What's the Best Skincare Routine for Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition, but having acne prone skin can feel like a constant battle between your skin and your skincare. Whilst we might do all we can to avoid our acne triggers (which might be stress, hormonal, diet related or down to the weather being too humid and sweaty or too cold and harsh), finding an effective skincare routine for acne can be tricky.
Whether you experience regular pimples and blackheads or you have developed angry, red, inflamed skin and cystic acne, getting your skincare products right for your skin is important for controlling your breakouts and acne lesions.
But with so many products available, from over-the-counter products to a full on dermatologist-approved skincare routine, achieving happy, healthy skin can feel overwhelming. How do we know what products might suit our skin concerns and which ones might aggravate acne and make things worse? If we have sensitive skin, things can feel even more difficult.
At Sönd, we believe in a holistic approach to caring for acne prone, sensitive, stressed out or non conformist skin. This includes eating an alcaline diet, rich in vegetables, taking steps where possible to avoid stress and taking gentle, but not too strenuous, exercise.
Skincare for Acne-Prone Skin
Getting things right on the inside, check. But what about on the outside? We know how difficult it can be to find the skin care that suits your skin and doesn’t cause it to become too dry, too oily or not in the slightest bit stressed.
We know because we’ve been there. We have acne prone skin ourselves and we spent years trying to find kind, gentle, natural skin care products that supported and nourished our skin and managed our acne breakouts. That’s why we eventually gave up looking and decided to formulate our own.
Sönd skin care products are made from natural plant based oils and botanicals and are gentle on even the most sensitive of skin types. We’ve based them around the alkalising properties of silica salts and our silica salt blend really does get results.
We know a thing or two about skin, and in particular, skin that’s prone to acne breakouts on a whim. So here’s our advice on the best skin care routine for acne prone skin, from cleansing to exfoliating, moisturising and beyond.
Acne Treatments vs a Skincare Routine
If you've tried everything possible to get your skin condition under control, you may have also tried medicated topical acne products, such as those that contain benzoyl peroxide or those that you might have been prescribed by a dermatologist.
We're in no way saying these aren't great acne products, but sometimes taking things back to basics can help. We can get lost along the way of trying different acne skincare routines that we forget that properly cleansing our skin twice a day, using a gentle cleanser and moisturising as part of a daily skincare regimen can help.
If you have severe acne or inflammatory acne, then you may still need to use specialised products to help keep your acne-prone skin clear, alongside this daily skincare routine.
How to Wash Your Face When You Have Acne Prone Skin
Cleansing the skin twice a day is essential for keeping the skin clean, free from dirt, makeup, bacteria, excess oil and dead skin cells, especially if your skin is oily.
Even if we don’t wear makeup, it’s important to cleanse our skin before bed to remove the sweat, dirt, oil and environmental pollutants that have settled on our skin during the day.
Likewise in the morning it's important to cleanse to remove the sweat and oil that’s built up on the skin overnight to keep acne-prone skin clear.
Cleansing our skin with standard soap and water probably isn’t going to do us many favours, especially if we have sensitive or contrary skin. Soap is very harsh and can strip the skin of too much of its natural oil content and damage the delicate skin barrier.
Face wipes are also a big no no as they don’t remove anywhere near enough dirt and makeup as proper cleansing. Instead, choose a cream cleanser or a gentle face wash that contains natural, plant based ingredients and that supports stressed out skin.
The Best Cleanser to Manage Acne Breakouts
Our Rebalance & Reset Cream Cleanser is ideally suited to acne prone skin since it’s packed with skin nourishing, natural ingredients and plant based oils. Use it twice a day to effectively remove dirt and grime to give your skin the best chance of feeling and looking healthy.
How Often Should I Exfoliate to Help Prevent Acne?
Exfoliating the skin is a great way of clearing the skin of dirt, oil and grime that can clog pores and make acne worse, as well as helping to remove dead skin cells to reveal a fresh faced look.
According to dermatologists, we should aim to exfoliate twice a week to keep the skin glowing and in tip top condition. But if you have acne prone skin, this can be too much and cause some level of skin irritation and worsen acne, so find a routine that suits you best.
