How To Get Rid Of Acne To Get Clear Skin: The Ultimate Guide

by | Aug 24, 2020

Acne affects over 80% of teenagers and persists beyond the age of 25 years in 3% of men and 12% of women.

Acne will leave ugly marks on our beautiful faces, even if the acne subsides, there will be a high probability of leaving scars.

Girls who were originally full of confidence became sensitive and low self-esteem because of acne on their faces.

Read this article to classify the acne on your face, understand how the acne on your face forms, and how to get rid of acne.

Since most of the drugs in this article are prescription drugs, please do not buy and use blindly, please see a doctor first.

Most of the drugs prescribed by the doctor will appear in this post. If the doctor’s prescription is too different from the drugs in this post, everyone will also judge the doctor’s professionalism in the treatment of acne.

This post only introduces the acne treatment, not for everyone to buy medicine to eat.

At present, the Pillsbury classification method is most commonly used in the world to classify the severity of acne. According to the nature of the skin lesions, acne is divided into 3 severity and 4 levels.

Acne grading is an important basis for acne treatment and efficacy evaluation. Doctors are more simple and convenient in clinical use, mainly according to the nature of skin lesions to divide acne into 3 severity and 4 levels.

Pillsbury's 4-level taxonomy. Clinically, according to the severity of the disease, traditionally adopt the Pillsbury classification method can divide acne into the four levels. Mild I: Simple noninflammatory acne – comedones and a few papules. Moderate II: Comedones, papules and a few pustules. Moderate III: A lot of inflammatory papules, pustules, and a few nodules and cysts. A more severe form involving the face, neck, and upper portions of the trunk. Severe: More severe, with nodules and cysts becoming confluent.

When you go to a dermatologist, the dermatologist will judge the severity of your facial acne based on experience. When you are unable to see a dermatologist, please use the picture below to judge the severity of your acne on your face.

Grading of acne. The mildest degree (degree I) has only a lot of whiteheads and a few papules. Moderate grade (degree II), there are a lot of whiteheads, papules and a few pustules. Moderate grade (degree III), there are a lot of papules, pustules, and a few nodules and cysts. Severe grade (degree IV), Nodules and cysts becoming confluent.

What Causes Acne?

The outermost layer of the skin structure is the epidermal layer. The epidermal layer structure is composed of four layers of skin cells: the basal layer, the stratum spinosum, the stratum granulosum, and the stratum corneum.

The stratum corneum is located in the outermost layer of the skin. The stratum corneum and the sebaceous membrane (the liquid protective layer formed by the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands evenly spread on the skin) constitute the skin barrier and protect the skin from external aggressions.

Newborn cells are produced from the basal layer, migrate to the stratum corneum. Finally, fall off from the stratum corneum. The entire cycle takes about 28 days.

The differentiation process of cells. Newborn cells are produced from the stratum basale and gradually migrate upward to the stratum corneum. The migration process takes about 14 days. Keratinocytes and intercellular lipids form the stratum corneum, which is finally shed from the skin. This process takes about 14 days.

Watching the video above, you know that the most fundamental cause of acne is hyperkeratosis at the funnel of the hair follicle and excessive sebum production.


The structure of the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands connect the hair follicle channels, and the sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands and the dead cells shed from the stratum corneum are excreted through the channels. However, if the cells at the funnel of the hair follicle cannot fall off normally, the pores are covered, and sebum and dead cells are blocked inside the hair follicle.

The area from the sebaceous glands to the pores is called the funnel of the hair follicle. The cells in the funnel of the hair follicle will also undergo a process of transforming from basal cells to keratinocytes and then gradually falling off.

However, due to some reasons, the keratinization process of this part of the cells is abnormal, and the keratinocytes stick together and cannot fall off normally. The keratinocytes accumulate more and more at the opening of the hair follicle, they will eventually block the pores.

Excessive sebum production

The sebaceous glands secrete oil all the time. These oils flow out of the pores through the channels before they flow to the surface of the skin that we can see with the naked eye. If the oil production is too strong, the keratinization of the hair follicle funnel is abnormal, and the pores are gradually blocked.

The sebum flow channel is not smooth enough, but the sebaceous glands do not know that the pores are blocked, and they are still secreting oil. The oil and dead cells will mix to form a sebum plug and further block the pores.

