maintain or even lose weight naturally. Green tea contains caffeine that can boost your metabolism.

Why should you take it?

Green tea has the capability to lessen inflammation and free radicals in your body. It can protect you against cancer, too.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil contains a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and D. These components make it great for repairing and building.

As a supplement, cod liver oil in gel capsule form is the easiest and best one to ingest. It can still smell fishy, but it won’t be as strong as spooning out oil from a jar.

In fact, cod liver oil supplements can come in different flavors. There’s chocolate, mint and cinnamon.

Processing cod liver in the past , however, is a different process than what we have today.

During the earlier years, cod livers and seawater needed to be stored in wooden barrels until the oil separated naturally. Modern techniques, on the other hand, are much quicker and involve cooking, bleaching, alkalinization, and deodorization.

Because of the series of processes cod liver needs to go through for its oil to separate, it gets stripped of its nutrients and compounds. Manufacturers are often left with no choice but to add synthetic vitamins to their products.

When picking out this supplement, look for its fermented version. This is to ensure that you won’t be getting any chemicals in your body.

Vitamin D

Ideally, your best source of vitamin D should be the sun. However, if the place where you live makes it difficult for you to get your daily dose of sunshine, taking vitamin D supplements would be a good option.

This vitamin is capable of reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system- both factors greatly contributes to acne.

Aside from this, vitamin D is also responsible for the release of cathelicidin and defensin. Both of which are known to have antibacterial properties.

But you have to remember that vitamin D has several forms. Cholecalciferol or vitamin D3 is the closest one you can get that works similarly with the vitamin D you can get from the sun’s rays.

Staying outdoors for around 15 minutes can provide your body with around 5,000 to 10,000 IU of the vitamin. If you’re going to take vitamin D supplements, you need to make sure you consume or reach the same dose.

Skin Care

Proper skin care doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, with the right ideas and the right products, you’ll soon be on your way to getting that clear skin you’ve always wanted.

15. Cleanse and double cleanse

Face Cleansing Acne

Acne typically happens when your pores get blocked by dirt, excess oil and sweat.

When all of these things get trapped, your body will detect it as a threat, and initiate an inflammatory response in an attempt to eliminate the threat.

This is where proper and daily cleansing plays a major role.

To prevent dirt and excess oil from clogging your pores, you have to make sure your skin is clean. The question now is how.

Ideally, you should wash your face at least twice a day. But make sure you’re not using soap on your skin.

Soap can strip your face and skin of their protective barrier and it can also cause dryness. Dryness, as mentioned above, is one of the most common causes of pimples.

Then what should you use instead?

There are cleansers specifically formulated for acne prone skin. If you’re not sure if it's for your skin type, try to look out for salicylic acid or even benzoyl peroxide in its ingredient list.

But, my soap doesn’t dry out my skin? Can I still use it?

That’s the tricky part. Acne-prone and oily skin rarely feels dry.

In fact, most people actually think that dry skin means shedding skin and flaking. While there is a truth to that, in reality, dehydration is different from getting dry skin.

You’ll know when soap has a drying effect if it leaves your skin very tight. This means that water and moisture have been removed.

Aside from the type of cleanser, here are a few tips to keep in mind when washing your face:

  • Avoid vigorous scrubbing. Rubbing hard on your skin can cause minute tears.
  • Use only your bare hands and do so in a circular and upward motion to stimulate blood flow.
  • Use only your fingertips when washing.
  • Lukewarm water is the best to use when cleansing the face.
  • When drying your skin, pat dry only. Avoid tugging or rubbing.

If this doesn’t seem enough for you, you can amp up your routine by double cleansing.

What is double cleansing?


Double cleansing, as the name implies, means washing your face twice. But instead of using just your regular facial cleanser, you use a cleansing oil before anything else.

Now, hold your thoughts there.

Contrary to what most people believe in, oil isn’t that bad for acne-prone skin. In fact, cleansing oils are much more effective and gentler when it comes to removing impurities from your skin.

