Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on February 18, 2014

Sources

American Academy of Dermatology. "Acne: Tips for Managing." http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/acne/tips#.UW7KL_WApDE. American Academy of Dermatology. "How to Shave." http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/skin-health-tips/how-to-shave#.UW7LjvWApDE. AcneNet. American Academy of Dermatology. "How to Shave if You Have Acne or Acne-prone Skin." http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/acne_prone_shave.html. American Academy of Dermatology news release. "Tailored acne treatments help women address acne with the added benefit of improving aging skin." http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/tailored-acne-treatments-help-women-address-adult-acne-with-the-added-benefit-of-improving-aging-skin. American Academy of Dermatology. "Acne: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome." http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/acne/diagnosis-treatment#.UW7MqfWApDE. AcneNet. American Academy of Dermatology. "How to Choose Makeup, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen." http://ww

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Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Pimples, spots, zits, goobs-- it doesn't matter what you call your acne, the question is how to get rid of it, preferably for good. It all starts with clean skin. Wash gently only twice a day-- morning and night-- with a mild soap made especially for acne. Use warm, not hot, water and wash with your fingertips. No wash cloths or exfoliators allowed.

Zits aren't caused by dirt. So there's no need to wash hard or long. Think of washing as prep for your acne meds, nothing more. And sorry guys, no more using your pit soap all over your face or anywhere you have acne. Deodorant body soaps are harsh and will only make your pimples worse. The rule? Don't irritate your skin any more than it is.

Do wash quickly after exercise, especially if you wear a hat or helmet. Sweat attracts bacteria and can make your acne worse. Always pat your skin dry gently and toss that towel into the hamper. Reusing towels can spread germs.

Guys, if you need to shave when you have acne, be careful. If you nick or shave off the bumps, it could spread bacteria and make things worse. Experiment with safety or electric razors to see which is best for you. Start with a damp face and add a shaving gel or foam made for acne. Make sure your blade is sharp and shave lightly in the same direction the hair grows.

Now that your skin is clean, it's time to treat your acne. Stay away from astringents, masks, or toners. And never use rubbing alcohol. Instead, choose a product with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide designed to clear pores. Allow it to dry before adding moisturizer and sunscreen.

Yes, you really need sunscreen. First, it's a myth that sunscreen causes acne. Second, most acne products make your skin really sensitive to the sun. Look for a water-based gel or spray with an SPF of at least 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

Zinc oxide is another good choice. Don't worry, newer versions don't leave you with a white nose. Washing your skin gently will help you get to your goal of healthy acne-free skin.