Those who’ve spent their teenage years battling acne must know how frustrating and tiresome it is to get rid of them.
Though concealers and high-coverage foundations will hide them, they will aggravate your acne breakouts in the long run. Of course, you can add acne treatment products to your skincare routine, but finding the right one is a challenge.
And, if ingredients like salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or benzoyl peroxide make your head spin, we’d suggest you take a natural route to fight acne.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about acne and how to prevent them from appearing over and over again. So, let’s not wait any further and jump straight into the deets.
Organic Acne Skin Care
What Is Acne?
A chronic, inflammatory skin condition, acne is usually an umbrella term used for various types of breakouts, such as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, blemishes, and cystic acne.
Also referred to as acne vulgaris, it appears when the glands secrete or produce too much sebum or the natural oils of the skin. And when mingled with dead skin cells, sebum clogs the pores, which leads to acne.
Clogged pores provide acne-causing bacteria the perfect environment to thrive, triggering pimples. More often than not, acne lesions occur on the face and neck, but you may also notice them on the chest, back and shoulders.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it’s one of the most common skin conditions faced by the people of the United States.
Usually, acne occurs when people hit puberty because that’s when the sebaceous glands are activated. Regardless of whether you have acne-prone skin, it can occur at any age and multiply if left untreated.
Signs Or Symptoms Of Acneic Skin
- Damaged skin barrier
- Skin produces too much oil
- Multiple strains of P. Acnes bacteria thrive on the skin
- Their sebum is low in linoleic acid, a type of omega fatty acid, clogging the pores
- Dead skin cells are produced by acneic skin much faster than non-acneic ones
How To Treat Acne Breakouts Topically?
Believe it or not, microcomedo takes up to 90 days to reach the surface of the skin and produce a pimple. Since it is the tiniest of acne blemishes, it is invisible to the naked eye.
Though it isn’t a severe health issue, acne is painful and affects the overall appearance of the individual. It can also harm your self confidence and emotional health.
And if you’re someone who’s been battling acne since their teenage years, you’d know how exhausting it is to get rid of them.
Though frustrating, it isn’t impossible to get rid of them. With patience, perseverance, and the right regime, you can conquer the battle against acne.
Treatment For Acne-Free Skin
When dealing with acne, there are certain things that you will have to keep in mind before introducing products to your skincare routine. Irrespective of your skin type, the most critical aspect is to reduce the buildup of dead skin cells on your face. And the best way to get rid of them is to exfoliate the skin properly as and when required.
Other than that, you’ll have to focus on minimizing the overproduction of sebum, controlling acne-causing bacteria on the skin, and repairing the barrier.
Keeping in mind that not everyone is well aware of the process, we decided to discuss them in detail. So, let’s get straight to it.
1. Exfoliating To Get Rid Of Dead Skin Cells
To tell the truth, our skin renews itself every 27 days, through which the new ones replace the superficial cells. At times, the skin regeneration process may lead to the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface, which is the root cause of acne.
The best way to remove dead skin cells to prevent acne is to exfoliate the skin either through chemical or physical exfoliates.
Most often, chemical exfoliation breaks down dead skin cells and improves the cell turnover cycle. Not only that, but it also improves the complexion, fades acne scars, and brightens to reveal the glowing skin.
Ideally, chemical exfoliators contain beta-hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and fruit enzymes.
On the other hand, physical exfoliation entails using abrasive substances or various tools to slough away dead skin cells. Unlike the chemical method, it makes your skin smooth and bright instantly, which is why most people prefer it over the former.
However, you should remember that physical exfoliation is not as gentle and effective as chemical ones. Normal, dry, or oily skin – no matter your skin type, you can go for the physical exfoliation method to remove dead skin cells.
At the same time, we’d like to mention that chemical exfoliation is better for sensitive skin types and for those who suffer from severe acne.
2. Controlling Excess Oil Or Sebum Production Using A Balancing Oil
Our skin produces sebum to maintain the pH levels and elasticity of the skin. But did you know that some skin secretes excess oil more than others?
Certainly, excess oil production clogs the pores and results in acne, whiteheads, blackheads, and uneven skin tone. So, if you wish to prevent breakouts and have an even skin tone, it’s important to control excess oil production.
One common blunder people make is using drying products, thinking that it will limit oil production and clear acne. Contrarily, your skin gets irritated and starts secreting excess oils to compensate, aggravating acne.
Avoid drying products and incorporate the right balancing oil into your skincare routine to calm the skin and regulate oil production.
3. Minimize The Stickiness Of Sebum By Adding Linoleic Acid
Have you added natural skincare products to your night regime but are still unable to get rid of acne? If yes, then it’s about time to introduce linoleic acid  to your routine.
That’s because people with acne-prone skin produce sebum that contains an insufficient amount of linoleic acid. Hence, the sebum is sticky and blocks the pores of the skin, resulting in acne breakouts.
When you apply linoleic acid to your skin, it decreases its stickiness and protects pores from getting clogged. Consequently, this clears your skin and prevents future breakouts, so it’s worth adding to your skincare arsenal.