Oil, by science, can attract and dissolve other oil-based substances which include your makeup, sunscreen and excess sebum. It can even breakdown your stubborn waterproof mascaras.

Using a cleansing oil helps you target the superficial layer of your skin. It mixes with the said substances and draws them out from your pores.

The second cleansing, meanwhile, works to remove the remaining impurities and oil on your skin. Because you can’t rely on pure water alone to remove oil due to their chemistry, you need to follow up with a gentle cleanser.

How To Double Cleanse

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your face.
  2. Massage an oil-based cleanser all over your dry face using your fingertips. Apply it on top of your makeup or sunscreen.
  3. Once you feel you’ve dissolved enough dirt, you can use a cotton pad or a damp cloth to wipe everything off of your face.
  4. After removing your oil-based cleanser, you need to follow up with a water-based cleanser. Use it as how you’d normally wash your face.
  5. Apply a quality moisturizer after cleansing.

How frequent should you double cleanse?

It actually depends.

In case you’re extremely oily, double cleansing in the morning can help remove the excess oil your skin produced overnight. In case you wear heavy makeup, doing it twice a day may work best for you.

But should you do it?

If you’re still seeing makeup residues around your eyes or on your linens when you wake up, your cleanser may not be doing its job effectively. Double cleansing, in this case, can be necessary.

The same thing applies if you regularly use sunblocks and sunscreen, as these products can accumulate on your pores over time.

Aside from this, double cleansing also helps prepare your face for the other products you’re going to apply. Even if you use the most expensive serums and creams, your skin won’t still be able to get their benefits if they can’t reach their target areas.

Key Takeaway:

Cleansing is essential to help you get rid of acne. 

16. Exfoliate regularly but not too often

Contrary to what most people believe in, exfoliation is important for acne-prone skin. It’s the process where you remove the dead skin cells on the surface of your face to reveal a lighter and fresher skin.

  • Naturally, your body has the ability to exfoliate itself. This cellular turnover happens at least every 28 days.
  • However, as you age, this rate greatly slows down, leaving you with dull and dry skin. The more these dead skin cells stay on your face, the more blemished and uneven your skin becomes.
  • For acne-prone skin, the rate of cellular turnover is already slower because of how pimples make your skin shed. Because of how fast your skin cells die, your body’s natural exfoliation process becomes insufficient to maintain your youthful glow.

Giving your skin the help it needs is the best thing you can do at this point.

There are a lot of options when it comes to skin exfoliation. Let me present to you two of the most common choices:

1. Physical exfoliation

Physical exfoliation requires the use of a pad, a brush or any scrubbing agent to remove dead skin cells clinging to the surface of your skin. Most of the products under this category have fruit seeds ground to finer texture or parabens as the main abrasive agents.

While it can effectively scrub off dead skin , the problem with physical exfoliation is that it can be too harsh on the skin. Irritation, redness and inflammation should be expected due to the friction; particularly with frequent and prolonged used.

For a gentler alternative, there are peeling gels you can try.

These products start off as a gel and after leaving them for a few seconds or minutes on your skin, they start to ball up- binding with oil and dead skin cells.

They are popular in Asia, particularly in Japan and Korea. And because they’re effective, it isn’t surprising to find them making their way to the Western market, too.

Peeling gels are great for removing dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. They are so gentle that they won’t leave your skin sore or irritated after use.

Because of how they work, they generally have fewer negative effects.

These gels contain fruits enzymes, sometimes include scrubbing fibers, to get the job done. Pineapple and orange enzymes are the best fruit enzymes for exfoliation.

Other products contain cellulose and carbomer to enhance the balling effect on your skin.

Some people who have tried these peeling gels say that they are gentle enough to use every day. However, no matter how gentle these products are, you should still stick with exfoliating once or twice a week- to avoid compromising your skin’s integrity.

Also, you should avoid using it if you have a fresh wound or if your face is currently red and irritated.

