Dr. Pimple Popper Reveals the 9 Acne-Fighting Rules Everyone Should Memorize
Use a lower SPF
Some greasy sunscreens can clog pores, but you don’t want to leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage. Still, this is one time when you might actually want to dial the protection down a notch. The higher the SPF, the heavier and more likely to clog pores, says Dr. Lee. Even though the American Academy of Dermatology recommends SPF 30 or higher, Dr. Lee suggests SPF 15, the minimum recommended from the FDA, for daily use. “SPF 15 is actually a very good amount of sunscreen protection,” she says. “When you get higher than 15 or 30—which are pretty similar—50 or 100 is silly because it doesn’t protect you much more.” Try the daily moisturizer from Dr. Lee’s product line, SLMD. If you’re spending the day in the sun, though, go higher with SPF 30 to stay safe, she says.
Know your acne type
All acne is not created equal, and what worked for your best friend might not work for you. Still, you might be able to figure out the right regimen without a dermatologist. “If you understand what kind of acne you have—more blackheads or whiteheads or pustules or cysts—and why you get it, a person can take control in their own hands,” says Dr. Lee. For instance, people with blackheads and whiteheads will probably have success with acne meds that have retinol or salicylic acid, she says. OTC topical products probably won’t go deep enough to address cystic acne, though, so you might need a derm to prescribe oral antibiotics or creams.