The last thing you want to think about when you’re getting ready for prom is having a last minute breakout. You can have the perfect dress, the perfect shoes, and the perfect hairstyle, but if you look in the mirror and see a new pimple, you might feel a moment of panic anyway. While breakouts are a normal part of life (for teens and adults) and it shouldn’t be a huge issue, there are things you can do before prom to make sure you minimize the chance of a breakout.
Months before prom, you can start thinking about skincare. In addition to eating well and exercising regularly, which is good for your health and your skin, you can choose a cleanser with Benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient in many acne treatments, and can be effective in clearing up skin. It works by unclogging pores and removing the bacteria that causes breakouts. The peroxide treatment also reduces inflammation, helping to make acne less visible by reducing redness.It is important not to confuse benzoyl with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide comes in a brown bottle that most of us have in our bathrooms for first aid. I use hydrogen peroxide with baking soda as a toothpaste to help whiten my teeth naturally. Hydrogen peroxide can even be used to remove stains (including the berry fruit smoothie my daughter spilled on our white carpet).
Benzoyl is a stronger chemical peroxide, requiring more caution. Overuse of the benzoyl version of peroxide can cause skin irritation, but I’ve found that taking a day or two off from using the treatment can give my skin time to heal. When using the peroxide to treat acne, it’s important to find a treatment that is strong enough to work for you (check the active ingredient of the acne product; the peroxide will range in strength from 2.5% to 10%) without being so strong as to cause irritation. Start with a low percentage and increase slowly as needed. After the acne has cleared, it is important to continue using the treatment to keep your pores clear. There are a number of acne treatment products with benzoyl peroxide as the active agent, including Neutrogena and Clean & Clear.
According to the Mayo Clinic, benzoyl has an off-label use of treating bed sores and other skin ulcerations, but its primary purpose is in treating acne. Because it is a stronger chemical, f you’re pregnant or nursing, check with your doctor about safety concerns. If your skin is intolerant of benzoyl treatments, there are other active ingredients, such as salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acid that may work for you and have your skin glowing in time for the dance.
Jenny Houston is a professional blogger that writes for NightMovesProm.com, a leading designer of prom gowns and Quinceanera dresses.