Also, make sure you keep your skin well-hydrated by using hyaluronic acid  and a good balancing oil to regulate sebum production.
4. Use Tea Tree Oil To Kill Acne-Causing Bacteria
Did you know that there are a variety of strains of P. Acnes or the acne-causing bacteria? Of course, these bacteria thrive on excess oils produced by the skin and dead cell buildup. That’s why a potent acne treatment is needed, as it will target various strains of the bacteria and reveal your inner beauty.
While tea tree oil  effectively fights Type 1 P. Acnes, black cumin oil works well for both Type 1, Type 2, and Type 2 P. Acnes.
5. Use Anti-Inflammatory Active Ingredients To Reduce Inflammation
When hair follicles or pores get clogged with sebum or dead skin cells, inflammatory acne starts appearing on the skin. So, if you notice redness, swelling, or discomfort, it’s likely inflamed acne.
Hence, it’s advisable to add anti-inflammatory actives to your skincare regime. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin A , C, and E and astaxanthin  reduce oxidative stress, the primary cause of inflammation, so you should add them to your skincare routine.
Among other actives, a few natural ingredients, such as turmeric, Centella Asiatica, argan, sunflower, and safflower are excellent for calming damaged and stressed skin.
6. Build Up The Skin Barrier With Barrier-Strengthening Ingredients
Those who suffer from acne have a poor skin barrier, which is why they are susceptible to inflammatory reactions and irritations.
A weakened skin barrier will allow pollutants, irritants, allergens, and microbes to settle, resulting in redness and inflammation. Hence, it’s advisable to add barrier-strengthening ingredients to your skincare routine as it will protect and improve the moisture barrier of the skin.
Manuka honey , ceramides, squalane, niacinamide, and pre-, pro-, and post-biotics, are some barrier-strengthening actives that you should regularly use to enhance the barrier function.
7. Nourish The Skin With Grapeseed Oil
More often than not, oily skin beauties tend to skip moisturizers because they mistake oil for hydration. Regardless of whether you have combination skin or dry skin, using a moisturizer is important.
Without a moisturizer, your skin will become dehydrated and overproduce sebum to compensate. And when it comes to nourishing acne-prone skin, we suggest using grapeseed oil  because it’s loaded with antioxidant polyphenols, linoleic acid, and Vitamin E . Besides nourishing, it will protect your skin from radical damage and encourage the body’s natural healing processes.
What makes it excellent for oily skin types is that it isn’t heavy, unlike other oils, so you can rest assured that it won’t clog pores or feel tacky. And since it’s loaded with Vitamin E, it works wonders for lightening acne scars.
6-Step Clean Beauty Routine For For Fighting Acne
Have you stacked your closet with anti-acne face wash, serum, moisturizer, and exfoliators? If yes, make sure you use them consistently to get the desired results.
As a matter of fact, acne doesn’t form overnight; rather, it takes about 30 to 90 days to pop on the face. So, when you consistently follow a skincare regime, your skin will fight acne and prevent future breakouts.
Here we’ve enlisted 11 time-and-tested tips that will come in handy for your fight against acne.
Irrespective of whether you have oily or sensitive skin, cleansing the face is important for reducing excess oil and keeping bacteria at bay.
Those who have acne-prone skin must go for cleansers packed with salicylic acid  as it has both exfoliating and soothing properties, so you can rest assured that it’s gentle. You can also go for cleansers that contain aspirin as it belongs to the family of salicylates, so it will help alleviate inflammatory acne.
Alternatively, if the ingredient list contains beta-hydroxy acid or willow bark, you can go for them because they are a form of salicylic acid. While you should use a cleanser for both morning and night regimes, we suggest using them post-workout to remove impurities from your face.
Also, don’t use drying cleansers or soap on your face because they affect its pH balance. Along with that, make sure you avoid using cleansers that are packed with harsh chemicals as they aren’t that effective on acne-prone skin.
How To Use Cleansers:
Ideally, you should use micellar water or foaming cleansers twice a day and use cleansing oil when your face feels overly dry.
After cleansing, toning is the most important step because it removes dirt and impurities from the face and balances the pH of the skin. Though most people don’t consider toning necessary, we suggest not skipping it.
When used daily, it removes dead cells buildup gently without tearing the surface of the skin. For fading acne scars, toners that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients should be introduced to your skincare routine.
Also, we suggest going for toners that contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and witch hazel , for they work wonders on acne. Besides acne scars, they regulate oil production and reduce inflammation.
How To Use A Toner:
Dispense a generous amount of toner on a cotton pad and gently wipe it all over your face to soak it into the skin after cleansing your face.
3. Apply Serum
More often than not, face serums contain a high concentration of active ingredients, which is why they are powerful enough to tackle breakouts, dark spots, wrinkles, and other issues.
For acne-prone skin, an exfoliating serum is excellent as it helps get rid of dead skin cells from the face. When used regularly, it will reduce breakouts and prevent them from appearing in the future.
