While acne is 100-percent normal, incredibly common, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, there’s still no denying the fact that it can be frustrating AF and really weigh on people — both physically, and emotionally. From the occasional whitehead to super-painful cystic breakouts, acne comes in various forms and, in some cases, can be tricky to treat.
That being said, having a tailored regimen and sticking to it can really help matters, especially when it comes to maintaining clear skin over time. This means staying diligent about cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the sun (duh), as well as using products that contain ingredients known to address multiple symptoms of acne. Here, we’re sharing how to set your acne-prone skin up for success for the long haul.
But first, what is acne-prone skin?
Put simply, if you routinely struggle with clogged pores and pimples, there’s a pretty solid chance you have acne-prone skin. As board-certified dermatologist Robert Finney, M.D., explains: “Typically those who are acne-prone have an overproduction of oil that can lead to clogged pores, as well as follicles that are more prone to getting blocked and rupturing, which can result in breakouts.” On top of that, he adds that people who are acne-prone may have a skin microbiome that’s more pro-inflammatory and are often sensitive to dietary triggers such as dairy or sugary foods.
Another not-so-fun fact? You can still be acne-prone without having any active breakouts. “Just like with anything, acne often ebbs and flows,” says Dr. Finney. “Patients who are acne-prone have pores that are more likely to get clogged and lead to breakouts, so even when skin is clear, it’s important to be aware of that and avoid topicals containing comedogenic oils.” He stipulates that you still need to moisturize, but stresses the importance of using ingredients that help prevent clogged pores, like salicylic acid, retinoids, and so on.
How to care for acne-prone skin, with or without breakouts
As we mentioned, following a concrete skincare routine can really aid in keeping acne under control — both in the short term, and over time. “Whether or not you have breakouts, you should always use a daily moisturizer to help fight inflammation and repair the barrier of your skin,” says Dr. Finney. He recommends a lightweight and hydrating, non-comedogenic formula that won’t clog your pores; you can’t go wrong with our Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, which is packed with hyaluronic acid for weightless hydration. If your skin tends to have both oily and dry areas, however, consider Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream, which includes ingredients dedicated to balancing sebum production while moisturizing skin.
Dr. Finney also notes that salicylic acid, or BHA, is an excellent ingredient to use if you’re acne-prone, as it helps gently exfoliate and dislodge the gunk and bacteria in your pores that can eventually lead to breakouts. For this reason, incorporating a product like our new Strawberry Smooth BHA+AHA Salicylic Serum is a super-smart move. Made with the brand’s proprietary 10% Clarity Acid Complex, it works to gently exfoliate, unclog pores, and soften skin texture all at once. As the name implies, it’s formulated with salicylic acid derived from strawberries, including strawberry water, strawberry enzymes and strawberry leaf extracts — which, in addition to BHA, also naturally possess antioxidants, malic acid, and vitamin C to help reduce breakouts, exfoliate, and even skin tone.
As if that wasn’t enough, it also features nourishing hyaluronic acid to keep skin plump and prevent dryness, along with soothing allantoin and a brightening humectant known as bisabolol. Oh, and did we mention it’s safe and gentle enough for all skin types, including sensitive types? Inclusion is always at the forefront for us when formulating, so this was non-negotiable.
All this to say: If you’re one of the literal millions of people who struggle with breakouts, try adding a salicylic acid-based serum like Strawberry Smooth to your arsenal to see what it can do for your skin. With just one or two uses, you’ll notice visibly brighter skin and less texture — and with consistent daily use, you’ll see smaller pores and fewer (if any!) blemishes.
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