We've all experienced a blemish in our lives, and many of us are still dealing with one (or more) right this very minute. But as much as you know to use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to treat those breakouts, how much do you really know about that actual causes of that pimple on your face? Test your acne knowledge now.Take the Quiz
Figuring out the cause of your acne is only half the battle. It's important to also know what to look for in an effective acne treatment, whether it's from the drugstore or from the department store counter. Find out all the effective over-the-counter acne ingredients and how they work, when you read more.
Pimples under the surface of the skin, especially on or around the chin, can be painful, annoying, and just plain stubborn. Making a hot compress to apply to the problem area is a great way to bring a pimple to a head, but sometimes it's just not enough. Find out how to get that pimple out fast below.
- Tea bag compress: Not only can a warm tea bag help bring the pimple to the surface, but also, the tannins within, particularly in black tea, help reduce redness and swelling.
- Patch work: This bit of advice comes from Dr. Adrienne Denese. Simply dab hydrocortisone cream on the infected area and cover with a Band-Aid. This at-home remedy will also assist in taking down inflammation.
- If you must . . . If you have a whitehead that's reached the surface and you must "pop" it, then start by wrapping tissues around both forefingers for sanitary purposes. Then, don't pop, but squeeze; you don't want to push the bacteria deeper into the skin. Once the pimple has been extracted, resist the urge to touch it, and treat with an antibacterial cream or medicated pimple spot treatment.
- If it's not surfacing: Ask you doctor about your options. A cortisone shot might just be right for you.
We've heard of medicinal plants in skin care, like ginseng or witch hazel, but did you know that applying aspirin to your skin can also have beauty benefits? That's because the effective ingredient in aspirin is chemically similar to salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate skin. You can whip up your own aspirin mask with three simple ingredients for a skin-softening, acne-fighting treatment that's simple, cheap, and effective. Use it as an exfoliating paste, or leave it on your skin for about five minutes as a mask. Either way, you should see brighter, softer skin with less dullness. For the supersimple aspirin mask recipe, just read more.
The piece: Acne Sheena Tuxedo Collar Shirt
The price: $320
Why we want it: A white blouse has an endless amount of styling potential. And while we love the look of a crisp tuxedo shirt on men, we prefer a feminine version in a soft fabric that is light and has movement without sacrificing structure. It's a tall order, yes, but this Acne blouse is constructed in chiffon with stiff cotton-pique trim and classic tuxedo bib styling. For maximum menswear style, we'll wear it with a shrunken blazer, cropped pants, and a statement brogue. To play up the femininity, we'll pair it with a pencil skirt (a high slit is necessary), pointy-toe pumps, and a sleek ponytail. The combinations are endless with a piece this classic.
Ever notice how acne seems to clear up after a day of sunbathing? Although your pimples may have disappeared, you're actually putting your skin at greater risk from sun damage if you skip protection. But sometimes sunscreen causes an even worse breakout in the end. Sigh.
"While many acne patients seek the sun hoping to 'dry out' their skin, what they normally end up with is sunburned acne," explains Dr. Ava Shamban, board certified dermatologist and author of Heal Your Skin. Find out how to choose the right sunscreen, all while keeping your skin clear, when you read more.
We loving talking about lipstick, hair, and nails, but sometimes we have to discuss the less-flattering topics, too, like finding pimples on your derriere. Nobody probably wants to admit it, but most of us have had a butt blemish in our lives. Don't fear the swimsuit, though. See how to get back to that smooth-as-a-baby's-bottom stage when you read more.
Yes, bangs elevate your Summer hair hotness level to the umpteenth degree, but are you paying the price with unwanted forehead blemishes? Hairline acne (street name "pomade acne") can be caused by the constant contact between hair and skin, which deposits debris from your styling products onto your face. Sure, your bangs are the perfect cover-up, but clear skin is the better choice. Get tips for keeping your skin clear underneath the fringe when you read more.
Travel can do serious damage to your skin's equilibrium, with airplanes, sun exposure, and stress all contributing to a vacation breakout. But you can keep blemishes at bay during all your adventures. Travel light with these bare essentials for acne-prone skin.
- Ms. Clean: Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban recommends bringing along a face wash with glycolic and/or salicylic acid. Look for something with anti-inflammatory benefits, as well, like redness-reducing Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Complexion Correction Pads ($36). Not only are these compact wipes easy to get through TSA, but they're perfect for freshening up on a road trip when water is scarce.
- Pimple destroyer: Select a spot treatment cream with at least two and a half percent benzoyl peroxide. "Benzoyl peroxide works as a preventative measure because it acts as a peeling agent, increasing skin turnover, and clearing pores of dead skin cells," Dr. Shamban explains.
- Moisture mix: Look for anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in your moisturizer. Some of Dr. Shamban's favorite ingredients include black cohosh extract, iris extract, zinc, and green tea. Try Supergoop! Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen SPF 50 ($19), which is under 3 oz., formulated with green tea, and includes another travel must have: sunscreen.
Still can't avoid a pimple while you're away? Keep aspirin in your back pocket to obliterate a spot before you can say "home sweet home."