Are You Making Your Breakouts Worse?

Anti-acne products can do wonders for your skin when used properly, but you should always avoid using too many. “I often see patients with isolated breakouts who go overboard trying to get one pimple under control and then end up with skin that’s red, flaky and itchy. They mix too many products together that should be used on their own. If you use Retin-A and add in irritants and exfoliators, it’s a recipe for trouble,” warns Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD.

Kehoe says that drying out your skin with harsh products is not the solution. “There are products with less-harsh ingredients that act as good alternatives to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, but won’t damage or irritate your skin. I like tea tree oil, flower leaf stem extract, olive and basil leaf, and white grapefruit,” she adds.

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Make sure to never use retinol during the day—only at night—because the sun will sensitize your skin. Also, make sure that you don’t overtreat your skin—you’re better off using just one product that you know works to fight a pimple rather than creating your own concoction.

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