How To Stop Overnight Acne Breakouts

“My skin was perfectly fine when I went to bed, and then I woke up with a pimple on my face!” says a person who just experienced the dreaded overnight skin breakout.  It is a very common complaint that I hear virtually every week, particularly from those who have acne prone skin.

If I don’t hear that complaint in the exact words I quoted above, it is undoubtedly some variation of this quote that I hear with all of the associated angst.  Fortunately, like most acne, it is a temporary condition that can be remedied steadily and inexpensively.

If you have acne prone skin, here are six quick, easy, and inexpensive recommendations to prevent this dreaded overnight breakout:

1.) Do not use the same washcloth twice.  Because skin bacteria is one of the major causes of acne, using the same washcloth over and over can be essentially replenishing the bacteria, rather than washing it off.  It may increase your laundry load, but your face will be better for it.

2.) Be sure to sleep on a clean pillowcase.  Again, for skin bacteria reasons and to keep your skin from being pressed against an unclean surface for hours, a clean pillowcase makes complete sense.  Many doctors recommend silk pillowcases, as they are less likely to retain dirt and bacteria.  I recommend any pillowcase that you can keep clean, even if you have to launder it more frequently.

3.)  Do not take your stress to bed with you.  Stress is a well-known cause of acne breakouts due to its effect on hormonal levels for both males and females.  Finding a way to relax and de-stress after a long day will be better for your whole body overnight, not just for your face.  Yoga or meditation are all useful activities in which you can partake to decrease stress and better prepare your body for sleep.

4.)  Do not pick at any pimple!  This recommendation may seem obvious, but it is actually one of the most commonly ignored tips.  Some people try to pick at a site to prevent an eruption, but only succeed at aggravating the problem and making a scar more likely.  If you have to try to address an area you feel may break out, try using an Overnight Spot Cream that will “dry up” potential areas of breakout.

5.)  Do exfoliate at least once a week.  Since acne breakouts are also caused by dead skin cells congregating and plugging up pores, I recommend undergoing a weekly gentle exfoliation with Glycolic-based products such as Glycolic Gel, which penetrates pores and dissolves skin cell buildups.

6.)  Do not be overly aggressive with use of skin care products, especially cleansers.  Despite everything I have said about keeping your washcloths, pillowcases, and your face itself clean, too much facial cleaning can be bad for your skin.   Overdoing the physical cleansing of your face can lead to irritation, excessive dryness, and aggravation and inflammation of the skin.

You should use salicylic facial wash once in the morning and once right before bed, but not any more than that.  Also, when washing your face, it should be very gently done using your fingertips.

When drying your face, it should be patted, not rubbed, dry.  Removal of makeup and sunblock is obviously important before bed, but you can also accomplish this action without aggressive efforts.


I hope you find this information helpful.  However, if you do not have acne prone skin, but know someone who is prone to breakouts, feel free to forward this post to them or share it on Facebook or Twitter.

Additionally, we will be packaging up some of my most highly recommended acne products in one Acne Control System kit soon.  We will announce its availability as soon as we have it in stock.

As always, if you wish to schedule a free consultation to assess your skin for acne issues or any other problems, please call us at (207) 873-2158.  You may also call us at that same number to schedule your next appointment.

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