From sweet 16 to fabulous 40, acne is a condition that affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 85 percent of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the condition, and some people continue to be affected by their forties and fifties.

It’s important to remember that acne has both internal and external causes. However, there are some basic precautions you can take to help prevent breakouts. Here are some tips for people of any age who want to keep their clear skin:

* Don’t pick, pop or squeeze, or otherwise mess with your skin. Squeezing blemishes or whiteheads can lead to infection or scarring. It almost always makes the acne you have worse.

* Wash your pillowcase often and always use clean face towels. Dirty towels and pillowcases can harbor bacteria and germs that can make acne worse.

* Be sure to pull your hair away from your skin when you sleep.

* Try to shower as soon as possible after your workout since sweat combined with skin oils can trap dirt and bacteria in your pores.

* Don’t go to bed with makeup on. It can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

* Make sure to clean cosmetic brushes regularly in soapy water and throw out old, contaminated makeup.

* Use topical treatments, such as Nature’s Cure Vanishing Cream, anywhere that you tend to get breakouts — don’t just spot-treat existing pimples. The pore-clogging process happens two to three weeks before any blemish becomes visible on the skin.

* Exercising regularly can help reduce stress, and it increases blood circulation and oxygen penetration to the skin, which may help to prevent acne.

* Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day to help “detoxify” the body from the inside out.

By taking these simple precautions, most people can reduce the occurrence of acne. There are also a variety of products available to help in healing or preventing breakouts. However, consumers should be careful about what they choose to use.

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