Preventing Acne

Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 65 Requests
February 28, 2011

Preventing Acne, Young Woman washing her faceI wanted to share a tip I found out about for skin care and blackheads. I have a terrible problem with blackheads on my nose and chin, even though I exfoliate. It seems no matter what I use, I have trouble in this area. I'm a 54 year old female and have had hormonal blemishes since I was 30.


I crushed 4 regular aspirin and mixed them with the juice of a quarter of a fresh lemon. It foamed a little and had a grainy texture. Then I scrubbed it on my clean face, concentrating on my t-zone. I rinsed my face and when I looked at my nose, my pores were clear and clean of blackheads. I don't understand what happened or how it worked. I don't know if they'll come back, but they were gone. My pores still showed of course, this didn't reduce my pore size at all. But my pores were clean for the first time in a long time. I've even gone for professional peels and had no luck with getting rid of blackheads. I don't know how long it will last either, but I was happy with the results.

I hope it works for you if you try it. It was easy and cheap. I think the lemon had a lot to do with it because I've used crushed aspirin by themselves mixed with water before and didn't have these results. Good luck!


If you're allergic to aspirin, I would not use this scrub if I were you.

By metroplex from Houston, TX

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 124 Posts
April 26, 2017

I've been prone to spots in my middle age, which is no fun at all. I get them along my jawline. Doing some research on the internet, I came across a tip. It was to change your pillowcase nightly to stop any build up of dirt on the skin from sleeping on it night after night.

A pillow with several pillowcases.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
January 20, 2012

When you have fairly severe acne, the first thing to do is to see a doctor. There are so many wonderful treatments that actually work that it is wise to get expert advice right off the mark.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 28, 2008

Are there any foods that cause pimples to flare up? Can anyone please give me a list of foods to avoid that cause acne to flare up? Thanks!

Kelly from Seattle


By JenDiggity (Guest Post)
April 29, 20080 found this helpful

DAIRY FOODS can cause acne.
Give ALL dairy up for a week or two and see if that doesn't make a difference (it will).


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 139 Feedbacks
April 29, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Kelly! When I was a teenager, I had acne really bad on my back. The dermatologist told me to buy salt without iodine because iodine causes a lot of people to break out. She insisted that we get enough iodine in other foods, such as fish.


You should probably ask your doctor about that, though. Anyway, to this day, if I use salt with iodine, I will break out. I hope this helps. Iodine seems to be the only thing that affects me.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 153 Feedbacks
April 29, 20080 found this helpful

My uncle had awful acne with boils until a doctor told him to eliminate dairy foods. It cleared up very well. I have also noticed that people who won't eat veggies (cooked and raw) have more acne. Hope this helps.

By crazyliblady (Guest Post)
April 29, 20080 found this helpful

Here are foods that cause acne for me. All of them have ingredients that are difficult to digest or are are devoid of real nutrition.
chocolate, dairy (non-dairy coffee creamer, milk, cheese, butter, margarine, cottage cheese, crackers, bread), eggs, sugar, colas, processed food, fast food, less red meat


To get healthier skin, I had to quit eating the above foods and get more of the following: vitamins (vitamin e, b complex), green leafy veggies, fish, specifically salmon, tuna, water, filtered not tap water which contains fluoride and heavy metals.

By Oberhund (Guest Post)
April 29, 20080 found this helpful

I've found that sugar and refined flours (in most processed foods) cause me to break out. I think it has a lot to do with hormonal imbalances from the surge of insulin your body has to produce after eating these. I've also noticed that I get a lot of clogged pores when I eat dairy. My skin always looks the best when I eat lots of vegetables and get regular exercise.

By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
April 30, 20080 found this helpful

Our dermatologist told me that it isn't foods that causes acne. He said it has to do with heredity. (when I took my teenagers, he examined my skin for large pores... lol)


There is a condition called Rosecea that resembles acne and is common in adults. (There is also adult acne which needs to be treated by a dermatologist as does Rosecea.) People with Rosecea should not eat spicy foods, drink alcoholic beverages, or anything with caffeine. If they continue to do that, they will get what is known as a W.C. Fields' nose. He was famous and had a distinctive red bulbous nose because of his Rosecea.

Good luck

By Cathy in Townsville (Guest Post)
April 30, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Kelly
Eat as many fruits and veges as possible, and avoid man-made foods or takeaways. The best advice is to scrub your face twice daily with a specialist acne soap or cleanser.
Good luck!

