How to Get Rid of Acne for Men

by Shannon Marks ; Updated July 18, 2017

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin disorder. Acne can occur at any age and it affects about 40 to 50 million Americans. Though more women than men either have acne, or just tend to report it more, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) found that more than 42 percent of men between the ages of 20 to 29 claim to have acne, and more than 32 percent between the ages of 30 to 39 report having acne.

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser no less than twice a day. A cleanser will eliminate surface oils and remove dead skin cells and other debris that can clog pores. AcneNet, an online source for acne information, sponsored by the AAD, indicates that you should never scrub your face. It will not help clear your acne and can actually worsen your breakout.

Use either an electric shaver or a new, single-blade razor when you shave. If you tend to break out after shaving, using an electric razor won’t be as close, but it also won’t cause new bumps to appear and irritate the acne that’s already present. Double and triple-blade razors also set the skin up for an inflammatory response.

Tone your skin after shaving. A mild, alcohol-free toner will kill bacteria before it can get into the pores. Apply a cotton ball soaked with a toner to cleanse your skin.

Use a topical acne medication. An ointment that contains benzoyl peroxide and an antimicrobial like clindmycin can be affective for moderate adult acne. You will need a prescription for these medications.

Use a topical retinoid. Retinoids are available both over the counter and by prescription. This is a medication used to treat the bumps that appear beneath the surface of the skin and blackheads. AcneNet reports, “retinoids are the only medication believed effective for battling the microcomedone—the lesion that precedes acne.”


  • The American Academy of Dermatologists suggests calling (888) 462-DERM (3376) to find a dermatologist in your area.


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About the Author

Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.