First of all, you’re beautiful. Secondly, acne is more common than you think. However, we can all agree that it’s also one of the most frustrating skin concerns to have, as sometimes there just isn’t enough concealer in the world to cover up a small army of breakouts. In fact, it’s actually recommended that you don’t smother active acne in makeup as you could cause an infection and worsen inflammation. So, what do you do when you can’t seem to get rid of acne, but you also can’t seem to cover it up either? We have two words for you: treat. It. In severe cases, you may need medical attention, but for the most part, an anti-acne skincare routine will do just the trick.
What Causes Acne?
To know how to treat acne, we first need to understand what causes it, so here are 3 of the most common reasons behind the skin condition:
- Clogged Pores
Our skin is covered with millions of itsy-bitsy holes that help to release sweat to regulate our body temperature, and sebum, a naturally produced oil that keeps our skin moisturised. But when we don’t clean our pores properly, they can become clogged with sweat, sebum, and other debris which leads to acne.
- Lifestyle Factors
Sometimes we’re born with it, sometimes it’s a lifestyle choice. A diet high in sugar, feelings of stress, and lack of sleep can all contribute to the overproduction of sebum. An overload of sugar causes the body to turn up insulin, and as a result, creates more sebum. Stress and sleepless nights can also have the same effect as they raise hormones that contribute to the level of sebum produced.
- Dehydrated Skin
When the skin is dehydrated, it means it’s lacking water and/or more of it is escaping into our surroundings than we’re taking in. This causes an oil-water imbalance and can actually cause the skin to break out. The skin reacts by signalling to the sebaceous glands that it needs more sebum to help naturally moisturise itself, causing a build-up of excess oils in the pores.
FYI, dehydrated skin isn’t the same as dry skin. Dry skin is a skin type, whereas dehydration is a condition that can happen to each and every skin type.
How To Treat Acne with Skincare
1. Double Cleanse
You know those clogged pores we mentioned earlier? Double cleansing is one of the best ways to avoid them. This method of cleansing involves doing it twice (in case the name didn’t give it away), once with an oil-based cleanser and once with a water-based cleanser to ensure all impurities have been removed from the skin. The oil-based cleanser tackles tough makeup, sebum, and sunscreen, whereas the water-based cleanser focuses on sweat, dirt, and grime. Without breaking down the oil-based products first, it’s a lot harder to reach the water-based debris, which is why we always advise double cleansing rather than going straight in with a regular cleanser as you’re basically asking, or practically begging, for clogged pores.
2. Target the acne directly
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (24pcs)
Picture this: you’ve got a hot date tomorrow and the day before your skin is trying to demand a big ol’ plus one. Master unexpected pimples with COSRX Pimple Patches that offer TLC overnight to calm breakouts by extracting oil and grime whilst protecting the skin from bacteria. If you want to entirely hide your pimple until it’s fully healed without risking irritation, they can be worn under makeup to create a barrier that’ll also help to create a smooth, flawless finish. We can feel a second date coming on already…
Every anti-acne skincare routine calls for AXIS-Y Spot the Difference Blemish Treatment. Formulated with AHAs and BHAs to lightly exfoliate the skin and sweep up excess oils, and 2% niacinamide for its anti-inflammatory properties. To strengthen the skin’s barrier to prevent bacteria from invading, ceramide capsules work to restore and rejuvenate. It’s completely alcohol-free and guaranteed not to upset sensitive acne or skin types – can we get a hallelujah!
3. Don't forget to exfoliate
COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad (70 Pads)
Exfoliation is just as important as double-cleansing for acne-prone skin to keep those pores unblocked, and a build-up of dead skin cells can do exactly that. By removing dead skin cells, you can also increase product absorption and maximise the effects of any spot treatments in your anti-acne skincare routine. COSRX One Step Original Clear Pads takes exfoliation back to basics with pre-soaked pads in willow dark water and betaine salicylate, a naturally derived BHA to dissolve excess sebum and dead skin cells.
4. Use the right cream
COSRX Centella Blemish Cream (30g)
A soothing 2-in-1 treatment cream that heals active blemishes and old acne scars featuring centella and tea tree leaf. It helps to regulate healthy sebum production and unclogs pores by breaking down the glue that holds dead skin cells together without stripping the skin of moisture.
SOME BY MI AHA-BHA-PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream (60g)
If you didn’t believe in miracles before, you will now. This lightweight, fast-absorbing cream is ideal for oily, combo, and acne-prone skin types as it melts right into the skin without leaving a greasy film behind. Tea tree, AHA, BHA, and PHA work together to gently break down dead skin cells, dirt, and impurities that clog pores whilst keeping the skin moisturised. What’s more, it also stimulates cell regeneration and provides antioxidant protection for a fresher, younger complexion – the fairy godmother of creams.