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Ah, acne. Everyone remembers the “talk.” Not the sex talk, but the one where your mother introduced you to a world of necessary face washes and moisturizers. For some of us, acne has been a long-time friend that doesn’t get the hint. We don’t want you here. Adult acne is caused by a buildup of oil, dirt and unfortunately, genetics.

Know what kind of acne you’re dealing with

The first step in treating acne is to know what kind you’re actually dealing with. Nodular and cystic acne can sit deeper below the skin. Whiteheads and blackheads sit along the surface, far more easily extracted.

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Quit touching your face. Seriously.

The more your touch your face, the more you’re introducing your skin to bacteria and grime. Ever noticed you have a zit contour going on down one side of your cheek? It’s more than likely from talking on the phone and holding the screen up to your face. Sanitize that baby on the regular.

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Ice is your BFF

Adult acne tends to pop up when you’re under severe stress. So, everyday right? If you have a major exam or an interview for your dream job but you wake up to a painful, red blemish then hold an ice cube on it for a few minutes intermittently. It will help reduce the swelling.

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For the love of all that is holy, QUIT TOUCHING YOUR FACE.

It’s so tempting to touch, poke, pick and prod at a blemish but acne is a force to be reckoned with. Picking will lead to permanent scarring.

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Hydrate or Die-drate

Increase your water intake to give your skin a little TLC. Keep yourself hydrated to foster a healthy glow that no concealer or foundation could actually give you.

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Book an appointment with your favorite derm

If your adult acne feels unmanageable or seems to be getting progressively worse, hit up your favorite dermatologist and see if they can recommend a treatment plan to tackle it.

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Just. Don’t. Do. It.

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In short, STOP PICKING AT YOUR FACE, see a dermatologist and find a skincare routine that works for you.

George Mason Contributor (GMU)

George Mason University '50

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