By Thrifty reader (Guest Post)
May 4, 20080 found this helpful

I am over 50 yrs old and no matter how much docs say food doesn't cause acne flare-ups, I strongly disagree! BUTTER definitely still at my age gives me breakouts.


I have to be so careful with restauarant food made with butter and when I am lax, I get a pimple.

May 5, 20080 found this helpful

It's not so much what you eat. But if you are handling greasy foods with your hands then touch your face you're putting the grease onto your face which causes pimples.

By Jane (Guest Post)
May 9, 20080 found this helpful

If you are allergic to any foods they will cause a "flare-up". Also, when I was in the Navy, a dermatologist advised me to shower in the coolest water I could tolerate instead of the steamy temperature I preferred. I've never tolerated what anyone could call cool water, but when I cut back the temperature the acne disappeared like magic!

By tatiana (Guest Post)
June 17, 20080 found this helpful

Try to steer clear of chocolate and greasy foods. They tend to go straight to your face. Keep your pores clean and clear by washing daily, but not so much to dry your face out. Hope everything works out:)

By jester (Guest Post)
June 19, 20080 found this helpful

cream cheese has always caused acne for me...

By Olivia (Guest Post)
June 19, 20080 found this helpful

Popcorn, pizza cheese greas, potato chips, anything greasy basically.

By (Guest Post)
July 23, 20080 found this helpful

Greasy foods do not cause acne. Stress is most likely the cause for your acne. Chocolate does not cause acne either.

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June 6, 2006

I've been in a battle with my skin and hair for years, and at last I've come to seek some advice. My face is covered in acne (I don't remember what I looked like without it), and so far nothing has helped. The sensitive skin solutions don't hit the acne hard enough, and stronger solutions make my skin itch and flake after a few days.

Proactiv brought the acne down to a slightly more manageable level, but after the first few months the price became a bit much. I also found myself slathering on facial moisturizers to get rid of the white, dry skin flakes which may have contributed to the longevity of a certain level of acne even after a few months on the program.

As for the hair, I have long blonde hair that's technically straight, except for the frizz and ponytail holder kinks that never want to go away. I've had it chopped off a few times and used different conditioners and shampoos to help fight against frizz and split ends. Kind of like with my skin, my hair gets greasy fast but then freaks out when I use things to battle the grease. Conditioners that might help with the frizz leave my hair flat and greasy before noon. On the rare occasion that I wear it down (it's a little below shoulder length now), people say I should wear it down more often. I'd like to, but the frizz/grease battle makes it a mess and a constant hassle.

Is there anything out there that might get rid of the acne and the frizz without leading to dry skin and greasy-looking hair?

Anna from Cleveland, OH


By Willem (Guest Post)
June 6, 20060 found this helpful

My daughter had a problem with acne for about the last 6 years - she is 20 now. I noticed that her skin improved when she was using antibiotics for other reasons, so her doctor prescribed an antibiotic for her skin. She also uses flaxseed oil tablets, which has really made a difference. It does take time however. It is ironic that one's skin plays up at a young age when it is so important to look well and when at an older age, one's skin is perfect!! I had terrible skin problems at 20; now, at 53, my skin is so healthy and beautiful that people do not believe me when I tell them the acne I had until well into my twenties! You could also change your face towel and pillowcase on a daily basis to avoid spreading the infection. Good Luck!

June 7, 20060 found this helpful

I'm not sure about the hair, but have you been to a dermatologist about the acne you have for years? Some acne medications still require a prescription. Also, other conditions could be contributing to the problem, such as exzema, contact dermatitis, or rosacea. A dermatologist could advise you on this.

By threeks3 (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

As for the acne, I once read an article on how egg yolks can help. Yolks have retin A in them like some acne meds. The article was from Dear Abby many moons back. You put the yolk on your face until it dries, then rinse off. You do this once a day for a month then once a week. When I have breakouts I put some egg yolk on my face and it seems to work. Good luck!

June 7, 20060 found this helpful

about the acne, i used to have a lot of when i was 15 and 16 years old i am 28 now and i got rid of them, i used to rub half lemon on my face each night and it burns a little bit but it did work so good and i used to do earth mudd mask also i used to rub the mint leaves in my face to get rib of the scars and my face looks so nice noone beleive i will get a clean and clear face like now i used to think i will always have acne in my face

By kathy (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

My daughters use a straightener to straighten their hair every morning. The ones from the beaty supply stores work the best.

