Acne: Let’s talk about it. Most of us have it, but many of us don’t know how to handle it. What we thought would leave us as soon as our high school days were over followed us to college and on to our careers. If this sounds like a page out of your book, trust us when we say you’re not alone. We know how embarrassing it can be to show up to the office with a pimple trying to take over your entire face. It happens.
Acne comes in different forms and blemishes come in various sizes. Whether you’re fighting cystic acne that forms deep down in your pores due to your hormones raging out of control as if you were 16 again or stubborn little whiteheads that just won’t catch a clue, we all have the same goal — to control acne. Now with the arrival of summer, the days have gotten hotter and pores are at risk of being clogged with excess sebum, sweat and dirt. The last thing you want to do is add fluid to the fire by layering on a moisturizer that could potentially harm your skin.
Moisturizing is a very important part of treating acne as moistened skin tends to loosen sebum built up inside pores. Finding a moisturizer for your acne-prone or oily skin can be tough. The same lotion used on your body shouldn’t go near your face. We wouldn’t even recommend using the same lotion on your neck, chest, back and upper arms since acne tends to occur there as well (hello, bacne). When choosing a facial moisturizer for acne-prone skin, steer clear of clogging ingredients like petroleum, mineral oil or silicones like dimethicone. It’s also best to stay away from anything containing alcohol as drying out skin to control oil production will only produce more oil that can lead to inflammation.
You want to snag moisturizers that are gel, oil-free or water-based as the lightweight formula gives you the moisture you need without bringing breakouts with it. A few ingredients to keep in mind are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide as the two fight any existing breakouts as well as prevent any future ones waiting to occur. There’s also humectants glycerin and hyaluronic acid that pull water to skin to retain its natural moisture, and gentle exfoliants, such as glycolic and lactic acid that work to fade any red or dark spots left behind. When using alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic), be sure to do so when you’re not using acne treatments containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide as using too much of a good thing can irritate and dry skin.
Now that you have the rundown on what you should and shouldn’t slather on your face this summer, check out the 26 best moisturizers for acne-prone skin that will leave your face soft and smooth without breaking you out.