Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Kelly
The first step to treating acne is determining exactly what type of acne it is. This can be difficult, of course, since there are many different variations — like whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, pustules, nodules, and papules — and each requires its own course of treatment. What makes it harder is that, if you walk down the aisle of any drugstore or beauty retailer, you're inundated with products that promise to treat breakouts and keep zits under control. How do you know where to begin?
For starters, every skin-care routine needs a basic cleanser, treatment, and moisturizer, but those with acneic skin should stack their regimen with products formulated with breakout-fighting ingredients. The tricky thing is, not all acne ingredients are created equal, and some work better on certain types of acne than others. (For example, benzoyl peroxide is great for clearing breakouts caused by bacteria, whereas salicylic acid dissolves the dirt and oil that could lead to blackheads.) So, in order to purchase the right treatment for your specific type of acne, you need to know what you're dealing with.
A trip to your dermatologist is always the best way to assess any skin-care situation you're experiencing, but if you want to do a bit of research on your own as a preliminary first step, take the quiz ahead to help you determine what type of acne you have.