Acne can be a tricky and frustrating condition to treat. It requires a lot of patience and when you’re frustrated, patience is not a currency you have saved up. Many people get rid of a product when they don’t quickly see results.
You may not want to hear it, but healthy skin is achieved through using well formulated lightweight products in a consistent skin care routine. Acne isn’t ageist, so you need to build a routine based on your skin type, not your age.
When you have acne, a basic effective routine should have elements of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, targeted treatments and sun protection.
Twice a day, at dusk and dawn, cleanse with a mild water soluble cleanser – preferably formulated with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, to get rid of dirt, excess oil and makeup. The surfactants (cleansing agents) will emulsify any oil based gunk like makeup, sebum and sunscreen making them easy to rinse away. The water portion of the cleanser will get rid of water based gunk like sweat.
If you would prefer to cleanse your skin with both an oil and a water based cleanser i.e. double cleansing, you could refer to this post.
After properly clearing away the day’s debris, your skin will be ready to receive other beneficial products. You can go here to learn how to properly cleanse your skin and here to see some great gentle cleansers.
While this step is not essential for some, many people with oily skin find this step essential. Using a well formulated toner leaves your skin feeling smoother and removes any traces of make-up.
Many toners contain fragrance, witch hazel or alcohol which dry and irritate the skin. If you have really oily skin and really need to use a toner, make sure to use one that’s alcohol and fragrance free. You can learn more about toners here.
Exfoliating with a BHA will get rid of accumulated dead skin cells on the skin that would otherwise mechanically block excess sebum from getting out of the pore – clogging it.
Salicylic acid is oil soluble which means it can easily penetrate the skin, getting inside the clogged pore, killing the bacteria and reducing the excess sebum. Here are some great exfoliators.
When you have an otherwise clear face but one (or two) annoying zit in the middle of it, you need a spot treatment. A topical benzoyl peroxide spot treatment will kill acne causing bacteria and dry up those blemishes. Apply the product only on the pimple, since benzoyl peroxide stimulates free radicals. You can use benzoyl peroxide during the day and salicylic acid at night. Check our some great spot treatments here.
When your acne has healed, dark spots/blemishes, also known as Post Inflammation Hyperpigmentation (PIH) come with the territory. They are a nagging reminder of what was. A skin brightening treatment, either in the form of a serum or a moisturizer will fade and eventually eliminate the dark spots. Some of the best skin brightening ingredients are kojic acid, alpha arbutin, niacinamide, Vitamin C, licorice extract and hydroquinone. Learn more about hydroquinone here.
Anti Aging Treatment
Products choke full with antioxidants will do your skin a world of good. Studies show antioxidants to repair and heal skin by protecting it from harmful free radical damage, increasing collagen production and cell function. Daily treatments in the form of serums, moisturizer, creams are an essential for your skin care routine.
Broad spectrum sun protection will heal guard you skin against harmful UVA and UVB radiation that leads to DNA damage, premature aging and in some cases skin cancer. Sun exposure also results in uneven skin tone, something you really don’t want to worry about when you already have blemishes. Antioxidants boost sun protection, so make sure to apply your anti aging moisturizer underneath your sunscreen.