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It’s possible to manage unwanted acne breakouts by developing a personalised skincare routine for acne-prone skin. Acne-prone skin is a common skin concern that affects many people from their teenage years throughout adulthood.

Acne materialises through spots, pimples and blemishes, and it can break out with little warning and often terrible timing. Thankfully, no matter how unpredictable and sporadic they may be, acne breakouts can be managed with the right skincare knowledge. Understanding the triggers and treatments for acne-prone skin can help you achieve a clearer complexion.




Acne breakouts can be caused by several environmental, hormonal and genetic factors that lead to a build-up of bacteria, blocked pores, and excess sebum (oil). The body naturally produces sebum, which is released through your skin’s pores to moisturise and maintain your skin’s health. When dead skin builds up on the skin’s surface, it can block the openings of the pores and disrupt the sebum’s flow.

Oil congestion in the glands below the pores results in comedones. Due to a lack of airflow, the comedones become closed and can turn into pimples, blemishes and spots. Acne occurs when there is a frequent and continuous cycle of comedones under the skin. The bacteria associated with blemishes and skin inflammations can further prompt the formation of more comedones and pimples.

Many believe that acne-prone skin only affects teenagers. However, acne can persist well into adult years. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, diet and other environmental factors can become triggers for acne-prone skin. Choosing the right skincare products will help break the cycle and clear any unwanted breakouts. Those with acne-prone skin types should look for acne products that are ‘non-comedogenic’, meaning they will not cause comedones or block the pores.



Ingredients that promote a faster skin cell turnover rate are ideal for acne-prone skin types, as these exfoliating properties ensure the pores are not being clogged with a build-up of dead skin. Among the best ingredients are salicylic acid and retinol, which can assist in addressing skin that is prone to acne.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid known for its exfoliating abilities, minimising dead skin build-up and refreshing blemish-prone skin for a clearer complexion. Similarly, retinol is a powerful vitamin A derivative used in anti-aging skincare, encouraging the renewal of new skin cells for fresher and clearer skin. Incorporating salicylic acid or retinol into a skincare routine for acne-prone skin can therefore help reduce breakouts. Please note that these powerful active ingredients should not be used together, so choose one or use them at different times of the day if your skin can tolerate it. For mild to more severe acne, always consult a dermatologist before trying new skincare products.



Start the day with a morning skincare routine for acne-prone skin to nourish and protect your face for the long day ahead.


1. Cleanse with acne face wash

Begin your morning acne skincare routine with Blemish and Age Cleansing, which has been formulated with a 7% concentration of salicylic acid especially formulated for acne. This face wash is designed to gently cleanse the skin, removing any impurities and irritants whilst chemical exfoliating agents resolve congestion in the pores. To use, apply a small amount of the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser to a damp face and massage into the face and neck. Remove with warm water and pat dry. The face should feel fresh and clean without a tight feeling in the skin.


2. Use a toner for acne-prone skin

Next, apply a toner for acne after cleansing. SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Toner is a great second step in the cleansing process and is designed to remove any residual dirt and impurities. This toner is ideal for acne-prone skin, as it contains hydroxy acids with exfoliating properties. This encourages faster cell turnover and removes any dead skin build-ups that may block pores. Spray a small amount of the SkinCeuticals Conditioning Toner onto a cotton pad and spread the product over the face, neck and chest. In addition to the hydroxy acids, this toner is formulated with eucalyptus oil for its anti-redness benefits.


3. Nourish your skin with a serum

After removing any impurities, it is important to nourish the skin with supporting ingredients. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF is a vitamin C serum formulated to reduce the visible impacts of environmental damage to the skin and promote an even skin tone. The 2% concentration of phloretin can fade the appearance of pigmentations, discolouration and an uneven skin tone. Apply four to five drops of the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF serum after your toner and massage this acne serum formula into the face and neck.


4. Boost hydration with a hyaluronic acid serum

Hyaluronic acid is an essential part of a daily skincare routine for acne – it’s an important molecule that can retain one thousand times its weight in water and acts as an H2O supply for your skin. Designed to keep your skin hydrated, SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier Serum can deliver immediate and long-term moisture for the day ahead. Apply four to six drops of the serum into your hand and dab onto the face and neck.

See the full range of SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Serums that can help hydrate acne-prone skin.


5. Target pimples with an acne spot treatment

Visibly reduce your acne breakouts with SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, which has been designed to reduce excess oil production and decongest clogged pores to minimise the appearance of acne. This oil-free acne serum features a 2% dioic acid to control excess sebum production that can lead to the formation of acne. Apply this acne serum to the affected areas.


6. Apply a moisturiser for acne-prone skin

Seal in the serums and give your skin an extra layer of hydration with a moisturiser for acne-prone skin. SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture Cream has a light texture that will not clog pores, and its non-greasy touch is ideal for acne-prone skin types. Applying a moisturiser for acne-prone skin is an essential step in your skincare routine, as this will hydrate, protect and nourish the skin. Gently rub this moisturiser into your face, neck and chest every morning.

Explore the full range of SkinCeuticals facial moisturisers.


7. Protect against UV exposure with SPF protection


SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50+ is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has been designed to protect the skin against UV exposure to minimise the effects of photoaging. Environmental aggressors such as harsh UV rays can damage the skin, so applying effective sun protection is essential for maintaining optimal skin health. Apply SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50+ every morning – its formula will not clog pores and is suitable for acne-prone skin types. Avoid prolonged periods in direct sunlight and reapply every two hours.



After a long day facing harsh environmental forces and irritants, it’s time to give your acne-prone skin the face care routine it needs to visibly repair overnight.


1. Wipe away excess make up

Simply Clean Makeup Removal Cleanser is a gel-textured face wash that clears stubborn waterproof makeup and oil build-up formed throughout the day. It has been formulated with sulfonic acid to gently exfoliate and remove skin build-ups, revealing fresher and cleaner skin. Massage one pump of this face wash into the face and neck to remove sweat, pollution, makeup and dead skin cells. This will leave the pores open and clean.


2. Incorporate an exfoliating cleanser for acne-prone skin

Giving your acne-prone skin a deep cleanse, SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser is formulated with a highly concentrated 8% glycolic acid to encourage a faster skin cell turnover rate. Providing a deep clean for acne prone skin, this daily exfoliating cleanser is non-comedogenic and will not clog pores. Apply a small amount to a damp face and massage the cleanser into the skin in a circular motion.


3. Apply a chemical exfoliant to reduce acne breakouts

Care for your skin with SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator Serum, an oil-free serum for acne that effectively exfoliates whilst boosting the skin’s hydration. Its unique formula can help the skin absorb accompanying acne skincare products in your evening face care routine. SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator Serum has an oil-free formula for a softer and more even skin texture.


4. Finish with an evening moisturiser for acne-prone skin

To seal in all those powerful active ingredients, finish your evening skincare routine with SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight Cream. This evening moisturiser is specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin types. Apply a small amount and massage it into the face, avoiding the eye area as you do so.


Maintaining a proper daily skincare routine for acne-prone skin will enable visible results as you are giving the skin the right ingredients for nourishment and repair. By clearing blocked pores, boosting hydration with soothing ingredients, a complete skincare routine for acne-prone skin will help manage unwanted breakouts in the future. Another non-skincare routine-related option to explore for acne-prone skin is LED Light Therapy. Read our guide on What is LED Light Therapy, its benefits and aftercare to learn more.



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