People with acne-prone skin can find it frustrating to deal with breakouts regularly. Acne can be treated with many different products and treatments, but establishing a good skincare routine is crucial. For those with acne-prone skin, we’ve outlined a 5-step skincare regimen.
Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin
Step 1: Cleanse
Whenever you begin a skincare routine, you should cleanse your skin first. Those with acne-prone skin should choose a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser that won’t clog their pores. Choose a salicylic acid-containing product to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. Using a cleansing brush or washcloth is also a good option for gently exfoliating your skin and removing any dead skin cells.
Expert Tip: Dr Mikki Singh, the head dermatologist at Bodycraft Skin Clinic, suggests using a cleanser containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid. “The acids penetrate deeper into the skin and clean out blocked pores which tend to cause acne.”
Step 2: Tone
The next step after cleansing is to use a toner. Skin toners can help remove impurities and balance your skin’s pH level, as well as remove any remaining impurities. For soothing and clarifying skin, look for a toner that contains witch hazel, tea tree oil, or alpha-hydroxy acids.
Expert Tip: In the event that you must use an alcohol-based toner, Dr Janet Alexander Castelino, the DermaZeal Clinic founder, recommends using an oil-free moisturiser afterward. “Alcohol-based toners can cause dryness, especially if combined with a skincare routine that has a topical retinol preparation in it.”
Step 3: Treat
To treat acne, apply a treatment product specifically designed for that purpose. You can unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and promote cell turnover by using products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids. In addition, you can treat individual pimples with a spot treatment.
Expert Tip: According to Dina Strachan, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, “salicylic acid is lipophilic, meaning it loves fat, which attracts it to the oily hair follicle where acne begins. Like retinoids, it unplugs the hair follicle, exfoliates, and reduces inflammation. Salicylic acid can be helpful for all types of acne.”
Step 4: Moisturize
Oily or acne-prone skin needs moisturizing, which might seem counterintuitive, but is an essential part of any skincare routine. Using moisturizers can help protect and hydrate your skin, reducing oil production and preventing breakouts. A non-comedogenic and lightweight moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides will soothe and hydrate your skin, so look for one that contains these ingredients.
Expert Tip: As per Hadley King, clinical instructor in dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, glycerin and hyaluronic acid are both humectants, so they can hydrate the skin without the need for emollients that may feel too heavy for oily skin”.
Step 5: Protect
Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is the final step in any skincare routine. The effects of sun damage can exacerbate acne and cause premature aging and skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and make sure it is oil-free and non-comedogenic.
Expert Tip: “Sunscreen is important because many acne medications make your skin sensitive to sunburn,” according to Dr Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital. “The right sunscreen can give a mattifying effect and protect the skin without worsening breakouts.”
Those with acne-prone skin will benefit greatly from establishing a consistent 5-step skincare regimen. Use products containing ingredients like salicylic acid, witch hazel, and niacinamide that are gentle and non-comedogenic. You should gradually increase your acne treatment strength and protect your skin from sun rays by moisturizing. A clear, healthy-looking complexion can be achieved with patience and consistency.