It's never perfectly smooth sailing when it comes to combating bumpy acne. But the good news is that there are definitive steps you can take to keep your skin clean so that pesky pimples can quickly come to the surface and heal. The key to wiping out pimples on your cheeks and around your mouth is to keep a consistent skin-care routine featuring benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and topical retinoids. These over-the-counter and prescription-strength acne fighters do the job quickly when combined with a good cleansing routine and a healthy diet.
Wash your face with an acne-fighting wash in the morning, at night and after you work out. The best ones include benzoyl peroxide and sulfer to wipe out bacteria and gently peel away dead skin cells. Place a dollop of cleanser on your fingertips, and gently massage the wash in small circles around your entire face. Make sure to concentrate on your cheeks and around your mouth. Rinse with warm water and pat your face gently with a towel.
Run an ice cube along your cheeks and around your mouth for one minute after cleansing. This helps inflammation and red marks.
Swipe a cotton ball saturated with toner along your entire face, giving extra attention to your cheeks and around your mouth. Toner is an important step in fighting acne because it removes leftover cleanser that can clog pores, it restores the skin's natural pH balance, and it provides another opportunity to get acne-fighting ingredients onto your pimples and blackheads. Choose a toner featuring alcohol, witch hazel and glycol acids, all of which reduce oil production and help tighten pores. If you have sensitive or dry skin, choose an alcohol-free toner.
Dab a tiny bit of either 2.5-percent or higher (up to 10 percent) benzoyl peroxide onto your cheeks and around your mouth. Make sure to cover the entire area with a thin layer and allow to dry. Other acne-fighting products include tretinoin, azelaic acid and tazarotene. Speak to a board-certified dermatologist about which topical medication is best for your skin.
Scoop out a small dollop of oil-free moisturizer onto your fingertips, and gently smooth it over your entire face. Moisturizer is especially important for those with oily skin prone to breakouts because it helps put the necessary hydration back into the skin as acne-fighting products are extremely drying. Find one with salicylic acid which can help unclog sebum-filled pores by penetrating the oil glands.
Things You'll Need
Benzoyl peroxide or other topical treatment
Tea tree oil is a natural astringent that can destroy bacteria. Look for products with at least 5-percent concentration.
Eat a variety of low-glycemic foods when you notice acne on your cheeks and around your mouth. According to a study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," foods like walnuts, beans and flax seed oil are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce skin inflammation. Leafy green vegetables and vibrant fruits, such as spinach, cherries, blackberries and blueberries, have antioxidant properties that can help during the duration of your acne. Try foods rich in vitamin C -- oranges, tomatoes and strawberries -- to help prevent acne scarring.
Stay out of the sun while using acne-fighting products. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen with an SPF 30.
Refrain from touching your face and popping your pimples. Dirt and oil from your fingertips can exasperate the problem. In addition, keep your hair tied away from your face to avoid transferring any oil from your hair to your skin.
Acne-fighting products can stain sheets, clothing and towels. Make sure your face is dry before touching these things.