“With the New Year here, is there a standard daily routine that will help me prevent acne?”

A good skin care routine is important in the prevention of acne. Be sure to wash your face twice daily with a mild, soapless cleanser using lukewarm water. More frequent washing is unnecessary and can cause over drying of the skin. If you chose to use a moisturizer, select one that is light and noncomedogenic, so that it does not leave your skin greasy and block the pores.

Wash your hands prior to washing your face and use a clean face cloth at each washing. This can help prevent bacteria transfer to the face, which is a contributing factor to the development of acne. Frequent hand washing throughout the day and avoiding touching the face (for example resting your chin on your hands) can also reduce bacterial transfer.

Other factors, such as diet, cosmetics, and hair products can also contribute to acne. A diet high in sugar, for example, can aggravate acne.  Replace beverages with high sugar contents (such as soft-drinks, sports drinks, milkshakes, smoothies and juices) with water to reduce overall sugar consumption. Greasy products, including sunscreens, heavy moisturizers and cosmetics can cause or aggravate acne lesions, so should be avoided where possible.

Washing the hair at least every other day or on a daily basis may also help prevent the development of acne around the hairline and avoid contact of hairstyling products, such as hairsprays and gels, with the skin as they can block the pores. It is also helpful to shower after participating in physical activity since perspiration on the skin can contribute to body acne by trapping bacteria.