Skincare Drills for the Acne-Prone


Having oily acne-prone skin is probably one of the most frustrating skin types to have. Unlike dry skin, oil production is very much controlled by the sebaceous glands, which can be affected by a range of factors such as the environment, existing oil levels, and even hormones. That makes controlling the oil glands very tricky and hence, annoying to deal with. Oily skin is also more prone to acne breakouts as a higher concentration of oil on the skin will lead to more chances of the pores being clogged and hence, oily skin is usually cited when discussing acne. However, you don’t have to be plagued by acne and oily skin! There are many ways that you can prevent and combat the problem of acne and oily skin. In this article, we will go through three super easy principles that you should live by if you deal with oily skin or acne.

But first, let’s take a look at how exactly acne forms!

How exactly does acne form?

Generally, acne forms when the sebaceous glands, also known as oil glands, produce excessive oil and hence clog up pores with dirt and dead skin cells. There are different types of acne varying in degree of severity, but here are the common ones (ranked by severity): 

  1. Papules (least severe) 
  2. Pustules
  3. Nodules
  4. Cysts (most severe)

The above types of acne usually occur when there are bacteria in the clog. The bacteria cause inflammation, which results in the typical redness, sensitivity, and bumpiness of acne when you touch it. Acne can occur anywhere on the body, not just the face. The back, shoulders, arms, chest, and neck are all also hotspots for acne to develop. However, the face is the most likely area that acne will form because the face is the area of the body with the highest concentration of oil-producing glands.

Three Beliefs Everyone with Acne-Prone and Oily Skin Should Live By

1. Don’t Shun Oil, Just be Smart About It

People with oily skin tend to think that they need to get rid of every single bit of oil in their face or they will have a breakout. This leads to washing the face multiple times a day as soon as some sort of greasiness or oiliness begins to form. Washing your face might seem like an intuitive and effective way to go about it, however, by washing your face excessively you are actually stripping your skin of oil, which can lead to converse effects like flaking skin, yet the breakouts are still occurring! This combination of oily acne and flakiness from dry skin just doesn’t make sense. What’s going on?
Well, when you go ham on the cleanser and wash your face too much, you are stripping your skin of oil, which is what leads to drying out. However, because you are stripping your skin of oil you are in fact causing the oil glands to sense a loss in oil and hence the glands begin to overcompensate by producing even more oil! This is how you get both flakiness and acne occurring, there is a double process of a loss of moisture and overproduction of oil at the same time. Furthermore, if you are using toners with alcohol or drying agents like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, you will find that your skin is getting even more irritated and breaking out more frequently. Drying out the skin actually does the opposite effect of what you are trying to do. It is important to remember that oiliness doesn’t mean dirt, and it’s ok to have some grease on your face during the day if you have naturally oily skin. You don’t have to keep washing it, twice a day is sufficient to avoid stripping the skin too much.

2. Use matte foundations, and avoid ones that promise a dewy, shiny coverage

Beauty advertisements love to show us models with glass-clear, moist skin that have a luscious and oh-so-evasive dewy quality. We are marketed foundations that promise us the radiant, dewy complexions that we all try to strive for. Unfortunately, this dewy look is a surefire way for an oil slick to occur on your face. As much as we love the dewy look, it really isn’t suitable for those who have oily, acne-prone skin. These foundations and bases often have oil in them for that lightweight, shiny finish. People with oily complexions should avoid all shiny foundations and base makeup as it will only increase the look of greasiness on the face. Go for matte foundations instead, and layer with powders. These will help keep the shine at bay. If you aren’t into high coverage or don’t like the feel of a matte foundation, consider just getting a high coverage concealer and spot-treating the problem areas. This will let your skin breathe better, and you can control how much coverage you use. Top the concealed area with a matte setting powder to hold it in place. If you don’t want to look flat, add some highlighter to the highest points of your face like the nose and cheekbones for some added luminosity. You can even top with a matte finishing spray to really set and lock the makeup down.

3. Be simple with your skincare routine, don’t use too many products and aggravate the skin

With so many skincare products out there, it’s easy to fall for pretty marketing words and advertisements and be tempted to try everything on the market. However, remember that although a product promises a certain kind of skin, it doesn’t mean the product works for your skin in particular. It is always crucial to know your own skin type and needs and use products accordingly. Even though a hydrating rose moisturizer might promise petal-smooth skin, it might not be effective or the best if it contains emollients that can trap oil on the surface of the skin. To treat acne appropriately and effectively, add a long-term solution to your skincare routine — a retinoid. These vitamin-A derivatives have been long-touted as one of the best skincare products for all skin types as it has anti-aging, exfoliating, and anti-clogging benefits. Retinoids basically treat the zits by targeting them before they even come to the surface by improving the cell turnover rate. This prevents the clogging of pores, and hence the formation of pimples. 

Apart from retinoids, you can also get acne spot-treatment to treat pimples directly. Apply just a little bit right on the pimple and don’t do anything else to it or you might aggravate it and leave scarring.


If you’ve been using complex skincare solutions to no avail with your oily skin, it might be time to take a step back and simplify the routine. By sticking to these three steps, you should be able to see a difference in your skin soon!

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