Wash your face thoroughly, but dont scrub too hard. Use a mild soap or facial cleanser, rinse well, and blot dry. Dont waste your money on medicated cleansers or granular face scrubs.
Try over-the-counter skin products containing benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria (start with lower concentrations of 2.5% or 5%). Salicylic and glycolic acid help remove dead skin cells and surface oils. There are several new anti-acne product lines designed for adults, which claim to be less irritating. You might have to shop around to find the product that works best for your skin type, or ask a dermatologist to recommend one.
Use oil-free moisturizers, sunscreens, and cosmetics labeled non-comedogenic or "non-acnegenic." Oil-based cosmetics can block sebum from naturally reaching the skins surface, though a recent report clears mineral oil of blame. Re-move makeup completely before going to bed. Dont overmoisturize.
Limit sun exposure. While sunning may help dry up acne, its long-term damage outweighs any short-term benefit.
Resist the urge to pick or pop. This only increases inflammation and the risk of pitting and scarring.
And by the way: Dont confuse acne vulgaris with acne rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that causes tiny pimples around reddened areas on the face. If you think you may have rosacea, see a doctor, since the condition may worsen without treatment. Do not self-treat it with over-the-counter medication.
UC Berkeley Wellness Letter