Does it feel like acne breakouts keep happening no matter what you do? Learn how to prevent acne with these nine practical tips.

right mark

Copied to Clipboard

wrong mark

How To Prevent Acne And Pimples: 9 Tips To Minimize Breakouts

If you have acne, it can feel like no matter how hard you try, breakouts just keep happening. But don't worry; you can minimize the chances of developing future pimples. So if you're wondering how to prevent acne, here are nine practical tips to help you out.

But first, it's essential to understand what acne is and why breakouts happen so you can take the right steps to keep your skin clear. Let’s take a look.

Table Of Contents

What Is Acne?

Person experiencing breakouts on their face and neck

Acne is a common skin condition caused by an overproduction of oil. The oil clogs pores and provides a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, pimples, or other breakouts.

While these blemishes often occur on the face, acne can also appear on your neck, chest, back, or scalp. Everyone's acne is different, so it's important to identify what type of acne you have so you can treat it correctly.

Though many people associate acne with teenagers, it can affect people of all ages. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology Association states that 15% of women experience adult acne. Infants, children, and men can get breakouts, too.

Why Do Acne Breakouts Happen?

A combination of factors causes acne. Hormones, stress, and certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking, wearing heavy makeup, and using certain products, can all trigger breakouts.

Diet can play a role in how your skin reacts, too. For example, some research shows that dairy products, sugar, and fried foods may all worsen breakouts.

Some people are also genetically predisposed to acne-prone skin. Unfortunately, this isn’t a risk factor you can control.

Identifying your acne triggers can take time, but it will pay off in the long run. Get started by keeping a daily journal of how you're eating, how much stress you experience, and what other lifestyle habits could be causing breakouts.

Now that you know a little bit about how acne forms, let's explore how to prevent those breakouts.

How To Prevent Acne: 9 Practical Tips

Wondering how to prevent acne? These tips can help you keep your skin healthy and clear.

1) Understand Your Acne Type

Woman with acne looking in the mirror

Different types of acne respond to different treatments. Take the time to learn more about your condition to treat it appropriately.

The kind of breakout you’re experiencing can help you tell which type of acne you have. Here are some of the most common:

  • Blackheads and whiteheads
  • Papules and pustules
  • Cysts
  • Acne nodules

If you aren't sure how to determine which type of acne you have, it's best to consult a dermatologist. They can examine your skin and help you pinpoint the type (or types) of blemishes you’re experiencing so you can get rid of them.

2) Identify And Avoid Your Acne Triggers

As we’ve mentioned, different things can trigger acne. If you don't know what causes your breakouts to get worse, it's time for some detective work.

Keep a journal of how your skin reacts to different things. In your notes, document how much stress you experience, how often you wear makeup, how you cleanse your skin, and what products you use daily. As you write things down, include details about how your skin responds.

Tracking these factors over time allows you to identify patterns that could be causing your blemishes. Then, you can take steps to avoid these triggers.

3) Treat Existing Acne

Woman applying cream to blemishes

To prevent new breakouts, you need to take care of your existing acne first. Your treatment will depend on your condition’s seriousness and what type of acne you have.

For milder cases, over-the-counter products may be enough. But if your breakouts are more severe, you may require prescription medication or an alternative treatment.

You can start with an acne cleanser or facial cleanser that uses salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient. These cleaners may help open up clogged pores and reduce the bacteria that cause acne.

Give the treatment a few weeks to start working, but talk to your doctor about other options if you don’t see any results in that amount of time.

Sometimes, dermatologists recommend other acne treatments, such as light therapy or chemical peels. These can help reduce inflammation and clear up stubborn breakouts.

4) Stop Touching Your Face

It can be tempting to poke, prod, or squeeze blemishes, but resist the urge! Picking at your face can spread bacteria and make your breakouts worse instead of better.

Remember that your hands carry a lot of bacteria. It's essential to keep them away from your face so you don’t transfer those germs to your face. Make an effort to avoid touching or resting your chin, forehead, cheeks, and other areas prone to breakouts on your hands.

On this note, wash your hands often throughout the day. This helps reduce the bacteria on them so if you do touch your face, it won’t be as much of an issue.

5) Practice Good Hygiene

Man washing his face to prevent acne

One of the best ways to prevent breakouts is to keep your skin clean. Wash your face twice daily (morning and night) with a gentle cleanser designed for acne treatments.

When washing, use lukewarm water and avoid scrubbing your skin too hard. Instead, use soft motions that get the grime off without removing any of your skin’s protective layer.

After washing, take time to apply a moisturizer. This helps lock in hydration so your skin doesn't dry out too much and, as a result, trigger your body to produce more oil.

While washing your face is essential, it’s not the only component of a good skin hygiene routine. You'll also want to think about the items that regularly come into contact with your face. This includes your pillowcase, phone screen, and makeup brushes.

Be sure to change or clean these items regularly since they can build up bacteria over time. Doing so reduces bacteria on your face and keeps blemishes from occurring.

Finally, remember to care for your skin properly when you go outside. The sun can dry your skin and make breakouts worse, so use a light sunscreen to protect yourself. And cover up as much as possible if it's windy or cold outside.

6) Choose Your Products Carefully

Your skincare products can make or break your acne prevention efforts. After all, you don't want to use harsh products that damage your skin.

Start by looking for products that are labeled "non-comedogenic." This means they won't clog your pores and cause breakouts.

Then, pay attention to how your skin reacts to different ingredients. For example, some people's skin is too sensitive for salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If your skin flares up after using products with these ingredients, try something else.

You'll also want to avoid certain chemical ingredients that are known to irritate skin, such as alcohol and fragrances. In addition, always stay away from parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, and other harsh ingredients.

7) Nourish Your Body

Woman eating a salad

Remember how you take care of your body can affect how clear your skin is. That's why nourishing yourself from the inside out is vital. You can do this by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and incorporate plenty of healthy fats into your diet, like avocado, nuts, and fish. You'll also want to drink eight glasses of water daily to help flush out toxins and keep your skin hydrated.

Finally, reduce your sugar intake or avoid sugar altogether. High-sugar foods can trigger an insulin spike and may cause your skin to produce more oil, leading to blemishes.

In addition to your diet, exercise regularly to help regulate your hormones, reduce stress levels, and keep your skin in good shape. And remember to sleep! Getting enough shut-eye will allow your body to repair itself and may help keep acne at bay.

8) Take Care Of Your Protective Skin Layer

The outermost layer of your skin is called the stratum corneum, and it's responsible for keeping moisture in and bacteria out.

To keep this protective layer strong, use a moisturizer each day. Also, reduce your use of exfoliants, such as scrubs and chemical peels. These can strip away your skin's natural oils and leave it vulnerable to bacteria.

9) Consult A Dermatologist

If breakouts continue to be a problem even after following all of these tips, it might be time to consult a dermatologist. They can help identify the underlying cause of your acne and provide you with a tailored treatment plan.

Clearer-Looking Skin Is Possible!

Woman looking in the mirror wondering how to get rid of acne

Acne can be a complex problem to deal with, but you don't have to be stuck wondering how to prevent acne forever. With some knowledge and effort, you can make breakouts a thing of the past.

At Bodewell, we are here for you with gentle yet powerful products to help you experience more good skin days. What are you waiting for? Give these tips a try and see how clear your skin can be.


American Academy of Dermatology Association
PubMed Central
University of Texas Medical Branch
Vanguard Dermatology

Shop Bodewell