I’ve had acne-prone skin for as long as I can remember. There were days during my teenage years where I didn’t even want to leave my house because my skin was so bad. And if I did leave the house, I never went anywhere without a full face of makeup. So if you are experiencing some of the same things, I know exactly how you feel. Even up into my mid twenties I would have cystic pimples and it can be mortifying. It is also emotionally draining to worry about the acne on your face.
Next to living a healthy lifestyle, skincare is my other passion. I could talk about skincare all the time! Because no matter what age you are, skincare is always import. And that’s what most people think about when they suffer from acne, getting new skincare products right? Or finding a skincare line that targets acne. While that can be helpful, skincare products are not the only solution to improve your skin. In fact, most acne issues are caused by internal factors like hormones, diet, stress, etc. So I have put together a list of skincare tips that continue to help me with clear skin. Not only have I listed the tips that work for me but I have also listed my favorite skincare products. Because if you are helping yourself internally, then the right skincare products will leave your skin looking amazing!
Skincare Tips For Acne-Prone Skin
#1. Drink lots of water
I may sound like a broken record but it’s because it works. The more water you drink, the better your skin will look. Water helps your body flush out toxins and also assists with increased blood flow. Flushing out the toxins will help clear the skin and increased blood flow improves complexion.
#2. Reduce dairy consumption
Dairy can be a major trigger for breakouts. Even if it doesn’t mess up your stomach when you eat it, it could still be causing breakouts. My breakouts reduced dramatically when I stopped consuming dairy. Now if you are the type of person who cannot live without cheese, you don’t have to cut it out completely. Try goat or sheep’s milk cheese, which is easier for people to digest and therefore better for your skin. Also, raw, aged cow’s milk cheeses can be less harsh on your skin. I will sometime eat a 5 or 7 year aged sharp cheddar and I never experience breakouts from those.
#3. Decrease sugar intake
This can be extremely hard for some people, like me because I LOVEEEEE sweets. There are those women who can eat all the sugar and crap they want and their face still looks flawless. Well let me tell you, I am not one of those women. My face reflects everything I eat and this is the case for most people with acne-prone skin. So no you don’t have to give up sugar forever (that would be madness) but just limit it.
For instance, skip the frappuccino or latte at Starbucks and get an americano with steamed almond milk or an iced latte with honey. You will be surprised at how much sugar you consume in a day if you pay attention. Also, try to stick to un-refined sugars like coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc. if you need something sweet. The more processed it is, the more it will show up on your face.
#4. Cut out the trashy foods
I know it’s easier to eat processed food or more fun to pick the fried option off the menu, but the more trash you put into your body, the worse your acne will be. You need to eat foods that make you glow on the inside and the outside. Is it harder to choose this option? Of course but it takes work and dedication to have glowing skin. If you are looking for an easy fix then you are reading the wrong blog post. But just think about the reward you get when you skip that fried food. You will be able to walk around without being self conscious of your skin and that is worth it to me.
#5. Don’t use birth control as an easy fix.
I never used hormonal birth control as a reason to get rid of acne. I went on birth control because I had such heavy and painful periods. However, I know many women who have used birth control as a way to “fix” their acne and it’s a terrible way to get rid of acne. Because as soon as you go off hormonal birth control, your acne is going to come back and probably be worse than before you started. This is an easy fix band-aid option and it may take away your acne for a period of time but it doesn’t establish the root cause of your breakouts. Most likely, your breakouts are stemming from an internal issue and adding synthetic hormones to the mix is not going to be kinder to your body.
If you have followed me for any period of time, you know I don’t prefer hormonal birth control for many reasons but this is a major one. I personally know women who have gone on birth control to help their acne and for the first few months their skin looks great, then the acne starts to come back. So don’t put your body through added hormones for your face to be clear. I have been using a non-hormonal based birth control method for years via a basil thermometer and period tracking app and my skin has never looked better!
#6. Use non-toxic products
Non-toxic skincare products!!! I could talk about this topic all day every day because it is so important if you are acne-prone. Say you are doing all the things right internally to help heal your acne but it still isn’t working? Check your skincare to make sure you aren’t putting loads of chemicals on your face. That will just make it worse. If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it 100 times, your skin is your biggest organ so anything you put on your skin is being absorbed into your body. You don’t want your body absorbing chemicals which can also affect your hormones negatively, this will cause your acne to get worse. IT’S A VICISIOUS CYCLE.
