The single-most important thing to remember when dealing with acne, according to a dermatologist


Welcome to ‘Dear Derm,’ our new beauty series in which dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD shares serious skin-care realness. In each episode, she’ll answer your most burning beauty questions and give you all the tools you need to take your glow game to the next level. 

Show me a person who has never dealt with a pimple, and I will take you for a ride on a unicorn and personally introduce you to Santa Claus.

Of all the skin concerns out there, acne is the one that everyone deals with, whether in the form of a single zit or by way of pervasive breakouts. While there are a lot of different types of acne and reasons why pimples pop up, in the latest episode of Dear Derm, board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, shares that there’s a particular one-two punch of ingredients that tends to stop most pimples in their tracks (you can learn alllll about them in the video above).

She also schools us on the best ways to deal with pimples, from how to avoid them to how to treat them, but then she drops what might be the most earth-shattering (and counterintuitive!) intel we’ve heard yet: To nix zits and keep your complexion happy, you’ve gotta moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Wait, what?! According to her, when dealing with pimples, many acne-fighting ingredients like glycolic and salicylic acids, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol have a drying effect on skin (fun fact: Dr. Gohara’s favorite product to fight acne is available at the drugstore!). All this over-drying can create an oil surge deep within skin, which can fuel breakouts even more (le sigh). So to combat this, all you’ve gotta do is look for a non-comedogenic moisturizer (AKA one that won’t clog your pores) to add to your routine day.

To find out exactly which products Dr. Gohara recommends—and pretty much everything else you’ve ever wanted to know about acne—check out the video above. And please, for the love of all things beauty, don’t pop or pick.

If you’re dealing with the double-whammy acne and sensitive skin all at the same time (hello, irritation nation), these are the best product to use. And if you want to know what Dr. Gohara uses in her own skin-care routine, check out her picks here

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