Although I previously wrote about acne, it was more specifically about the why’s and how’s, not about treatment products. It’s important to distinguish the differences between acne and congestion because the treatments are not the same. If people are actually dealing with acne though, then the majority feel massively overwhelmed on how to navigate towards the right treatment and right state of mind. Dermatologists preach one thing, beauticians another, not to mention bloggers and beauty influencers. Everybody thinks they have the right answer. What happens is you end up trusting people and hoping products and pills that sometimes make the situation worse will work. I want people to do their own research, deeply immerse themselves in the science of skin, learn as much as possible from all different opinions in the market, and at the very end be able to make their own judgments on whether this product or this pill will work for them. It’s time to take the situation into your own hands and learn to trust the right people.
This week’s article is primarily focused on a) how to design your perfectly balanced skincare routine and what the thought-process behind it is, and b) some product recommendations I found worked incredibly well on acne prone skin.
If you haven’t read the first part of this article then please go and do it now before continuing.
Whenever I help clients/friends we always start with an overview of their skincare routine, diet, lifestyle habits and that’s when it’s usually clear to me where things go wrong.
Today is all about the skincare routine part. So, a skincare routine should have a good balance between your everyday routine and your weekly treatments.
My approach is: gentle, soothing, rebalancing, lightweight ingredients on a day-to-day basis to help the skin heal, rebalance its sebum production, create strong and hydrated bonds in the deepest layer and to restore the correct ph on the surface of the skin.
Contradictory from the daily routine, I recommend a very active, potent, powerful and effective treatment routine on a weekly basis. Masks that are loaded with active ingredients will help to kill the bad bacteria, reduce the inflammation, clear blocked pores and remove any dead skin cells that sit on top of the skin.
The theory is simple, balance. But I’ve noticed that a lot of people either go for a routine where every single product is harsh and drying, or they don’t invest in good masks and think that their daily routine should be enough. No, it needs to be balanced and considerate.
Let’s go through my tried and tested routine I recommend to anyone with acne!
- Pai Cream Cleanser used with a wet soft flannel to remove. It’s a super gentle lightweight cream cleanser that breaks down make up too. Make sure you don’t rub too much on active spots because you don’t want to spread any bacteria around. Please refer to my “Cleansing 1-0-1” article for in depth information about cleansing, especially for acne prone skin. It doesn’t have to be Pai, any lightweight gentle cleansing cream with no synthetic fragrance and alcohol will do.
- Nuori Foaming Cleanser. This is a wash off cleanser, so no need for flannels, you just splash your face with water and it’s off. More information on wash-off cleansers and why you need both cream and wash-offs in the “Cleansing 1-0-1” article”!
- Pai Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Skin Tonic. This is essentially a mist that you spray on the face right after you cleanse to calm and balance the skin. It’s also good to have slightly damp skin when you apply serum/moisturizer because they sink in better.
- Twelve Ideal Rebalancing Level Serum. This is my all time favorite product to rebalance the sebum levels. Most acne-prone skin types are severely dehydrated, which makes you produce more oil to counteract the moisture level drop. Excessive amounts of oil block the pores and when you add bacteria into the mix the result is inflamed spots. So this water-based serum does a brilliant job in hydrating the deepest levels of the skin without suffocating the pores. Use 4-5 drops while the mist is still wet on the skin so they both get absorbed better.
- Alkaitins Soothing Gel. This lightweight gel has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and you can incorporate it into your routine in many different ways. For example, you can mix it with the Twelve Rebalancing Serum and apply it day and/or night all over the face, or mix it with your cleanser if you are having a particularly inflamed day or if you had extraction done by a professional on that day to protect bacteria from spreading. Another way is to apply some on a cotton pad and leave it to soak on an inflamed area/spot, or mix it with a powdered masks and water to create a paste and use it as a treatment mask, or even apply some on a cotton pad as a toner. You can also use it on cuts, insect bites, burns, and after shaving. It’s a brilliant SOS product to keep in your household; I always have a bottle of it in my fridge.
- MV Pure Jojoba. Jojoba is a compatible molecule with our own sebum, so our skin tends to respond to it well. The only way to use jojoba if you are acne prone is to mix it with the Twelve Rebalancing serum. For more information on why you have to mix it first please read my article “How to use oils properly”.
- S5 Balance Fluid. This is an alternative step to jojoba, meaning you either use jojoba or the S5 lotion, not both. I like both though; they have the same rebalancing and calming effect on the skin; the choice is yours. It’s a lightweight lotion that rebalances the skin and provides a bit more hydration. This lotion is to be used after your serum step on a slightly damp face, therefore you either apply it quickly before the serum gets fully absorbed or mist the face again.
- May Lindstorm, The Problem Solver. This is a must have mask if you suffer from acne. I go more in depth on why I love it so much in my Favorite masks Check it out.
- Tata Harper, Resurfacing mask. It’s a gentle way to exfoliate skin without rubbing. It has both AHA’s and BHA’s so it helps with lifting off dead skin from the surface and reveals the new skin underneath.
- Tata Harper, Clarifying Mask. The first 2 masks I recommended are actually all you need but if you are looking for a 2-in-1/travel friendly option then go for the Clarifying mask. It’s honey based with AHA’s, BHA’s and clay so it’s all you need for a weekend away.
One of my biggest enjoyments in life is helping people who are going through acne, even if it means providing just psychological support. I like to make myself available anytime of the day to anyone who needs emotional or practical help because dealing with acne can actually feel very lonely, so having a friend who understands what you are going through and gives you good advice is extremely valuable to the healing process (mentally and physically). If you need any advice on designing your perfect skincare routine if you are dealing with acne please get in touch on my Instagram or email!
The Green Edit