The Ultimate Acne Prevention Checklist


Do you want to know why that new, “guaranteed best-ever” acne tip worked wonders on your friend’s skin but did zippo-nada for you?

The answer is insanely simple: you’re not your friend.

So many variables contribute to acne. Genes, hormones, skin type, degree of oiliness or dryness, lifestyle, diet and even where you live. Skin reacts differently in Alabama humidity than it does in the bone-dry air of Arizona.

Everyone’s skin behaves differently. That’s why when all is said and done you have to develop your own personalized skin care regimen on how to prevent pimples and blackheads from forming.

Tips on How To Prevent Acne

To help you do just that, we collected 21 of the best all-around anti-acne treatment and lifestyle tips from a variety of authoritative sources.

You won’t find any voodoo spells or wacko homegrown remedies on this list. In our opinion, these are the very best acne prevention tips, the ones most likely to be effective on the widest number of men and women, teens and adults with acne.

If you can check off 10 or more of these tips, congratulations! You’re on the road to clear skin. If not, try adding one or two at a time. See how your skin reacts and which acne prevention tips are ‘keepers’ for you.

Are you ready? Let’s roll!

1. Have a routine.

First and foremost, to beat acne you need a routine, a game plan that puts you in control of what feels like an uncontrollable situation. Be consistent with your routine. It’s the only way to figure out what works for you.

2. Keep the faith.

Don’t jump from skin product to skin product or give up on lifestyle changes too soon. Give changes in your plan a chance to work. Stay the course.

3. Find a Blemish Buddy.

When you’re down, just having someone to talk to about your skin problems can relieve a lot of stress (see #5).

4. Get 7-9 hours of shuteye.

Surprised that sleep and acne are related? Many are. Sleep keeps your immune system strong and relieves stress, an acne trigger. Which leads us to…

5. Reduce stress.

Easier said than done? Yes, it sure is. But there are a hundred ways to reduce stress in your life (including the previous and next tips). If you have acne, it’s critical to adopt a few.

6. Exercise regularly.

Exercise is a great way to control stress in your life. Even walking can do the trick. Exercise also increases circulation and delivers vital nutrients to your skin.

7. And when you exercise…

To avoid body acne, wear workout gear that wicks moisture away from the body. And always shower after exercising or getting sweaty.

8. Cut the carbs.

Carbs can cause glucose and insulin levels to rise. The surge stimulates oil-producing hormones and, voilà, breakouts! Ditto sugary snacks and drinks.

9. Skip the skim.

Skim milk also has a high glycemic index. Stick to whole milk or two-percent.

10. Balance the diet.

There’s no magical Acne Cure Diet. Just eat smart. That means fewer simple carbs and more quality proteins, fruits and veggies. Keep an eye out for breakouts after certain foods so you can eliminate them.

11. Shun the sun.

Sun damages skin and doesn’t help acne. A tan is your body’s reaction to injury. A tan masks acne and looks cool, but it also increases pore-clogging oils and dead skin cells.

12. Splatter the sunscreen.

Do this no matter what time of year it is, how old you are, or what skin type you have. For most of us, broad-spectrum SPF 30 is perfect.

13. Don’t overwash.

Two washes a day are plenty to remove bacteria. Washing more often can lead to dryness and irritation. Wash once in the morning and once at night.

14. Not so hot.

Wash with lukewarm water. Grandma was wrong — steaming hot water does not clean better. It just makes a red face even redder. Who needs that?

15. Lose the loofah.

Wash with your fingertips, a soft washcloth or a cleansing brush with a rotating head. A mesh sponge or loofah can irritate the skin and promote breakouts.

16. Exfoliate.

Gentlemen, that means you, too. It’s critical for unclogging pores. Use a gentle safe formula with tiny poly beads. If you have eczema or super-sensitive skin, skip this one.

17. Don’t be picky.

Sorry to spoil the ‘fun’, but a pimple will go away faster if you leave it alone. Picking, poking and squeezing drives bacteria deeper and can scar surrounding skin.

18. Read #17 again …

… And if you still can’t resist picking at that one juicy whitehead, put a warm compress on it first and use a tissue. Squeeze gently. Nothing? Stop and let it heal itself.

19. Be modest with makeup.

The fewer products you throw at your skin the better. Don’t confuse your skin with too many ingredients. Only use noncomedogenic products; they won’t clog pores.

20. Moisturize.

You heard moisturizers make acne worse? Not true. Use small amounts after applying any acne medicines. You’ll love the results.

21. Medicate.

Of course, we have our favorite medicine (find it here). But we know there are others. The best ones use salicylic acid to clean pores and benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria.

Finally, if your lifestyle and skincare regimen already include most of this advice on how to get rid of acne, but you still have skin problems, maybe it’s time to see a doctor. But there’s a good chance that all the advice you need to treat acne is right here!