Do you know the best skin care routine for acne prone skin?

Nourish Mantra

Acne, a pop-out on the skin's surface that is not limited to teenagers. If you are an adult and, like any other day, waking up with a big red zit is not a shock. In fact, the battle against pesky blackheads, whiteheads, pimples & cystic acne starts right through to menopause. There is a way to prevent all the bumps by using the right acne products and sticking to a skincare routine for acne treatment.

Acne and its causes

The skin has millions of tiny little sebaceous glands connected to hair follicles all over your body and produces an oil known as sebum to protect the skin.
However, many times the skin keeps oil intact in the follicles, thereby congesting the pores. Hormonal imbalance may cause the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive; the excess oil they produce blocks the dead skin cells, congesting the pores and forms acne.
The hormone rush is very common when puberty hits teenagers. Hormonal acne is common in adults as their skin also breakouts in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Acne forms due to the following reasons:
• during pregnancy and the menstrual cycle
• starting or changing birth control pills
• when you are stressed
• bad lifestyle habits
• irritation or a reaction to a product or fabric
• overgrowth of yeast in hair follicles

Types of acne

Once your skin pores are clogged, they can form into any one of the different variations of acne:

Types of acne

• Whiteheads
They look like small flesh-coloured or white-coloured bumps. They form when the excess oil & dead skin cells clog the opening of the pores.

• Blackheads
They are similar to whiteheads but are black in color. The whiteheads turn into blackheads when the material blocking the pores pushes through and comes in contact with air; it reacts with oxygen and turns black.

• Papules
Those red spots appear on the skin when bacteria get confined inside the pore with the oil & dead skin, leading to inflammation.

• Pustules
They are a type of pimple that contains pus. They may look like whiteheads but are also surrounded by red rings. They cause scars if picked or scratched.

• Cystic acne
They are hard and painful bumps formed when the oil, dead skin & bacteria penetrates deeper into the skin.

• Fungal acne or pityrosporum folliculitis
They form when yeast forms in excess in the hair follicles. They become itchy and inflamed.

Acne and skin type

Acne is commonly linked to oily skin type. It is because excess oil is known to be a contributor to breakout. Dry skin types also experience acne due to environmental factors and poor acne routine for skin that irritates and clogs the skin pores.

Tips to prevent acne

You should remember the following tips while following an acne prone skin routine :

• It is necessary to wash your face twice a day, firstly when you wake up and before you go to bed. It is also essential to wash your face more than twice if you sweat a lot.

• Scrubbing the skin with harsh exfoliants or using them vigorously can peel off your acne, causing more harm than healing. Acne is a dirt problem, so don't overdo the use of scrubs, as it can lead to redness and irritation.

• You should not pick or pop the pimple as it can form a scar on the skin. It also transmits the bacteria into other pores & makes a small pimple develop into inflamed acne.

• Routinely not washing bedding, makeup brushes and cleaning phone screens will harbor the debris that clogs the pores.

• Many anti-acne product labels mention them as non-comedogenic, oil-free, non-acnegenic or won't clog pores. But they turn out to be fake. So, you must go through the complete ingredient list when buying any anti-acne product.

• Review your hair care formulas like shampoos, hair conditioners, hair masks and hair serums, as they can cause breakouts on the forehead and neck. Try to avoid products containing oils. Try to keep your hair off your face as much as possible, especially at night.

• Keep skin hydrated to combat excess oil that leads to acne formation. Well-hydrated skin is the skin that is content.

• A dirty, flaky and oily-prone scalp can clog the pores on the forehead.

Ingredients that works best for acne

• Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a good exfoliating ingredient that calms inflammation and speeds up the skin's healing process. In addition to exfoliating dead skin cells, salicylic acid penetrates into the skin and clears clogged pores. Although you may feel a little irritation on the skin when you first use it. Additionally, too much oil may be removed if you use this ingredient in excess, resulting in dryness. 

• Benzoyl peroxide

This ingredient can be found in over-the-counter gels or creams to treat breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide works best for inflammatory acne, like pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules. It works by exfoliating away the dead skin cells, excessive oil, and bacteria from the skin. This can sometimes lead to dryness and redness . Make sure you pair it with a hydrating moisturizer.

• Azelaic acid

This ingredient has antibacterial properties, which help prevent bacteria from forming in the pores, thus dissuading acne. Any anti-acne products come with 10% strength of azelaic acid. It is rich in antioxidants and helps to neutralize the effects of free radical damage. This multi-tasking ingredient regulates the production of melanin thereby effectively reducing hyperpigmentation. 

• Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most preferred ingredients for treating acne-prone skin because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial impacts. It soothes redness, swelling, and inflammation, which aids in preventing and reducing acne and leaves you with clear, radiant skin. Tea tree oil can be used straight over your acne, or you can use anti-acne derivatives with tea tree oil infused in it.  

• Niacinamide

Niacinamide is helpful when it comes to dealing with severe acne like; papules and pustules. A significant function of niacinamide is to regulate oil production in your skin by regulating the sebaceous glands. Niacinamide can together reconstruct healthy skin cells while also shielding them from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.

Ingredients that worsen acne

You should avoid the ingredients in skin care routine for acne prone skin  that worsens your acne condition:

• Synthetic fragrances

A mix of different chemicals can be a potential irritant to the skin. 

• Sodium lauryl sulfate

It weakens the skin barrier and makes breakouts worse. 

• Coconut oil

It is highly comedogenic in nature.

