Following an acne routine is the most basic way of getting rid of acne. It is also a very effective way of getting rid of acne when the acne treatment is applied in a certain way along with a cleanser and moisturizer. We recommend using 2.5% tea tree oil diluted in aloe vera gel or 2.5% benzoyl peroxide as the main form of treatment in an acne routine. Get at least six or preferably eight hours of rest, and wake up early enough in the morning so that you go through the routine relatively stress free. Exercising regularly and eating a low glycemic diet are encouraged, but are not required for you to get results from the acne routine.
Steps to follow for the acne routine.
- Use one to two full pumps of a gentle cleanser to get a generous amount of lather going. Apply the lather using a gentle glide across the surface of the skin in 10 seconds or less.
- Give your skin 5-10 minutes to dry.
- Apply 2.5% tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide using the gradual amounts listed in the table below.
- Give your skin 5-10 minutes to dry.
- Apply one and a half to two full pumps of a moisturizer. Use the same gentle glide as mentioned for the cleanser. Spend about 2 minutes rubbing the moisturizer in then stop. If the moisturizer has not all absorbed wait about 5-10 minutes then, wash your hands again and gently rub in any remnants.
Use either benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil. Do not use tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide at the same time.
More steps to follow for the acne routine.
Protect your skin from the sun. Apply a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 in it on days that you will be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time. Use an SPF moisturizer after you use your regular moisturizer.
Avoid sensitive areas when applying the acne treatment and moisturizer. Avoid the sensitive eye area when applying benzoyl peroxide. Also, avoid the eye area when using the moisturizer after applying diluted tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide. Some of the diluted tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide will still be present even after waiting for it to dry.
Avoid the hair line when applying benzoyl peroxide because it is a bleaching agent.
Do not touch your face throughout the day. The only time you should touch your face is if you need to apply more moisturizer in the middle of the day to get rid of flakiness from benzoyl peroxide. Wash your hands before applying. Another way that helps with flakiness is by adding 5-6 drops of organic jojoba oil to your regular moisturizer.
While following the acne routine you should not need to pop a pimple unless it is about to burst on its own. Most pimples will go away after a few days once you get to week three and beyond of the acne routine.
Check the products you are using. Make sure the products you use all say they are noncomedognic (won’t clog pores), non-irritating, and fragrance free.
Shave while causing the least amount of irritation to your skin.
Optional step if an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is not too irritating for you.
Apply an AHA moisturizer three times a week at night to replace your regular moisturizer.
Tips for following the acne routine.
Click here for a list of ingredients and things to avoid when purchasing skincare and hair products.
Click here to learn how to pop a pimple to cause the least amount of visible scarring.
(For men) In the morning follow our guide to shaving with acne by clicking here.
Click here for more information on ways to use alpha hydroxy acid to treat acne for pimple spot treatment, bacne treatment, and regular use.
Be sure to print out the acne routine list so that you can have the steps with you. Having the list with you is very useful especially when you are first starting out. Starting an acne routine is kind of like starting a workout program, it takes dedication and patience, but when you start an acne routine there are no off days.
Benzoyl peroxide is a bleaching agent, it will bleach any hair or colored fabric that it comes into contact with. Try to avoid the hairline and eyebrows as much as possible when applying benzoyl peroxide to keep it from bleaching your hair. Some of your colored fabrics will get bleached because it kind of comes with the territory with using benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. A few ways to keep benzoyl peroxide from bleaching your colored fabrics are avoid rubbing against colored t-shirts while the benzoyl peroxide and moisturizer is drying, do not go to bed or put on a colored t-shirt until the moisturizer and benzoyl peroxide have dried, and wear a white t-shirt if you are sweating a lot with benzoyl peroxide on. You will learn ways to avoid bleaching colored fabrics as you go. Best thing to do is to just shrug it off when something gets bleached. See a few bleached clothes as a part of the process of getting clear.
Gradual application of 2.5% tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide.
|Week||First week||Second week||Third week||Fourth week and beyond|
|Amount||Less than teaspoon|
|A little more than teaspoon|
|A little more than teaspoon|
|A little less than teaspoon
|Time(s) of day to apply||Nightly only||Morning and nightly||Morning and nightly||Morning and nightly|
If you are using the Acne.org treatment 16 oz bottle of benzoyl peroxide use less than half a pump for the first week. On the second week use half a pump. For the third week use half a pump. For the forth week use a full pump. Fifth week and beyond use one and a half pumps to apply to the face and neck (if needed) or two full pumps if you have severe acne. Follow the times of day mentioned in the chart above.
Another way of determining how much you should be applying for the week is by using your fingers. For the first week use a thin line a third of the way up your index finger. On the second week use a thin line two thirds the way up your index finger. Begin to use a thin line all the way up your index finger on the third week. On the forth week use a thin line all the way up your index finger and another thin line a third of the way up your middle finger. For the fifth week and beyond start using a thin line all the way up your index finger and another thin line two thirds the way up your middle finger. Up the amount to two thin lines all the way up your index and middle finger if you have severe acne or need to apply treatment to your neck too. Once your skin becomes accustomed to tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide up the dosage if you are still getting pimples.
Be patient while following the acne routine.
You will begin to notice a reduction in the amount of blackheads and whiteheads you have in the first few days, but it will take awhile before you see the full effects diluted tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide has on acne. If you are using tea tree oil give it some more time than if you are using benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil does not work as fast as benzoyl peroxide, this is why we recommend trying benzoyl peroxide first before using diluted tea tree oil. To see the full results from the acne routine it can take anywhere from three to five months.
If you do not see any results of using benzoyl peroxide or diluted tea tree oil after two months or experience any adverse effects talk to a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help lessen the appearance and scarring of severe types of acne such as nodules and cysts by injecting them with a small amount of cortisone. They can also prescribe to you different types of acne treatment that may work better with your skin. You can get on antibiotics and as a last resort isotretinoin the generic version of the acne medication formally available as Accutane.
The next step is to find the right products.
In order to get effective results from using the acne routine not only do you need to follow the routine exactly as we have outlined, but you also need the right products that will cause you the least amount of irritation while providing effective results. For more information about the only products we recommend including the acne treatment, cleanser, moisturizer, and optional AHA and jojoba oil click here to go to the acne products page.