An anaerobic environment is formed inside the hair follicle, which is filled with a lot of oil. Propionibacterium acnes, which feeds on oil, take the opportunity to multiply to form inflammatory acne.

If the body’s immune system cannot kill P.acne and eliminate inflammation, inflammation will worsen, pus gradually increases, and the severity of acne will increase.

Why do sebaceous glands secrete so much oil?

  • Perhaps your genetic sequence determines that you secrete more sebum than others.
  • UV rays stimulate the sebaceous glands to secrete oil.
  • A high-sugar diet and high-salt diet will stimulate the surge of insulin in the body, which indirectly stimulates androgens, which then leads to a strong sebum production.
  • Excessive cleaning will stimulate the skin to secrete more oil.
  • Staying up late will cause a large number of androgens to secrete and secrete more oil.
  • The growth hormone is active during puberty, and puberty is the most active period of sebaceous glands. After the age of 20, the activity of sebaceous glands will decrease year by year.
  • During menstruation, the ovaries produce a small number of androgens, which causes the sebaceous glands to spit out a lot of oil at once.
  • Certain diseases, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and adrenal hyperplasia, produce androgens.

How To Get Rid of Acne?


Treatment of level I acne

The type of acne on the face of level I acne is a whitehead.

Usually use topical retinoids or fruit acid skin care products. Such as adapalene or Neostrata Bionic Face Serum.

You can also go to the hospital to use glycolic acid peeling to treat whitehead-based acne, usually once every 2 to 4 weeks, 4 times as a course of treatment.

Treatment of level II acne

The face with level II acne has a large number of whiteheads and papules, and a small number of pustules.

There is a slight inflammation of the skin. You need to choose topical anti-inflammatory drugs or topical antibacterial drugs to kill P.acne and reduce inflammation.

For example, adapalene is applied to the white head, and topical antibiotics or benzoyl peroxide are applied to the papules or pustules.

Treatment of level III acne

If there are only mild acne and a small amount of moderate acne on the face, no oral medication is needed, only topical treatment is required. When the acne on your face is more serious, the doctor will usually prescribe a combination of oral prescription drugs and topical drugs.

Most of the faces with level III acne are papules and pustules, as well as a few nodules. At this time, you should not learn acne treatment from the Internet, you should go to the hospital for help from a dermatologist.

Treatment of level III acne can choose topical antibiotics or topical benzoyl peroxide + oral antibiotics, women can also take oral anti-androgen.

Treatment of level IV acne

At this time, the acne on your face is already very serious, and you need at least half a year of treatment under the guidance of a doctor to eliminate acne.

The treatment of level IV acne can choose topical antibiotics or topical benzoyl peroxide + oral antibiotics + oral isotretinoin, women can also take oral anti-androgen. The doctor may also recommend photodynamic therapy or injection therapy.

The following are common topical and oral medications for acne.

Topical Medications to Get Rid of Moderate and Mild Acne Fast

Adapalene (Differin, topical retinoids, over-the-counter)

Both the International Acne Guidelines and the American Acne Guidelines treat topical retinoids as the single first-line medication for mild acne, the first-line medication for papule-moderate acne, and the first-line medication for acne maintenance treatment.

International acne guidelines point out: topical retinoids are theoretically suitable for all acne patients, especially for mild to moderate acne.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently approves topical retinoids that can only be used by teenagers who are 12 years or older.

Differin is the mildest third-generation retinoic acid drug.

Function: Adapalene can improve the hyperkeratosis at the funnel of the hair follicle, dissolve whiteheads, and also has the effect of eliminating pigmentation after the inflammation subsides, and eliminating scars. The combined use of retinoids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibacterial drugs can increase the effects of related drugs.

The US FDA approved 0.1% adapalene as an over-the-counter drug, and adapalene with a concentration of more than 0.1% requires a doctor’s prescription to purchase. The reason is that high-concentration retinoids have strong side effects and need to be used under the guidance of a doctor. Differin is a common over-the-counter retinoid.

Retinoids are suitable for mild acne mainly with whiteheads and small papules. But it is not suitable for pustules, nodules, and cysts.

