Skincare routines for blemish-prone skin
Skincare routines in general are not “one size fits all”. What may work for your sister, best friend, neighbour, etc will not necessarily work for you. It is important to find a routine that works for you and your particular skin type or concern.
That being said, there are some basic steps that can be used across the board. Most people should cleanse their faces at least once per day and everybody should be using a sunscreen on a daily basis and reapplying 2-3 hourly. It is important to get into the habit of doing this on a daily basis as consistency is key. Beyond this, your skincare routine needs to be more tailored. For those people with blemish-prone skin – the focus is mostly on clearing out the pores, reducing bacteria on the skin, reducing inflammation, as well as increasing cell turnover.
Skincare routine steps
Start with a cleanser to help remove the oils that have built up on the skin overnight. You should choose a cleanser that contains either salicylic acid, or an antibacterial agent.
If you have a treatment product that can be used twice daily, this should be applied next. Your treatment product should contain antioxidants to fight against free radicals and you should keep an eye out for ingredients that reduce inflammation.
If your skin tends to be oily, you may not necessarily need a moisturiser, however, if you feel you do then look out for one that is oil-free and non-comedogenic as this won’t block your pores.
The last step of your morning skincare routine should always be sunscreen. There are so many different sunscreens to choose from and ultimately the best one you can choose is the one you will wear! Most people who are acne- or blemish-prone prefer sunscreens that are lightweight and not too greasy. It often takes a bit of trial and error to find one that you are happy to use.
Throughout the day:
Reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours. Unless you work in a basement where you enter before sunrise and leave after sunset, you need to reapply your sunscreen! We get so much incidental sun exposure throughout the day in Australia that this is completely necessary. There are some amazing sunscreen mists and sprays that have been developed for exactly this purpose so I highly recommend you check those out.
Most dermatologists will tell you that the night time routine is more important than the morning one as your skin is prepped for the active ingredients to do their thing overnight.
A double cleanse is so important. The initial cleanse removes make up as well as build-up of dirt, pollution, etc and provides a blank slate for your second cleanser to get to work with its active ingredients. For blemish-prone skin, I would advise micellar water to remove makeup and then using the same cleanser you used in the morning for your second cleanse.
After this you can apply your treatment cream. Look out for ingredients like retinol/bakuchiol which can increase cell turnover as well as vitamin B3, which is anti-inflammatory.
You can then follow this up with a moisturiser – again one that is oil-free and non-comedogenic.
Spot treatments are often antibacterial and can help to reduce the inflammation within more active lesions. They also give you something to do instead of picking your pimples! These should be used twice per day to the individual spots.
So there it is. You don’t need an overly complicated skincare routine to care for your skin and target your concerns, in fact – the simpler, the better. Always start by slowly introducing the active ingredients to minimise irritation and the potential for the skin to purge. I would advise initially using them 2-3 times per week and then building up to every night as your skin tolerates it.