Say Goodbye to Acne with These 5 Skin Care Routines for Acne-Prone Skin
Skin that is prone to breakouts is hard to deal with. It needs a specific skincare routine that provides for its special needs. These include removing excess oil, clearing up the pores and speeding up the skin healing and recovery process to get rid of blemishes.
With tons of promising products in the market and over-the-counter creams, choosing your acne regimen kit can be quite a task. If you’re not happy about the thought of smearing yourself with a load of chemicals, you may even want to go the natural way. The good news for all your confusion is that your skincare routine doesn’t have to be complex, it just has to be effective.
If you break it down to simple bits, a few minutes of care a day is all your skin needs. Here are the 5 best skincare routines that will help you get rid of acne for good.
1. The a.m. routine
Your morning routine prepares your skin for the external aggressions it is likely to face while you’re out and about during the day. At the same time, it also helps with oil control and ensures the skin cells are nourished for normal functioning.
Here’s how to start your day:
a. Cleanse with a mild, water-based cleanser
The morning cleanse is a mild cleanse to get rid of excess oil and impurities on the skin. Use a mild low-pH, water-based cleanser to deep cleanse the skin without causing any inflammation. Cleansing is especially important for acne-prone skin as oil and dirt become the festering grounds for acne-causing bacteria. While this doesn’t mean you overdo it, you need to cleanse your skin properly.
b. Tone with an anti-inflammatory toner
Toning is important to not only get rid of the excess oil, it also further clarifies the skin and calms it. Go for an alcohol-free toner to avoid any skin irritations. An effective toner is one that also has antibacterial properties to protect the skin. Toners with ingredients like rose water are effective as astringents too. They reduce the pore size making the skin even and smooth.
c. Moisturize with a light nourishing moisturizer
Hydration is crucial for the normal functioning of the skin cells. Just because your skin is oily doesn’t mean it doesn’t need moisture. In fact dry skin can cause more irritation and trigger acne! Go for a light, oil-free moisturizer that is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog your pores. You also want to stay away from greasy formulas that make your skin sticky and heavy.
d. Protect with a high SPF sunscreen or sunblock
Acne can cause skin damage that makes it prone to further attack by UV radiation. On the other hand, UV radiation can also trigger acne. It’s a vicious circle and you need to protect yourself from falling into it. Use a broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen or a sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Wear protective clothing, hats, shades and gloves to keep your skin covered.
2. The p.m. routine
The evening routine is crucial as it not only fights the attacks on your skin from the long day but also prepares it for recovery and regeneration during the night.
Follow these simple steps:
a. Remove makeup and cleanse
You need a deeper cleanser for the night to help get rid of not just excess oil but also impurities and makeup. A natural oil cleanse, as ironic as it sounds, works well for this. Oil penetrates deep into the pores, mixes with the makeup and dead cells and can be wiped off together with some warm water. Blends of botanical oils like olive, castor, jojoba, grapeseed and sweet almond oil can do the trick.
b. Apply spot treatment
Acne spot treatment can help target acne and blemishes to speed healing and prevent new breakouts. It also serves to calm redness, swelling and pain that accompanies acne. Look for products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or a cortisone cream. If you prefer natural ingredients, essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree or witch hazel oils are good choices.
3. The weekly scrubbing routine
Regular exfoliation is important to keep acne at bay as it gets rid of dead skin cells that are likely to block the pores. However, this process can be tricky for acne-prone skin as physical exfoliants can irritate skin that is already inflamed with the acne. Charcoal exfoliants can be a good choice though as they work differently. Charcoal pulls the dirt out of the pores and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Another popular choice is chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid.
While scrubbing your skin with an exfoliator, make sure you don’t overdo it as it can irritate the skin, triggering more breakouts. Also, don’t skip moisturizing your skin after exfoliation. You need to keep the skin hydrated at all times.
4. The weekend face mask routine
Face masks can calm inflamed skin and make it less vulnerable to breakouts. They also nourish the skin and speed up healing of blemishes. Look for a mask with BHA’s (beta hydroxy acids) such as salicylic acid and AHA’s like lactic and glycolic acid. Alternatively, you can go for a clay, charcoal or an oatmeal mask to regulate oil production while calming and protecting the skin. Some other ingredients to look for are aloe vera, tea tree oil, honey, benzoyl peroxide and licorice extract.
5. The diet routine
Your skincare routine for acne-prone skin is not going to be effective without complementing it with the right diet. Eating greasy food with sugar-heavy snacks will only wreak further havoc on the skin. Avoid junk and sugary foods and switch to foods rich in omega-3s and vitamins A, E, D. These will keep your skin hydrated and supply it with antioxidants that will speed up recovery. Include lean proteins, fiber and probiotics to encourage gut health. Drink green tea at least once a day and most importantly, drink enough water all day!