When my acne first started, I did what most of the kids that age did at that time. I went to the drugstore and got the zit-zapping wonders I saw advertised on after-school television. I knew nothing about how to apply products properly, what products to apply, how much to apply, etc. I had no idea that a skin care regimen probably would have been a good thing, not just a single product.
I took my astringent that smelled like mouthwash and scrubbed at my face with cotton pads over and over again several times a day until I could “feel the burn”–because the TV commercial said that I would know my skin was clean when it felt all tingly. Then I put 10% benzoyl peroxide cream on the affected areas (meaning all over my face). I never tried a moisturizer because I mistakenly thought that oily skin did not need it.
The importance of a proper acne skincare regimen
What I SHOULD have done back then, and what I do now is follow a full skin care regimen that is appropriate to my skin care type. Good skin care for any skin type requires just a few daily steps. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize. If you have an acne medication that you use, it should be applied as per the product’s instructions, ? but it would usually be before the moisturizer.
Just because your skin is oily and has acne, does not mean you do not need a moisturizer. In fact, if you strip off all your skin’s NMF by cleansing too often, too vigorously, or with the wrong type of cleanser, your oil glands will simply go into overdrive to compensate, and this will just make the oiliness worse.
As for the acne itself, it has many causes: heredity, buildup of dead skin cells (Exfoliate, people! But don’t overdo it…), bacteria, products that contain ingredients that are comedogenic (known to clog pores) or acnegenic (known to cause acne), stress, poor lifestyle choices, poor nutrition, and the list goes on.
Aloe vera-based and certain non-comedogenic oil cleansers (like jojoba oil) are best for oily, acne-prone skin. ?A gentle toner is good for removing excess cleanser and debris from the skin (I like rosewater?mixed with witch hazel), and can also contain helpful ingredients such as colloidal silver, which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. A light moisturizer should follow (with an SPF of 15 to 30 for daytime). I also apply a leave-on acne treatment product containing melaleuca?essential oil, sulfur, and other antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. This goes on before my moisturizer, which is also aloe or non-comedogenic oil-based. For make-up, again, make sure the products do not contain any comedogenic or acnegenic ingredients. Mineral powder makeup is a great option.
Avoid products that contain irritant ingredients, such as preservatives, certain surfactants, fragrances, dyes, certain botanicals…it is a good idea to obtain a cosmetic ingredient dictionary so you can decode all of those big words on your labels.
It is also a great idea to check the safety of individual ingredients on the EWG’s SKIN DEEP Cosmetic Safety Database. But be prepared…you may not like the information you learn here.
I always say to use the best quality products you have access to, at the highest price you are willing to pay–or make your own using the highest quality natural ingredients.
Get professional help
Good diet and lifestyle choices, home care and skincare treatments can help a lot, and can completely control some people’s acne; but it may take some time to figure out which combination of modalities is right for you. I can help! I’m an acne survivor myself and have helped many women get rid of acne for good too. Check out my one-on-one coaching options.