Niacinamide , retinol, salicylic acid, Vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide , and azelaic acid are some ingredients to look for while purchasing a serum to improve your skin. However, if you’re looking for a serum for acne spot treatment, go for serums that are jam-packed with glycolic acid, aloe vera, and white willow bark.
Also, make sure that you go for sulfate and paraben-free products as they are safe for use on acne-prone skin.
How To Use Serum:
First off, wash your face with a cleanser, dispense two to three drops of serum on the palm, and pat it on your skin. Before applying moisturizer, wait for a few minutes for the skin to absorb it.
If you’re using a serum for the first time, applying it once a day is recommended to see your skin’s reaction to it. In case it reacts positively to the serum, you can use it twice a day to keep your acne under control.
4. Apply Facial Oil By Mixing It With Absorbing Fluid
Contrary to popular belief, facial oils are excellent for acne, provided you use them the right way. Since they are greasy and not as lightweight as serums, we suggest mixing them with an absorbing fluid before applying them to your face.
Ideally, water or gel-based products are regarded as absorbing fluid. Plain aloe vera gel and hydrosol are excellent absorbing fluids, so you can consider using them with your facial oil. And when purchasing an absorbing fluid, make sure you go for the one that contains liposomes or MSM.
For those unversed, let us tell you that plant oils are composed of essential fatty acids, including linoleic and oleic acid. As acneic skin is deficient in linoleic acid, it makes sebum sticky and clogs the pores. Hence, when you topically apply facial oils, it reduces breakouts, so you can have healthy skin.
How To Use Facial Oil
Owing to its heaviness, we suggest using it once a week to notice how your skin reacts to it. Simply dispense one to two drops of oil onto your palm, gently apply it to your face, and top it with a lightweight moisturizer.
5. Spot Treatments
The temptation to pop a pimple is understandable, but it can make a blemish last longer and result in scarring. Thankfully, spot treatments come in handy for getting rid of stubborn blemishes.
So, when you’re shopping for a spot treatment, make sure you go for the ones that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients. That’s because they accelerate the healing process, regenerate cells, and prevent scarring.
Spot treatments that contain clays, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, and talc must be avoided as they can irritate the skin and result in breakouts.
How To Use Spot Treatment:
After cleansing and toning, apply spot treatment on your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Later, when you’re done pampering your skin with other products, re-apply the treatment on top of them, and that’s it.
Like mentioned before, oily or combination skin beauties tend to skip moisturizers to dry their skin out. But did you know that overdrying the skin will force your skin to secrete more oil and lead to irritation? That’s why irrespective of your skin type, moisturizing is essential to maintain the barrier of the skin and protect it from damage.
Basically, moisturizers are a blend of oil and water as they contain emollients, occlusives, and humectants that slow trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).
Most often, you’ll find shea butter and aloe vera in the ingredient list of a variety of moisturizers. In the cosmetic industry, they are referred to as emollients, and their function is to fill the gaps between the cells of the skin.
Meanwhile, occlusives prevent water loss by forming a protective layer over the skin, locking hydration.
On the other hand, humectants are another moisturizing agent that retains moisture in the skin by drawing them from the air. Saccharides, plant sugars, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin are the commonly found humectants in moisturizing creams and lotions.
If we’re being honest, finding a moisturizer for acne-prone skin is a mind-boggling task. Hence, we suggest looking for moisturizers that are infused with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other soothing compounds. Or, you can go for lightweight blends that are formulated to clarify skin and prevent breakouts.
Apart from that, high linoleic fatty acid, cholesterol, ceramides, niacinamide , Vitamin B3, and anti-inflammatory Omega 3s and Omega 6s are excellent for acne-prone skin.
However, avoid going for formulas that contain emulsifiers and oleic acid as they can clog the pores and worsen your acne. In addition, don’t buy moisturizers that are loaded with preservatives as they damage the skin barrier.
How To Use Moisturizers
After using facial oil, dispense a pea-size amount of moisturizer onto your hands and massage it onto the face using your fingertips in circular motions to absorb it. However, don’t forget to apply it to your décolletage and neck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Causes Acne?
Besides clogging of pores, acne is triggered or worsened by increased sebum production from sebaceous glands, hormonal changes, or certain medications.
Q2. Can Stress Cause Acne?
Though stress doesn’t cause acne, it intensifies those already present on the face. Consequently, acne doesn’t heal when people are stressed, no matter how expensive products or treatments they invest in.
Summing It Up
With that, we’ve reached the end of our guide on the topic. To sum it up, acne is inevitable and can happen to anyone, regardless of age. So, if you’re unfortunate enough to deal with it, we suggest stacking your closet with products that are specifically formulated for the same.
Whether you have one pimple or a cluster, establishing a skincare routine and following it consistently will help you combat acne. Also, make sure you choose products that are packed with salicylic acid, linoleic acid, benzoyl peroxide, beta-hydroxy acid, and other acne-fighting ingredients.
And that’s it for today. Good luck!