Acne is something most of us struggle with at least a little! And it can be downright embarrassing. Especially when you thought your teen years were long gone. So here are a few tips I’ve found to be helpful in getting rid of acne.
Before I dive in, let me caveat that these tips can only help you so much. If you’re struggling with an extreme case of acne, a doctor’s prescription might be in order if you want to get it fully cleared up. However, if you have the occasional breakout or struggle with hormonal acne, this post is for you! And in case it makes you feel any better, finding my perfect skincare routine took until I was about 28. I’m hoping that my trial and error can help you find it a little faster – no matter when you start! If you’re a visual learner, watch my “Skin” highlights on Instagram. I talk through a bunch of tips and tricks!
1. Google “Acne Face Map”.
If you’re struggling with breakouts in a concentrated area, see if any of the images ring a bell. It might help you put two and two together. For example, I know that for the chin it is usually related to hormones or not enough fiber intake. There are tons of other actionable things like cleaning your cell phone screens while talking on the phone, changing your pillowcase, or eating less greasy food.
2. Make sure your cleanser isn’t too drying.
It’s common knowledge that oily skin leads to acne but did you know that dry skin also leads to acne? Make sure that your face wash isn’t striping your skin of too many oils. Dry skin isn’t happy skin and it often reacts with a breakout. Especially if your skin is peeling. This cream cleanser is my favorite recommendation for almost every age and skin type. If your skin is extremely dry, mix in this cleansing balm a few times a week until it gets back on par.
3. Exfoliate regularly.
On the subject of peeling skin, make sure you are exfoliating a few times a week. I find it easiest to do this in the shower and this is my favorite face scrub. It’s the most similar safe option I’ve found to the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. If you’re looking for a more gentle exfoliator, try this one. You can also buy one of these konjac sponges from Amazon and just use the cream cleanser from above for a little extra exfoliating. This is also a gentle way to exfoliate!
4. Use toner!
Toner was one of those products that confused me before I started using it. I had no idea what it was for! Among other things, toner helps control the oil in your skin, reduces the size of pores, and can even prevent a pimple from forming. My one caveat is to not use toner on dry skin. It will irritate it even more. In winter or when my skin feels particularly dry, I skip the toner. If there’s one spot that is dry, don’t be afraid to spot treat – skip that area and put toner on the oily parts.
These toner pads are my favorite for this. Toner pads are significantly more easy to spot treat or apply in concentrated spots as well as regulate how much you’re using. They also treat the appearance of acne scars with the citrus inside of them. My recommendation is to cut them in half when you get them – you don’t need to use the whole pad. This will make them last almost 3 months. Another tip is to hold a toner pad on the area for an extra 10-20 seconds where you feel a breakout is coming on. It can even prevent the pimple from forming! Same applies for if a pimple has already formed. Hold the toner pad on the area for a little longer to dry it out. If it’s that time of the month, hold a toner pad on your chin for a few extra seconds if you know you tend to break out there as a preemptive measure!
5. Face Oil.
No matter what your skin type, you probably know my thoughts on face oil by now. It’s great for hydrating dry skin. It’s also great for evening out combination skin. It also trains oily skin to produce less oil. Read this for more of the benefits and myths of face oil! Start slow if you’re new to face oil. Add 1-2 drops to your face lotion at night only. Eventually work up to 3-4 drops at night only. A few months down the line, you can add mornings too depending on how your skin is feeling.
If you want to compare brands, read this post!
6. Acne Spot Control.
I just started this trick a few months ago and am convinced it’s a game changer. This is mostly for hormonal acne but I’m sure the same technique could be used for all types of breakouts. If you know you’re broke to a breakout in a certain area, apply this acne spot control preemptively to the area the week leading up to your period. You can continue applying for the first couple days as well but you should be in the clear after that
This one is controversial but I’m a huge believer in continuously extracting the gunk from your pores. If you’re prone to blackheads or whiteheads, gently squeeze out any build up weekly. It’s best to do this after the shower. Not a fan? You can use the good old Biore pore stripes to help you out!
My best advice is to pay attention to how your skin feels and looks. You’ll learn what it needs at any given point – this goes for all these products!
Do you struggle with acne? Have you found anything that you swear by?