Now what if you want to change to non-toxic products but you don’t know where to start or better yet, it’s not in your budget. I understand, clean skincare products can be more expensive but some aren’t. So below I have created a list of my favorite skincare products for targeting acne. I have included the holy grail of products but also the affordable ones that work. Just because you are on a budget does not mean you should miss out on putting amazing non-toxic products on your face.
I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me over the years. I rarely wear makeup anymore because I don’t have to worry about what breakouts are on my face and it is a wonderful feeling. SoI hope you get to experience it too!
My favorite products for acne-prone skin:
#1. Clarifying Serum
This is the holy grail and my #1 favorite product for acne. It’s made by my favorite non-toxic skincare company, Primally Pure. It has so many benefits for your skin, not just healing acne. It moisturizes, targets aging, and brightens your skin. If you are over the age of 25, you should be using a serum everyday anyway so why not use one that will help your acne too? It’s one of the priciest products I use but it’s worth every single penny. I have talked several of my friends into using this product due to their acne, and every one of them are hooked!
#2. Clarifying Mask
This is also by Primally Pure and compliments the serum. I like to put this mask on and relax then after I have washed it off, apply the serum. It works wonders together! The base of this mask is honey which is super anti-bacterial for your skin. Every single ingredient is included to help skin inflammation and to clarify your pores.
I have a bit of a mask problem, if you couldn’t already tell. I have been using this mask for years! This was the first non-toxic mask I found to help my acne and it never disappoints. It’s made by a small skincare company based in Atlanta, GA called Little Barn Apothecary. This is also the first clean skincare brand I found when I switched over to non-toxic skincare. All of their products are amazing but this is one of my favorites. The mask contains activated bamboo charcoal for a great deep cleanse.
This product is also by Little Barn Apothecary and it is fabulous. I’ve been using this product for over 4 years and I love it so much. Just because you have acne does not mean you should stop using moisturizer. That is the last thing you want to do because your skin will try to compensate by over producing oils and that causes extra blackheads and breakouts. You always want to make sure your skin has enough moisture, even if you have oily skin.
This cream is like gold in a jar. It contains tea tree oil and aloe leaf juice which is calming for the skin. It’s silky and leaves your skin looking and feeling luminous. It’s a bit on the pricier side but a little goes a long way. It usually lasts me about 6 months. I am not affiliated with this company, I just truly love their products.
My favorite budget friendly products for acne-prone skin:
#1. Everything Spray
I can’t say enough about how much I love this product. I use it every day. It contains lavender, tea tree, apple cider vinegar, among other amazing ingredients to help calm irritated skin. My skin completely transformed when I added this to my daily skin routine. You can spray it onto your face as a toner, or spray it on a cotton round and rub it onto your face for an easy cleanse, which is what I do every morning.
#2. Cleansing Oil
If you are not familiar with oil cleansing you can read about the benefits here. I’ve used many different cleansing oils but this one is my favorite. It does not contain coconut oil as a carrier oil which can make some people break out even more. So if you want a great cleanser that isn’t harsh on your skin, this is the way to go. Primally Pure sells 3 different cleansing oils, one for oily, normal, and dry skin.
This is the only product I have used from Juice Beauty but I am so impressed. I have a bit of a mask addiction and this has become one of my favorites. Every single time I use this, the next day my skin looks clearer and more radiant, no joke! Because this is a chemical exfoliating mask, your skin will tingle and become red. This is normal so don’t freak out. And when I say chemical mask, it’s non-toxic chemicals. For instance, this particular mask uses the acid from green apples to exfoliate your skin. It is amazing. Just be sure to pay attention to how long you are leaving it on your face.
#4. Baby Bar
Do not let the name fool you, this soap bar is for everyone! I use this soap bar for my face and body. It’s an organic goat’s milk soap filled with amazing ingredients that cleanse your skin and leave it filling moisturized. I hate using a soap that makes my skin feel like it’s been stripped of all the oils. This bar does not do that. If you have sensitive skin or suffer from psoriasis or eczema, this bar will nourish your skin instead of irritating it. You can purchase it as a single bar or in a pack of three.
I’ve been using this facial scrub for at least 5 years and I have yet to find one I like better. It’s by the brand Acure and every single thing I’ve ever used from them is amazing. This scrub contains sea kelp, green clay, lemon, and many other ingredients to help with clogged pores. And did I mention it is only $10?!? Score! Acure also has an entire acne product line called Incredibly Clear. I’ve used multiple products from this line and all work great.