Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tips for acne-prone and oily skin

Acne-prone/oily is precisely the type of skin I have and have struggled with since my teenage years. It's one of the most demanding skin types and so I thought I could share some tips how to take care of it so that it doesn't ruin your self-esteem and make-up.

I'm not claiming this is something revolutionary nor that it will work for everyone, but I've found these quite helpful in dealing with my skin and worth trying.

Skincare: 3 steps
Cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing are as crucial in catering to oily skin's needs as to any other skin type. In my experience, it's important not to use too many products containing salicylic acid or other drying ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, another common acne medication. For example, right now I'm using La Roche-Posay Effaclar K for oily skin which contains salicylic acid as a night and topical treatment, but I'm keeping the rest of my skincare acid-free and gentle. In the past, I found that using many drying products caused my skin to become flaky and dehydrated, which in turn led to my organism trying to counteract the dryness by producing even more sebum; it's simply a vicious cycle.

My product recommendations:
I'm currently using up my Johnson&Johnson Head-to-Toe baby wash which I blogged about here and I still think it's a great quality product worth checking out. Next I'm going to try The Body Shop Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash for Combination/Oily skin, which many bloggers recommended as a great everyday cleanser.

After I wash my face I follow with Garnier toner for sensitive skin. In the past I also tried some micellar waters and would definitely recommend Bioderma Sensibio which removes even the toughest black mascara or eyeliner that the wash didn't manage to break down.

Acne-prone and oily skin requires exfoliating a little bit more often than other skintypes. I usually exfoliate every 3 days using my trusted muslin clothes I got from The Body Shop. They're gentle enough to be used more often but still very effective. Sometimes, if I feel I need a deeper scrub, I use my St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

As for the treatment, I'd say just go for something that has the active ingredient that works for you (in my case, I prefer salicylic acid over benzoyl peroxide), they all work very similar in my experience regardless of the price tag.

Don't forget to moisturize, most oily skin types are also dehydrated at the same time. The key here is to get an oil-free moisturizer that quickly absorbs into the skin or even better has a mattyfing effect. Right now, I'm testing one mystery product that works wonders so far, but I'll let you know once I finish the trial period.

I guess you're sick of hearing about it, but drinking water really is crucial to a healthy skin. In fact, it doesn't have to be only water, as long as your drink doesn't have dehydrating properties, as any caffeinated drink has (tea, green tea, coffee) or any alcoholic beverage. It also doesn't mean you can't drink the above mentioned, just make sure to compensate by drinking something more hydrating. My favorite beverage for winter has to be raspberry herbal tea for its warming properties and wonderful smell.

Another thing worth mentioning is a healthy balanced diet. Eating too much simple carbohydrates as in white bread or chocolate can have a devastating effect on your skin by enhancing bacterial activity. Also, acne-prone and oily skins can benefit from taking diet supplements containing zinc, which is responsible for regulating hormones in your body. I'd recommend trying natural sources of zinc such as yeast supplements; the one I'm taking right now is additionaly enriched with vitamin E for glowing complexion as well as pansy extract which is known for its puryfing properties.

I honestly believe acne is a psychosomatic condition, meaning that it affects both body and mind. Self-esteem usually suffers a lot in those who cope with skin blemishes. After many years of trying to get my skin under control, I found that what helps me the most is realizing that it's ok not to be perfect all the time. Everybody has better and worse skin days; the other day I was watching Gossip Girl and noticed that even Leighton Meester (Blair) suffers from an occasional spot or two, which in no way makes her less glamorous. Moreover, only us, suffering from acne, pay such an obsessive attention to flawless skin! I'm sure most people don't even notice the blemish that drives us crazy; they focus on eyes or lips or beautiful hair instead. Never let your skin make you think less of yourself; in Polish, when we want to say something is totally insignificant, we say it's a blemish. Well, because in a bigger perspective, it is insignificant after all!

Hope that helped some of you and let me know your best tips in the comments. Have an amazing Sunday evening everyone! xxx


  1. Great post!

    I also have oily/combination skin and sometimes its so frustrating! You're so right about not skipping moisturiser, I'm currently using the Liz Earle one for oily skin and its really nice :)

  2. I wish I could get my hands on some Liz Earle products, I heard so many great things about her skincare! xxx

  3. This is an excellent post hun. Although I've found my skin has started to become less oily recently, I have battled with acne since my early teens and understand only to well what you mean about how much it can impact upon ones self-esteem. I rely on Neals Yard Palmarosa facial wash when I have a breakout. It's amazing. xxx

  4. It is amazing... I use all three steps - cleanser, toner and moisturiser - and because you use the hot muslin cloth it exfoliates too! I think they ship internationally :) xx

  5. @loveaudrey: Thanks, sweetie! Hmm, unfortunately Neals Yard is also not available here, but a girl can dream, right? xxx

    @TalluluhBella: I think I'll check it out once I run out of my current skincare products, it sounds very promising! xxx