June 7, 20060 found this helpful

Anna, I'm like you I have tried everything for my skin. The soap that has worked for me has sea buckthorn seed oil in it. I purchase it from They also have shampoo and other items. All their items are reasonably priced.


By Marisa (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

I just did a bunch of acne research for myself, and the trick I saw most often was 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatments (Neutrogena makes one). It's supposed to be just as effective as the stronger (10%) treatments, but much gentler on your skin. I've only been using it a few weeks, but I am noticing a little improvement. **The trick is to use it all over your face every day, not just as a spot treatment. And use a GENTLE face wash and oil-free moisturizer every day (twice a day).

For the hair, have you tried a silicone-based serum? Frizz-ease is most popular, but there are MANY kinds out there (my sister is a stylist and I get lots of her hand-me-downs). It seems very greasy in your hands, but you only use a tiny amount (a few drops at first, then increase until you find the right amount) and rub it all over your hands and then lightly distribute it through your hair. Stay away from the roots, as that will promote the greasy feel. Just use it wherever you need "smoothing." Good luck...I have both these problems, too, and I know how frustrating it can be.

By Kathy (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

I agree that you should go to the professionals for your skin and hair. I was always too cheap to pay to find help for my skin and hair and I was miserable for years. It is not worth it! Find someone really GOOD and recommended (doctor/hairstylist) and let them help you!
PS(Willem is right.... your balance will change as you grow older. And be careful too, I was allergic to benzol peroxide.)

By Laurie Laurie Laurie (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

Although I've never had the acne I can and do sympathize with your hair! I never use the same conditioner for more than a week and I try to get one for moisture/color treated or permed hair. Below is a link for homemade products. This is my go-to page for just about everything. I hope you find a 'cure' soon and enjoy the remedies while trying :)

Although I've never had the acne I can and do sympathize with your hair! I never use the same conditioner for more than a week and I try to get one for moisture/color treated or permed hair. Below is a link for homemade products. This is my go-to page for just about everything. I hope you find a 'cure' soon and enjoy the remedies while trying :)

By Dede (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

I also had bad acne for years. Try Neutregena's Pore Refining Cleanser once a day, also have heard egg yolk works well. My dermatologist had me use Ivory soap for years, but the formula was changed, so he had me go to Dial, just regular bar soap. I also use a toner called clean and clear, has salicylic acid in it, which helps prevent acne in the near future. All these item are fairly reasonable in price. I also use Neutregena Healthy skin anti wrinkle cream for the spf, and doesn't upset me skin. Good Luck

By octoberbabye (Guest Post)
June 9, 20060 found this helpful

For acne I've gotten relief from Oil of Olay anti-aging, anti blemish. I buy it on eBay at about half the price. I have suffered from acne for almost all my life. I notice that it brings my bumps to the surface and washing with olive oil soap (also bought on the bay) has helped a great deal.

By Anna (Guest Post)
June 18, 20060 found this helpful

I had perfect skin when I was a teenager, it wasn't until in my twenties that I started getting acne, and at one point it was so bad people stared at it in the street. Teenage acne is usually because of hormones, but if you have it when you're older there can be a different reason.

I saw a dermatologist and was given a prescription for low-dosage antibiotics to take for 6 months. Most of it cleared up, but after the treatment I was extremely tired all the time, and my doctor discovered I had a severe iron defiency. The particular antibiotic I was given competes with some minerals in the body (iron, zinc and calcium). If you get a prescription for antibiotics, be sure to get advice about diet at the same time so you can avoid any defiencies.

Unfortunately, the acne came back, and this time I wasn't so keen on antibiotics. I found a book at the public library that gave advise on skin problems. It suggested some dietary strategies: Avoid refined carbohydrates (sugar, white flour), animal fat, soft drinks, chemicalized foods (foods that contain preservatives, stailizers etc), fried foods. Modest use of vegetable oils. Get enough fibre and protein. Health of the bowels is important. 'Live' low-fat yogurt with no additives is good. These advice helped me to get better skin. After my skin cleared up I noticed that when I eat food with lots of sugar and saturated fats, my face and hair gets greasy within a day or two. I'm not saying that this is some kind of miracle diet, but it helped me to pay attention to what my skin looks like after I eat certain things.