Comparison before and after using adapalene. There were dozens of papules and whiteheads on the face before using adapalene. After using adapalene, the face is white and flawless, and the acne is completely eliminated.

From the official website: skin condition before and after using adapalene

Improper use in the early stage will cause mild skin irritation, such as redness, sensitivity, peeling, tightness, and burning, and even some people have dermatitis. These situations can be avoided, just because retinoic acid has been in contact with the skin for too long and the concentration is too high. Don’t use adapalene when you have more acne of level III and IV on your face.

There is peeling in the lower right corner of the mouth, which is manifested as white debris

Decrustation (irritation response)

How to use:

Wash your face and apply a suitable cream. Use 0.1% adapalene dots to apply to acne, use once a day to avoid ultraviolet rays. Skin irritation often occurs in the initial use of adapalene.

At this time, use it every three nights until there is no redness or peeling of the skin. Then use it again every two nights, and wait until the skin has no irritation, and the skin has adapted to adapalene, so you can use it every night.

However, if the whiteheads or papules on the face disappear, stop using adapalene.


Adapalene can only be used on acne vulgaris, not for the whole face. At the same time, you need to apply lotion on your face before using adapalene. Some people wanted to smooth their skin and applied adapalene to their entire face, but the whole face turned red the next day.

Adapalene is an acid drug, if the acne site has developed into broken skin, it will be a little tingling when applied. If used continuously in the same area for a long time, it may cause face peeling and dry skin. It is recommended to stop using it immediately after the acne disappears.


When you first use adapalene, acne will break out because the inflammatory substances in the skin need to be discharged. Adapalene just promotes the growth of acne.

As long as all the acne hidden in the skin erupts, in the future, as long as you pay attention to your diet, rest, and skin care, you will not be prone to acne.

Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)

Alpha hydroxy acid is a general term for organic acids extracted from various fruits, and alpha hydroxy acid is also a water-soluble acid.

Alpha hydroxy acids can dissociate cell connections and accelerate cell shedding

1. Disconnect cell connections

AHA can destroy the desmosomes that link the keratinocytes, and the keratinocytes that lose desmosomes become loose and easily fall off.

Keratinocytes are connected to each other through desmosomes to form a compact structure. If desmosomes are destroyed, keratinocytes become loose.

 2. Accelerate cell shedding

AHA can also accelerate the natural metabolism of dermal and epidermal cells, and promote the rapid shedding of stratum corneum cells.

The desmosomes connecting the keratinocytes are broken and the keratinocytes become loose, making the keratinocytes easy to fall off.
If your whitehead is very serious, the doctor will usually prescribe medicinal cosmetics for alpha hydroxy acid peels.

If it is not serious, skin care products containing alpha hydroxy acid can be used externally. But when you first use acid products such as alpha-hydroxy acid and salicylic acid, you may have symptoms of acne outbreak.

Because the dissolved keratinocytes will fall into the pores, temporarily aggravate the clogging of the pores, waiting for the dirt in the hair follicles to disappear will relieve the outbreak of acne.

The frequency of use of skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acid is once every two days or once every three days.

Tretinoin (topical retinoid drugs, prescription drugs)

Tazarotene (topical retinoids, prescription drugs)

Both tretinoin and tazarotene are prescription medications, and their effects are the same as adapalene. But I suggest you choose the adapalene.

Pregnant women cannot use these two drugs. These two medications are more irritating than adapalene, but they take a shorter time to fully take effect. If you have a very serious whitehead, then these two drugs are recommended.

If you have oily skin, try to avoid cream-like retinoids, because these ointments contain a lot of sealants (such as petrolatum), which can easily aggravate the clogging of your pores. Gel-like is recommended.

Benzoyl peroxide (topical antibacterial drug, over-the-counter)

Function: This medication is often mentioned many times in the “American Acne Treatment Guidelines”. It has a very excellent antibacterial effect and can effectively kill Propionibacterium acnes. The effect of applying red bumps is very good. And this medication is not resistant and can be used all the time.

Common benzoyl peroxide gels have three concentrations of 2.5%, 5%, and 10%, but 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide has an excellent effect, and too high a concentration has stronger side effects on the skin.