2. Chemical exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, is considered as a gentler option. It involves the use of a chemical that helps loosen the bond that glues dead skin cells together.

As they get “unbonded”, it becomes easy to wash them off.

Chemicals used for this exfoliation are commonly alpha and beta hydroxy acids. You’d find the same ingredients in your toners and facial masks.

Which one is best?

Chemical exfoliators are your best option if you want to get a more even exfoliation and if you want to avoid damaging your skin. Here’s our comparison of the differences between the two:

AHA

BHA

Mechanism of action

  • Helps loosen the bond that holds dead skin cells together
  • Retains moisture in the skin
  • Helps loosen bond
  • Penetrate pores to remove clogging

Solubility

Water soluble

Oil soluble

Best for

Dry and sensitive skin

Acne-prone and oily skin

Indicated for

Repair and protection of sun damaged skin

Blackheads, milia, whiteheads, acne

Common types

Lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid

Salicylic acid

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that AHAs and BHAs can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Before going out, make sure to cover up or use sunscreen.

Wearing a hat is another a good idea or you can just limit your sun exposure. It’s best to stay indoors between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s rays are most intense.

Key Takeaway:

It’s best to exfoliate in the morning to remove the dead skin cells that piled up from your skin’s natural repairing process during your sleep.

Make sure to cleanse your face prior to exfoliation.

17. Don’t forget to moisturize

Use Moisturizer to Treat Acne

If you’re constantly battling oily skin, skipping your moisturizer can sound tempting. No more greasing up in the middle of the day and no more oiliness to melt your makeup just a few hours after application.

But sorry to burst your bubbles. Moisturizer is an essential part of any skin care regimen and yes, that includes your oily and acne prone skin.

  • When your skin is deprived of moisture, it basically resorts to only two things. One involves completely stopping oil production and the other is producing excessive oil.
  • Once there isn’t enough oil to protect your skin, it becomes particularly at risk for damages. It also leads to dry skin.
  • If your skin chooses to produce more oil, your small pores may not be able to accommodate such quantity and they become clogged and blocked.

These two things end up with the same result - pimples.

In choosing a good moisturizer, you should specifically look out for water-based moisturizers. Glycerin is actually a good choice since it’s gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.

You should also search for products with the word “non-comedogenic” which means it won’t clog your pores. As for consistency, your best choice is a moisturizing lotion or serum.

Jojoba Oil is actually an excellent moisturizer for acne prone skin, so it may be a good one to add to your list.

Key Takeaway:

Moisturizers that have gel formulations are considered best for oily skin because of their high water content.

18. Wear your sunscreen

Use Sunscreen to Prevent Acne

For your skin’s overall health, wearing sunscreen is a must and it isn’t just for the summer or the cloudless days.

Even winter isn’t an excuse.

Sunscreen isn’t totally capable of getting rid of zits. What it basically does is protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.

Using certain acne products, such as salicylic acid, can cause your skin to be more sensitive. And without the right sun protection, you’re putting your skin at risk of burn and, possibly, cancer.

For proper application, you need at least 2 mL of sunscreen for your face. That’s equivalent to about a third of a teaspoon.

As for how often and when you should apply, it will depend on the type of sunscreen you’ll be using.

Physical Sunscreen

Chemical Sunscreen

Mechanism of Action

Uses physical filters to block and deflect UV rays

Relies on chemical filters to absorb and convert UV rays to heat the skin can absorb

Common Filters Used

  • Zinc Oxide
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Helioplex
  • Homosalate
  • 4-MBC

Reactions/ Effects

  • Can produce white cast on skin
  • Can clog pores (comedogenic)
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Irritating on the skin
  • Leaves stinging sensation after application

Protects Against

Zinc Oxide protects against full spectrum of UVA and UVB

Titanium Dioxide protects against UVB, but not the entire spectrum of UVA

Depends upon the chemical actives in the product

Consistency

Thick

Runny

1. Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, work fast. It will give you instant protection against the sun.

