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The Best Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

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From one acne-ridden individual to another, it’s a tough life. Probably one of the toughest skin types to care for, acne-prone skin requires you to go an extra mile when it comes to your skincare or even makeup routine.

Before we start elaborating on the best skincare regime for acne-prone skin, let’s talk about what causes acne and the different types of acne.

What Is Acne?

Sebaceous glands pump out an oily material called sebum to keep your skin moist and lubricated. In case of excess sebum production, this sticky material clogs follicles on your skin and their openings called pores, hence causing an inflammation which become pimples. Clogged pores that aren’t inflamed are called whiteheads or blackheads, depending on whether they open onto the surface of the skin or not.

    What Causes Acne?

    As for the causes of acne, the biggest trigger is hormones. Acne is more common in adolescents and teens because that’s when their body starts producing testosterone, which directly helps your sebaceous glands in overdelivering.
    Genetics are a factor too. If either or both of your parents are acne-prone, that may be one reason you are as well. Stress also appears to contribute to acne outbreaks in some people.
  1. Types Of Acne

    If you have acne-prone skin, these are the six types of lesions that you might be experiencing.
    • Blackheads are uninfected, clogged follicles that appear as dark bumps on the surface.
    • Whiteheads are clogged follicles covered by a thin layer of skin that appear as white bumps or spots.
    • Papules are inflamed lesions that may appear red, can be sensitive and painful.
    • Pustules are inflamed lesions that are generally pus-filled. May appear white or yellow.
    • Nodules are a severe form of lesion that develop under the skin and don’t contain pus.
    • Cysts are severely inflamed and pus filled, and mostly require medical treatment.
  • Daytime Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

    How you begin your day says a lot about your acne treatment. It’s important to follow an extensive daytime skincare routine before you step out of the door, no matter how late you’re running. So here is our list of best acne products you need:
    1. Best Cleanser

      What: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

      Why: One of the best face wash for acne-prone skin, this toughie is gentle on your skin but harsh on acne. The gel-based, oil-free formula gently cleanses your skin from deep within while Salicylic Acid effectively prevents future breakouts, making it the best acne face wash.
    2. Best Exfoliator

      What: Fabindia Charcoal Face Scrub

      Why: What makes this the best scrub for acne-prone skin is the fact that Activated Charcoal and Walnut grits remove every bit of excess oil from the deepest pores. With this clarifying beauty by your side, blackheads and whiteheads will be out of the window.
    3. Best Toner

      What: Juicy Chemistry Tea Tree and Basil Facial Toning Mist

      Why: We have our reasons for branding this as the best toner for acne. Infused with Tea Tree Hydrosol and antiseptic Basil, this must be the latest addition to your acne treatment army. Aloe Vera extracts provide the necessary hydration and Lemon helps in skin lightening.
    4. Best Serum

      What: Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

      Why: Removal of acne scars is almost as critical as acne removal itself. As a part of the acne scar treatment, this face serum evens out skin tone, diminishes dark spots and fades acne scarring in less than two weeks, thanks to Activated C A potent next-generation actives and White Birch extracts.
    5. Best Moisturizer

      What: Avene TriAcneal Expert

      Why: Why use a random moisturizer when you got this acne expert at hand? Hands down, the best acne cream, this pro is infused with three advanced anti-acne actives. Targets adult acne removal and removal of acne scars, especially in case of oily skin.  
    6. Best Sunscreen

      What: Kaya Ultra Light Aquagel Sunscreen SPF 25

      Why: One of the best acne treatments is protecting your skin from damaging UV rays, which is why you need the best sunscreen for acne-prone skin. This gel-based, fragrance-free formula does not clog pores and provides superior sun protection, while delivering a weightless, matte finish.
  • Night Time Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

    Apart from the usual CTM routine that you need to repeat once you’re ready to crash at the end of the day, there are a few additional steps that you should add to your night time skincare routine. This is primarily because your shut-eye time is exactly when your skin is most able to absorb topical treatments and DNA repair is boosted. Basically, your skin’s ability to repair itself is directly proportional to the feeling of fatigue that you experience at the end of a day. Here are the best night products for acne-prone skin:
    1. Best Face Pack

