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How to Treat a Sudden Acne Breakout

author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
How to Treat a Sudden Acne Breakout
A young woman washing her face in front of a bathroom sink. Photo Credit: TopPhotoImages/iStock/Getty Images

Hormonal imbalances, stress, travel and even some medications can make your face suddenly break out with unsightly blemishes. These can be embarrassing, difficult to conceal and even painful. But according to “Allure,” these types of breakouts are often temporary, and you can help speed up their disappearance by applying acne treatment products in the morning and at night. Rather than squeezing pimples, which can make them worse, use oil-free, medicated products to clear up zits. Keep your skin clean, and you'll be on your way back to a clearer, more even-looking complexion.

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Step 1

Clean your face when you get up with a foaming, oil-free cleanser that contains salicylic acid. “Allure” notes that this will help get rid of current blemishes and keep more from popping up, as well as help free your skin of the dead cells and buildup that can clog pores and lead to more acne. Use a circular motion to smooth the cleanser onto your damp face for at least a minute. Wash it off, and dry your face gently with a towel.

Step 2

Apply a benzoyl peroxide cream all over your face, and dab a little extra directly onto your pimples to help dry them up. Let this soak in for a minute or two before you move to the next step.

Step 3

Smooth an oil-free moisturizer on your face that contains sunscreen and will not clog your pores. Acne products can be drying to you skin, and moisturizing daily will help combat irritation, redness and flaking. Blemish-fighting ingredients can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, and daily sunscreen application is essential, says “Cosmopolitan.” Apply hypoallergenic sunscreen to your face and neck , putting more on during the day if you are outside.

Step 4

Wash your face with the salicylic acid cleanser again at the end of the day. Pat dry, and then apply a lotion that contains 10 percent glycolic acid to fight breakouts and get rid of dead skin cells. Place an extra dab directly on top of and around your pimples.

Step 5

Use a sulfur mask or an acid peel once or twice a week to clean bacteria from your pores and give your skin a deep exfoliating treatment. Smooth a thin layer of the product all over your clean face, avoiding your eye area, and allow it to dry before you wash it off.

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