If you occasionally get one pimple, it is like occasionally getting one mosquito bite. It is sufficient to put a little cream on the red bump when it shows up. However, if you are prone to acne, it is more like your home is infested with an entire swarm of starving mosquitoes. It is no longer sufficient to treat only the bite because you are going to keep getting bitten over and over again. In this case, you must treat the bite AND kill the mosquitoes before they ever bite you. Similarly, if you are prone to acne, you must treat the pimples as they appear AND treat the underlying conditions that cause them.
To carry this analogy one step further; even if you kill all of the adult mosquitoes, new eggs will hatch tomorrow and they will keep biting you. To solve the problem once and for all you must declare war on the mosquitoes! Kill the eggs. Kill the larva. Kill the pupa. Kill the adults. And treat your existing bites.
Similarly, to successfully treat your acne you must declare war on pimples! This means you must follow a treatment regimen that attacks the outbreak at every stage of its life cycle. The acne “egg” starts with the overproduction of oil (sebum). This process leads to pores getting clogged, bacteria growing, your immune system over-reacting and finishes with an exaggerated inflammatory response which are pimples.
The only effective way to break the cycle is to follow a treatment protocol that simultaneously treats the oil, clogs, bacteria and inflammation. The steps outlined below combat acne in all of its life stages. They are designed to treat your existing pimples as well as break the life cycle of future breakouts.
The Battle Plan:
Start by washing your face with a good cleanser. This will wash away excess oil (sebum), and kill bacteria. Take care in selecting your cleanser and ALL products that contact your skin. Many (most) products contain ingredients that can clog your pores and make your acne worse! See the article “Are You Making Your Acne Worse? – Comedogenic Ingredients” see link available at the bottom of this article.
After washing, use a chemical exfoliating scrub. This product reduces clogged pores by removing layers of dead skin cells. The gritty portion of the scrub mechanically abrades the cells away. The chemical exfoliate, which is typically glycolic, salicylic, malic, citric or mandelic acid, “dissolves” the glue-like substance that binds the skin cells together.
Thoroughly rinse your face with Epsom salts dissolved in warm water. You can even apply a washcloth soaked in the Epsom salt solution on your face for several minutes. Allow the Epsom salts, which is actually magnesium sulfate, to be absorbed into your skin. This will reduce the inflammation, improve circulation and help flush toxins from the cells.
Finish by applying either a hydrating lotion or zinc oxide. The best hydrating lotions contain hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate. This is a water binding ingredient that hydrates without adding oil to the skin.
If you have cystic or inflamed acne, apply an ointment that contains at least 20% zinc oxide. The zinc will speed the healing and rebuilding of the skin and also protect against the spreading of the bacteria to other parts of your face.