Prevent acne before it starts. Here are some small daily-life hacks you can use to prevent pimples before they happen:
Change out your pillowcase every four or five days. A fresh, bacteria-free pillowcase can stop your skin from erupting overnight.
Keep your hands off your face. If you tend to rest your chin in your palm, or you're constantly fussing with your face, stop. The oils on your hands can cause breakouts, even in small amounts.
Tie your hair back while you sleep. If you have long hair, keep it off your face while you rest. Braid it back, and use pins or a headband to keep bangs off your forehead.
Get your beauty rest. Stress can lead to breakouts, so make sure you're well-rested and calm.
Change your birth control (females). Some oral contraceptives containing estrogen can calm down regular breakouts. Ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you.
See a dermatologist. If you can't get the problem under control by yourself, visit a doctor. He or she can prescribe serious treatments such as Accutane, Retin-A or red-blue light treatments.
Consider a salicylic acid face wash. Some anti-acne face cleansers contain salicylic acid, which kills the bacteria that can cause acne.
To prevent drying out your face, start using a salicylic acid wash only in the mornings and see if that's sufficient. If you still need more help, use it at night as well.
Use spot treatments. There are several products that you can dab onto active zits to reduce redness and kill bacteria. Two of the most popular are salicylic acid gel and benzoyl peroxide cream.
For extra help, try using both formulations.
Be aware that benzoyl peroxide can bleach hair and clothing.