How To Heal Your Acne-Prone Skin With A Custom Skincare & Wellness Routine

Before and after skincare and wellness routine
Photos courtesy of Erika Pisano | Design by BrownStyle Magazine

Struggling with acne-prone skin can be a challenging journey, both physically and mentally. As someone who has been through the battle of acne (and still experiences cystic outbreaks), I can confidently say that the struggle is real. I’ve experimented with countless products.

The most important thing I’ve learned throughout my skincare journey is that topicals only go so far. To truly heal your skin, it’s extremely important to find a skincare and holistic wellness routine that actually works for you.

I had the opportunity to speak to experts who take a holistic approach to reducing inflammation and caring for acne-prone skin. Hopefully, our conversation serves as a roadmap on your journey to healing your body inside out. 


  • Dr. Caroline Robinson, MD, FAAD
    Dermatologist and Founder of Tone Dermatology
  • Dineen Denkovic, MS, RDN
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  • Craig Goldberg
    Certified Vibroacoustic Therapy Practitioner and Co-Founder of inHarmony 

Pay Attention To Ingredients 

Skincare is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, especially when it comes to acne-prone skin. What works for one person might trigger breakouts for another. This is where ingredient awareness becomes crucial. 

Dr. Caroline Robinson explains that if you’re prone to acne, it is important to look for non-comedogenic ingredients that won’t clog pores. “Many of my acne patients don’t know that skincare products have to undergo special testing to determine if they clog pores. When you shop for skincare products, look for a ‘non-comedogenic’ label on the product or in the product description. It can be a helpful step in preventing breakouts,” she explains.

Opting for non-comedogenic, oil-free, and gentle formulas can help prevent clogged pores and reduce the risk of acne flare-ups. 

The Importance Of Hydrating Skin Care Products

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cream
Photo by Neutrogena

Contrary to belief, acne-prone skin needs proper hydration. It certainly shouldn’t be dried out with ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Instead, look for products containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides. These ingredients attract and retain moisture, leaving your skin supple and healthy. 

“Maintaining hydration in the skin is critical if you have acne-prone skin,” Dr. Robinson explains. “I find that many patients are over-cleansing, over-exfoliating, or using cleansers that are not appropriate for their skin type. This is causing excess dryness and ultimately impacts the skin’s moisture barrier.” 

When skin is dehydrated, it increases oil production. This can lead to exacerbating acne issues. The dermatologist adds, “When the skin is dry, it may compensate by producing more sebum. This can lead to more clogged pores. Using a mild cleanser can help tremendously in the battle against dryness. It is also important to hydrate the skin immediately after washing. We lose water each minute we wait to moisturize.”

By incorporating hydrating skincare products into your daily routine, you’re balancing the skin’s moisture levels without clogging pores. Dr. Robinson advises our readers to try a light moisturizer. She recommends Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cream, which she describes as a whipped, hyaluronic acid-based gel moisturizer that’s oil-free and non-comedogenic. “It keeps skin moisturized for 48 hours. It’s perfect for acne-prone skin,” she reveals. 

Drink Water

sliced lemon fruit in glass picher
Photo by Julia Zolotova

Speaking of water, in addition to applying hydrating skincare products, it’s also necessary to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Dineen Denkovic knows as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that increasing your water intake positively impacts the skin. She explains, “Water is so important for our bodies; it makes up our cells, our blood, helps flush out toxins, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, and more. There is no magic number on how much water you should consume because it will differ between each person.”


Denkovic recommends paying attention to the color of your urine: the lighter it is, the more hydrated you are. 

Holistic Wellness for Clear Skin

We love our topical solutions, but addressing acne’s root causes involves more than just applying skincare. Incorporating holistic wellness practices into your daily life can make a significant difference in reducing inflammation and promoting clearer skin. Denkovic and Craig Goldberg both agree on the benefits of holistically healing the skin from the inside out. 

Although there’s no exact routine to achieve clear skin, maintaining overall good health plays a big part in keeping your natural glow. Below see the valuable skincare and wellness tips to enhance your skin routine. 

  • Eat the Rainbow: Denkovic advises us all to incorporate a variety of colors into our diets through fruits and vegetables. “I recommend trying at least 2 different colors at each meal, for example, green spinach and red tomatoes or a yellow banana and blueberries,” she explains. 

  • Pay Attention to Your Diet: When it comes to your diet, it’s important to focus on ingesting foods that can combat inflammation. Denkovic strongly encourages everyone to take a hard look at their food intake and stay away from unhealthy foods that can cause inflammation. For those struggling with acne, she highly suggests eating food with low glycemic index, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. “Incorporate more whole foods that are nutrient-dense. This will help reduce inflammation in the body and skin,” she tells us.

  • Exercise Regularly: Whether it be going to the gym or simply walking outside with weights in hand, movement of the body helps with overall physical and mental health. This leads to reduced inflammation in the body. “Not only is exercise great for your overall health, but sweating can also help rid the body of toxins,” Denkovic shares, noting the importance of always cleaning and moisturizing your face after a workout to keep pores clear. 

  • Meditate and Alleviate Stress: Stress and anxiety can trigger inflammation and hormonal imbalances, which can ultimately lead to acne breakouts. Meditation apps, such as inHarmony’s Meditation App, offer music therapy to help manage stress levels and promote relaxation. By reducing this stress, you’re indirectly contributing to healthier skin.

  • Get Plenty of Sleep: Quality sleep is vital for skin regeneration and hormonal balance. Both experts suggest getting 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night on clean sheets and pillowcases—preferably silk—to keep skin happy and healthy!
Erika Pisano skincare journey

Embracing Your Beauty & Channeling Your Confidence 

Remember that the journey to happy and healthy skin is not an overnight achievement. Consistency, patience, and a balanced approach will lead to the results you desire. With the right practices and dedication to a holistic lifestyle change, you’ll feel better, clear your inflammation, and overall live a happier, healthier version of YOU.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Since falling in love with the lifestyle of fashion and beauty at an early age, Erika Pisano has worked in public relations since 2015.

Erika is passionate about empowering people and sharing her knowledge in the beauty and wellness industry. She writes about anything that can help people feel beautiful on the inside and out. In her spare time, Erika enjoys writing, yoga, cycling, researching ingredients for skincare products, and binge-watching teen dramas on Netflix while sipping a refreshing cup of iced matcha lattes. She also enjoys keeping up with the latest trends on TikTok.