      What: Kama Ayurveda Nimrah Anti Acne Face Pack

      Why: Easily one of the best acne treatments out there, we’re raving about this Ayurvedic anti-acne wonder. An effective mix of Vetiver, Ashwagandha, Red Sandalwood, Coriander, Lodhra and Liquorice, this pack targets acne, pimples, acne scars, and dark circles. To be used twice a week.
      Best Night Cream

      What: Natio Acne Clear Night Repair Moisture Treatment

      Why: Wanna know why we call this the best acne cream? Here’s why. Enriched with Tamanu and Tea Tree extracts, this acne cream targets acne-causing bacteria and removes it from the skin’s surface. It effectively reduces redness of skin and maintains correct moisture balance, so you witness renewed skin in the morning.
  • Dos And Don’ts For Acne-Prone Skin

    Here are some acne remedies and acne removal tips:
    • A major part of acne treatments is watching what you eat. A diet that’s high on glycemic index can infuriate your acne situation majorly. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugars along with highly processed foods that are easily broken down in the gut to increase blood sugar levels. This spike triggers a cascade of effects that causes the skin to produce more oil and plug the pores, which sets the stage for acne.
    • Include more of fish, healthy fats, antioxidant rich fruits and veggies, nuts and yoghurt. Stay away from chocolate and dairy products since they prompt the release of insulin and growth hormones which could be a trigger point for acne.
    • Even if you’re using the best face wash for acne, you should not wash your face more than twice a day. While over-cleansing won't make acne worse, it can cause dryness and inflammation, making your skin feel itchy and tender.
    • Remember that the best face wash for acne prone skin should either have Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid. The best acne face wash should, however, have a combination of both.
    • Don’t use harsh, granular exfoliators very often because they can irritate inflamed skin, causing tiny tears. Go for a gentler formula twice a week.
    • The biggest don’t of acne-prone skin: Don't pick, pop, squeeze, or mess with your skin. This can lead to infections and permanent scarring.
    • Refrain from touching your skin very often to avoid transmission of bacteria. Also, clean your phone using an anti-bacterial wipe and wash your pillowcase, or for that matter anything that comes in direct contact with your face, regularly.
    • As a part of acne treatment, many people apply topical acne cream to only the current zits. The idea is to also prevent new ones from forming, so apply it on the entire problem area.  
    • Ensure that no hair care products come in contact with your face during a hair wash. If you are suffering from a bad bout of bacne, don’t let conditioner sit on your back. Clip your hair on top until you’re ready to wash the product off. As a safe bet, always wash your face last before exiting the shower.
    • Get out of your sweaty clothes and shower immediately once you’re done with your workout. Letting sweat settle on your face and body is a direct invitation to acne.
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Acne-Prone Skin

    1. I have active acne. Should I stop wearing makeup altogether?

      A. You don’t need to shy away from makeup completely, just be smart about it.  As a thumb rule, apply only powder-based or gel-based makeup products on your face. The problem with cream-based and liquid-based formulas is that they settle in your pores and promote bacteria growth. Our best bet is mineral makeup because it’s oil-free. Also, use a light hand while applying foundation. Too many layers of a heavy formula can aggravate your acne and make the texture look blotchy. Instead, stick to a single layer of a sheer foundation and leave the actual concealing of the acne scars to color correctors.
    2. When should I see a dermatologist?

      A. If your skin doesn’t respond to over-the-counter topical and oral medication even after trying for 4-12 weeks, visit a dermatologist at the earliest since severe acne requires aggressive treatment to prevent scarring.
    3. Is acne contagious?

      A. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not contagious.
    4. I don’t want to use medication. Can home remedies also be a part of acne treatment?

      A. Many home remedies have proven to be effective in treating both acne and acne scars.
      For more deets on home remedies for acne, head over to

      Why do I experience more skin breakouts as my period draws closer?

      A. The culprit behind menstrual acne is the hormone progesterone. It causes a rapid increase in the production of sebum from facial oil and this causes acne. When the excess oil clogs a pore, it results in a breakout.

      Should I moisturize my skin or do creamy formulas aggravate acne?

      A. No, moisturizing your skin does not cause acne. In fact, hydration is a very important part of acne treatment as it loosens the sebum build-up inside your pores. However, you need to stick to a moisturizer that’s designed for acne-prone skin.

      What is the one criterion that I should look for in all skincare and makeup products?

      A. The one key feature that you need to look for in case of acne-prone skin is non-comedogenic, which means that the formula doesn’t clog pores.
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