• Sodium chloride

It is a technical term for the salt used in makeup or cleanser. It is commonly used as a thickening agent to get a rich-looking texture in the product.

• Isopropyl myristate

It is highly comedogenic due to its emollient properties. 

• Alcohol

It enlarges the pores and causes breakouts. If used in toner, it ends up drying and damaging the skin.

Acne prone skin care routine

Morning skincare routine

The morning skin care routine for acne prone sensitive skin involves the following steps:

1. Cleansing

No matter what your skin type is, cleansing your skin should be the first step in your skincare routine & should not be overlooked. Acne-prone skin is no different. This step is the cornerstone for your sensitive acne-prone skin, so choose the cleanser wisely. Some of the cleansers are labeled as acne-fighting cleansers, but they make your skin harsh & dry. Rather than healing the skin, it screws the skin's protective barrier, making your skin more vulnerable to breakouts. Instead, stick to a gentle & natural ingredients-based cleanser that dissolves excess oil, dirt and bacteria without stripping the skin and doesn’t make you feel itchy, irritated and tight.

2. Moisturizing

Bust a myth that oily & acne prone skin does not need moisturization. Without moisturization, the oil glands will go into overdrive and produce more sebum, leading to clogged pores and overall shiny skin. So, to achieve the opposite, moisturize your acne-prone skin daily. Daily moisturization will keep your skin balanced and hydrated. Go for a lightweight and oil-free moisturizer with the goodness of hydration from hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerine etc.

3. Protecting

Don't forget to protect your skin with a layer of sunscreen. UV exposure from the sun makes marks and scars of pimples & acne even more prominent. Avoiding sunscreen will call for premature aging and skin cancer. If you stay outdoors for long hours, ensure that you reapply the sunscreen every 3-4 hours. It is necessary to use sunscreen that contains SPF of more than 30. It helps to provide broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. It should also be non-comedogenic.

Night Skincare Routine

The night skincare routine for acne-fighting skin involves the following steps:

1. Cleansing

You must wash your face before you are off to bed, no matter how tired you are. Use a cleanser to wash away all the impurities accumulated on your skin during the day. Cleansing is essential at night to prep the skin for the topical treatment. It is a vital skin care routine for cystic acne, pustules and all types of acne; what changes is the ingredients in your skincare routine depending on the severity of the acne.

2. Treating

Your skin needs an acne treatment during bedtime as it works well when your skin is at rest and tries to heal your skin faster. It is required to treat your skin with serums or gels with active ingredients like adapalene, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and niacinamide. Salicylic acid or adapalene goes well for whiteheads & blackheads, whereas benzoyl peroxide or niacinamide kicks off pustules. Adapalene is undoubtedly the best bet for cystic acne.

3. Moisturizing

Wait a couple of minutes for the acne treatment to seep into the skin, then layer the moisturizer. Don't go for night cream, as it contains active ingredients, and your skin is already getting what it needs to treat acne. 

Nourish Mantra's Hero Products for Acne Prone Skin

1. Ratrani Clay Cleanser

A formulation that is enriched with power of clays and activated charcoals. This fantastic formulation of cleanser effectively cleanses the skin by absorbing the excess oil, removes pollution particles, deep-seated impurities, dead skin cells, and gives you squeaky clean, fresh and flawless skin. 

2. Acne Clarifying Serum

A phenomenal facial serum for acne-prone skin with the goodness of thyme extract, cinnamon bark extract, niacinamide and salicylic acid that balances the oil production & open pores, prevents acne marks & blemishes and improves overall skin texture.

FAQ’s

How do you clear acne blemishes?

One of the best ways is to incorporate a comprehensive skin routine for acne-prone skin. You should go with gentle yet effective formulas formulated with acne-clearing ingredients(mentioned above). Your ideal skincare regimen for acne-prone skin should be built around your skin type, acne type and overall complexion goals. You can involve ingredients like benzoyl peroxide in a skincare routine for pimples, whiteheads & blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide helps in minimizing acne-causing bacteria. Another ingredient is salicylic acid which helps to prevent your pores from becoming blocked with oil and dead skin cells. Remember that you should not pile up multiple acne treatment products together, as it can increase the chances of irritation. Going with an acne treatment product at a time is necessary, and don't expect overnight results. Pay attention to how the skin responds to that particular acne product. 

Should acne-prone skin moisturize their face?

Acne-prone skin experiences oiliness & greasiness. However, acne-affected skin produces more natural oils; this doesn't mean it needs less moisture than other skin types. Apply a face moisturizer after cleansing, as it hydrates the skin & prevents it from becoming dry or irritated when using specific acne treatments. Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer specially formulated for acne-prone skin to prevent pores clogging. 

How severe is each type of acne?

Whiteheads and blackheads are the mildest forms of acne which are cleared up with OTC topical medications like products made with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If they certainly don't respond to OTC medications, comedones are easily treated with topical retinoids. 

Pustules & papules are moderate types of acne that may or may not clear up with OTC meds. Widespread moderate acne may require an oral or topical prescription from a dermatologist.

Nodules & cysts come under the severe type of acne. You have to see a dermatologist to clear up this type of acne. Picking or popping them may lead to scars. 

What are the types of acne scars?

There are 3 types of acne scars:

• Hyperpigmentation- that appears as a brown or red discolouration.
• Depressed scars- also known as atrophic scars, these include narrow & deep scars, shallow with sharp edges and shallow with smooth edges.
• Raised scars- these are also known as hypertrophic or keloidal scars.