What must you do and what must you do not

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Every little thing counts when it comes to fighting acne and keeping it under control. After all, zits are not that big themselves, they just bug us in a big way. We don't always realize that seemingly insignificant things can help us look better (or worse, depending on what they are), while intentionally following myths, we do more harm than good to the skin.

Here are a few things to consider if you don't want to see those pimples pop up.

DO:

= Clean your face twice a day. Use a cleanser that is designed for your skin type and avoid harsh and irritating products. When cleaning your skin and rinsing it with water (make sure to use plenty!), move from the neck to the hairline - that way you are not likely to spread hair build up over your face, as it can aggravate acne.

= If you work out and sweat, clean your face after you exercise.

= Use a moisturizer for your skin type. Even if your skin is oily, don't ignore this important part of your daily routine. Your skin needs protection. Overdrying your skin will not do any good: on the contrary, the oil glands will start working even harder.

= Choose cosmetics made for your skin type.

= Use products with fruit acids. They help to shed old skin cells and prevent pore clogging. You are not likely to see the results overnight, but be patient and stick to the treatment - you will be pleasantly surprised.

= Protect your skin from wind and harsh environment as they make skin prone to infections.

= Shampoo your hair regularly. Oil glands on your scalp produce the same sebum as those on your face. Add hair care products residues and environmental elements that stick to your hair - and you have a super-effective acne causing solution.

= Drink lots of water to clean your body of toxins and keep your skin hydrated from the inside.

= Take vitamins and eat a healthy diet. People who suffer from acne often don't get enough vitamin A in their diets (you may want to consult your doctor about that since large doses of vitamin A can be toxic). Zinc supplements are known to fight acne outbreaks. Healthy eating is good for all parts of your body. While diet changes alone won't spare you of acne, they will help your skin look better.

= See a doctor if your acne is severe.

DON'T:

= Don't use drying cleansers and harsh scrubs. They destroy the protective barrier and alter skin pH, making skin vulnerable and prone to infections. Astringents should be used on oily areas only.

= Don't squeeze zits. This is the worst thing to do, and for many the hardest to avoid. Still, if you don't want to aggravate the condition, don't pick on your pimples. You can, however, drain them with a sterilized needle once they are mature.

= Don't scratch or rub your skin. Sometimes rubbing can cause zits on otherwise clear complexion. You may want to experiment if you are brave enough, otherwise try to keep your hands off your face and avoid wearing hats, helmets or bands that may cause unpleasant surprises.

= Don't tan. Even though tan will mask the blemishes, the effect is temporary. Excessive sun exposure can aggravate acne. Many over-the-counter and prescription acne products make your skin sensitive to sun. In addition to causing skin dehydration and premature aging, UV rays destroy cells responsible for skin's immunology