Skincare is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. It is even more emphasized if you have acne-prone skin. What works for one person might actually trigger breakouts for another. This is why many dermatologists advocate for ingredient awareness when shopping for products to personalize your skincare routine.
According to Dr. Caroline Robinson, MD, FAAD, starting with products feature non-comedogenic ingredients is key if you have sensitive skin. This ensures that the formula won’t clog your pores.
The Dermatologist and Founder of Tone Dermatology explains, “Many of my acne patients don’t know that skincare products actually have to undergo special testing to determine if they clog pores. Looking for a ‘non-comedogenic’ label on the product or in the product description can be a helpful step in preventing breakouts.”
Comedogenic ingredients are the ingredients that clog your pores. Having clogged pores can result in different types of acne.
On my personal skincare journey, I learned that opting for non-comedogenic, oil-free, and gentle formulas help tremendously in preventing clogged pores and reduces the risk of acne flare-ups.
To help find ingredients are safe for my acne-prone skin, I utilize the Acne-Safe app. It is an app that allows you to easily check whether the product’s ingredient list contains any pore-clogging ingredients. The results speak for itself.
The Dermatologist and Founder of Tone Dermatology suggests finding products that are either formulated with Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, and/or Niacinamide to receive the best results. “These are a few examples of acne-friendly ingredients that will work hard to help clear your skin,” she notes.
In need of suggestions? Below are my top favorite products that helped healed my acne-prone skin.
Wake up, drink a glass of water, and hydrate your skin with Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser. This lightweight and moisturizing formula is perfect for cleansing my skin before I start my day!
Hero Cosmetics is known for its acne-safe line of products, but this is my go-to nighttime cleanser. I’ve gone through almost five bottles of this one! The gentle formula is infused with all the good stuff like Glycolic + Mandelic Acid, AHAs, PHA, BHA, and Vitamin C.
I’ve used this cleanser both morning and night, and it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. I personally prefer to use it in the evening because I like a bit more hydration in the morning.
The ingredients improve the quality of my skin while keeping my acne under control. It unclogs, brightens, and evens out skin texture for a soft, subtle finish.
Tower 28 SOS Spray is TikTok viral and certainly worth the hype. The Hypochlorous Acid spray is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial formula designed to help defend skin from harmful bacteria while reducing redness and soothing irritation. Use this spray as a toner or throughout the day to keep your red, inflamed acne at bay.
If you’re using products with drying ingredients such as Salicylic Acids or Benzoyl Peroxides to get rid of acne, you need the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel in your life.
For my skin, a lot of Hyaluronic Acid serums cause me to break out, but this lightweight mixture of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 is so gentle on the skin that you instantly feel the hydration without worrying about a breakout. This product is on the pricier side, but trust me when I say it’s worth the investment. It will forever hold a place on my skincare shelf.
Finding the perfect moisturizer can be one of the hardest tasks for those with acne-prone skin. Although we want a thick layer of hydration, we also don’t want to clog our pores. This La Roche Posay Double Repair Matte Moisturizer is highly recommended by many and it makes sense. The gentle formula applies comfortably to the skin while providing the hydration we need. This makes it a great option for both morning and nighttime applications.
Looking for the perfect light, acne-safe SPF for your melanin-rich skin? innisfree has you covered! It leaves skin looking cleansed and dewy without a greasy finish. As a bonus, there is absolutely no white cast left after application.
As a Latina woman, it’s hard to find sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast on my skin. I like to apply this as the last step in my morning skincare routine. I reapply throughout the day for extra protection.
Retinol works to prevent clogged pores, which is a perk for those prone to breakouts. When starting with retinol for the first time, it’s important to pick a low-dose option and use a pea-sized amount every other day. Before I gradually built up to a higher dose, I started my retinol journey with SkinCeuticals Retinol in .5. This allowed my skin to get used to this strong ingredient, which eventually allowed my skin to react well to a prescription strength Tretinoin.
Hero Cosmetics’ Invisible+ Mighty Patches are truly invisible. Keeping these on your skin during the day allows your active breakouts to be shielded by Hydrocolloid. I also like to use these to avoid picking at the skin. I also wear them under makeup (yes, they are that invisible).
Odacité’s Tinted Sunscreen is perfect for those “no-makeup” makeup days. The sheen coverage allows for a nice glow that covers up redness while still allowing your natural skin to shine through. I love a tinted SPF to make myself feel confident, but still protected. This one is a great high-SPF option.