The Search For An Effective Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin Ends Here

Reviewed by Dr. Niketa Sonavane

Dermatologist, Trichologist, Expert in Alternative Medicine | MBBS, MD

Written by Urvi DalalSep 16, 2023
The search for an effective skincare routine for acne-prone skin ends here

If you have oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin, then you probably know the constant struggle of finding the right products for your temperamental skin. Something too greasy will probably clog your pores, leading to pimples, while something less moisturising, will make your oily skin compensate for the lack of hydration by producing more oil, again leading to pimples. *Argh!* So what’s a girl to do?

Well, follow a super simple yet effective skincare routine using products that are either dermat recommended, or ones that you have tried and tested and don’t break you out. Dr. Niketa Sonavane of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai says that “If you have acne-prone skin then look for ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Include these ingredients in your cleanser and your night serum. Salicylic acid reduces inflammation and oilyness. Glycolic acid is good for whiteheads and blackheads. Retinol can help in preventing and repairing scars. Zinc is a good sunscreen and skin-calming ingredient.”

If you haven’t already found your Holy Grail skincare products, then fret not, we are here to help. Find below a thoroughly effective skincare routine for acne-prone skin that will help reduce acne and excess sebum production to keep your skin looking clear, healthy and glowing.


1. Causes of Acne

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

Now that you know about the various causes of acne, it is time to find out about how to customise skincare routines for your acne-prone skin.


2. Skincare routine steps

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin


Step 01: Cleanse

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

Cleansing is the most important step when it comes to reducing acne. But choosing just any cleanser won’t be as effective. Dr. Sonavane says, “An oil-based cleanser can backfire on acne-prone skin. 'Oil pulling' or cleansing with oil can cause purging which is a phase of acne flare-ups. This increases your risk of acne scars. Try double cleansing with a soap-free cleanser first and micellar water next. This is a great way to unclog congested pores.” Use the Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Water twice a day to get rid of everything from makeup to dirt, pollution and other impurities.


Step 02: Exfoliate

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

Exfoliation is not just for dry skin, it is equally beneficial for people with oily and acne-prone skin. Using a gentle scrub not more than twice a week helps to deep cleanse the pores, slough away dead skin cells and prevent excess sebum production. Remember not to overdo it, and use a gentle scrub like the St. Ives St. Ives Radiant Skin Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Scrub that is specially formulated to keep your skin looking bright and radiant.


Step 03: Tone

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

No skincare routine for acne-prone skin is ever complete without a toner. Toner is one product that helps balance the pH levels of your skin, tightens pores and boosts the absorption of skincare products to follow. The Lakmé Absolute Pore Fix Toner is perfect for this job. The alcohol-free formula re-energizes the skin, unclogs pores and gives your skin a beautiful glow.


Step 04: Serum

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

One of the best ways to give your skin a boost of fast-acting nutrients is to pack on some serum. This is because it is full of active ingredients formulated into a lightweight texture that helps deliver those potent ingredients straight to the deeper levels of your skin and treat skin issues effectively over time.


Step 05: Moisturise

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

According to Dr. Niketa, “Oily skin needs hydration as much as any other skin type. In fact, well-hydrated skin has better oil control. Look for moisturizers without oils and parabens. Make sure you avoid mineral oil, paraffin oil and silicones such as dimethicone and Cyclopentasiloxane. A light hyaluronic acid serum is one of the best moisturizers for acne-prone skin.” We recommend you to use the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. This moisturiser will not only hydrate your skin but prevent it from appearing too oily or greasy.


Step 06: Sunscreen

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

Sun damage is considered to be the number one cause of acne, blemishes, dark spots, scars and a host of other skin issues. Additionally, Dr. Niketa mentions, “Anti-acne skincare can increase the risk of pigmentation and other damaging effects of the sun. Therefore, using sunscreen is mandatory when you use any acne or blemish creams.” Always wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30. But what is more important is that you need to reapply it every couple of hours and most of us skip this reapplication step because we don’t want to spoil our makeup. But here’s a tip - the best way to reapply sunscreen over makeup is to get yourself a sunscreen spray or simply reapply a compact powder with SPF benefits, and you are good to go. How awesome is that!?

For the night, replace the sunscreen and moisturizer with an antioxidant-rich, repairing night cream. You can even use a spot treatment if you have active acne. These products will help curb acne, regulate sebum production and heal and repair your skin as you sleep.

Apart from this, here are a few things that one should keep in mind when buying products for oily, acne-prone skin according to Dr. Niketa. “It is easy to go overboard with active ingredients. Keep your cleanser gentle. Day time skincare should be rich in antioxidants for nurturing and protection. While your night routine should have active ingredients that intensively repair the skin. Keep your products light in texture which allows your skin to breathe.”

She further adds, “Lack of moisture and over-exfoliation are the main reasons why oily skin may get irritated or inflamed. Oily skin does not like too many products, harsh products and the use of makeup. Mineral oil and silicones present in skincare products may also result in clogged pores and acne flare-up.”


3. FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

FAQs about skincare routine for acne-prone skin

Q. How can I calm my acne?

A. One of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with acne-prone skin is to keep your skin clean and hydrated at all times. This will ensure that dirt and oil do not get trapped in your pores and clog them. Use an acne patch or spot treatment to calm inflammation and prevent scarring.

Q. What triggers acne?

A. There are a lot of factors that cause the appearance of acne or worsen already present acne. From hormonal imbalance, a poor diet to using dirty beauty tools, the cause of acne can be just about anything

Q. Does icing help acne?

A. Yes, definitely. The cooling effects of ice contain excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing redness, inflamed skin as well as the size of your pimples.

Urvi Dalal

Written by

Writer, avid reader and hardcore beauty enthusiast is the best way to describe Urvi Dalal. With over 5 years of writing experience in the beauty industry, you can trust her to have the latest skin, hair and makeup tidbits on her fingertips. In her time working as a beauty writer, she has had the opportunity to interact and work closely with a string of dermatologists, makeup artists and hairstylists. All that knowledge exchange, coupled with her flair and love for writing make it possible for her to bring you some authentic yet fun beauty content. When Urvi isn’t working, you’d usually catch her curled up with a big, fat book, drinking a cup of tea or practising her makeup skills; there is no in-between!


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