However, in the event that you got wet, such as when you sweat or go out for a swim, you may need to reapply. If none of these things happen, then this sunscreen can protect you all day.

As mentioned, for your acne-prone skin, it’s best to stick with physical sunscreens because they are gentler. They only work to deflect the sun’s rays which means that they won’t get absorbed into your skin.

2. Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens, like avobenzone, dioxybenzone and octocrylene, are more common than physical sunscreens. Upon application, you’ll need to wait at least 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun.

Unlike physical sunscreens, chemical sunscreens tend to degrade upon sun exposure which means you need to reapply every 2 hours, given that you’ll be out under the sun.

But if you applied a chemical sunscreen and stayed out for, say, just an hour, you won’t need to reapply if you’ll be staying indoors for the rest of the day.

Key Takeaway:

Choose sunscreens that have lightweight formulas so they don’t clog your pores.

If you’re going to use sunscreen, make sure to thoroughly cleanse your face. Leaving the product on your face for too long, particularly physical sunscreens, can cause occlusion to your pores (read: clogged pores).

Cleansing your face from these products is as essential as applying them. And one of the best ways to do that is, as mentioned, by double cleansing.

19. Add toners to your skincare regimen

Are toners really necessary?

Well, that depends as there are actually several types of toners.

  • Some toners are specifically formulated to help with skin exfoliation. There are other toners that can moisturize and calm stressed out skin.
  • But if you get one with the wrong ingredients, such as alcohol, using a toner can be more damaging to your skin. So, why use toners in the first place?

In general, toners are good to use if you want to get your skin extra clean It can pick up dirt and makeup your cleanser failed to completely get rid off.

Aside from cleaning your face, a toner can also give back the moisture your skin lost during washing. It can rebalance your skin’s pH, too.

Your skin’s pH is considered acidic in nature, marked between a pH of 4 to 5. However, as you use soap, which is generally considered as alkaline, your skin’s pH balance gets disturbed.

Although your skin has the capability to restore its own pH, it can actually take longer and may even result in excessive oil production. For quicker results, simply pour an ample amount of toner to a piece of cotton ball and apply it on your face.

Another great benefit of using a toner is its capability to enhance product absorption. This is one of the reasons why toners, in case you decide to use it, should be applied before moisturizers and serums.

In case you’re not using any serum on your skin yet, we did a review of the best vitamin C serums you might want to check out.

Key Takeaway:

So, are toners necessary?

If your toners contain beneficial ingredients, such as AHAs and salicylic acid, for your acne prone skin, then go for it. But if your toner contains astringent-like ingredients, then forego it.

Toners are different from astringents in that the latter has more alcohol content.

20. Treat spots overnight

While your body is adapting to the changes you made, it’s not uncommon to experience a few breakouts here and there.

But don’t fret. There are reliable remedies that you can use to treat your spots overnight.

  • Spot treatment products contain a very concentrated amount of ingredients to get rid of zits fast. It’s more potent than the products you use on your entire face on a daily basis.
  • Most spot treatment products contain benzoyl peroxide. Others contain sulfur and salicylic acid.
  • You can also use products with tretinoin for overnight spot treatment. Tretinoin can help tame inflammation.

How To Use Spot Treatment Properly


Make sure you apply a thin layer on the affected part and refrain from using products with salicylic acid and lactic acid over it as it can cause irritation.

Also, be sure to use a quality sunblock to combat increased sensitivity to the sun.

Spot treatment products work best when applied on pimple that’s just forming.

Make sure your skin is clean and there are no other products on it before you apply the product.

However, if you feel uncomfortable using chemical based products to treat your acne, you can try using apple cider vinegar. 

It’s actually very potent for spot treating as it has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.

All you need is a drop of ACV and apply it directly to your acne spot. You’ll notice your acne shrinking in size and redness the next day.

Aside from spot treating, ACV also works well on acne scars

Key Takeaway:

If your skin is red, inflamed or irritated, let your skin heal first before spot treating.

