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How to Recover from a Breakout

Emoni Rochelle

Do you often experience breakouts that seem to come out of nowhere and you’re not sure what to do? While there are some general steps you can take to recover from a breakout, you’ll want to identify the root cause of your acne to clear it up as quickly as possible.

When you first get a breakout, the first thought that may pop into your head is “why?” Well, this is actually a good place to start. Everyone wants to know why they’re experiencing a particular breakout and it’s good to figure this out to determine the best course of treatment.

First Steps

First, you’ll want to think about whether you’ve added anything new to your skin care routine or even your diet. Skin irritation may be a result of a skin sensitivity or allergy.

After you’ve cut out any suspicious products, then you’ll want to strip your routine down to the basics. This means no makeup products such as foundation, primer, or other substances which can clog the pores and exacerbate your problem.

Next, you’ll want to identify the type of acne your dealing with.

Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne is a result of fluctuating hormones and usually happens around the same time each month. If you believe your acne is hormonal, then you’ll want to get ahead and use acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid in your cleansers and toners to prevent oil buildup.


Inflammatory acne is a result of bacteria. If you have inflammatory acne, then you may notice red bumps and irritation. In this case, it’s best to treat with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide which work to fight bacteria and calm inflammation.

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is often the most difficult to treat and it also takes more time. Cystic acne is a result of buildup in the pores that become trapped underneath the skin. This results in relatively large, closed bumps. Because the bumps are closed, unlike a whitehead or blackhead, there’s no way for the build up to get out. And as you may have found, the usual acne treatments are not effective when it comes to cystic acne. This is what makes cystic acne difficult to treat on your own. If you suffer from these bumps, then the best course of action is to go to a dermatologist who can provide cortisone injections, topical solutions or antibiotics, all of which can be effective at treating this type of acne.

Whiteheads and Blackheads

Both whiteheads and blackheads are very common types of acne. They’re a result of trapped oil and bacteria within the pore. This mixture causes inflammation which results in either a white bump or black if the pore remains open. These types of breakouts are treated effectively through consistent exfoliation - both physical and chemical. Acids are great exfoliators and work to treat deep within the pores to clear out buildup and debis. Cleansing consistently day and night will also help to prevent these pimples from occurring.

In all, the course of treatment for any given breakout can differ depending on the root cause. It’s best to investigate your breakout early in order to determine what’s going to be most effective.

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