Staying dedicated to your acne treatment plan is no easy task, but it’s definitely the most important factor in your quest for clear results. Whether prescribed or an over-the-counter formula, your medication doesn’t have a chance to make magic if you’re not consistent with its application. Compliance can make or break(out) your skin.
Ask any acne patient and they’ll roll their eyes at the frustrating, prolonged treatment plans with a rotating cast of creams, pills, cleansers, and remedies that may or may not do the trick—expectations are hard to curb when staring at your complexion in the mirror.
Topical medications are often a first-line of defense, but as cited in the Wall Street Journal’s recent article about adult acne, these formulas tend to require more “education and hand-holding to assure reliable use.”
Start by identifying what you might need in order to keep your treatment consistent. From daily reminders to mobile apps and fancy tech toys, here are six suggestions to help you stay on top of your acne treatment.
The buddy system isn’t just for elementary school field trips. Make a regular, reoccurring appointment with your dermatologist, or setup a less formal hangout with a friend, colleague, or family member who will hold you accountable and offer loving encouragement during treatment.
On Android or the iPhone, there are numerous mobile apps that want to remind you to take or apply your meds. These customizable programs send alerts, track your dosage history, add notes to your calendar, and even notify a family member if you forget, among other useful features.
If the bells and whistles of an app are too much for you, compromise with a sweet ringtone by setting yourself a daily alarm on your phone. You could also use the little beep of a sports watch to signal a quick swipe from cheeks to chin.
Jot down a friendly note and stick it to the mirror for a first-look reminder: “Morning beautiful. Dab on that Arithmetic.” Leave a couple dry erase markers in the medicine cabinet so you can swap your inspiring greeting for a fun drawing.
“Smart” pillboxes keep patients on schedule but if you’re regimen includes out-of-the-pill prescriptions, try a fancy toy like the GlowPack—a super pouch that holds your ointments and glows at dosing time. If you’re an hour late, the tote plays a little tune and if you still don’t follow up two hours past, the pack calls your phone with a reminder.
Being responsible with your regimen? Acknowledge your efforts and maybe even give yourself a little treat—think beyond lollipops and champagne. How about a wink in the mirror or a celebratory selfie? Love that little face of yours.