7 Common Mistakes in Acne Treatment and How to Avoid Them

By  | 

Did you know that 50 million Americans are affected by acne yearly, making it the most common skin problem in the US?

If you belong to this group, you likely already know how frustrating dealing with acne can be. Whether over-washing and under-washing faces are good is a question you always wonder about. 

Luckily, we’ve got all the inside info from experts on what to do and what not to do when trying to get rid of acne.

Read on to learn more about common mistakes in acne treatment and how to avoid them.

  1. Popping Pimples

One common mistake is popping pimples, spreading bacteria, and worsening acne. Popping pimples can also leave behind scarring and discoloration that can be difficult to reverse. 

It is important not to touch or squeeze pimples, which can lead to irritation, pain, and infection. Instead, it is best to cleanse the area with mild soap and water and gently pat the skin dry. In case of severe lesions, you can try to treat ice pick acne scars with qualified and experienced dermatologists. 

  1. Overdoing Procedures 

Common mistakes in acne treatment routines happen when you overdo procedures to clear acne. Overwashing, over-cleansing, and over-scrubbing are common wrong practices.


When skin is washed too often, it strips the skin of natural oils and moisture, leading to dryness, irritation, and further breakouts. Overwashing can also worsen acne, irritating the pores and leading to more redness and swelling.

To avoid this mistake, wash your face gently, no more than twice a day. Make sure to use a gentle soap and avoid any harsh washing agents. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water when washing, and use a natural moisturizer afterward to replenish your skin. 


Over-cleansing strips the skin of its natural oils, which makes it more susceptible to irritants and dryness. To avoid this problem, it is important to only cleanse the affected area with lukewarm water and natural, pH-balanced cleansers. Do not use powerful synthetic products, which will only cause further irritation.

Instead, be gentle and limit your cleansing routine to twice daily and only use products that are specifically designed for acne-prone skin. If your acne worsens, try reducing the frequency of your cleansing routine and use a daily moisturizer to replenish the skin’s natural oils.


When an individual attempts to scrub away acne, they can over-exfoliate skin. This practice can lead to irritation and even more acne. 

Make sure to use gentle exfoliants that are not too abrasive, as they are more effective. It’s also important to avoid harsh face scrubs containing skin-drying ingredients like alcohol. Avoid touching the skin at all times to reduce bacterial transfer.

  1. Using the Wrong Products for Your Skin Type

It can be tempting to buy whichever product provides the most promise; however, finding products suitable for different skin types is important. If you have oily skin, using moisturizers that contain heavy emollients and oils is not a good idea, as they can clog pores and cause new breakouts. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you need to find a moisturizer that will rehydrate it.

Make sure to read the product description before you buy it. Try to purchase products customized to your specific skin type. If you are unsure, consult a skin care professional.

  1. Trying Out Unproven Remedies 

It is important to avoid DIY treatments, unproven holistic remedies, or untested products. Home remedies, such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar, crushed aspirin, toothpaste, and other topical methods, are not recommended as an acne treatment. While these may seem harmless and offer temporary relief, they worsen the skin.

Additionally, medications, such as antibiotics, are not safe or effective treatments for mild cases of acne. People with mild acne will benefit more from non-antibiotic treatments such as cleansers, creams, and gels. 

To avoid these mistakes, seek professional advice from a dermatologist. They can provide a tailored treatment plan that best meets your needs. If your acne is not responding to treatment, it is important to speak to your doctor.

  1. Checking Out Over-the-Counter Treatments 

Many over-the-counter acne treatment options contain harsh chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide. It can cause additional irritation and exacerbate existing acne. 

High salicylic acid products are also not recommended since they can be too abrasive. It also causes skin irritation and further breakouts.

Fragrances and preservatives are other no-nos. The combination of chemicals can cause allergic reactions, eczema, and flare-ups. Avoid artificial tanning creams and overly drying masks, which can strip skin of its oils. 

The best way to avoid these mistakes is to research and ask your doctor for advice on safe ingredients. Another important thing to do is to read the label and look for ingredients that can worsen or irritate acne (alcohol, fragrance, menthol, and sodium lauryl sulfate). 

  1. Not Monitoring Your Diet 

Eating processed foods, including sugar and dairy, can increase inflammation, leading to breakouts. On the other hand, eating too few calories or not eating enough healthy foods can also lead to unhealthy skin.

To avoid these mistakes, acne sufferers should focus on eating more lean proteins, fruits, and veggies with fewer carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. They should also drink plenty of water to keep their skin hydrated. Avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks, such as candy and soda, is important to keep skin clear.

  1. Not Using Sunscreen

Sun exposure and UV rays can worsen acne by creating inflammation and clogging pores. It can also cause post-acne scarring, which is more difficult to treat.

Sunscreen should be applied every morning, even on cooler or cloudier days. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30, and re-apply it every two hours. It is especially important if you are sweating or spending time outdoors.

Remember to apply sunscreen on all parts of your body exposed to the sun, including your face, neck, and any other area with acne. Use sunscreen for acne-prone skin that won’t clog or irritate your pores. 

Common Mistakes in Acne Treatment You Should Avoid

Acne is a universal issue but can be difficult to treat effectively. Common mistakes in acne treatment can lead to increased skin irritation, pain, and scarring. Avoid popping pimples, overdoing procedures, using the wrong products for your skin type, trying out unproven remedies and over-the-counter treatments, not monitoring your diet, and not using sunscreen.

Ask a dermatologist for assistance if you feel stuck trying solutions to acne.

For more tips on various topics, visit our website and read the rest of our blog!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply