Here’s How to (Finally) Get Rid of Your Acne

This post is part of our Encyclopedia of Grooming: 2015 Edition.
Click here to view the entire guide.

Acne: evidence of the cruel, random ambivalence of the universe. Because, weren’t you supposed to stop waking up to pimples after you went through puberty? Fact is, grown men still get acne. And while your confidence is more resilient now that you’re out of high school, they’re still frustrating.

Pimples are caused by oils that get trapped in one’s pores. Essentially, as the body sloughs off dead skin, some cells can get caught in the skin’s oil, block the pores and become inflamed.

A simple, effective acne treatment should involve three things:

1. Exfoliate
Help your body discard the dead skin, and dirt, that can clog the pores.

2. Moisturize
While it seems counterintuitive to add moisturizer, which can often feel oily, to your face when the goal is to get rid of excess oil, if you strip your skin of all the natural oils, it will respond by increasing production. That’s where you can run into problems.

3. Clean
“Use a product that contains salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide,” explains dermatologist Ben Barankin. Both of those ingredients have been proven to help eradicate pimples. But, since both ingredients can dry out the skin, you need to be careful.

We recommend:


Billy Jealousy Bar None Salicylic Face Wash, $35
Neutrogena Men Skin Clearing Acne Wash, $6
Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser, $23