Getting acne, especially when you’re in your 20s and beyond, can be frustrating. If you are trying your luck in the dating scene or looking for that next big break at your job, try these tips to get things under control.

1. Consider Retin-A, especially if you live out of the country. You can find this product over-the-counter at pharmacies everywhere but the U.S., and it will keep your skin soft and perfectly supple. You’ll find that acne spots dry out and your skin can be easily sloughed and smoothed.

2. Sleep on it. You’ll be amazed at how much better your skin looks when you sleep. Try to reduce the all-nighters just to one day a week—you’ll see a dramatic change in your skin over just a few days.

Tip: Already get enough sleep? Be sure to change your pillowcase every few days to avoid grinding dirt and oil into your skin.

3. Go natural. It doesn’t hurt to try out new products, and you may actually make your skin worse if you try too hard to “cure” it with harsh products. When you strip your skin of oil, you’ll notice that your skin works double-time to produce extra oils to balance things. Instead, wash your face at night and apply your usual products, but then only rinse your skin with tepid water in the morning. You’ll find that your skin won’t act up during the day if you treat it nicely at night.

4. Get your blemish bomb on. Buy on-the-spot acne treatments that work overnight. While there are plenty of OTC products like Neutrogena’s On-the-Spot acne treatment, you may find that they can be difficult to remove in the morning if you don’t shower in the morning. Use a high-quality natural clay face mask to dry out larger pimples and draw out impurities—this will wash off fast without hurting your skin.

Suggested Products: Clinique Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask 3.4 oz and Burt’s Bees Herbal Spa Clay Mask are perfect choices to heal your skin quickly.

5. Invest in a cover-up. Don’t think of it as makeup. . . it can be a necessity, and if you buy the right product and match it to your skin, you’ll feel pretty confident. If you buy one cover-up stick for emergencies, I recommend choosing a heavy-duty “stick” of three-in-one color from the drugstore. Check the back to be sure that it is labeled “non-comedogenic” and save it for serious emergencies.

6. Avoid acne washes if you usually get spot breakouts. Your skin could be getting worse because of it! Acne washes can coat your skin and cause buildup, which could lead to trapped oil and yes—more breakouts! Break your ties with industrial-strength acne wash and go for something gentler, like a foaming face wash from Olay or Connie Elder.

Even if you find just one tip here on this list, you could improve your skin dramatically. Why not give them a try? It could be a good way to start of 2008—without any of the boring resolutions.

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