A. How to Create the Best Skin Care Routine for Acne
A good acne skin care regimen is important when you are prone to breakouts. Your daily skin care regimen can help remove excess oil, keep pores clean and speed up healing of existing blemishes. With so many products available and so much conflicting information, creating an acne skin care routine can seem confusing. But your daily acne skin care routine doesn’t have to be complex to be effective.
In fact, it only takes a few minutes, twice a day – and you often have everything (or almost) everything you need. What you don’t have, you can buy at the drugstore: you don’t need to invest in expensive products. Here is a quick snapshot of the things you should and shouldn’t do when setting up a skin care routine to treat acne. The following step-by-step instructions provide more details.
1. Clean carefully, but thoroughly
Thoroughly clean your face, including your jaw, neck and in front and behind your ears, using only your fingertips or a soft towel. There is no need to use rough pads or to rub aggressively. This will not leave your skin cleaner. Make sure you use the correct cleanser for your skin. Acne treatment without a prescription is a great choice if you have mild rashes. Choose one that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
If you are using prescription acne medications, you will need a mild, non-medicated cleanser. Unscented Dove, Cetaphil or the old Amber Neutrogena bar are good choices. If you wear facial makeup or if your skin gets particularly dirty or sweaty during the day (for example, when playing on a sports team or after a workout), wash twice at night: clean, rinse well and repeat. This ensures that you remove all traces of makeup, sweat and dirt every night. Do not use strong soap bars, antibacterial soaps or the like on your face. Rough soaps will not clear acne, but will irritate your skin.
2. Use toner or astringent
Depending on the ingredients it contains, astringents or toners can help remove excess oil, tone and moisturize, or fight blackheads and blemishes. Apply toner to a cotton ball or pillow and gently smooth your face and neck to remove any makeup residue, detergent and oil residue. Astringents are designed to help remove excess oil from the skin. Therefore, they are obviously better for oily skin types. If your skin is naturally dry or due to the use of drying treatments for acne, a moisturizing tonic is the best choice for you.
Also, be aware of the product’s alcohol content, as alcohol can dry out and irritate, especially if you have sensitive skin types.1 Alcohol-free products are the best choice if your skin is dry or irritated by acne treatments. Note that alcohol-based toners can prick pimples, even if your skin is not incredibly dry or sensitive. Whether toners or astringents appear to dry out or irritate your skin a lot, just don’t use them. The same is true if you are using prescription acne medications that are too dry (such as isotretinoin or topical retinoids). You will not harm your skin if you do not use toner.
3. Use medication to treat acne
After the toner is completely dry or after washing and drying your face, smooth the acne treatment creams as instructed. It can be a medication prescribed by your doctor or an over-the-counter acne gel or cream. Allow the medication to be absorbed or dry completely before proceeding to the next step. Need help choosing a medication to treat acne? Call your dermatologist or family doctor.
4. Apply an oil-free moisturizer or gel
It may seem counterintuitive to moisturize already oily skin, but don’t skip this important step. Acne medications can dry out the skin and make it thirsty for hydration. To reduce dryness and flaking of the skin, apply a light moisturizer twice a day. Your moisturizer doesn’t have to make you feel slippery and greasy. There are many moisturizers out there today for oily skin types that are fully absorbent and don’t make acne worse. Moisturizing gels and lotions are generally lighter than creams. Either way, choose one that is labeled as oil-free and non-comedogenic. You may have to try a few different brands to find one you like.
5. Bonus stage: sun protection
You do not need this step for your skin care ritual at bedtime, but it is mandatory in the morning. In addition, many acne medications and exfoliating ingredients make your skin more susceptible to sun damage (known as photosensitivity). You don’t necessarily need an extra sunscreen. Many moisturizers contain SPF and offer sun protection while you moisturize. If your moisturizer does not contain a sunscreen factor, consider using a separate sunscreen. Look for a product made for the face instead of a comprehensive sunscreen. Facial sunscreens are generally less oily and have no sunscreen scent.
6. A word from Verywell
You don’t really need the most expensive products on the market to get great results with your skin care routine. The most important step in your skin care routine is consistency. The more consistent you are with your regime, the better results you will get. On the other hand, if you use your acne treatments only occasionally and rarely wash your face before bed, you will never be one step ahead of the rashes.
If you skip a day here and there and do not cause irreparable damage to your skin, you should definitely be as regular as possible with your daily skin care routine. Make a commitment to take care of your skin. If you need help to control the onset of acne or just guidance on choosing the best skin care products, don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist. Extras like masks and scrubs are not panacea, but they can be used to care for the skin or give it an extra boost.
B. The best skin care products for acne-prone skin, according to dermatologists
Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help prevent pore clogging. Here are some other things you can do to get rid of breakouts. Our editors independently selected these articles because we believe you will like and may like them at these prices. When you buy something through our links, we can earn a commission. Prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.
What exactly causes acne? “When the skin pores become clogged, usually with dead skin cells, the oil cannot leak and builds up in the pore and under the skin, creating a pimple or blackhead,” explains Dr. med. Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, dermatologist and editor at DermBoard.org in Kansas City. “This is a perfect environment for Propionibacterium acnes [the bacteria] to thrive and cause inflammation, which creates pimples.”
1. Best ingredients for acne-prone skin
Controlling acne can be difficult, but not impossible, depending on the severity of your condition. Derms relies on some ingredients, including salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and adapalene. Although they differ in their chemical compounds, each ingredient can help you achieve your acne-free skin care goals.
2. Salicylic acid
“Salicylic acid exfoliates the stratum corneum (outer layer of the skin) and penetrates the pores to remove sebum,” says Dr. Hadley King, a New York City dermatologist. This prevents pore clogging and can remove obstructions that have already formed. ”
- Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, which means that it is a chemical peel.
