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Skin Type: Acne

Reluctant to try a new product because you know your skin is going to go totally crazy on you? How to work your way around harmful skincare products, below.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin particularly common in adolescents and young adults. The frequency, severity, and tendency for scarring is greater among men however adult acne is more common among women.

Severe acne and acne scarring can cause significant physical and psychological distress.

Most cases of acne present with a variable array of lesions, consisting of white heads, blackheads, firm bumps, and pus filled pimples. The cause of acne has many factors, including genetics, hormones, excessive sebum (an oily/waxy compound), hair follicle blockage and increased bacteria. Acne can also be triggered by some cosmetics, Vitamins (especially B complex) and medications such as corticosteroids. The relationship that diet worsens acne is still unproven.

Acne can appear on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks.

Treating acne early and keeping it under control can prevent future breakouts. Many people have acne into one 20s. For some adults, acne persists well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s or 60s. Early treatment can prevent a few pimples from progressing to widespread blackheads, whiteheads, and deep, painful acne.

Some advice to help minimize breakouts:

  • Review the ingredients in your skincare and makeup products.

  • Avoid products that contain Alcohol. Alcohol is a common ingredient in cosmetics for acne-prone skin, and while it may seem as though it’s drying out a pimple, it actually triggers more oiliness later.

  • Avoid thick or solid makeup products such as stick or cream compact foundations. These can block the pores and increase acne.

  • If you are using any treatment for acne such as Benzoil peroxide, Salicylic acid, Adapaleno or tretinoin, these treatments tend to dry and irritate the skin. Offset this by regularly moisturizing with an oil-free moisturizer. Good options are in a gel or serum form

  • Always remove makeup before going to bed.

  • Wash your face with a gentle, water-soluble cleanser twice a day (once in the morning, once at night). Limit facial scrubs to once a week.

  • Protect your skin from the sun. Sun damage weakens skin, which negatively impacts acne. If you’re concerned that the cream of an SPF product may cause breakouts opt for a fluid or gel.

If you are doing all those recommendations mentioned above and still have active acne or if you are unsure of what would be the best treatment for your acne, seeing a dermatologist can help. A dermatologist can diagnose which type of acne do you have in your skin and recommend the best products to avoid scars in the future.


Acne, American Academy of Dermatology.

Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, et al. “Moisturizers for acne: What are their constituents?” J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(5):36-44.

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