The Regimen

The One-Inch Rule: Your Secret Weapon Against Acne Migration

shot from below of two white cleanser bottles and pink rulers

If you have acne-prone skin, you know that staying ahead of the breakout cycle can be a frustrating and challenging experience, especially when flare-ups seem to pop up out of nowhere. Despite the seemingly random nature of breakouts, there’s a predictable migration pattern of acne that, once understood and properly managed, can be the key to clear skin.


The Acne Migration Pattern 

As you age, acne progresses in a predictable wave pattern, starting from the T-zone (nose, chin, and forehead) and gradually moving outward to the cheeks, jawline, and upper neck. Just when you think you've got your skincare routine figured out and your acne under control, it shifts to a new hot zone. This acne migration pattern is common as your sebaceous glands and hormones change.


Dr. Fulton's One-Inch Rule for Acne Management

Dr. Fulton first outlined this phenomenon in his best-selling, definitive treatment text Acne Rx, where he revealed his prescription for staying ahead of the spread and keeping acne under control. Let’s dig into the One-Inch Rule.


The One-Inch Rule Explained

The one-inch rule is simple yet powerful. When applying acne treatments, extend the application one inch beyond the borders of where your current pimples are appearing. This creates a protective barrier, preventing acne from spreading to neighboring areas of your face.

Since pimples form in the follicle long before they appear on the skin’s surface, the protective barrier acts as a sort of sea wall to stop the wave of bacteria from rolling across the dermis.


The Benefits of the One-Inch Rule

1. Break the Acne Cycle

    Focusing on the area surrounding your current breakouts helps prevent new pimples from forming in adjacent regions, effectively stopping the spread of acne and speeding healing. 

    2. Minimize Scarring

      Untreated acne lesions can lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation, which can be difficult to treat. The one-inch rule minimizes the risk of potential scarring by addressing potential acne-prone areas preemptively.

      3. Boost Treatment Efficiency

        By covering all susceptible areas with your acne treatments, you improve the effectiveness of your skincare regimen, giving you better control over your skin's health.


        Tips for Implementing the One-Inch Rule

        1. Identify the Current Border

          Look closely at your face and identify where acne lesions are currently present. This will help you establish the borders from which to apply acne treatments.

          2. Use the Right Products

            Effectively managing acne requires properly formulated products with proven, targeted actives. Retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and clinical mandelic acid are the top three gold-standard acne-fighting ingredients (all developed by Dr. Fulton) and the foundation of a transformative acne-fighting regimen. Using Vivant’s clinical formulas with the One-Inch Rule will maximize results.

            3. Extend Treatment Application

              Once you've applied the acne treatment to the affected areas, apply it one inch beyond the borders. This proactive measure will create a protective shield against the spread of acne.

              4. Be Consistent

                As with your regimen in general, consistency is key when following the one-inch rule. Incorporate this practice into your morning and evening skincare routines to maintain the barrier and keep acne under control.


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