Benzoyl peroxide has a strong oxidizing property, which can quickly kill microorganisms and reduce inflammation. The number of Propionibacterium acnes on the face will decrease significantly within 48 hours after use, and the symptoms of acne redness and swelling will be significantly improved.

But precisely because of its strong oxidizing effect, it will dehydrate and decompose the sebum and part of the cutin on the surface of the skin, which will make the skin in that area very dry and easy to peel.

After using the benzoyl peroxide gel, it is particularly easy to leave dark red or red-black pigmentation, which will make people with acne on the face look more unsightly and use it to have a strong psychological quality.

Dapsone (Topical antibacterial drug, prescription medication)

Dapsone topical is used to treat acne. It works by killing the bacteria that cause acne and by keeping the skin pores clean.

The function of this medicine is similar to benzoyl peroxide. If you tell your doctor that you don’t like the pigmentation caused by benzoyl peroxide, your doctor may prescribe this medicine.

Adults and children 9 years of age and older—Apply a thin layer on the acne area once a day.

Children younger than 9 years of age—Use is not recommended.

Clindamycin Phosphate Gel (topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, prescription medication)

Clindamycin is a prescription medication and requires a doctor’s prescription to purchase it.

1% clindamycin phosphate gel is currently the first choice of topical antibiotic for the treatment of acne. After the skin absorbs the gel, it can be hydrolyzed into clindamycin for anti-inflammatory effects.

It has good antibacterial activity, especially against Propionibacterium acnes. It can also reduce fatty acid on the skin surface, which is beneficial to the treatment of acne.

How to use:

After washing your face and applying a suitable cream, apply an appropriate amount of 1% clindamycin phosphate gel on red bumps, morning and evening

Using effects:

It has a good anti-inflammatory effect on papules and pustules. After a few days of use, it will eliminate the less inflammatory acne, but the effect is poor for larger nodules and cysts. This medicine has almost no skin irritation and can be used by women who are pregnant or about to become pregnant.


If the topical clindamycin is used for a long time, the bacteria on the face will have a certain resistance to clindamycin, and its effect will become worse, so long-term use is generally not recommended. It is recommended not to use it continuously for more than 2 months.

It is for non-inflammatory acne: whiteheads and blackheads are almost useless.

There are very few reports in the literature that clindamycin causes diarrhea, but the probability of this happening is extremely low. If you have enteritis, patients with ulcerative colitis are strictly prohibited from using it. Can be replaced with fusidic acid cream or benzoyl peroxide gel.

Fusidic acid cream (topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, prescription drugs)

This medicine is also prescribed by a doctor.


Fusidic acid cream produces antibacterial effects by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis

Fusidic acid is a common ointment to treat red bumps. It is mainly used for bacterial skin infections such as papules and pustules. This medicine has the effect of inhibiting inflammation.

If the acne has just turned red and painful, but it hasn’t developed pustules, you can use this medication for a day or two to eliminate it. Bacteria are also resistant to this drug, and the effect of long-term use will be weakened.

Topical medication recommendations

To reduce the irritation of the drug and enhance the therapeutic effect, you can try the following order of use

1. Use retinoids at night and topical antibiotics or benzoyl peroxide gel during the day. Because retinoid is neither an antibiotic nor a hormone, but it can unclog the pores, which is more conducive to the penetration of antibiotics into the skin to treat acne and improve the efficacy of antibiotics.

2. Alternate use of formyl peroxide gel and antibiotics during the day. For example, use benzoyl peroxide gel on Monday and clindamycin phosphate gel on Tuesday. Alternating use can reduce the irritation and pigmentation caused by benzoyl peroxide, which can also enhance the effect of antibiotics and reduce the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. If you don’t like the pigmentation caused by benzoyl peroxide, just use topical antibiotics, but don’t use antibiotics for a long time.

If the acne is still not cured by topical medication, you need to continue to see a dermatologist, or you may need oral medication for treatment.

Oral Medications to Get Rid of Severe Acne

All oral drugs are prescription drugs and need to be taken under the guidance of a doctor. Please do not take drugs without authorization.

Minocycline (oral antibiotic, prescription medication)

Topical antibiotics are limited in their ability to penetrate the skin and clear more deep-seated acne, whereas oral antibiotics circulate throughout the body and into sebaceous glands. Oral antibiotics can eliminate inflammation and bacteria in the deep layers of the skin.

