A Simple Skin Care Routine for Acne-Prone Skin Types
Two equally satisfying things: Simple skin care routines and a blemish-free complexion. Sound far-fetched? Not at all. A daily skin care routine can help to remove excess oil, keep pores clear, and reduce the appearance of imperfections. With so many products and personalized routines being shared on the internet, there is a plethora of conflicting information out there. Forget what you’ve heard, stopping breakouts doesn’t call for a lengthy or complex skin care routine. We’re sharing a simple five-step skin care routine for acne-prone skin types, below.
STEP ONE: CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
Start your mornings off by washing your face with a cleanser formulated with acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, to target your blemishes head-on. According to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, salicyclic acid is “a great keratolytic which means it helps remove excess dead skin cells from skin’s surface and gently exfoliates clogged pores.” The trick is to cleanse gently, but thoroughly.
3 Acne-Fighting Cleansers to Try
Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment
This foaming, medicated cleanser, formulated with a combination of pore-purifying ingredients, removes leftover traces of dirt and oil. It’s an ideal pick for acne-prone skin as it helps prevent new blemishes from forming while clearing the look of those existing. Use twice daily and rinse well.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash
This foaming acne face wash works wonders when it comes to removing excess oil and helping to clear the look of breakouts. It’s formulated with micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid and gently cleanses skin, while removing impurities. Use this twice daily, and rinse with lukewarm water. Massage gently into skin until it forms a rich lather.
SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub
This smoothing exfoliating scrub easily exfoliates to hydrate, soften and improve the skin’s overall texture. It’s gentle enough for daily use, but powerful enough to deliver maximum hydration and exfoliation.
SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub, $30 MSRP
Editor’s note: Acne-fighting ingredients are powerful and effective, but they are known to cause skin drying when used in excess. To avoid irritation, dryness, or peeling, only use acne cleansers as directed.
STEP TWO: FOLLOW WITH TONER
Depending on the ingredients they contain, toners can help to remove oil, fight unsightly breakouts, or hydrate the skin. Since acne-prone is susceptible to breakouts, ensuring every last bit of dirt and grime is effectively whisked away is smart. While toner is definitely not a mandatory skin care step, it’s worth the extra seconds it takes to use one. In addition to acting as your cleanser’s back-up plan, toners can help balance the skin’s pH levels, reduce excess shine, and hydrate the skin. Apply toner to a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth over the face and neck to help remove any leftover makeup, cleanser residue, and oil.
2 Toners to Try
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner
For an effective, exfoliating acne toner (formulated with salicylic acid AND glycolic acid), opt for this coveted product. It helps to remove pore-clogging debris and smooth skin texture, leaving skin feeling refreshed and looking more even.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner
This mild yet effective toner is suitable for all skin types, and that’s why it’s a favorite. This product can help to refine surface texture while prepping the skin for your daily moisturizer. Did we mention the ingredients? In its formula you’ll find avocado oil, vitamin E, apricot kernel oil, and squalane.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner, $16 MSRP
STEP THREE: APPLY AN OIL-FREE MOISTURIZER
Your acne-prone skin may be particularly oily at any given time, but that’s no excuse to skip moisturizer. All skin types need daily hydration, and acne-prone skin types are no exception. In fact, neglecting this important step can actually make matters worse by tricking your skin into producing more oil to make up for what’s believed to be a loss. What’s more, acne-fighting ingredients can be drying so if you’re using one in your routine you especially want to make sure you supply your skin with adequate moisture.
When it comes to picking a moisturizer to use, reach for one that’s non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores and oil-free to reduce the risk of looking overly greasy. Need some guidance on where to start?
2 Oil-Free Toners to Try
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide Oil Free Moisturizer
Hydrate and soothe sensitive skin with this mattifying moisturizer which can help to improve skin’s comfort. After cleansing, apply to your face and your neck every morning and evening.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
For those wanting the high concentration of ingredients often found in a serum, minus a slippery texture and added oils, pick up this gel cream from Kiehl’s. The unique lightweight gel moisturizer sinks in comfortably and refreshes the skin with an instant cooling effect. It’s also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, $29 MSRP
STEP FOUR: WEAR BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN
Sunscreen and acne-prone skin types don’t have a history of playing nice. Thick sunscreens can often clog pores and lead to even more breakouts, which is one of the reasons why many people skip an application. If that’s the case for you, we plead you to reconsider. Not only can neglecting to wear sunscreen cause skin damage and signs of premature aging, it can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer like melanoma. Plus, many sunscreens today are formulated specifically to keep breakouts at bay.
3 Broad-Spectrum Sunscreens to Try
Kiehl’s Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+
For a lightweight facial sunscreen, this product is your best bet. Advanced UVA/UVB technology helps to prevent early signs of aging skin caused by the sun, and protects against pollution. It absorbs quickly, and leaves the skin with a subtle matte finish, so you don’t have to worry about feeling greasy and shiny after using it.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen
This ultra-lightweight and tinted moisturizer shields the skin, and provides it with a healthy, natural-looking glow. Developed with mineral UV filters and Cell-Ox Shield technology, you can rest assured that your skin is protected with vital antioxidants.
Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 50
This sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, oil-free, and non-comedogenic, so you don’t have to worry about clogged pores that can lead to pimples. What’s your excuse now?
Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 50, $25.50 MSRP
Editor’s note: Whatever sunscreen you choose, make sure you apply it every single day prior to heading outdoors, and reapply at least every two hours—no matter the weather. For the best line of protection, pair your sunscreen use with additional measures such as wearing protective clothing and seeking shade.
STEP FIVE: TARGET BLEMISHES
A large part of ensuring a clear, blemish-free complexion is a good skin care routine, but there’s more you can do to nip pimples in the bud. By pairing your acne-prone skin care routine with targeted acne medications, like an over-the-counter spot treatment, you can help expedite your acne’s demise. Keep in mind that stubborn cases of acne will likely need stronger prescription medication. In those instances, visit your dermatologist for the right recommendation.
2 Acne-Fighting Spot Treatments to Try
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment
This pocket-sized acne spot treatment works fast to reduce the size of a lone blemish, giving you visible results in just three short days. With micronized benzoyl peroxide, this treatment will help ease the severity of acne blemishes, whiteheads and blackheads.
Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment
Formulated with oil-absorbing ginger root, salicylic acid, and frankincense, this spot treatment helps to rapidly reduce the appearance of acne breakouts. Cleanse skin before application, and apply a thin layer to blemish once daily. You’ll notice it’ll easily blend into the skin.