The Best Acne Treatment Routine


acneWho doesn’t want beautiful glowing skin?  As a registered dietitian, I feel paying attention to eating a whole-food based, Mediterranean-style diet and drinking half your ideal body weight in fluids is the best way to make sure you’re eating a healthy skin diet. If you are eating a healthy diet and acne persists, there are a number of specific skin treatments to treat acne and give a boost of glowing good health to your skin.

This is an aggressive acne treatment routine that I developed for my son who has severe acne. I am not a dermatologist but my strong science and chemistry background and interest in proven ingredients in skin care products has led me to do extensive scientific research on evidence-based ingredients in skin care products.

The ingredients I have selected for this acne treatment consist of well-researched acne-fighting ingredients: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid and retinol. In addition, I have researched the best, high-rated products for the money and have links to them within this article so that you can duplicate the routine.

prodWhy These Ingredients Work in an Acne Treatment Routine

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps skin to shed dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and inside the pores helping to keep the pores clear. BHA is best ingredient choice for blackheads and acne or enlarged pores. It also has antimicrobial properties.

Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and also helps unclog pores. Benzoyl Peroxide helps boost the acne-fighting results of salicylic acid.

Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the surface of skin and causes the top later of the skin to peel. You must use a sunscreen if you are using glycolic acid.

Retin-A is a prescription product and retinol can be found over the counter. Both help to unclog pores. Clogged pores lead to a pimple since bacteria thrive and multiply in clogged pores. Sunscreen MUST be applied liberally when using a Retin-A or retinol product.

A Word About Sunscreens

I recommend a sunscreen containing the mineral zinc oxide since it acts as a physical block to the sun’s rays. Zinc oxide used alone at high concentrations or combined with the chemical sunscreen ingredient octinoxate works very uniquely with the zinc oxide and is the best broad spectrum sun protection. This sunscreen is my favorite.

Do not use sunscreen products that contain Oxybenzone. The Environmental Working Group has rated oxybenzone an 8 on their toxicity rating scale, meaning it is one of the most toxic ingredients found in cosmetic products. The EWG and other toxicology experts are concerned about the compound because it has been linked to hormone disruption and has the potential to damage cells that may lead to skin cancer.

Acne Fighting Morning Routine

1.       Wash your hands and dry with a clean towel. Everything that touches your face including your hands and towels must be clean and bacteria free.

2.       Wash with Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cleanser 10% and dry with a clean towel.

3.       Swab the skin with 2% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Pads. Wait until it air-dries.

4.       Apply a thin layer of Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cream 2.5%-5%. Carefully avoid the delicate area around the eyes. Do not rub. Just allow your fingers to glide over your skin, spreading it around and letting it absorb on its own.

5.       Apply additional medications, an oil-free sunscreen, a moisturizer or makeup after the cream has dried.

6.       Sunscreen MUST be applied liberally when using a Glycolic Acid product.

Acne Fighting Night Routine

1.       Wash your hands and dry with a clean towel. Everything that touches your face including your hands and towels must be clean and bacteria free.

2.       Wash with 2% Glycolic Acid/2% Salicylic Acid Cleanser and dry with a clean towel.

3.       Swab the skin with 2% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Pads and wait until it air-dries.

4.       Apply a thin layer of a Retin-A or Retinol Cream. Carefully avoid the delicate area around the eyes. Do not rub. Just allow your fingers to glide over your skin, spreading it around and letting it absorb on its own.

5.       After putting on Retin-A or Retinol Cream wait 15 minutes before moisturizer to let it absorb.

6.       Apply additional medications, an oil-free sunscreen, a moisturizer or makeup after the cream has dried.

Exfoliate gently every other day to remove built-up dead skin cells, revealing new skin. You may use a clean Buf-puf or Clarisonic at night when you wash with the cleanser. Make sure you keep these clean and that they dry out between uses since they can harbor germs.

It is normal for the skin to become flaky and somewhat dry due to the irritation of the medicated products. This regimen can be irritating to the skin. If irritation develops, discontinue use and contact a physician.

Try this routine in the event there is too much dryness:

Discontinue the routine and only use a mild cleanser to wash and apply an oil-free  moisturizer.

Once your skin has returned to normal, use the mild cleanser, pads and cream (steps 2, 3 and 4) only once every other day and use the mild soap and moisturizer the other times you cleanse.

If no dryness develops, increase to once a day for steps 2, 3 and 4. If your skin remains free from dryness, you can go back to the routine twice a day.

If it ever becomes dry, go through this process again until it normalizes, then resume again.

The pads are the most drying.  You may be able to tolerate the pads in your tough oily areas of the forehead and around the nose and mid chin.



Camp Muir Mt. Rainier Day Hike Tips


On The Move Pebble train hike 51405This route isn’t for everyone since it does involve substantial snow travel and may require good route finding skills. Fierce storms can come in and can bring a whiteout. It can get cold fast and the route can be obscured. Hikers have wandered blindly over cliffs so please be prepared by checking the weather forecast and road conditions before you go. Even if you expect good weather be prepared for sudden weather changes.

Refer to this packing list for what to bring on this hike.


