What to Do When Your Skin Starts Breaking Out

Breakouts. They happen. And not just when we are teenagers, either. Any number of hormonal or lifestyle changes can wreak havoc on our skin, from puberty to pregnancy to menopause (or male menopause) to making poor diet choices and not getting enough sleep. Anything you do that impacts your hormonal balance affects your skin, one way or another, and often, it shows up in the form of angry, red acne.


While acne is a fact of life, it is not a fact we have to accept without a fight. Thankfully, waging war on unwanted blemishes doesn’t have to cost you too much time and money. Addressing breakouts is a matter of strategy and action — and this article will show you how to take both.

The Best Defense

First off, we’re going to draw on the old adage ‘the best defense is a good offense.” This applies to so many things in life, and your complexion is no exception. The best way to stop a breakout in its tracks is to stop it from happening in the first place — or at least minimising its damage. Here’s how you’re going to do that:

Cleanse. Regularly. Every day, twice a day. Even if you don’t wear makeup, you need to wash your face morning and night with a good quality cleanser. Not only will these cleansers clean your skin, but they will clean it without stripping away vital hydration and oils. They remove what you want, and not what you don’t. By cleansing your skin, you clear your pores, which can help prevent breakouts.

If you have acne prone skin and want the best results, opt for a cleanser created by a company that specialises in acne treatment and has a long history of success. These brands don’t just create one product in their lineup for acne prone skin: products for acne prone skin are their bread and butter, so you can rest assured they know what they are doing. (

Exfoliate. Cleansing alone won’t deal with the backlog of dead skin cells that clog your pores and trap dirt and oil, resulting in acne. This is why you also need to exfoliate. Once a day is enough, and usually the evening is the best time since your face has accumulated dirt, oil and environmental aggressors throughout the course of the day. Choose an exfoliator that suits your skin type. This is super important, since exfoliation rubs the surface of your skin, which can agitate those with more sensitive epidermis.

Exfoliation is also a great way to prevent and remedy ingrown hairs, which can lead to infected pimples.

Tone. Toner is one of the most overlooked weapons in the battle of the blemish, but it is also one of the most powerful. By removing deep down dirt and oil, toner is one of the final steps to revealing your freshest skin. Sure, your cleanser may have removed surface dirt, but toner goes right into your pores to draw out the most stubborn impurities. It is also pH balanced to moisturise your skin and — since it opens your pores to clean — it is an amazing treatment to use prior to applying moisturiser.

Moisturise. Contrary to the beliefs of many, moisturising your skin will NOT lead to breakouts. In fact, it can prevent and treat them by helping restore a hydrative balance to your skin. So invest in a good moisturiser, and choose one that was designed specifically for your skin type. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin, mature skin or insanely acne prone skin, there’s a moisturiser that’s perfect for you.

Dealing with the Outbreak

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, so maybe you didn’t know about taking these preventative measures and are enduring a tyrannical breakout. It happens. One of the best things you can do is take the preventive measures mentioned above: cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturise. Next up, LEAVE YOUR FACE ALONE. Don’t pick at it. This will only make matters worse. Not only will you be distressing your already distressed skin, but you will be transferring more dirt and oil from your hands to your face,

Next up, hydrate. Drink tons of water. To truly treat a breakout, you want to start from the inside, out. This means cleansing your system with good ol’ H2O.

Finally, if possible, avoid wearing cosmetics, but if you must, use makeup that’s designed for those with acne prone skin. This will ensure the product is as lightweight and non-disruptive as possible.

Another great tip is to use a self-tanner. This will help even-out that uneven appearance of your skin caused by acne. Again, select a product designed for people with blemish prone skin.

That’s it! A little effort in the beginning can save you from the worst breakouts, but realistically, once you hit puberty, no one is save from acne. Use these tips to fight the good fight!

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