I also recognize the problem of having very greasy and very dry skin at the same time. I used some very drying products to get rid of acne at one point, and the skin reacted with increased oil production and flakiness. I used a very gentle cleanser that contained lactic acid, a toner that I made myself with one part apple cider vinegar and seven parts water (this restores the pH of the skin), and a light hydrating lotion. Nowadays I have a few different products that I switch between. For example, I can use stronger things for the skin, but maybe just every other or third day so I don't get the greasy/dry reaction. I just try to feel what is right for my skin on the day. When my skin was extra greasy, it was better to use something more gentle and wash three times a day to keep the oil at bay, than to use a lot of extra-strong products. Also, I never use products that contain liquid paraffin (paraffinum liquidum). It is used in many moisturizers because it makes the skin feel soft, but it can also aggravate acne.

I hope you can get some ideas of this. Remember, everyone is different and there can be different reasons for acne in different people. Good luck!

By Roxie (Guest Post)
September 2, 20070 found this helpful

Ugh. Okay. I know exactly what you're going through. I've had acne since 4th grade, & I'm a sophomore in high school. I wasn't about to deal with it anymore.
I used Clearisil Pore Cleansing pads. My idea is to dry out my pimples, then moisturize my skin with an oil-free lotion for facial skin.
They're not all the way gone, but this is the best my face has ever been.
As for your hair. I would try getting it relaxed at a salon. It's not permanent, but it sure can help. When you condition your hair, leave it in for about 8 - 10 minutes, then when you wash it out, use ice cold water.

By smg (Guest Post)
September 13, 20070 found this helpful

i use to share the same problems as you. try VINCHY 3 step cleansing routine. VINCHY are good skin products. There was a drastic change in just 2 months or so. My skin cleared and is now cleaner. well, good luck!

vinchy is rather pricey but it's worth the investment. trust me. (:

By Jessica (Guest Post)
September 21, 20070 found this helpful

I haven't fully read all the responses. I was also put on anitbiotics. My biggest suggestion is DON'T GO ON ANITBIOTICS. They kill good bacteria in your body too. Go see a naturopathic doctor. I admit, it will be expensive, but a naturopath will look at your entire lifestyle and your health, and not just your skin. Not to mention that I'm sure you've spent a huge amount of money trying to fix your problems as well.

If your hair and skin are upset, theres a deeper reason. Maybe your diet could be the problem, it's worth looking into a holistic solution!

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November 3, 2008

I've been breaking out a lot lately and I've tried so many things, yet none of it seems to work. If it does, it'll work for a few weeks up to a month before I start breaking out again, and not lightly either. I've tried Neutrogena scrub, Morning Burst, soap, foam wash etc. (along with other brands of course). The last thing I tried was Neutrogena soap which has been drying out my skin and not stopping the breakouts.

I'm not sure how to choose a matching treatment or any home remedies to try before I go off and buy a 60 dollar treatment that may or may not work. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do or where I can get some extra help (without going to a dermatologist Dx)? Thank you!



By Been there had that (Guest Post)
November 3, 20080 found this helpful

As a young teenage girl years ago, I suffered from horrible acne. I took meds for it nothing worked. I tried everything. What I found that worked after lots of trial and error was, Phillips Milk of Magnesia. I would wash my face with Dial, plain Dial and dab on the Phillips and let it stay on over night. Wash with dial in the morning. It worked for me. AS I got older, I started to use salt and ivory soap.

My dermatologist nearly had a stroke when I told him. The ivory soap and salt is real extreme and I used just a very little bit and only like once a week. Good luck please try the Phillips and give it a few weeks to work. There are no quick fixes for acne.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 139 Feedbacks
November 3, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Jay! I had acne as a teenager and I did go to a dermatologist. The first thing she did was take me off of iodized salt. To this day, I can tell when I've eaten iodized salt (restaurants or dinner at someone's house, etc). She assured us that we got enough iodine in other foods (fish). My daughter is the same way, she can tell when she's eaten iodized salt. Try buying and using plain salt on your foods for a few weeks and see if you can tell the difference. Also, keep your hands and fingers away from your face (or areas that break out).

November 4, 20080 found this helpful

When my 2 girls had acne troubles, they used a cleanser (a pump foam or liquid) with salicylic acid - a Beta Hydroxy Acid. Then they applied a moisturizer with salicylic acid as well. Salicylic Acid is a BHA product, and it soaks into the skin and heals from inside.

For spot treatments, they used a Bonzoyl Peroxide as well. This comes in a 2.5% or 5% solution. It can cause a sensitivity and I'd recommend the 2.5% to start with. All this information was obtained at at the time, and I would highly recommend you visiting that site. It is a wealth of information!