Oral antibiotics should be avoided in pregnant women because it crosses the placenta and may cause fetal harm.

The oral antibiotic you choose should be tetracyclines such as minocycline and doxycycline. If you do not have these two drugs, you can consider choosing macrolides, such as erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, etc.

Minocycline is a first-line acne antibiotic of choice. It has a strong anti-inflammatory ability and can inhibit the propagation of Propionibacterium acnes.

It also has the effect of preventing acne pits. Anti-inflammatory is carried out at the early stage of acne development, so it is not easy to leave acne pits.

This medicine is the best antibiotic I have ever taken.

Doxycycline (oral antibiotics, prescription drugs)

This medicine is a very common anti-inflammatory medication and is cheap, but its efficacy is not as good as minocycline. If you choose one of the two, it is recommended to buy minocycline

Usually, the dose of minocycline and doxycycline is 100-200 mg/day (usually 100 mg/day), and the course of treatment is 6 to 8 weeks. If the acne disappears after 6 weeks of taking it, please stop taking it. Otherwise, continue taking it for 8 weeks.

Side effects of oral antibiotics are:

  • nausea.
  • vomiting.
  • diarrhea.
  • headache.
  • fatigue.
  • dizziness.
  • itching.
  • tooth discoloration.
  • reduced bone development in children.

Spironolactone (oral anti-androgen drugs, prescription drugs, prohibited for men)

Although the instructions do not state that this drug can be used as a treatment for acne, in actual clinical practice, this drug is often used as a drug for anti-androgen therapy, and the effect is still good.

If girls are prone to acne during menstruation, start taking this medicine 7 days before menstruation to prevent acne. Because menstruation comes, girls will secrete a lot of androgens, which is one of the reasons for acne.

Contraceptives—Estrostep FE (oral anti-androgen drugs, prescription drugs, prohibited for men)

The FDA approved an oral contraceptive for the treatment of acne. Like spironolactone tablets, it is also a common therapeutic drug to inhibit the secretion of male hormones. On the first day of the menstrual cycle, take 1 tablet a day for 21 days.

Common side effects of oral contraceptives may include:

  • feel sick and vomit.
  • Breast tenderness;.
  • Uterine bleeding.
  • Weight gain.

Isotretinoin (oral retinoids, prescription drugs)

Treatment of level IV acne: There are many nodules and cysts on the face. You can choose the isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a super weapon for treating acne.


When used in the treatment of acne, it can shrink sebaceous gland tissue, inhibit sebaceous gland activity, reduce sebum production, reduce epithelial cell keratinization, and blockage of hair follicles, and inhibit the growth and reproduction of Propionibacterium acnes.

Isotretinoin can solve the three factors that cause acne. It is the most effective drug, but it is also the drug with the strongest side effects.

Before using isotretinoin, my face was full of acne, pimples, pustules, nodules, small cysts, and my face was red and swollen because of the acne. After using isotretinoin, all the acne disappeared and the face became white and flawless.

Oral isotretinoin is limited to the treatment of severe acne (nodules, cysts). As far as the effectiveness of acne treatment is concerned, isotretinoin has more advantages than disadvantages.

European Acne Treatment Guidelines, American Acne Treatment Guidelines, and international acne treatment guidelines all point out that isotretinoin can eliminate acne and prevent acne recurrence.

During the period of using isotretinoin, a lot of acne will develop on the face in the early stage, but after a period of time, the acne on the face will get better.

Also, your skin and eyes are very dry during the medication. It is recommended that you do a good job of moisturizing while taking the medication.

The doctor recommends that the daily dosage per kg of body weight is 0.5mg~1mg, and the length of time should usually be more than 16 weeks.

The size of the cumulative dose is significantly related to the recurrence of acne, so the recommended cumulative dose is 60 mg per kg of body weight as the target. After the acne subsides, the drug dose can be gradually reduced until the drug is stopped.

For example, for a person with a weight of 60 kg, the daily dose of medication is 30 mg to 60 mg, and the cumulative dose of medication is 3600 mg. However, the specific dosage should be determined at the discretion of the doctor.

