5 things you need to know about acne prone skin

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I’ve had problematic skin for over a decade now. It’s not bad enough to treat it with heavy duty medicine, but it is still pretty annoying. Over the years I figured out many things to help me with it and I want to share them with you.

 Disclaimer: If it worked for me, doesn’t mean it will 100% work for you. I’m not a dermatologist, not a skin specialist of any kind, I’m simply sharing my personal experience. Also, FYI, I have normal skin with relatively oily T-zone and some occasional dry patches.

Five key things to remember about acne-prone skin.


Contrary to popular belief, even the oiliest of skins need moisturizer. Especially if you dry it out with some treatment. You know what happens when you dry out oily skin? It produces even more oil! And we definitely don’t want that, so keep it nice and hydrated.

Change pillow cases and towels regularly.

Obviously, these things are in touch with your face a lot, so they collect a shit load of bacteria on themselves. You wouldn’t want to put that back on your skin now, would ya? I recommend changing those twice a week, for example Wednesday and Saturday. Also, if you use makeup, I beg you, clean brushes and sponges regularly.

Don’t touch your face, duh.

For the most part of the day your hands are covered in bacteria – you hold your phone (Did you know on average it is dirtier than a toilet seat? Gross!), grab door handles, maybe pet a dog and then scratch a forehead or rest your cheek in a palm. Guess what, it’s not a greatest thing that can happen to skin, especially if it’s already problematic. Of course you can touch it as much as you want but ONLY if you clean your hands thoroughly first. Otherwise it’s a big no-no.

Try to stop eating dairy products, sugar and drinking alcohol.

Some people’s skin reacts badly on dairy, my certainly does. I’m not entirely sure why it happens as there is no solid scientific research on the matter as far as I know. But for me the connection is obvious, I eat less to no dairy and my skin calms down a bit. How much I hate to cut down my cheese consumption though…

Sugar and alcohol are well-known causes of a bacterial disbalanse in your intestines. Eliminating them is always a good idea, especially if you have problematic skin, because skin is one of the first organs that will react to overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut.

Keep calm!

Stress hormones are known to cause acne prone skin to freak out so it is always a good idea to stay stress-free and make sure to get good amounts of sleep.

 My list of best skin care products and treatments for acne prone skin


Also known as Vitamin A, particularly topical treatments such as creams. Works wonders, but the result isn’t going to come quickly, usually it takes around two to three weeks to see any difference, but trust me, it’s totally worth waiting. Sometimes it is used in combination with benzoyl peroxide. I tried both end enjoyed both, so I can definitely recommend them. There are some nuances though e.g. retinol shouldn’t be used in the summer when sun activity is super high (Or you can apply a ton of sunscreen on top, but I would suggest sticking to autumn-winter only use). Thoroughly do your own research prior to trying those treatments.

Benzoyl peroxide.

It’s a pretty heavy duty treatment which should be applied to problematic areas only – as a spot treatment. It inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes acne in most cases – Cutibacterium acnes. Be cafeful with it, especially in the beginning as it can cause some serious irritation. Also, try avoiding your brows and hairline when applying it – benzoyl peroxide has bleaching effect.

Topical Zink treatments

Amazing for battling already existing zits. Zink definitely makes them go away quicker, so absolutely worth the shot!Salicylic acid works great for some people and doesn’t work at all for others. I didn’t like it for my skin personally, but few of my friends with similar problems saw some results

Tea tree oil 

A great thing for acne prone skin, as it kills a lot of nasty bacteria. It is pretty drying, so you need to make sure you put it on pimples directly and not on the surrounding space. Also, it shouldn’t be used as it is – make sure to dilute it with a base oil e.g. jojoba oil or grape seeds oil. Olive oil works OK in this case too.

Clay masks.

They work great as a treatment and also a preventive measure. I recommend opening your pores first with steam – boil some water, put nice herbs in it (Chamomile for example, smells good, calming and amazing for your skin), wait until it cools off a little and put your face over it, but not too close, so steam slowly warms up and opens all of the pores. Be super careful though, don’t burn yourself, it is pretty hot after all.

Salicylic acid.

It should be your best friend if you have comedones, closed and open – also known as blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid softens the contents of your pores, which are mostly sebum, and helps your skin to get rid of any build-ups by gently exfoliating.

If you’ve been having acne prone skin for long enough there is a chance you already know all of it. But there’s always a possibility that some of this stuff is going to be useful. Maybe you have even more tips on the subject? Share it in the comments!

xo Lee

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