From strong acids to at-home zit-zapping devices, we all have our favorite ways to keep those breakouts at bay. But as much as we know how to take care of our own complexion, dermatologists always seem to have another trick up their sleeves. To help you improve your acne arsenal, we asked five dermatologists to share their best-kept secrets for cleansing skin. The best part? Every one of them does the job fast.
1. Swap your hair products
“Most people don’t realize that everyday hair care products like shampoo and conditioner can cause skin problems, including acne and breakouts,” says Iris Rubin, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of SEEN Skin & Hair Care. “That’s because these products come into contact with the skin when rinsed off and run off the scalp, face and body in the shower. But here’s the catch: when you rinse these products off, they can leave residue on the skin that lasts for hours. This residue is transferred from the hair to a towel or pillowcase and then to the skin. To make matters worse, if your shampoo or conditioner contains pore-clogging ingredients, like coconut oil, certain waxes, and even polymers, you could roll around in it on your pillowcase all night. That’s why it’s important to wash your pillowcase and towels at least once a week.
“People with acne-prone skin need to take a close look at their skin and hair care to make sure it’s non-comedogenic (doesn’t cause breakouts). Sometimes all it takes is replacing your regular shampoo or conditioner with a non-comedogenic, acne-prone skin-safe shampoo, like SEEN, to help clear breakouts quickly.
2. Apply a layer of salicylic acid under a pimple patch
“What’s even better than leaving a pimple alone is dabbing a spot treatment with maximum-strength acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid,” says Sandra Lee, MD (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) , board-certified dermatologist and founder of SLMD. Skin care. “Let it dry, then seal in the salicylic acid with a salicylic acid pimple patch. Leave it on for a few hours, then repeat. I like this hack because it doubles the salicylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-pore properties.
3. Book a professional-grade chemical peel
“When a red, angry pimple pops up, there are a few go-tos that I rely on simply because they work fast. A topical steroid lightly applied to the skin will help, as will a professional chemical peel, which most people associated with skin maintenance,” says board-certified dermatologist Papri Sakar, MD. “Salicylic or glycolic acid peels can help reduce the size of a super inflamed cyst, but there are also many combination peels which also use a small amount of several different ingredients. Salicylic acid is the easiest to use because the skin doesn’t necessarily need to “peel” for it to work. The treatment is quite quick – it takes 20-30 minutes in the office – and I usually treat the whole face rather than an isolated rash… If you’re in a hurry and need a quick fix, a peel usually works well.
4. Try topical steroids
“A pimple can appear as a small, asymptomatic red bump, a small pustule with a white dot in the center, or a deep, painful cystic acne pimple,” says board-certified dermatologist Kseniya Kobets, MD. “If you have topical steroids at home, like over-the-counter hydrocortisone, it’s worth using them as a spot treatment for a few days to a week, especially if you develop irritation or sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide or with salicylic acid to soothe active pimples.However, one caveat when using topical steroids: applying them all over the face or long term is not a good idea as it can lead to thinning skin, dilated blood vessels, stretch marks and even worsening acne.”
5. Use a few drops of Visine
“A lot of people ask me what to do if they get a pimple when traveling because many of us get pimples when we’re away from home due to increased stress, dirt and impurities getting on our skin. skin. I advise people to travel with Visine,” says Nazanin Saedi, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Plymouth Meeting Dermatology. “Over-the-counter eye drops contain tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, a vasoconstrictor that constricts blood vessels superficial to temporarily reduce redness.However, you only want to use Visine on a pimple for a maximum of a day or two, as it may cause rebound redness.