Salicylic Acid and Other Exfoliants
There are two ways to exfoliate. One way is to use a ‘mechanical’ exfoliant such as a facial brush or an exfoliant that contains exfoliating beads such as apricot kernels. The other way is to use a chemical (chemical in the good sense, everything is technically a chemical, even water) exfoliant.
Chemical exfoliants include fruit acids such as salicylic acid, which is a type of alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA. Salicylic acid works by removing the top few layers of skin, taking away dead skin cells, dirt, old makeup and excess oil.
This can be beneficial for those with acne prone skin as it gently clears the pores, helping to prevent acne breakouts and spots. We advise using a product that contains salicylic acid once a week to begin with. If your skin doesn’t react with redness and inflammation, you can try using it twice a week to keep your skin texture smooth and less likely to break out.
Should I Moisturise as Part of My Acne Routine for Skincare?
The short answer here, is most definitely yes! Twice a day, once in the morning, once before bed. The long answer goes something like this… Depending on your type of acne, your skin might feel overly oily at times. This is all down to an overproduction of sebum. Sebum is the oily, wax like substance that is naturally produced by the skin to protect it and keep it moisturised.
Some skin types, particularly those with acne prone skin, can produce too much (conversely, those with dry skin produce too little). This causes a tell tale shine to the skin, but it can also cause blockages within the skin’s pores. The sebum can collect in the pores, trapping dirt, bacteria, makeup, dead skin cells and toxins inside the pores.
This can then lead to more spots, inflammation and irritation.
Why Do I Need to Moisturise as Part of My Daily Skin Care?
So, if you have oily skin, the temptation might be to avoid adding more oil on the skin and skip the moisturiser. But this signals bad news, even for oily skin! Cleansing can strip the skin of water and oils, so not replacing this moisture with moisturiser after cleansing can cause the skin to overcompensate and produce more oil.
This will then cause a vicious cycle of oiliness, greasiness, blocked pores, acne breakouts, redness and inflammation.
So using a moisturiser after cleansing is key, both in the morning and at night. Our Calming Hydration Day Cream is ideally suited to acne prone skin, and contains non comedogenic (non pore blocking) plant based oils that add moisture and support the skin, without overloading it.
We’ve also developed our Overnight Replenishment Night Cream with similar skin supporting, non pore blocking oils and silica salts that nourish the skin as you sleep. Again, our night cream won’t overload the skin or cause excessive oiliness.
Apply a thin layer of each using clean fingers and gentle circular or patting motion after cleansing and allow to dry before applying makeup or hitting the sack.
Should I Be Using a Face Serum in My Morning Routine?
Face serums are designed to deliver a concentrated shot of skin loving nutrients to the lower layers of the skin. They help to hydrate, nourish and support the skin and are designed to be used after cleansing and before moisturising.
Some face serums, such as our Deep Hydration Serum can help to tackle the root causes of acne, deep within the skin’s layers.
It’s entirely up to you if you’d like to use a face serum in the prevention of acne, but if you’re looking for a good place to start, then ours is perfectly suited to your skin!
A Night-time Skincare Routine for Acne
Developing a consistent skincare routine is a key aspect in your quest to treat your acne. This includes evening skincare routines that suit your skin needs and leave your skin feeling clean and hydrated before bed.
Therefore, cleansing and moisturising, at the very least, should be part of your daily skincare used to treat acne.
Will a Face Mask Help to Treat Acne?
Again, using a face mask once or twice a week is completely down to personal choice. We’ve recently developed a clay based face mask that helps to deeply cleanse the skin and keep it healthy.
Our Purifying Clay Face Mask detoxes the skin to reveal, clearer, brighter skin that’s more manageable and can be a hero product in the treatment of acne for your skin.
Should I Consider Acne Medications?
People with acne are often faced with the conundrum of their skincare not quite working for them and not wanting to take medications to target acne. Some of us can't tolerate acne medications, leaving us wondering what to do next.
It's important to remember that acne can clear itself with a combination of diet, lifestyle, the right acne skincare and medications if necessary. If you've tried everything we've mentioned here to no avail, speak to your GP or dermatologist to discover what your next steps could be.
The Best Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin
If you have acne prone skin, don’t despair. We’re living proof that with a holistic approach and skin care that actually works, you can achieve clearer, less stressed out skin.
We hear you and we see you and we have all advice on looking after your skin and effective skin care products that you need.
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.