Side effect:

  • Long-term high-dose consumption may cause premature bone closure, bone hyperplasia, osteoporosis, etc., and children younger than 12 years should try not to use it.
  • Isotretinoin has a clear fetal teratogenic effect, female patients should be treated before1 month, strict contraception during treatment, and 3 months after treatment. If an accidental pregnancy occurs during treatment, abortion must be taken.
  • Besides, the relationship between isotretinoin causing depression or suicide and drug use is not clear. Because acne itself can also cause patients to have low self-esteem and depression, it is recommended that patients who already have depressive symptoms or have depression should not use it. But these side effects will end after stopping the medication.

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy is used as an alternative therapy for the side effects of the above-mentioned drugs for patients with moderate to severe acne.

The light source of PDT is mainly red and blue light, which is an enhanced version of red and blue light therapy.

Killing P.acne and destroying sebaceous glands are most effective under blue light irradiation, but blue light has a shorter wavelength and weaker penetration.

Red light has a long wavelength and strong penetrability. The skin tissues that are treated deeper are mainly treated with the red light.

Blue light alone can kill Propionibacterium acnes and have anti-inflammatory effects. Red light alone can repair skin tissues and can be used as an alternative treatment for moderate acne.

The following table lists suitable treatment options, but if you go to the hospital, the doctor may prescribe other antibiotics. At this time, please follow the doctor’s guidance for treatment.

This post is just to provide you with the knowledge to treat acne. You can buy some adapalene and antibiotics without seeing a doctor for mild acne. But if it is moderate acne or severe acne, please see a doctor and do not treat yourself.

The following table is the solution for acne treatment given in the American Acne Treatment Guidelines.

Acne treatment plan. It includes first-line treatment options and alternative treatment options that doctors often choose. Each treatment plan includes mild, moderate, and severe treatment drugs and drug combination treatment methods.

Tips: The double asterisks (**) indicate that the drug may be prescribed as a fixed combination product or as a separate component. BP: Benzoyl Peroxide.

Tips for acne treatment

  • It takes enough patience to treat acne. Acne is a chronic skin disease. Treating acne is a long-term process. You need to be patient. Do not give up treatment if you feel that the improvement is not obvious within two weeks after seeing the doctor. If the situation improves, continue treatment.
  • Regular re-examination. The treatment of acne is usually carried out in stages, and the condition may also change. At the same time, because of the complex causes, the treatment direction may also need to be adjusted. It is necessary to see a fixed doctor for follow-up visits in time to adjust the treatment plan according to the situation.
  • Fully communicate with the doctor. Ask the doctor if you have any questions, and communicate with the doctor if you have any doubts so that the doctor can fully understand your situation, including your contraindications and adverse reactions to some drugs. This helps the doctor make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to ensure your safety.

How to Prevent Acne Recurrence?

Nowadays, the medical profession believes that the occurrence of acne is closely related to a healthy diet and living habits. If you do not change your eating habits and living habits, even if the acne is cured, there is a risk of recurrence.

Acne and healthy eating

1. Sugar

Eat less sweets such as ice cream and cones. These sweets can cause acne.

Patients with acne should avoid excessive sugar intake. High-sugar foods and high-glycemic-index foods can significantly increase the secretion of sebum, promote the deterioration of inflammation, and more acne on the face.

When blood sugar is too high, the repair of skin tissue damage will be delayed. Excessive blood sugar can also lead to insulin resistance and insulin-like growth factor-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1, IGF-1) elevation, and IGF-1 can promote the production of sebum, and can also promote the abnormal keratinization of keratinocytes.

Sugar contains white granulated sugar, particularly sweet fruits, juice, refined carbohydrates (including white rice, noodles, cakes, bread, etc.)

2. Dairy products

Drink less milk

There have been sufficient studies that excessive intake of milk can promote the development of acne, especially skimmed milk.

Milk contains many hormones necessary for the growth of calves. These hormones may have an impact on the human body, especially IGF-1.

Milk is rich in casein. After casein enters the stomach, it turns into curd under the action of stomach acid to protect IGF-1 from being destroyed. IGF-1 is absorbed by the intestine and enters the blood circulation.

IGF-1 promotes the secretion of sebum and also promotes the formation of micro-acne. In addition to IGF-1, insulin, and growth hormone in milk can also cause acne.