By Guest (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Try working on it from the inside. Many times hormonal imbalances cause breakouts. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by many things including stress and diet. Believe it or not, sugar and refined starches (high glycemic foods) can severely disrupt hormone levels in our bodies. Eliminate these. I also find dairy causes me to break out. And if I eat lots of leafy green vegetables, I find my completion improves a lot. Juicing veggies is great, too. Oh, and artificial sweeteners are a big no-no, also. They can make your body react in strange ways, and breakouts is just one of them.

The human body is always trying to keep itself in balance. Give it a chance to heal itself (i.e. skin blemishes are a sign it's losing some kind of fight) by removing the toxins and giving it the nutrients it needs.

By Arlinn (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

I started with acne when in my twenties. I went to dermatologists for years and was on antibiotics for years. I wouldn't recommend that as in the end it caused me other problems. Also, the antibiotics didn't really work that well. But, I did find a simple solution by the time I reached my thirties. Water. I drank 2 liters of water every day and within a week I had major improvements. To this day, it still works. I still break out and water has been the best remedy for me. Can't hurt to give it a try and it's quick and cheap. Wishing you the best in finding a solution.

By Sheryl (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

Tea Tree Oil. Found in a pharmacy by the vitamins (cheapest prices at Walmart) ~ mix with water 50/50. Use a cotton ball and dab all over your face. Keep away from eyes. It will burn if it gets in your eyes.

I've been told this is the effective ingredient in these "expensive" infomercials for acne products. My girls had tremendous success with this. Their skin is beautiful now. If they get a breakout ~ they use a q-tip and dab it full strength on the blemish. Dries up overnight. Good luck!

By Sarah (Guest Post)
November 4, 20080 found this helpful

I have had a problem with acne for over 6 years, but it has gotten really bad in the past 2. I am under a dermatologist's care and it has hardly helped me. The only thing that has improved is that I have hardly any blackheads. I really do not have any good info for you. I am like you. I have tried it all and continue too. The reason it works and stops is because your skin can only get so better.

I have tried so many non-prescription and prescription items that have hardly worked. Right now, I am using mark (from Avon) That's Deep gel cleanser and Neutrogena Fight & Fade Acne gel once a day. I use a non-alcohol toner in a spray bottle when I feel I am drying out too much. I exfoliate with St Ives olive scrub. I go back and forth with moisturizers. I only apply once a day because my skin cannot handle twice a day. I use mostly mineral makeup.

I still have not found anything that is fool proof and works all the time. I have just learned to buy my products from Ulta, Rite Aid, etc that accepts beauty products back if you are not happy with them.

By Aunt Flower (Guest Post)
November 5, 20080 found this helpful

I have used these pills for my own acne in my 30's, and subsequently two of my teen age sons. If my daughters develop acne in their teens (it runs in our family) I'll give it to them as well. It is very effective. When you first start out, your skin may get worse, bu then it clears up entirely. I ended up being treated by the doctor who developed this for something unrelated, and he's a great guy!

By aliceinwonderland (Guest Post)
November 11, 20080 found this helpful

Proactiv is the best. I've tried many different types of acne treatments, and this was the only one that really worked well! I highly recommend it.

By Kate (Guest Post)
November 11, 20080 found this helpful

Hi! My name is Kate I am and Esthetician in MA. I have clients come into me everyday with the same situation as you. You were given a lot of good advice about (except the Dial soap. I would avoid that one! Body soap is too stripping for the face) First you need to determine what type of skin you have. Do you get oily throughout the day? Do you find yourself dry at all? Why type of acne do you have?

These are the things you need to figure out to decide what steps you should be taking. Have you ever considered booking a acne treatment? Having a professional take a look at your skin to see what's going on? Well if you fill be in on exactly what your skin type is I can see if I can come up with some helpful advice for you.

By Barbara B (Guest Post)
November 21, 20080 found this helpful

I have had issues with Acne and rosacea since I was a teen. Recently, I decided to try abstaining from different foods to see if it was a food allergy that triggered my breakouts. All I can say is.... I have been dairy free for 5 months, and I only have an episode when I cheat and have a slice of pizza or something like that. Best wishes on managing your skin care.

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April 6, 2009

I struggle with acne and have recently started using Clearasil Ultra fast acting. I had actually noticed improvement. I went to a cookout last night and had a little bit of chocolate, then had some mini Reese's later that night. I went in the bathroom and noticed my face, especially one side, was broke out worse again. This is about the 2nd time I've noticed this when I eat chocolate. Is it possible I could be allergic to it?

By Leah Carlson from SC

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