How to Get Clear Skin

Back to Health Hub

Acne and spots are things many deal with in today's world and it can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. Find out how to get clear skin, here.

Acne and problems with spotty skin is something many people deal with in today’s world. It can have a negative impact on mental health and self-esteem and in some cases, it can be very painful too, leading to many with the problem wondering “how can I get clear skin?”

woman squeezing spots


We’ve put together this guide with our 11 top skincare tips and regime adjustments to try and help you avoid or reduce breakouts.

How to get clear skin

From avoiding squeezing your spots to switching to mild products, here’s our top tips for helping you on your journey to clear skin:

1. Avoid squeezing spots

Number one on the list is to stop squeezing your spots! Your spots are an indicator of trapped oil, sebum and bacteria and it’s your body’s way of naturally healing. By squeezing, you’re disrupting this healing process and on top of this, the liquids that are released exposes the surrounding skin to these bacteria, which may make it worse and cause it to spread. If you need more of a reason to stop popping those pimples, it can also lead to permanent scarring too.

2. Wash your face twice a day

man washing faceWashing your face twice a day (morning and night is best) is a relatively simple way for you to get clearer skin. There have been studies carried out on the effectiveness of face washing and acne and one in 2006 actually analysed the frequency and how this impacts spots. The study asked different participants to wash their faces one, two and four times a day over a period of six weeks and it was found that those in the twice a day category showed a significant improvement, whereas the once-a-day group actually saw more spots develop.

3. Use mild products

If you have issues with spots or acne, you may think that the strongest solution is going to help fight your breakouts best, but that’s often wrong. Those that suffer with acne actually tend to have more sensitive skin, so instead, you should reach for more gentle products that are less likely to irritate your skin, thus potentially reducing breakouts! It’s best to avoid alcohol-based formulas and opt for those specially formulated for sensitive skin, these will generally have fewer ingredients and fragrances.

4. Find the right acne fighting agent

Many on their quest to getting clearer skin will pop to the shops and pick up any old product that says it actively fights acne, but did you know different agents are designed to fight different acne types? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends the following treatments for each type:

  • Comedonal acne (blackheads): retinoids such as adapalene gel (Differin)
  • Mild acne: benzoyl peroxide which can be paired with a topical retinoid
  • Inflammatory acne: topical dapsone 5% gel
  • Acne with scarring: azelaic acid preparations can help to reduce and lessen the risk of scarring

If you have several different types of acne, AAD recommend a combination of benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin or adapalene gel.

5. Always moisturise

If you have oily skin, you may avoid moisturising in your bid to get clear skin as it seems counterproductive, but skipping this part of your skincare regime could be doing more harm than good. Oily skin is often caused by skin that’s excessively dry as it compensates for it by overproducing oil which in turn, causes spots.

We recommend choosing a moisturiser that’s noncomedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) and if your skin’s very oily, opt for a lightweight option. It can also be a good idea to switch your moisturiser strength between seasons as winter skin is often far drier than summer skin.

6. Don’t skip the sunscreen

The sun’s UV rays can be very damaging to your skin and can cause it to dry out, leading to – you guessed it – breakouts. Always pop on sunscreen when you’re heading out, but remember, look for ones without oil as these can clog your pores. If you’d rather not have the extra step in your routine or keep forgetting to put sunscreen on, you can get face moisturisers that have SPF added in.

7. Don’t use hot water

In order to save time, many will wash their faces in the shower under a very warm temperature, but this can actually be quite damaging. Washing your face in hot water can cause it to dry out, so it’s always best to use lukewarm water as it’s much kinder on your delicate skin.

8. Remember to exfoliate

For those wondering how to get clearer skin, exfoliating is your friend. Dead skin cells which stay on your skin for too long can result in clogged pores and exfoliating removes these dead cells, helping you to achieve fresher and clearer skin. Salicylic acid masks, glycolic acid masks, motorised facial brushes and natural scrubs are all great ways to keep your skin exfoliated. However, it’s important that you slowly build up your exfoliating routine in order to prevent damage by over-exfoliation.

9. Catch those Z’s

Did you know that research suggests that lack of sleep can make acne worse? In a 2015 study it was found that not sleeping can cause your body to release inflammatory compounds which can make your skin breakout or worsen your acne. Experts suggest aiming for between seven to nine hours of sleep per night to keep your mind and skin clear.

10. Choose the right makeup products

Some makeup products may aggravate acne, particularly if they clog pores, so go for lighter or natural makeup options which allow your pores to breathe. While we’re on the subject of makeup, always, always, always remember to remove makeup each night before you go to sleep and keep your brushes and tools clean.

woman practicing yoga in living room11. Reduce stress

We know that in today’s world, this is easier said than done, but acne vulgaris is one of the most common inflammatory skin disorders and when you’re stressed out, it can increase inflammatory compounds, leading to breakouts. On your journey to getting clearer skin, make time for stress management techniques such as:

  • Regular exercise
  • Massages
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Yoga

The final word on how to get clear skin

The above are just some simple steps you can take to try and reduce mild breakouts and acne, but if you have very serious acne, it’s causing you a lot of pain and doesn’t seem to improve, consult a dermatologist for professional advice. They’ll be able to assess your skin, identify the underlying cause and what type you have and provide a tailored acne fighting action plan.
That’s our guide on how to get clearer skin! Want more advice on improving your skin? Read our guide on how to get glowing skin, next!


Sign up to our newsletter