The fermentation process of yogurt may destroy part of IGF-1, so yogurt is safer for acne patients.

Many people eat dairy products for protein and calcium. To avoid aggravating acne, protein can be obtained from other foods, such as soy milk, tofu, and eggs. Calcium can take calcium tablets alone.

3. Vitamin A (retinol)

Lack of vitamin A can lead to hyperkeratosis of the skin, leading to the development of micro-acne. Vitamin A supplementation can reduce hyperkeratosis and inhibit sebum production.

The main source of vitamin A is animal liver, and you can also take a separate supplement.

4. Carotenoids


Carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A in the body and have the effect of preventing light damage. Supplementing vitamin A and carotenoids can also improve eyesight and relieve eye fatigue.

Food sources of carotenoids are carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, egg yolks, broccoli, wheat husks, and green vegetables.

5. Vitamin B family

Vitamin B3 and vitamin B6 can keep sebum production, and vitamin B3 can also help the skin repair the skin barrier.

Whole-grain foods and egg yolks are rich in B vitamins.

You can consider going to the pharmacy to buy vitamin B complex supplements.

6. Vitamin C

Vitamin C Foods, such as lemon, kiwi, navel orange, grapefruit

Vitamin C has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, can promote the repair of damaged tissues, and can also inhibit sebum production.

Other antioxidants, including vitamin E, anthocyanins, green tea polyphenols, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, etc. may help eliminate acne to varying degrees.

7. Zinc


Zinc supplementation can reduce sebum production.

Zinc also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and zinc supplementation can reduce the number of acne.

The best way to supplement zinc is to buy zinc gluconate at a drugstore or eat more oysters.

You can also use zinc-containing skin care products, which can reduce the production of sebum.

8. Green Tea

Green tea is being made in the teacup

Green tea can fight hormonal acne.

Green tea can reduce insulin levels, which means the skin produces less sebum.

Antioxidants in green tea are 25 to 100 times more potent than vitamin C.

Drinking green tea can reduce inflammation that’s known to cause acne.

9. Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Intake of linoleic acid and omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids (such as linolenic acid) can reduce inflammation caused by acne, anti-oxidation, delay aging, and develop intelligence. Lack of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, maybe one of the causes of acne.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids can be taken from safflower seed oil, linseed oil, perilla oil, walnut oil, purple horse oil, evening primrose oil, and deep-sea fish oil, etc. It is appropriate to supplement 10-15 grams per day.

Acne and lifestyle

1. Staying up late and stress

All women’s androgens are secreted by the adrenal glands.

The adrenal gland is regulated by the pituitary gland, and the pituitary gland is regulated by the hypothalamus, thus forming the hypothalamus-pituitary gland-adrenal gland (HPA axis), which is an important axis mechanism of human endocrine.

When a person is under stress, this axis can be activated to make the adrenal glands secrete more dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), thereby promoting the secretion of sebum.

The stress state can also promote the development of inflammation, inhibit the healing of tissue damage, and increase free radicals.

These are not conducive to the alleviation of acne. Many people suffer from acne when they are stressed at work, staying up late, and are anxious, which may be related to the HPA axis. Therefore, it is important to keep a happy mood and stay up late.

2. Constipation

Some doctors notice that the number of acne increases in patients with constipation.

The brain directly affects the intestinal environment through food intake or affects the intestinal environment due to emotional stress. The intestinal barrier is weakened, and the toxins released by harmful microorganisms in the intestine enter the blood, causing inflammation and insulin resistance, which in turn affects the skin. The deterioration of the skin will cause the brain to produce negative emotions, which in turn makes the skin worse.

The medical community believes that there is an intestinal-brain-skin theory: emotional stress or diet can affect intestinal peristalsis and intestinal microbes, making the intestinal barrier worse, and botulinum toxin released by harmful microbes enters the bloodstream, leading to inflammation and insulin resistance. This will affect the skin.

In daily life, you should pay attention to intestinal health, eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods rich in dietary fiber, exercise more, drink plenty of water, avoid constipation, and maintain intestinal health.

3. Makeup

Some cosmetics have strong sealing properties, which affect the discharge of sebum and the shedding of keratinocytes.

Certain ingredients in cosmetics are prone to cause skin acne.