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Break-up with these harmful skincare habits

Break-ups can be tough, especially with some of our “harmful” habits with our skin routine.

Popping pimples:

When that pesky pimple won’t go away, avoid the urge to pop it. Popping, squeezing or manipulating pimples may leave you feeling initially accomplished; however, may eventually leave behind a cosmetically displeasing scar.

Scars from acne are especially difficult and often frustrating to treat for both the patient and the dermatologist. A combination of filler, laser and microdermabrasion is often recommended and sometimes may have less than satisfactory results.

Replace that urge to pick by consulting with your dermatologist for acne treatments. At-home spot treatments can be helpful such as Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne spot Medicine, containing 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide. Replace that urge to pick that stubborn pimple and apply a pea sized of Neutrogena Rapid clear cream. I recommend patients place the medication in the refrigerator prior to applying to provide a cooling sensation.

Excessive exfoliation:

Exfoliating may leave your skin feeling refreshed and smooth; however, overexfoliating can exacerbate acne. What may surprise many is that there is a frictional component to acne. The more you try to scrub away your acne, the more red, inflamed and irritated your skin will become. Rather than scrubbing your face with a wash cloth, use a gentle cleansing wipe to clean the oils and debris from the surface of the skin. My top pick is the Cetaphil facial cleansing wipes. Ingredients are safe and perfect for all skin types and acne-prone skin.

Hot showers:

When facing dry skin during the winter months, there is an urge to scrub away the itch in the shower. Unfortunately, scrubbing the skin and excessive use of soap can further worsen the “itch-scratch” cycle. Using less soap, cutting back on showers, using lukewarm water and avoid use of washcloths, loofas and back scratchers can all help maintain the protective skin barrier. Hydration of the skin after showers is essential—I recommend greasing your body after showers with light non-scented creams (CeraVe, Eucerin) or greases (Vaseline, Aquaphor), leaving your skin feeling silky smooth after showers.

Finding the perfect moisturizer:

When moisturizing your body, avoid using the same moisturizer for your face. Body lotions are often comedogenic, plugging up pores and leaving a greasy, residue on the face. When shopping for moisturizers for the face it is important to look for products that are “noncomedogenic” or safe for “acne-prone” skin. My recommendations include Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating facial cream (Target, Amazon, drugstores, Ulta). Infused with hyaluronic acid, this product “boosts” the skin hydration, improving the elasticity and cohesion of the skin barrier while not leaving behind an unwanted greasy or oily residue. Ingredients are safe and effective and gentle for patients with sensitive, dry and acne-prone skin. The hydrogel provides a cooling sensation in addition to the added benefit of a rich moisturizer—quintessential for a morning or nighttime facial moisturizer.

Clean your cellphone:

Have acne localized on one side of the face? Getting in the habit of cleaning the cellphone and pillow cases may help prevent acne breakouts. Simply leaning the face against the phone can cause occlusion and friction leading to black heads and stubborn pimples. Cleaning the phone, using wireless or bluetooth headphones when on the phone for prolonged periods of time can further help avoid these “one-sided” acne break outs. I recommend Cetaphil facial cleansing wipes to wipe away the excess grease from the face. Washing pillowcases and headscarves can also prevent unwanted acne breakouts along the sides of the face and forehead. Acne prevention is just as important as treatment—take an active role in maintaining healthy, acne-free skin.


To maintain that youthful glow in your 20s and prevent hyperpigmentation, fine wrinkles, and sun spots, it is important to get into the habit of daily facial sunscreen use. Sunscreens containing ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are essential for protection from both UVA and UVB. With numerous facial moisturizers containing SPF on the market, choosing the best sunscreen for your skin can be overwhelming. I find that a lightweight liquid formula, a buildable texture, non-greasy, noncomedogenic product is ideal for both darker and lighter skin types.

Avoid greasy products:

Applying greases to the scalp and to the hair itself may leave your hair feeling silky smooth, but it is important to avoid accidental application on the forehead. Protecting your forehead with a washcloth or a thin cleansing wipe can prevent such greases to adhere to the skin on the face. Oils and greases used on the scalp have been shown to be comedogenic and often the cause of unwanted, persistent acne break outs.

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