- According to King, salicylic acid is gentle enough for sensitive skin types.
“It breaks the bonds that trap dead, opaque cells on the skin’s surface, allowing the skin to peel off smoothly and reveal smoother, clearer skin underneath,” says King. In addition to being limited to the face, salicylic acid is a useful ingredient in shampoos for dry scalp and dandruff.
3. Benzoyl peroxide
“Benzoyl peroxide is useful in treating acne not only because it kills the bacteria that contribute to acne, but also because it prevents and cleans clogged pores,” explains King.
- King recommends looking for micronized formulas because they are less irritating and have a longer shelf life.
- Benzoyl peroxide can discolor your clothes and towels. Therefore, it is best to use detergents with this ingredient in the shower.
An OTC retinoid can also help treat acne, says King.
- Retinoids regulate skin cell turnover to keep pores free of oil and inflammation.
- Adapalen is the first OTC retinoid and is available in concentrations of 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent.
When buying acne-prone skin products, King recommends buying non-comedogenic products, as they do not clog your pores. Tam adds that you should clean with a gentle facial wash twice a day: “Strong detergents can remove too much oil and have the opposite effect, overly stimulating the sebaceous glands,” says Tam. “This can make you feel good right away, but it will serve more oily in time. “After cleaning with a non-comedogenic moisturizer and sunscreen (in the morning), Tam suggests.
If you’re using an acne treatment like benzoyl peroxide or retinoid, all you need is a small amount, the size of a pea, for the whole face, says Nancy Samolitis, accredited dermatologist, co-founder and medical director of Facile Dermatology + Boutique. Since these treatments are powerful, limit their use to once a day, recommends Samolitis.
If over-the-counter products don’t work for you, see a dermatologist or your family doctor, who can help you find other treatment options, including prescription drugs. For adult women, birth control pills with low doses of estrogen and progesterone are often helpful, says Dr. Melanie Palm, a dermatologist in San Diego.
5. Best products for acne prone skin
Are you ready to take the first step in controlling acne? Below, the best dermatologists share their favorite skin care products for acne-prone skin. To lighten your skin days!
a. Washing Acne Fighting Acne with Salicylic Acid Without Neutrogena Oil
“This (non-comedogenic) cleanser contains salicylic acid to help clean pores and soothe acne,” says Palm. There is also glycolic acid, a popular type of alpha-hydroxy acid that results in a more uniform skin, and lipo-hydroxy acid, which removes excess oil and makes the skin dull. It is suitable for most skin types – acne prone, oily, combined and sensitive – as it contains no oils, fragrances and parabens. For dry or normal skin, this cleansing gel can be very dehydrating for regular use.
b. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Facial Wash
“This is an excellent benzoyl peroxide product,” said King. With 2.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide, it is effective, but gentle. The cleanser also contains glycerin, a moisturizing ingredient. “This is a great cleansing choice if you have a combination of acne with clogged pores with white and blackheads and inflammatory acne with larger pink or red pimples,” she says.
c. Oil-free and acne-free acne cleaner with benzoyl peroxide
Clean your face with Samolitis Pick twice a day. MicroClear technology combines 2 percent salicylic acid with oil-dissolving ingredients, clogs pores and prevents the development of acne. Neutrogena says that those with mild to moderate acne will see the results within 24 hours, as the patented technology helps to push the ingredients deep into their pores.
d. Sonic Beauty Facial Device Clarisonic Mia Smart 3 in 1
This device will help you wash your face more effectively, says Palm. A stopwatch tells you when to move to the next face area. It is also waterproof so you can use it in the shower. With Clarisonic leaving the market on September 30, PMD’s Clean Smart facial cleanser is a similar option. The brush is made of silicone, so it is waterproof, antibacterial and odorless. It also vibrates 7,000 times a minute to remove oil and dirt from the skin and prevent future rashes.
e. Blackhead peeling without acne with acne treatment with salicylic acid
Coal and 2% salicylic acid act in a dual way against pimples, and the coarse-grained texture provides a physical scrub to clog pores. “This is an ideal cleansing choice if you have oily skin and clogged pores with white heads and blackheads without many inflammatory pimples,” says King. It is also a great alternative to benzoyl peroxide if your skin does not tolerate it well, she adds.
f. Neutrogena Clear Pore facial cleanser / face mask
Emmy M. Graber, MD, dermatologist and president of the Boston Institute of Dermatology explains that most benzoyl peroxide products contain 10 percent of the ingredient, but higher dosages have never been proven better for acne. “Higher doses only irritate the skin more, so you should look for a lower strength,” says Graber, who is a fan of the product. It contains 3.5% benzoyl peroxide and can be used as a daily cleanser or weekly mask to kill bacteria and prevent future outbreaks.
g. PCA skin tonic
Toning is not an essential step in skin care, but it can help remove any clogged pore residue from the skin. Samolite likes this tonic because it does not contain alcohol, which means that it does not remove essential moisture from the skin. Lactic acid and citric acid remove dead skin cells, while aloe soothes.
h. Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfection Tonic
Graber suggests this toner because witch hazel controls oil production, soothes inflammation and reduces the appearance of pores. The natural fragrance-free formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin types, although those with oily, combination and acne-prone skin also find it beneficial. The brand says it also serves as a makeup remover, although you should avoid using it to clean your eye makeup.
i. PCA SKIN Clearskin Soothing and balancing facial moisturizer
Don’t think that if you have acne, you may run out of moisturizer. The goal is to find one that suits your skin type. This, one of samolite’s favorites, is formulated with niacinamide to help retain moisture and prevent excessive oil production, while cucumber soothes irritation.