How to Prevent Acne and Pimples: Tips to Avoid Breakouts

Hello, if you made it on to this page, then you must be in search of some tips for breaking out due to Covid-19 or just because you suffer from acne frequently. You’re in a good place because I’ve drafted up some obvious, and not so obvious tips for you!

Hello, I’m Priscilla Wong, I’m 27, and I still suffer from acne. Unfortunately, it does not just “go away” for most, and that’s okay. Let’s start off by saying I do not suffer from any severe acne situations like cystic, to which I am very grateful about. Though, I do get occasional breakouts, mostly they’re hormonal reasons. I know this because I’ve studied the habits of my skin and skincare routine. Which is also an additional tip for you not listed in the 20 below: to study your acne! Take notes of when you breakout, if you’ve consumed anything out of the ordinary, any new product(s) you’re using, or foods you have on a regular basis. Sometimes it actually is about diet! For instance, I can’t have too much sugar or dairy, so I’ve considered milk alternatives like almond and soy milk, since I love milk.

Let’s dive right into the 20 tips! 10 obvious tips that you’ve probably heard or are obvious, but another 10 that are not as obvious and deserves some attention!


The Obvious Tips

That you’ve most likely have heard before. But deserves some spotlight.

1. Cleanse Your Skin

It is important to cleanse your face. Always wash your face, especially after a workout to prevent breakouts. And most definitely wash your face if you have oily skin! Be cautious though, if you have oily skin you do not want to OVER CLEANSE your face, as this dries out your skin, which in turns produces more oils, leading to more issues. If you have very dry or sensitive skin, stick to cleansing your face once daily in the evening! But most importantly: Have clean hands when cleansing your face!! You will only spread the bacteria around your face if you don’t clean your hands before.

2. Apply an Acne-Fighting Agent

As noted by HealthLine, “According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), many topical therapies can help fight acne. The key to finding the most effective one for you is knowing what type of acne you have.”

Tip: Try to spread acne all over the acne-prone skin, not just blemishes

For comedonal acne, such as blackheads and similar bumps, look for products that contain retinoids.

For mild acne, topical benzoyl peroxide can help fight mild acne, either on its own or with a topical retinoid.

For acne scarring, look into Azelaic Acid, or any brightening ingredients.

3. Get plenty of sleep

Plenty of sleep is needed to stay healthy both inside and out. In a 2015 study, more than 65% of the participants who felt tired (and stressed), also had acne. It was theorized that a lack of sleep could cause the body to release inflammatory compounds.

4. Relax

Obvious, and hard for most of us, but it has been shown that there is a connection between stress and acne. If you’re dealing with a lot of stress, find some healthy ways to de-stress. Spend some self-care time! Ideas including:

  • exercising for at least 30 minutes
  • doing breathing exercises
  • doing yoga
  • meditating
  • writing it out/journaling

5. If your hair is oily, try washing your hair often

It is worth noting that if you are prone to acne around the forehead, you should keep excess oil off your forehead, face and even back to help prevent acne. Note that using any hair spray mousse or other hair products may clog up your pores. This is one of the main reasons why I break out around my forehead and hair line! I experience dandruff, and oily hair, so I try not to wash my hair too often (1-2x a week or every 3-5 days depending on the week). Unfortunately lately, with the weather changes, my hair has gotten oilier and more dandruff… so ultimately, my forehead is breaking out.

6. Choose non-comedogenic products

This means products that won’t clog your pores, allowing your skin to breathe, remain hydrated and keeps it free from breakouts. Clogged pores can lead to pimples. Most of the time, products will say specifically they are non-comedogenic. If you are unsure, look into the product company, or research into the ingredients at a product you’re interested.

7. Attack the different causes of acne (acne treatment plan)

Try to figure out what type of acne you have. This makes it easier for you to tackle the problem! By studying what type of acne you have, you can then start to narrow down your options for an acne treatment plan!

Always start slow though! You want to introduce one product into your current routine, give that a try for a couple weeks, then add another product to that, and keep going. Remember it takes time.

If you only get the occasional breakouts like I do, opt for some acne stickers that help dry out your pimple. Or use a salicylic acid product, such as a cleanser!

