ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Keep Acne Under Control

Updated on October 20, 2016
Jayne Lancer profile image

A beauty consultant by profession, Jayne has been advising on correct skin and hair care, makeup, and other cosmetics for over 20 years.

Acne is always distressing. It ruins looks and depletes self-confidence. But the pitted scars it leaves will mar your face forever, and that's even more distressing. To minimize long term damage, it's vitally important that you keep your acne under control.


If you suffer from acne, you've no doubt encountered plenty of advice on how to get rid of it once and for all. In truth, however, there is no cure and you probably won’t be able to get rid of it completely until it’s run its course.

But there are ways to keep it under control and make it less noticeable to others.

Some Facts About Acne

Acne is marked by spots, pimples, pustules, blackheads, and whiteheads caused by hormonal imbalances.

An excess of androgenic (male) hormones prompts an increase in sebum production which blocks the follicular glands (pores). As a result, sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria build up to form "spots". When spots are spread over a large area—face, neck, shoulders, and back—the condition is referred to as "acne".

Hormonal changes that cause acne are triggered by puberty, pregnancy, the pill, menopause, menstruation, and stress.

Pubescent acne is properly called acne vulgaris. If the condition reoccurs later in life or extends beyond puberty, it’s called acne tarda.

Caring for Acne Prone Skin


Keep affected areas as clean as possible—but not with soap, since this only exacerbates the condition. Best is a mild, soap-free wash emulsion formulated for acne prone skin. Check product ingredients for tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide. These inhibit the growth of bacteria and thus the spread of acne.


Keeping acne at bay isn’t about drying out the skin.

Cleansers formulated to treat acne tend to strip the skin of its natural barrier. To compensate, it produces more sebum which causes more congested pores and more spots. Prevent this by applying an oil free moisturizer after cleansing.

If using toner, choose one for sensitive rather than oily skin; this has a less drying effect.


A clay mask applied once or twice a week will not only draw out impurities and minimize blackheads, it will leave your face feeling pampered—that can't be said for many acne remedies.

Never use facial scrubs. To exfoliate, apply a chemical peel with fruit acids once or twice a week.

A clay mask applied once or twice a week will not only draw out impurities and minimize blackheads, it will leave your face feeling pampered.
A clay mask applied once or twice a week will not only draw out impurities and minimize blackheads, it will leave your face feeling pampered. | Source

Getting Medical Help

If nothing you do seems to help, visit a doctor who can prescribe a more effective treatment.

Anti Acne Medications

Medical treatments vary according to the severity of the condition, but you can expect your doctor to prescribe an anti acne medication like tretinoin, which is a synthetic form of vitamin A. Applied topically, it works as a chemical peel to open pores and disperse blockages.

A good option for women is the so-called "progesterone only pill" (better known as the "mini pill") which counteracts the hormonal imbalances that cause acne.

Alternative and Homemade Treatments

It’s a good idea to complement orthodox medicine with alternative and homemade treatments, especially during times when your skin seems stressed by chemical medications. Herbal remedies with sage, for example, are gentle and highly effective.

Makeup to Cover Acne

Even if you’ve managed to get your acne problem under control, you’ll always have a spot here or there. The only thing to do is cover it up with makeup until it’s gone.

Spots and acne are hard to disguise, but it can be done with the right cosmetics.


Medicated concealers may seem like a good idea, but they tend to be dry textured and leave the skin looking flaky. What you need is a dense, creamy product. Although such concealers are not medicated, they are usually noncomodogenic, meaning they won’t aggravate acne.

Always choose a shade that matches your complexion exactly—too light will highlight blemishes, and too dark won’t cover at all.

Apply with a concealer brush, then dab with translucent powder to leave a matte finish. For best results, your foundation should go on before your concealer.

Wash your concealer brush with a mild shampoo after every use to prevent the spread of bacteria. Brushes can take a while to dry completely, so you might want to invest in two or three, depending on how often you reapply throughout the day.

Color Corrector

Neutralize redness with a green color corrector applied beneath your foundation. It won’t hide spots, but they will appear less inflamed, making them easier to cover with regular concealer.


Powder takes the oily shine off acne prone skin. Use a loose, noncomodogenic product applied with a cotton pad. This hygienically serves as a disposable applicator and actually works better on problem skin than a brush or powder puff.

Blotting Papers

Blotting papers are a godsend, especially for men. They leave the skin with no visible trace of powder and, because of their handy size, can be slipped into a trouser pocket and used throughout the day to counteract shininess.

Cotton pads hygienically serve as disposable applicators and actually work better on problem skin than a brush or powder puff.
Cotton pads hygienically serve as disposable applicators and actually work better on problem skin than a brush or powder puff. | Source

Your Hair

Greasy hair can exacerbate acne.

If you are prone to breakouts on your forehead, shoulders, or the back of your neck, wear your hair short or in an up-swept style, and avoid bangs.

Alternatively, keep your hair squeaky clean by washing daily, although this can make greasiness worse.

The Dietary Myth

Science has proven that sweets and greasy foods like hamburger, fries, chocolate, and candy have no effect on acne; they neither improve nor worsen the condition. That shouldn’t, however, be an excuse to eat junk—a healthy diet is essential to well-being and always improves overall skin quality.

What You Should Never Do

Whatever you do to keep your acne at bay, don’t pick. Picking and squeezing result in scarring, which is far more difficult to get rid of than acne.

© 2014 Jayne Lancer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)