1. What is touching my skin?

From fingers to make-up and even face masks, be aware of what is touching your skin! When you have acne-prone skin, wearing oily, pore-clogging make-up or face masks for hours at a time can irritate your skin and lead to breakouts. And when you are bang smack in the middle of a breakout, try not to touch or rub your face to prevent transferring oil, dirt, or bacteria from your hands.

2. Am I cleansing enough, or am I cleansing too much?

When it comes to keeping your skin clean, you don’t want to over-do it! While it’s really important to wash your face morning and night every day to help remove excess oil and prevent the build-up of dirt in your pores, washing too often may cause more harm than good. Find the right balance and remember to wash gently with a mild, soap-free, pH-balanced cleanser and avoid vigorous scrubbing or harsh exfoliation that could further irritate and inflame your skin.

3. Should I pop it?

We’ve all been there: a big, juicy pimple that looks just about perfect to squeeze! But no matter how much you want to, it’s best to resist the urge to squeeze, pop, or pick at your pimples to help prevent spreading the acne-causing bacteria living inside or causing more skin inflammation. Most importantly, leaving those pimples alone – and we know it’s almost impossible to do – can help reduce the risk that your acne might leave a permanent scar.

4. Oops, I popped it – what now?

Sometimes our urge to squeeze pimples gets the better of us, and for some people, their acne can leave unpleasant discolouration or even scarring on the affected areas of skin despite doing their best to avoid it happening. Don’t despair – there are non-prescription skin care products that may help improve discolouration or scarring, and you can discuss a range of other acne scar management options with your pharmacist or dermatologist.

5. My acne is stressing me out!

We all have a lot going on in our lives and sometimes things can get stressful. For many of us, stress can make acne worse. While there’s no magic off switch for stress, it’s important to take time for yourself regularly and try to find some things that can help you relax and destress. Ask yourself what relaxes you, what makes you feel calm and happy?

6. Is chocolate really the villian here?

I’m sure you’ve been told that chocolate causes acne, but honestly – the jury is still out on this one. Foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) foods, as well as milk, can trigger or worsen acne for some people. So eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with lower GI wholegrains and high fibre fruits and vegetables can go a long way to help keep your skin feeling its best.

7. What skincare products should I be using?

For those of you with acne-prone skin, you should think carefully when choosing your skin care products – it’s what’s inside the bottle that really counts. Always look for mild cleansers that are soap-free and pH-balanced to gently remove excess oil and help clear out clogged pores. For all your other skin care products, from moisturisers to make-up and sunscreens, reach for the oil-free, non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores), and anti-acnegenic (unlikely to cause acne) options.

8. It’ll go away eventually….right?

For most people, the word “acne” conjures up images of teenagers with raging hormones and a face full of pimples (thanks, Hollywood!). And while most teenagers do experience facial acne at some point, acne can affect some people well into their adult years. In fact, it’s actually quite common for women to experience pimples or a breakout in the days leading up their period or during pregnancy as a result of hormone changes. For many, another unexpected acne experience is having pimples pop up on different places on their body, with chest, back, and shoulder the most common non-facial areas to develop acne. This just goes to show how important it is to look after your skin from top to toe!

9. My acne is embarrassing, who can I talk to?

For many people, acne can seriously affect their confidence, self-esteem, mood, and overall mental health. And you know what? These feelings are really common: over 50% of people say that their acne makes them feel anxious or frustrated and over 80% experience low self-confidence and feeling unattractive. So, if your acne is getting you down, it might help to reach out to someone to share how your acne is affecting you. You could try speaking to your mum (it’s highly likely that she had pimples when she was your age!), other family members, or your friends.

10. Am I alone?

Acne is very common, affecting around 90% of all teenagers at some point. And while dealing with pimples can be frustrating (cue huge outbreak right before that important date!) – acne is not something you should suffer through on your own. If you have tried basic care for your acne-prone skin with limited success, if your acne is bothering you, or even if you just have questions about acne or how to treat it, please see your pharmacist or dermatologist. There are effective ways out there to manage different types of acne problems, so talk to your pharmacist or dermatologist about your options to help get your acne under control.