Wait, is your pimple actually Milo Yiannopoulos?
For one, they look exactly the same. Other than the fact that they both get under your skin, they’re seemingly identical: lumpy AF, filled with white privileged pus, waiting to spew their bacteria onto the world at any opportune time.
So how do you get rid of something like Milo for good? You pop the s*** outta it.
“Wrong. All wrong.”
At least, that’s what Dr. Adam Friedman tells Very Good Light™. According to him, we’ve been treating our acne incorrectly this entire time. Say what? Essentially, instead of treating pimples as one individual battle, you need to take care of the entire face. Think of it this way: Just because you’ve slayed Milo, doesn’t mean the alt-right is going anywhere anytime soon. To solve the problem, you gotta treat the problem entirely.
So what are you doing wrong? Read below!
1. Spot treatment is a lie!
If you’re trying to treat one single pimple, then you have something else coming for you. That’s because if you have one, that usually means you have a bigger problem brewing under your skin. At least, that’s what the good doc tells us.
“Just treating what you see is half-assing it,” he tells us. “Treat your whole face, which includes your existing acne, acne about to pop up, and future ones.” You do this by preventing inflammation in your skin in the first place. This can come from many different triggers. For many people, it’s dairy, sugar, fried foods (from oil). If you’re seeing your skin become constantly inflamed, Dr. Friedman says trying an over-the-counter remedy like Differin® Gel, $13. It’s the only topical retinoid that’s readily available at your local drug store.
2. Mixing and matching just ain’t cute
“Mixing different ingredients can increase the risk of irritating or drying your skin out, or even stop your medication from working in the first place,” the doctor tells us. “For example, mixing a product containing benzoyl peroxide with a product containing a retinoid (think Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac, etc.) will actually make that retinoid ineffective. Using too much of a good thing, like combining benzoyl peroxide with salicylic acid, will also be very irritating.” Lesson learned: hold your horses when it comes to treating your acne. Use one product and stick with that.
3. Less. Is. More.
For many of us, we think treating multiple times a day means that our pimples will go away quick. That just simply isn’t true, Dr. Friedman says. “Overdoing it, whether it be washing your face three times a day, applying your meds multiple times a day, or using products meant for the body (i.e. benzoyl peroxide 10%) on the face can actually worsen your acne. All of these examples will irritate your skin, and in turn create more inflammation which just loves to make acne pop up.” Got it. Instead, try a little bit. It truly will go a long way.
4. Forget to moisturize? Ya crazy?
Many people feel that they don’t need to moisturize because they already have oily skin. That’s a common misconception, but one that leads to worse skin. “The oil made by your skin barely contributes to keep you skin nice a hydrated,” the doctor says. “So you can be oily and dry at the same time.”
With acne-prone skin, he says, you skin is already not being properly moisturized due to damage in the skin. If you’re on acne medication, your skin is even more irritated and probably dry. It’s essential, then to use the right products.
“Look for a facial moisturizer that is non-comedogenic, meaning not acne forming,” he suggests. “For day time, try finding one that has a sunscreen in it with a SPF of at least 30. My advice to my patients always is to go for well-established brands. They have the cash and capabilities to actually test their products out before you use them.” Meaning, you can definitely trust what’s at your drug store.