How to Wash Acne-prone Skin

Dermatologists recommend the following for their patients who have acne or acne-prone skin:

  • Limit washing to twice a day and after perspiring
    Once in the morning and once at night as well as after perspiring heavily should be the limit. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, can make acne worse, so the skin should be gently cleansed as quickly as possible after perspiring.

  • Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser
    Wash the face and other acne-prone areas with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol.

  • Use your fingertips
    Apply the cleanser and wash with your fingertips. This reduces skin irritation. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge, or anything else can irritate the skin and lead to breakouts.

  • Never scrub your skin
    Scrubbing the skin does not clear acne. In fact, scrubbing irritates the skin and can make acne worse.

  • Rinse with lukewarm water
    Be sure to thoroughly rinse away the cleanser with lukewarm, not hot, water.

  • Shampoo regularly
    If you have oily hair, shampoo daily.

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Page last updated 4/14/10

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