Finding an appropriate Skincare Regime for Acne Prone Skin
As explained above, acne can take on many different forms, but 2 main categories are non-inflammatory (comedonal) and inflammatory acne. In addition, acne can affect all skin types, whether oily or dry. An appropriate skincare regime will have to take into account the type of acne you are experiencing and your skin type, be it oily, dry, combination or sensitive.
While the management of most patients with acne will require the use of some topical and/or oral medications, the importance of proper skin care and product selection cannot be emphasized more, as both are essential for best results.
Use of proper skin care for facial skin is helpful when acne is actively present (acne-affected skin) and also during periods of quiescence when facial acne is essentially clear and well controlled (acne-prone skin); this has been proven through scientific studies.
Almost any skincare routine starts off with a proper cleanser. A suitable cleanser that removes dirt and excess oil without drying out your skin is essential in any skincare regime. For people with oily skin, a gel or foam based cleanser works best; for people with dry skin, a cream based cleanser is apt as it is moisturizing for the skin. In addition, it is best if you opt for a gentle cleanser or face wash without any fragrance, especially for those with sensitive skin.
It is also important to use a makeup remover in addition to a face cleanser to remove traces of makeup left on the skin. For most days, it is appropriate to wash your face twice a day, in the morning and evening. Remember that excessive washing can cause irritation, and that washing itself does not clear breakouts since dirt does not cause acne, so do be gentle with your skin and do not rub excessively!
While daily cleansing is mandatory, exfoliating the skin once a week or on a bi-weekly basis is recommended, especially for people with mainly comedonal acne. Scrubs may contain different types of abrasives, such as polyethylene beads, aluminum oxide and ground fruit pits, or sodium tetraborate decahydrate granules. Exfoliation removes the dead cells present on the skin’s surface and other impurities that may end up blocking the skin’s pores. By eliminating the chance of a blockage, a pimple that may have developed can be prevented.
However, some people with very sensitive or inflamed skin can skip this step from their skin care routine for acne as exfoliation can irritate their skin.
Adding this step works great for the daily skin care routine for oily, acne prone skin type. A toner removes excessive sebum. Most toners include mild levels of alcohol, salicylic acid or glycolic acid, which clean up your pores and prevent blackheads, whiteheads, and small pimples from forming, and can be used daily. However, for dry and sensitive skin, choosing an appropriate toner is especially important as some toners can irritate the skin or cause additional dryness. A non-alcohol toner may be useful for these people.
Acne itself and many of the treatments for acne (i.e., benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, oral isotretinoin) can cause or exacerbate existing skin dryness. Hence, the use of a daily moisturizer is absolutely necessary. A well-hydrated skin would not need excess oils to be produced and hence, be less prone to acne. A good moisturizer will thus keep the sebum production in balance and hence prevent clogging of pores.
Oily skin requires the usage of a light, oil-free moisturizer and dry skin needs a hydrating moisturizer. Sensitive skin and combination skin types should use moisturizers that are specifically formulated for their skin types.
Apart from the topical hydration that you provide your skin with through moisturizers and serums, hydration from within the body is necessary too. Drinking sufficient water a day also replenishes the hydration levels of your skin.
This is extremely important and cannot be stressed upon enough! Applying a sunscreen daily is a must. We recommend a sunscreen or sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 for daily use. This is especially important if you are on certain forms of topical and/or oral medication or certain procedures which may increase the sensitivity of your skin to UV radiation. Remember that UV rays can penetrate through the clouds and still damage your skin, even on cloudy day, and UV rays penetrate through windows as well. Oil-free sunscreens of varying textures and consistencies such as creams, gels and sprays are widely available in the market currently.