Waking up to a face of pimples and textured skin can be the bane of our existence. While eating right and maintaining cleanliness can be a few ways to conquer these issues, it does help to have the right topical ingredients for smooth and glowing skin. Thanks to the internet, there are a plethora of tips and tricks to keeping our skin clear and healthy–ways that once required meeting with a dermatologist. The evolution of skincare has been remarkable, with consumers today gravitating towards products that are preventative and gentle on the skin. Just know that it’s all about effectiveness, not a price point. When it comes to the necessary items you should have in your bathroom cabinet, check out this list of 10 products that will help you get rid of stubborn pimples and textured skin.
An important step in your everyone’s skincare is moisturizer. Yes, even if you have oily skin. The reality is the drier your skin is, the more irritated it gets, resulting in acne and breakouts. Moisturizing your skin in the morning and at night will reduce the number of issues your skin faces on the regular. Make sure to find moisturizing products formulated for your skin type (usually labeled on the packaging), in which categories include oily, dry, sensitive, acne-prone, and/or mature.
It is important to note that there are different types of moisturizers out there: emollients, humectants, and occlusives. Emollients are your basic creams and oils you need to use daily. They hydrate and smooth the skin. Humectants are ingredients that draw in moisture from their environment and are great for those with really dry skin. A popular humectant product is hyaluronic acid! Lastly, occlusives are thick moisturizers that assist in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and alleviates dry patches, cracked lips, and eczema. Well-known occlusives include Aquaphor and Vaseline.
2. A Gentle Cleanser
You have to wash your face every day. This is a step you can’t skip out on. Every day our skin is exposed to dirt, pollutants, and extra oils, leaving free radicals and grime deteriorating at our skin. Because our face is sensitive to these things, we need to handle it with care. Being kind to your skin by using a good gentle cleanser for your skin type should do the trick. Using a product that gently removing makeup and dirt allows your pores to finally breathe.
When cleansing your face at night, make sure you double cleanse. This is a simple method of washing your face using an oil-based cleanser first and cleaning with a gentle water-based cleanser second. This will ensure your face is clean without being rough with your skin. Washing your face with your oil-based cleanser for 30 seconds will help melt your makeup and/or sunscreen you have on, and using your gentle water-based cleanser for 60 seconds will dive deeper in getting the dirt you were exposed to throughout the day.
3. Salicylic Acid
If you are dealing with acne-prone skin, enlarged pores, or blackheads, salicylic acid will be your new favorite product. Salicylic acid is a naturally derived acid that exfoliates the skin, geared more towards sensitive and acne-prone skin types. It does a fantastic job at brightening up sun-damaged skin by removing sun-damage from skin cells. Make sure to focus products with salicylic acid on oily areas of the skin, being wary of the eyes and mouth area.
Salicylic acid comes in many different forms. You can find it in cleansers, face masks, spot treatments, etc. It is an exfoliant ingredient that many people use to eliminate their acne, so try different products to see what works for you.
For smooth and even-toned skin, you need to apply sunscreen in the morning. Damage from the sun, no matter the weather, leads to rough and textured skin. Sunscreen is a product that protects your skin from harmful UV radiation and prevents hyperpigmentation and redness. It is essential to reapply sunscreen every two hours when outside and wear it indoors due to the exposure of UV rays from our electronic devices and from our windows at home.
Sunscreen usually breaks into two categories: mineral/physical and chemical. Mineral or physical sunscreen includes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, ingredients that leave your face with a visible white cast that sits on your face. This type of sunscreen reflects UV rays and is considered the most effective, especially for those with sensitive skin and skin of color. The second kind is chemical sunscreen which doesn’t leave a white cast and absorbs UV rays. This sunscreen usually needs 15 to 30 minutes to absorb into the skin for it to work.
5. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
If you’re in search of a product to treat fungal acne, invest in Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo. Scientifically known as ketoconazole, Nizoral is a powerful dandruff relief shampoo that not only assists in ridding dandruff but also skin fungus and skin yeast. It is an anti-inflammatory that really gets into the hair follicles, making it perfect for those struggling with fungal acne where infection occurs in the skin’s hair follicle with accompanying little bumps, pimples, and itching.
To use this on your face, leave the product on for a few minutes before washing it off. It is safe to use every day or every other day, with results seen within a couple weeks. This also pairs well with salicylic acid and any other beta-hydroxy acids.
Niacinamide is the product for tiny little bumps that keep you from having perfectly smooth skin. It’s a derivative of vitamin B which helps with oil control, redness, and irritation. When it comes to the little bumps you’re suffering from, it’s all about sebum regulation or balancing oil production. This is a miracle worker if you ever find yourself dealing with textured skin out of nowhere. You can find niacinamide in serums, toners, cleansers, and different types of creams. The best way to use niacinamide is after you have cleansed your face and alongside exfoliants and topical vitamin A at night or in the morning.
Visiting a dermatologist for the first time and asking about treating severe and cystic acne might result in some type of retinoid being prescribed or recommended. A retinoid is a form of vitamin A that helps with wrinkles, fine lines, acne, and oiliness. It exfoliates the skin and boosts collagen production over time in the deeper layers of the skin; this helps create an overall firmness of the skin and a smoother texture. There is a list of derivatives and types of retinoids that people use, the most common and gentlest being retinol. Retinol is sold over-the-counter, with many to choose from in today’s market, as it is the best and standard derivative of vitamin A you can use.
8. Azelaic acid
While you should be wary of over-exfoliating your face when dealing with stubborn pimples and textured skin, azelaic acid is a gentle exfoliator for those with a sensitive face. Moreover, the product is excellent for those who are specifically struggling with textured skin and hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid is an anti-inflammatory that treats bacteria on the face and pairs well with niacinamide–another product that helps reduce an uneven feel and skin appearance.
9. Benzoyl Peroxide
Another product for stubborn pimples many swear by is benzoyl peroxide; this is an organic peroxide that acts as an oxidizing agent, having an antiseptic effect by removing bacteria from the skin. The anti-inflammatory product unclogs pores and neutralizes red bumps and spots on the face. While a downside of using benzoyl peroxide is irritation, it is important to note that the recommended percentage is 2.5% to 5%; doing a tiny spot test first helps to see how you would react to the formula. This is fine to use during pregnancy and comes in the form of spot treatments, cleansers, and creams.
10. Pimple Patches
One of the latest skincare technologies at the moment are pimple patches. Getting rid of a pimple immediately is really difficult, especially since it continues to be exposed to the dirt, pollutants, and free radicals of the outside world. A pimple patch is able to form a protective barrier over a breakout to speed up the healing process by absorbing fluids to dry out pimples and protecting them from any picking and the harsh environment. These are great for last-minute pimples you want to eliminate.