Those struggle with acne know how tricky it is to curate your own skincare routine. Being exposed to the countless products and ingredients on the market doesn't make it easier—in fact, it only makes it even more overwhelming. Not to mention we can have varying skin types and concerns despite already being acne-prone!
That's why if your skin has been giving you a tough time, it's always best consult a board-certified dermatologist first. They'll help you fully understand what will work best for your pimples and recommend products, too.
That said, there are a few foolproof tips and tricks for building a basic yet effective skincare routine for acne. Preview asked dermatologist Dr. Meg Sison to provide a breakdown for beginners—a morning and night regimen included.
What should an acne skincare routine be like?
Dr. Meg says that the most common skincare mistakes that cause irritation are over-cleansing, over-exfoliation, and over-layering. She suggests keeping your skincare routine minimal because not only will it save you a lot of time, but having a few right products is already enough to bring nourishment to your complexion. To give you an idea, the derm shared the kinds of formulas and ingredients that might work for acne-prone skin in general. Read on and take notes!
Morning Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin
Step 1: Gentle Cleanser
When curating an acne skincare routine, you’ll have to keep your skin type and skin concerns in mind. According to the derm, using a gel-type cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid is highly suitable for oily acne-prone skinl.
Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser, P1485, CERAVE, Look
If you have dry skin with acne, look for a cleanser with a cream or milky consistency for a moisturizing cleanse. Because while that squeaky-clean feeling from a foam wash is satisfying, it could be too dehydrating for your skin type.
Daily Moisture Therapy Dermo-Cleanser, P388, PHYSIOGEL, Lazada
For those with acne-prone and sensitive skin, a facial wash containing colloidal oatmeal will help relieve your skin due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Also check out cleansers with ceramides, which is a great gentle ingredient that can improve skin texture. They fill in the spaces in between skin cells, helping you achieve smoother skin.
Oat Cleansing Balm, P700, THE INKEY LIST, Sephora
Step 2: Fragrance-Free Moisturizer
No matter what your skin type is, applying moisturizer is an essential step because it helps reduce both oiliness and dryness throughout the day. Dr. Meg suggests to nourish your skin with a fragrance-free moisturizer after cleanser to prevent further irritation.
For the ingredients you should look for, the derm suggests reaching for ones with hydrating ingredients such as petrolatum because this helps in preventing moisture loss from the skin. Also check out products with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and urea, which are humectant ingredients that draw in water from the atmosphere into deeper layers of the skin to keep your complexion plump and moisturized.
Ultra-Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, P1850, KIEHL'S, Lazada
Step 3: Sunscreen
Once your moisturizer has settled, don’t forget to top it off with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you have oily skin, you can look for a sunscreen with a matte finish to help minimize your sebum production to get that all-day fresh look. That’s it, just three steps for your morning routine!
Skin Aqua UV Watery Gel SPF50 PA++++, P465, SUNPLAY, Watsons
Nighttime Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin
Step 1: Oil-Based Cleanser
Your night time routine involves just little tweaking. To start, double-cleanse with an oil-based cleanser to easily remove traces of your moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup. It can also lift other impurities that your face wash alone won’t be able to wash off!
Cleansing Butter in Calming Melt, P549, ISSY & CO, Lazada
Step 2: Gentle Cleanser
For the next step, the derm suggests to follow with the same gentle cleanser you used in your morning skincare routine. No need to purchase a new facial wash. Phew!
Step 3: Exfoliate
To get rid of the deep-seated dirt, Dr. Meg recommends us to exfoliate our face at least once or twice a week using chemical exfoliation. For oily skin, look for exfoliants with 2% salicylic acid or less.
Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, P1009, THE ORDINARY, Look
Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, P5095, SUNDAY RILEY, Sephora
Step 4: Acne Treatment
An acne treatment will be the most potent part of your skincare routine. Dr. Meg highly suggests to consult with your dermatologist for this step and don't self-medicate.
Step 5: Fragrance-free Moisturizer
To finish your nighttime skincare routine, you can use the same moisturizer you used in the morning or swap it with a thicker formula as long as it’s fragrance-free. And voila, your acne-prone skincare routine is done!
Acne Clear Oil Control Moisturizer, P699, OXECURE, Watsons
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