Four Things You Can Try to Remove Stubborn Acne


The occasional blemish isn’t a significant cause for concern for many people. They’ll use a bit of over-the-counter cream, and the blemish will disappear, and they’ll move on with their lives.  However, for others, stubborn acne can be a constant problem, plaguing their appearance and self-confidence. One can sometimes feel like a bully that won’t leave you alone, or worse yet- a recurring nightmare.  Not only can acne put a damper on your confidence, but it can also be painful. 

Angela Dunlap, RN, BSN, Director of VCI Med Spa in Tinley Park, Illinois, has seen and treated many clients with chronic acne fully understands the physical and emotional challenges that this skin disease can cause.  While acne affects about 75% of the population ages 11 to 30, most can be very mild. Unfortunately, for some, acne can be life-changing.  t VCI Med Spa, we recommend four changes to combat acne.  These changes can facilitate significant improvements in this disease, leaving clients’ skin looking healthier, smoother, and cleaner while also benefiting their mental health.”

1) Change What You’re Putting Into Your Body To Remove Stubborn Acne

The first modification Angela recommends is changing the things clients put into their bodies.  If people are only willing to do one thing, increasing their water intake should be that thing,” says Angela.  Drinking more water flushes and hydrates all the cells throughout your body, including in your skin.  Dry skin triggers your body to produce more oil, which in turn causes more acne.  drinking water improves your immune system, and because bacteria can cause acne, a healthy immune system can better fight off this bacteria.”

Consuming a low-sugar diet full of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables is also essential, says Angela. Diets lower in sugar decrease inflammation and regulate hormone levels in the body, which relieves and reduces the risk of acne flare-ups.  Whereas high sugar diets also increase insulin levels in the body, which causes oil production, increasing the likelihood of acne. 

Keep track of your diet, especially when you have a flare-up.  Allergies or sensitivities to certain foods may be triggering your acne, and you may be able to reduce acne merely by eliminating these foods from your menu.

For adults who smoke and are frustrated with acne, Angela says, “Quit.  Now.” Research has shown again and again that there is a direct correlation between smoking and post-pubertal acne.  About 42% of smokers have acne, compared with just 10% of non-smokers.  Smoking decreases the flow of oxygenated blood to your skin and reduces nutrients needed for healthy skin,” says Angela. There’s also evidence that the amount of smoking you do per day isn’t the issue; it’s the fact that you’re smoking at all.  o whether you’re having just a few each day or smoking several packs, you’re doing a lot of damage to your skin.”

2) To Remove Stubborn Acne Change What You’re Putting On Your Skin

It may seem counterintuitive, but Angela states having a chemical peel when no active acne is a good idea.  Chemical peels exfoliate the skin quickly, preventing dead skin cells and excess oil from blocking pores and hair follicles.  Chemical peels are a very effective preventative measure.” 

Weekly facials can also be an enormous help, but they must be the correct treatments for your skin, or you might make matters worse.  Angela says, “A professional aesthetician can evaluate your skin’s condition each week and use the products tailored to your needs that will best soothe and heal the skin. Facials cleanse the skin, unclog pores, reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and thoroughly hydrate the skin.  Receiving professional facials, your aesthetician will also have the option of using steam, gentle exfoliation, light or laser therapy, and safe extraction of whiteheads and blackheads if needed that week.”

The skin should be cleansed each morning, night, and after workouts.  You don’t want sweat to sit on or dry on your face,” says Angela. A twice-daily routine of gentle exfoliating and cleansing, such as Elta MD Foaming Face Wash, should be instituted.  Angela recommends following this with a serum such as Elta MD AM Therapy or is Clinical Active Serum.  Again, applying a moisturizer after cleansing may seem illogical, but when your skin feels dry, your body will trigger your oil glands to overproduce and make acne worse. You’ll want to apply a water-based, light product while skin is still damp to seal in the hydrating effects of the water and prevent an abundance of pore-clogging oil,” says Angela. 

She also stresses to finish with sunscreen except before bedtime. At the same time, the short-term effects of sunshine can be drier skin and fewer blemishes for a couple of days. The truth is UVA and UVB rays are causing long-term damage to your skin, and dryness will cause inflammation and then breakouts.  Always wear sunscreen every single day,” says Angela. 

The type of makeup you wear is essential. And if you do wear makeup, Angela recommends using water-based products.  These light and gentle products add moisture and won’t clog pores, and they look very natural and give you a dewy, fresh-looking finish.”

3) Change your bedtime habits To Treat Stubborn Acne

Changing your pillowcase every other day sounds like a pain, but it’s an excellent idea to relieve and prevent acne.  Your face sits on your pillowcase for 6-8 hours at a time.  Your pillow fabric is picking up oil and dirt and bacteria – and then you put your face right back in that,” says Angela.  Even after your evening cleansing routine, your body will produce oil and bacteria all through the night.” Consider using 100% cotton cases that will be less likely to irritate skin and change frequently.  Wash the cases in fragrance-free, dye-free detergent, and avoid fabric softeners. 

Put on a headband before you sleep to pull hair away from the face and forehead.  Headbands help keep the oils in your hair from sitting on your face all night long,” says Angela. 

4) Change Your Hands’ Habits To Get Rid of Stubborn Acne

One of the most challenging habits to break is “picking” at blemishes – and it’s a nasty habit.  When you pick at acne, you’re worsening the situation in many ways. You’re spreading the bacteria, so you’ll get more acne. You’re interfering with a natural healing process, so blemishes will last longer and get worse. You’re raising your risk of infection. You’re also increasing your risk for scars and permanent skin damage,” says Angela. 

There are several tactics you can try. Carry a squeeze ball to keep hands occupied or wear gloves to prevent picking and touching. And enlist help; ask your partner or parent to gently remind you when you begin to pick. A non-confrontational reminder word or sound, or perhaps even a soft whistle, to remind you to mind your hands.”

You don’t have to live with stubborn acne, and it doesn’t have to define you! Implementing these changes to your health and habits will have significant, positive changes. You’ll look better, feel better, and have more self-confidence. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.