It’s easy to get very sunburned when hiking on snow. The rays of the sun bounce off the snow and into places you’ve mostly likely never been burned before such as up your nose, inside your ears and up your shorts. Once an hour, stop, pat to dry off any sweaty areas and reapply a sunscreen containing zinc oxide to these frequently overlooked areas in addition to all exposed skin. Be sure to use sunscreen on your lips and parts in your hair.

Altitude Illness

Some people get altitude sickness and some people don’t, and some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 8,000 feet with minimal effect. If you haven’t been to high altitude before, be cautious. To prepare and minimize the effects: hydrate well the day before and stay properly hydrated during your hike. Eat and drink something at each rest stop. Take a dose of ibuprofen as you are gearing up. Utilize the rest step and pressure breathing.

Rest Step

The rest step that is used by mountain climbers to slow their cadence, rest their leg muscles and preserve their energy during a climb on steep terrain at altitude. Essentially, the “rest step” takes pressure and strain off quad and glute muscles and transfers it to the bone structure.

As you step forward, lock your rear knee and rest all of your weight on that rear leg. As you’re swinging your other leg forward, relax the muscles in that leg. Once your forward foot comes to rest on the ground, keep it relaxed so that there’s no weight on it. You can stop in that position for as long as you need to.

When you’re ready to take the next step, shift your weight to the front foot, step forward with the other and lock the rear knee again. Get into a rhythm much like a wedding march. Another tip: lead with your hips instead of your feet.

Be sure to walk slowly, steadily and take smaller steps. By walking more slowly, you can walk continuously without taking breaks. Walking more slowly prevents you from getting sweaty too quickly, keeping you warm and better hydrated. Synchronize breathing with this sequence.

Pressure Breathing

At higher elevations you’ll need to make a conscious effort to breathe deeply and often. Pressure breathing is used to provide extra oxygen to the working hiker at altitude.

During your rest step, inhale quickly, and fill your lungs completely, expanding both ribcage then exhale explosively through pursed lips, emptying your lungs in one big “whoosh” as if you were trying to blow out a giant candle.

Trekking Poles

Use trekking poles with a snow basket. This shifts effort from legs to arms, reduces shock on knees and back and help you keep your balance with a pack on ice and snow.

To determine the correct length:

When hiking on level ground, adjust the length of the poles so that when your upper arm is hanging straight down and your hand is on the handle, your forearm should be parallel with the ground.

If you are going uphill, a pole at elbow height or shorter may be preferable.

If descending a steep slope, lengthen the poles.

To put your straps on, put your hand through the appropriate strap from the bottom (straps are right- or left-specific) so your hand rests snugly around your wrist.

Helpful Resources:

Map: Green Trails Paradise No. 270S

Please print this and bring with your compass:

Information about the hike:



Camp Muir Mt. Rainier 1 Day Glacier Trip Hike Pack List


20160724_1147441 Day Glacier Trip Camp Muir Pack List

Check the weather forecast and adjust these items accordingly.

Backpack you are using for hike

Sit pad- optional but nice!

Large garbage bag to sit on if there is glissading

Compass and/or GPS- optional if going with someone else who has them and trail map with bearings

Map of trails

Trekking poles w/ baskets or ski poles


Fully charged cell phone


Ice ax- ask group leader if necessary

Money for food plus $25 for park entrance

Personal first aid kit: Ibuprofen–works best for altitude headaches, Blister kit, band aids, personal meds, wound care, peppermints or mint gum for nausea

Optional: Camp chair to have to use in the parking lot to gear up.


2 full water bottles (2 quarts total) AND 1 quart Gatorade or equivalent

Big Lunch Plus snacks: What worked well for me (a 120 pound woman) was a turkey and cheese sandwich, 1 cup cherries, 3 Kind bars and some nuts. I also pack a snack and water or the car ride there.


Kleenex and/or Toilet paper in ziplock. Roll of TP to leave at Camp Muir

Sunscreen: 45+ and waterproof

Lip balm with 15+sunscreen

Handwipes, about 5

Quickdry handtowel- use to wipe away sweat before applying sunscreen

CLOTHING  check weather updates

T-shirt- quick dry, wicking material

If over 50 degrees: Shorts, nylon or other quick dry, wicking material

If under 50 degrees: hiking pants

Fleece sweatshirt

Optional: Sunshade Technical Hoody

Waterproof shell jacket and pants

Brimmed hat

Warm ski cap

Ear Headband- optional

Bandana-white or other light color is best. Or use a rectangle of white fabric. Wear this under your hat to shield your ears and neck.

Gaiters, if >50 degrees use desert gaiters

Hiking socks 2 pairs

Lightweight gloves

Sturdy, watersealed, well-fitting hiking boots with big traction

Microspikes or Yak Trax

Glacier glasses or good quality sunglasses (the bigger the lens the better). You can make side shield with cardboard or foil and duct tape

If under 50 degrees: Long thermal wicking, underwear, top and bottom. Light colored is best.

If under 50 degrees: Warm gloves

If under 50 degrees: Extra warm fleece or down or wool jacket to have in case of severe cold


Tennis shoes or sandals

Snack and water to leave in car

Change of clothes for after- optional