Ugh, acne is just the worst, isn’t it?? There’s nothing more soul crushing than waking up in the morning with a big ole’ spot on your face. They always seem to come out before big life events too, don’t they? As teens, most of us were probably plagued with regular bouts of acne and you expect that by the time you hit your twenties that phase of your life will be gone, right?
Sorry to tell you this, but adults get acne too. Sometimes even worse than they had in their teens! We just can’t seem to catch a break, but I’m here to help you keep those pesky spots to a minimum.
I’ll tell you what the key to combating these suckers is: consistency.
While skincare products can’t help you control all the factors that cause acne, like hormonal factors, having the right products with the right ingredients can help control all the surface level factors, like bacteria, dirt, etc. Like I said, it can be so frustrating trying to find the right concoction of skincare products to use to help prevent + control acne, so knowing what to look for makes your search a lot easier.
But even if you have the best products on the market, they won’t do jack if you aren’t consistent with your skincare routine. It won’t just happen overnight, it could take a couple weeks, maybe even a couple of months to really see results, but you have to keep going with it!
I wanted to write this post because I 1000% understand how frustrating it can be to deal with not just normal acne, but also the tough cases like cystic acne, and how frustrating it is to find the right products to help you control it. So I wanted to share with you the products and ingredients that I’ve found are necessary to have in your skincare arsenal to help you fight these flair ups and keep your skin under control.
Have you ever heard BHAs and AHAs? Both of these are kings at helping you fight against acne, and you want to look for products that have these two types of acids in them. Salicylic acid is a BHA, meaning it’s crazy good at absorbing into the skin and fighting those nasty pimples. It also exfoliates your skin really well, it just helps to slough off all the dead skin cells on that top layer. This means that your pores are basically being cleaned out and aren’t going to get clogged up, which results in clearer skin.
Benzoyl Peroxide is what you want to use to kill off the nasty bacteria that causes acne. It basically helps to control the inflammation of the spots and prevent future breakouts. You can use it as either a spot treatment to combat those one-off pimples, or you can use it on your entire face to keep your pores clean and help prevent future pop ups. Word of caution, this can be extremely drying, and it’s important to keep your skin hydrated in order to prevent more breakouts (see hydration section), so use products that have a lower potency (like 2.5%) to prevent irritation.
Vitamin C serums are one of the most frequently purchased cosmetic products in the world, and for good reason. By introducing one of these serums into your routine, you’ll see a lot of the good anti-aging effects it has on skin, but you’ll also see that it does a lot to help people who are acne prone as well. Vitamin C has shown significant results in preventing breakouts, reducing redness, and helping to fade any dark spots on your face. It protects your skin from bacteria that can get into your pores and increases the collagen production, which gives you a really great glow!
Retinol helps your skin cell’s turnover rate, which resurfaces your skin. This not only keeps your skin texture smooth, but also prevents dead skin cells from clogging up your pores. Almost everyone I know who has AMAZING skin, is using retinol. My mom has actually been using it for years and years and she gets complimented on her skin all the time. Whenever I use it, I notice a difference right away because it’s killing off the bad bacteria, unclogging my pores and reducing my skin’s oil production. Another benefit is that because it helps with skin cell turnover, retinol is a great product for age prevention.
If you don’t currently have a clay mask as part of your face mask collection – run, don’t walk to your nearest beauty store and get one! If you have acne-prone skin clay masks will be a lifesaver because it helps with oil production and deep pore cleaning. The best clay masks have bentonite clay, which also fades the appearance of acne marks. Another great ingredient is Charcoal because it just attaches to the dirt and oil in your pores and sucks them right out. Take a look at this post to see my all time favorite masks!
You know how people say that drinking a lot of water keeps your skin clear? Well, it’s actually true. Not to be obvious, but drinking water hydrates your body, which including your skin. In that same sense, it’s important to have a killer moisturizer that isn’t too heavy, but still hella hydrating. If you’re thinking, “I’ve got really oily skin, I don’t need to moisturize” you are so wrong. Your skin is producing all that oil because it’s trying to moisturize itself. If you use a good moisturizer, it won’t need to work so hard and produce so much oil to get to your pores. Less oil = less acne.
DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
Or at least don’t touch it very often. This is really hard for me because I always subconsciously touch my face. If I’m at my desk working, I lean my face on my and or under my chin, even though I know it’s not good for your skin (P.S. I was literally just leaning on my hand as I was typing this). By touching your face, you’re adding dirt and bacteria to your skin that gets into your pores, which will cause some major flair ups. I do find that wherever I have been touching my face, something pops up in that exact spot the next day – very frustrating! Kim Kardashian has said that her best beauty secret is that she doesn’t touch her face, so take it from KKW, it’s best to just leave your face alone. Or touch it with the back of your hand if you have to.
I hope knowing the right products to add to your skincare routine will help you guys. As you can probably guess, there’s a bit of trial and error that goes into curating the right regimen because everyone is different and there are so many different contributors to each person’s acne.
Remember, the right products make a difference, but the key to really clearing up acne and controlling it is a consistent skincare routine. Even when your skin is starting to look good, you can’t slack on your routine, you have to keep up with it or those blemishes are going to come right back with a vengeance.
What are your best tips for keeping acne at bay?