Breakouts suck. There’s no denying that. When you have acne-prone skin, it can be frustrating to find products or a routine that actually works. And it doesn’t help that breakouts can be caused for a number of reasons, like hormonal changes, stress, the environment around you, and yes, even the products you’re using, which can just make you want to throw up your hands and give up.
But treating pimples and blemishes really depends on your specific skin type and condition, so getting to the bottom of that is a start. “Acne can lead to more than just pimples, so it is important to find a skincare routine that is effective for your skin type,” explains Howard Sobel, MD, founder of Sobel Skin and attending dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “A large concern for acne-prone skin is that although you are using products that treat acne, oftentimes, you can be combining too many different ingredients, hindering your skin from healing and even causing further breakouts.”
When caring for acne-prone skin, striking a balance is key. “You basically want to keep the skin more on the dry side and less on the oily side as oil blocks the pores and allows pimples to form,” says board-certified dermatologist Roberta Del Campo, MD. “We also want to make sure that we are using a non-comedogenic moisturizer (won’t block the pores), and a product such as a retinol or retinoids to clean the pores.”