Another thing to consider here when creating a treatment plan is to focus on one thing at a time. For example, one week you may want to tackle the acne, so you focus on acne-fighting ingredients. Another week, you may want to focus on brightening, which includes brightening the scarring. This gives your skin some time to heal accordingly instead of just slapping everything on all at once!

8. Wear sunscreen

I’m going to keep this simple because I’ve done a blog post regarding this. So, wear the sunscreen for fox sakes! I’m guilty of going through phases, but do your best to wear sunscreen. Protect your skin from UV Rays, which cause damage to your skin. And remember, to double cleanse the sunscreen away, even if you don’t wear makeup!

Related: The 5 W’s of Sun Exposure & Learning your ABCs

9. Double cleanse. Remove all your makeup before bed!

The double cleansing method is a method of cleansing your face twice. Usually first with an oil-based cleanser, then with a water-based cleanser. By opting for the double cleansing method, the first cleanser helps to break down any sunscreen, makeup, removes dirt and excess oils from the day and cleanses your skin.

10. Consult with a dermatologist

If all else fails, it never hurt to get a dermatologist to look at your skin.

Still Obvious, But Not So Obvious

11. Exfoliate

Exfoliating is a basic, but crucial step in your skincare routine.

I wrote an entire blog post about this. Read below.

Related: Exfoliating: Basic but Crucial Skincare Step

12. Moisturize

Yes, even if you have acne prone skin, you should be moisturizing. It is a basic step in keeping your skin hydrated! When the skin is dry, it can be more irritated and make acne look and appear worse. With acne, your skin is inflamed, so by moisturizing, you can actually help calm it down.

13. Don’t pick at your skin. Let it heal naturally!

Do not pick at your pimple! In addition, if you have no experience with extractions, do not extract your own face. You will risk further inflammation and cause scarring!

14. Wash all the things that touch your acne-prone skin!

Anything that you use on a regular or daily basis you should keep clean. So things like your pillow case, your hair, any hats, your phone, your hands, and most importantly with this pandemic, YOUR RE-USEABLE CLOTH FACE MASKS!! My tip: use sanitizer to clean your phone too… Or you can always purchase a UV light that destroys bacteria.

15. Use a clay and/or mud mask

I dubbed myself the Face Mask Queen (pretty much after I found the mug! LOL). But no seriously, I have been a huge fan of clay masks since the beginning of time because I’ve had acne prone skin all my life. Clay or mud masks help to cleanse the skin, exfoliate, pull out all the dirt and impurities from your skin, and more.

16. Consider all face masks! Not just clay masks!

That’s right! Use all types of face masks, not just the clay or mud masks! Use those sheet masks, those leave-in, overnight treatment masks as well! Use them all! There’s so many out there, don’t limit yourself and your skin. The night time is the best time to let your skin heal.

17. Consider using serums and oils

There are many types of serums and oils for different reasons. So start with the problem you want to tackle first! If you want to target the acne, or help manage your acne, look into salicylic acids or even a chemical exfoliant.

18. Wash your reusable mask after EVERY use

It is actually recommended by the CDC to wash your cloth face masks after every use. With the spread of COVID-19, you want to protect others around you from possibly spreading any virus particles.

Now, cloth masks can cause acne, and the breakouts are so common, that it’s now known as “maskne”. Breakouts happen because the face coverings create a humid environment, trapping sweat, oil, and bacteria on the skin, which is most likely the cause of the formation of whiteheads, red bumps, and pustules in the areas covered by the mask.

If you have a reusable cloth face mask, have multiple so you can alternate through the clean ones each day. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t wear old underwear again would you?

19. Give any product or treatment you are trying at least 6-8 weeks to work

Nothing really works immediately.You will only see true results over a long time frame. So be patient.

20. Pay attention to what you put on your face

Turn and learn! Turn the packaging around and learn about what ingredients are great for your skin type, what products you should be avoiding, and so forth.

I am new to the vegan, cruelty free beauty scene, but there are a LOT of hidden ingredients that are animal derived. And it’s not just hidden in our skincare, the food we consume is covered in animal derived ingredients. We just don’t know it!


That’s all folks. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I hope you took something away from this blog post. Are you experiencing maskcne? How’s your maskne journey going?

Hope this helps!

As always, you’ll find me on Instagram and Facebook!


With love,

Pris Wong xo

IG: lifewithpriswong

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