21. Ensure proper hygiene

To make sure zits stay out of your life, ensuring proper hygiene is a must. Well, you can’t just rely all the hard work of eliminating your acne on skin care products, right?

Tip #1. Keep your hands off of your face.

They’re still bound to fail if you don’t take care of yourself right. So, here goes.

Your hands can harbor thousands of bacteria. And you won’t even need a microscope to verify that.

Coins and paper bills, for example, can grow thousands of bacteria colonies. Even your smart phones and tablets are proven to have more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Now, imagine touching your face after placing your hands on these items. Yuck, I know.

Tip #2: If you must touch your face, make sure to wash your hands first

Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to avoid transmission of bacteria. It’s also one of the best ways to avoid communicable and infectious diseases.

To make sure you don’t transfer bad bacteria to your face, make sure to hand wash after handling garbage, using the toilet or changing your baby’s diaper.

Or just wash your hands whenever they look or feel dirty.While hand washing, make sure you rub your hands vigorously with a good soap. The friction helps with removing bacteria and dirt from your hands.

Pay special attention to the crevices on your hands, particularly the tips of your fingernails and in between your fingers. Don’t forget to include your wrists and the back of your hands as well.

Continue to rub at least 20 seconds or, as WHO suggests, at least two Happy Birthday songs.

Tip #3: Routinely change pillowcases and linens

Even the best facial cleanser and acne products won’t be able to prevent a new pimple from forming on your face if you still use a dirty pillow and linen at night.

As a general rule, change your pillowcases and linens at least once a week. It’s also a good idea to put your pillow under direct sunlight once in awhile to kill off bacteria.

Tip #4: Clean your makeup brushes

Apparently, acne isn’t the only thing you can get from using dirty brushes. They can also cause irritation and viral infections, particularly when they’re shared with another person.

In cleaning your brushes, there are tons of commercial cleaners you can use. But if you’re looking for a cheap and accessible option, you can try using vinegar and water.

Aside from regularly washing them, you also need to make sure that your storage area is clean and dust-free. Storing your newly cleaned brushes in their dirty old containers only renders cleaning useless.

Tip #5: No picking and scratching please

Just looking closely at your pimple would instantly make you want to pop it. It’s a bump on your face and you clearly want to get rid of it.

But popping it isn’t the best solution. Yes, it can get rid of the zit fast but its after-effect can make things a lot worse.

Just try to wait for a few minutes after picking at your pimple and you’ll see the spot getting redder and more inflamed. After a while, a scab will form as your body tries to heal the injury you created.

You’ll be lucky if the scab gets away on its own, but what if it gets infected? Or if it turned into a scar?

Now, that’s a problem you can’t pop- or even hide.

Tip #6: Skip the towel

For most of us, grabbing that towel right after we shower almost sounds like instinct. But for clearer skin, you may have to forget all about it.

Towels, although they may look clean, are considered as the most germ-infested things you may have at home. They can harbor dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells which can be transferred to your face as you dry up.

Plus, the damp and moist environment they provide enable the bad bacteria to grow and proliferate. Yuck, I know.

What to do instead?

  • Although it’s a bit time consuming, air drying is a great alternative to using towels. Because there’s no cloth or fabric involved, you don’t put your skin at risk for bacteria and microtears.
  • Use a new towel every day.
  • Have a separate towel you can use for your body.
  • Other great alternatives include using cotton pads and paper towels.

Conclusion

Getting rid of acne is not a one shot deal. It’s also more than just a single approach. There are a lot of things that can cause pimples and most of these causes are interrelated.

By breaking these connections, you can get a better chance of completely getting rid of zits.

But of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. Just like wounds, acne and your body may need time to heal. They need time to adapt to the changes you made before they can fully recover.

If you don’t see any improvement in a day or two, relax. There’s no shortcut to getting healthy and clear skin. It’s actually a way of life.

Just stick with the 21 tips we have laid out for you in this article and you'll be sure to finally get rid of acne for good.

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