Banish Breakouts & Achieve Radiant Skin: How to Treat Acne-Prone Skin
Acne is a condition that nearly everyone has experienced at one point or another in their life. Generally, the more severe cases of acne most commonly affect teenagers and young adults, due to their changing hormones. What you may not know is that acne is also a fast-growing concern for women over the age of 25! Adult acne is actually very common, but can be misunderstood. Many adults suffering from acne are embarrassed and may feel self-conscious about breaking out. It’s important to understand that there are many factors that come into play with acne, so if you do suffer from it, don’t blame yourself or assume you’re doing everything wrong. The right combination of lifestyle changes and proper skincare products, kept in place by a regular routine, can do wonders to heal and restore acne-prone skin.
How Does Acne Occur?
Acne is a result of the interaction between several factors in skin physiology. It begins when a pore or hair follicle becomes blocked due to an accumulation of sebum (skin oil), dead skin cells, and bacteria. This results in the formation of clogged pores or follicles, which swell and expand to form pimples. Acne symptoms can range from blackheads, whiteheads and pimples all the way to large, inflamed and painful cysts. Acne most often occurs on the face, but can also affect the back, chest and arms. The most common causes of acne are excess sebum (oil) production, too much bacteria on the skin’s surface, hormones and hormonal fluctuations, genetics, and certain medications. Diet, lifestyle, sleep habits, and stress can also be contributing factors. Beyond the physical discomfort, the visibility of acne can have a profound impact on someone’s self-confidence and emotional well-being.
What Skincare Ingredients Help With Acne?
The first step in trying to get acne under control is getting to know the most effective ingredients and how they work. Some skin types are more sensitive to harsher ingredients than others. The sweet spot for many acne sufferers is finding the right ingredients that will target the acne but not cause extra dryness and irritation.
Salicylic Acid – This gentle exfoliator helps acne by stimulating the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and by decreasing redness and swelling (inflammation). This decreases the number of pimples that form and speeds breakout healing time.
Benzoyl Peroxide – This ingredient works to treat and prevent acne by killing bacteria underneath the skin, as well as helping the pores shed dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil). It works very well for inflammatory acne & cysts.
Retinols – Retinol exfoliates the skin’s outermost layer to remove dirt, dead skin cells, and oil from pores. This can help prevent pimples from forming. It also reduces the appearance of pores and acne scarring over time.
Niacinamide – An anti-inflammatory that works to reduce the swelling and redness associated with acne. It also regulates the amount of acne-causing oil being produced by the glands in your skin.
Green Tea – This natural ingredient is packed with antioxidants that help brighten skin and protect it from free radicals. It’s also an amazing anti-inflammatory agent, so it helps calm acne flare-ups.
What's the Best Skincare Routine for Acne?
A well-rounded regimen will contain a cleanser, targeted serum, oil-free moisturizer, retinol and SPF. If you like to enhance your routine (or just love using more products – skincare junkies, we see you!) you may also want to add a toner, spot treatment, or targeted booster. It’s important to not overly dehydrate your skin with harsh product though. If your skin is too dry, it can become irritated and inflamed which can actually exacerbate the acne, leading to further breakouts.
Additional Acne Tips From An Esthetician
- Your cleansing technique is really important. Make sure you are using enough cleanser, and gently rub the cleanser for 30-40 seconds into your face to ensure you are removing all dirt and oil from your pores. If you’re wearing makeup, make sure to double cleanse every time.
- Diet can play an important role in controlling acne. If you can, cut down on fried foods, junk and processed foods, refined carbs, and sugary sodas. These foods raise your blood sugar, causing your body to produce more insulin, and affects other hormones that can boost oil production in your skin.
- If breakouts occur on your lower face, that can be indicative of hormonally induced acne. Consult your doctor to be extra sure.
- Keeping a diary or tracking your daily routine can help. You may notice that acne breakouts happen during times of stress, like work deadlines or school exams. Breakouts may also happen right before your period, when you don’t get enough sleep, or when you use certain products. Tracking this info can really help you identify some of the habits that may be contributing to your acne.
Our Best-Selling Medical-Grade Acne Products
SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser - This deep cleansing gel gently refines the appearance of congested pores and helps to reduce blemishes without drying the skin.
Cosmedix Purity Balance Toner - A pore-refining toner that exfoliates and preps skin as it helps absorb excess oil and impurities for a clearer-looking complexion.
111SKIN 3 Phase Anti Blemish Booster - Used for prevention, the Booster regulates sebum production, refines pores and reduces breakouts. Used as a treatment, it targets blemish-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation and repairs broken skin.
Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment - Maximum strength acne spot treatment reduces blemish size and redness in 4 hours.
Avène Cleanance Night Blemish Correcting & Age Renewing Cream - A targeted clarifying cream for blemish-prone skin helps reduce appearance of blemishes and helps rejuvenate skin.
PCA Skin Clearskin - A nourishing, light moisturizer that hydrates, calms and soothes normal to oily, breakout-prone and sensitive skin.
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 - This SPF is formulated with high-purity niacinamide (vitamin B3) to help reduce the appearance of blemishes and discoloration on your skin.