Best + Worst Ways to Treat Acne + Reduce Pimples

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Nobody loves a pimple! Which is why, when we see one brewing, we quickly reach for a zit squasher of some sort

But are we using appropriate acne treatment? 

Or — more worrying — are we using one we should absolutely never be using?!  

Thankfully, we've got Dr. Vanita Rattan on hand to help! 

The author of Skin Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to Beautiful and Healthy Skin of Color notes that if you go back through the beauty archives, there were three big mistakes that many people made when trying to treat acne… 

Can you guess what they are? Read on to find out what you should — and definitely should NOT — be using to treat pimples.  


Dr. Vanita notes the three questionable acne treatments of yore that we've probably all tried at one point or another:  

1. Toothpaste 

People reached for toothpaste to attempt to dry out a pimple, but Dr. Vanita notes, toothpaste has the potential to burn the skin around the pimple.  

2. Alcohol Astringents 

Dr. Vanita says that while, yes, alcohol can temporarily remove that oil slick from the skin, it ultimately encourages more oil production. Not good in the long run!  

3. Scrubs 

Finally, we long believed that scrubs would get our faces extra clean — and remove bacteria in the process. But Dr. Vanita says they can actually damage the skin barrier and cause inflammation! (By the way, here’s why "dirty" skin could actually be a good thing). 

So what should we do? 


Dr. Vanita says try these instead! 

1. Salicylic Acid  

"This will sink into the pore to unclog it," she says. 

2. Benzoyl Peroxide 

"This is your anti-bacterial," Dr. Vanita says. "It will poison the bacteria with oxygen to kill it." 

3. Hydrocolloid Patches  

These, Dr. Vanita says, are not only medical — they're practical, as "they'll stop you from touching the spot!" (see more products that can work their magic while you sleep HERE

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