Every girl with acne needs someone in her life to be her friend. If you’re the friend, then props to you for your charity! On behalf of girls everywhere struggling with painful acne, I’d like to thank you.

If you want to rack in some more charity points, start giving your little acne-ridden friend some good, old fashioned advice on how to fix her face. After all, the best person to turn to for advice on acne is someone who never really suffered from it, but found generic advice on the Internet to share about it.

1. Tell your friend to wipe her makeup off before she goes to bed.

The poor thing probably never thought to take her makeup off, and that could be why she has acne. It’s not like she started wearing makeup in the first place to cover up the problems.

Let’s look at some of the science behind the issue of falling asleep with makeup though:

The exposure to free radicals on your skin as you try to sleep can break down collagen. Essentially, your skin is at risk of aging faster.

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It’s a given that makeup clogs your pores (and if you suffer from acne, anything and everything, including the air you breathe, will clog your pores). But you have to let your pores breathe at some point by washing the layer of makeup and dead skin off your face.

The biggest warning I can give you, though, is to avoid a stye. Worst case scenario: hold a warm towel over your eye. Even if you don’t wear makeup, wash your face before you sleep, because styes can occur regardless of makeup.

This is great advice for people who do not have acne, because they are the ones who are more likely to go to bed with makeup since their risk of suffering immediate consequences is lower.

If you’re a really good friend, tell her not to wear makeup, because it clogs your pores (shocker!). Plus, boys like girls without makeup and the natural look is so in, especially when you naturally have irritated skin. In conclusion, avoid makeup because boys like pimples, and if you have them, you should flaunt them.

2. Tell your friend to drink water and tea.

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Though her need to pee more often than you do should give away that she’s already drinking tea and water.

Tea and water are beneficial, even if they aren’t the cure to a person’s acne.

Water can flush out excess sugar and the antioxidants in tea can protect the skin from harmful rays. Furthermore, some teas contain ingredients that can supplement the enzymes in liver functioning, which should help filter out impurities.

Let’s be honest though- your friend should kiss your feet for your enlightening advice. She can now save hundreds of dollars that would have been spent on Acutane and Protactive by swinging by Starbucks for some matcha goodness. It’s been that easy this whole time!

3. Tell her to wash her face and moisturize.

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Though your friend probably knows more about the issue of dry skin triggering extra sebaceous gland activity, just remind her because maybe she forgot while the salicylic acid in all her products burned her common sense off.

Dermatologists do share that dry skin will cause sebaceous glands to work in overdrive, which will lead to oily skin and clogged pores. Properly moisturizing should balance the oil levels on your face (good luck finding that balance! The least horrible experiences have been with gel moisturizers). In the meantime, you’ll also want to remind her to use sun protection, even though most sun protection moisturizers are thick and have the potential for pore-clog written all over them. (Between you and me, just use a light dab of sun protection-containing moisturizer over your layer of gel moisturizer).

Do remind her to wash her face though, even though people who don’t suffer from acne are more lenient about how well they wash their face, and how often. She knows, but tell her anyways, as a polite way to relay to her that her face seems dirty.

4. Recommend obscure products.

Even though the products that do the trick for you probably won’t work universally, tell her about all the random products to fill her cabinets with. It’ll be like speed dating for her skin- she’ll eventually find the one!

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Run Salt Run

The priorities in a skin care product are different for people with and without acne. Softness and radiance are important for people with acne, but they won’t be much good over damaged and inflamed skin.

Furthermore, not everyone’s acne issues are the same. For one thing, hormones are usually a big issue with acne, and when there are problems with hormones, they could be for a variety of reasons. Some people have ups and downs with their birth control, others just have generally horrible reactions before, during, and after their period. These issues could be accompanied by afflictions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which prevents a proper ratio of estrogen to testosterone from being released. You didn’t think acne would stay away from the party of the month when cramps and mood swings were invited, did you?

The random products that work for one person’s acne problems won’t work for another person’s acne problems, unless those products are called Acutane and threaten to bring health issues into the picture.

Prescription medication is great too, when it doesn’t give you nausea plus vomiting after you choked it down. Typically, these medications are actually meant to battle bacterial infections, but they might help your face too, if their effect lasts. If the problem is hormonal, these bacteria fighting medications alone might not work. Topical gels can be a little helpful, and if you’re really lucky, their effectiveness might be temporary as well.

If all else fails, give her random home remedies to clog her pores. Why eat oatmeal for a hearty breakfast when she can just put it on her face as a gooey breakout-inducer?

5. Get close to her face, stare at it, and declare her acne to her.

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Because if you didn’t tell her, she would have never known.

Better yet, say it as loudly as you can so that everyone relevant to her on the planet can hear. They should be updated about her life too. Make all the commentary you can about the acne, describe it in detail, and project your voice.

In either case, just know that your friend with acne loves you for being there for her. She’s just a little frustrated with people who lack her experience telling her what to do. We all know the feeling, don’t we?

It is enough to remind her, should she ever forget, that she is more than the scars of adolescence on her face.

  • Tania Dawood

    Tania Dawood is a Political Science major at UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas). She is a native of Las Vegas and is always looking for fresh narratives and a new way to get her voice out. She especially enjoys learning comparative politics and staying involved on her college campus.