“Acne” Skin

As an esthetician, I come across many different skin types and problems, the most common one being “acne.” I put acne in quotes because I see very few clients who I would classify as actually having acne, even if they think they do.

People with oily skin tend to have larger pores. They are therefore more prone to blackheads and breakouts. Because there isn’t any way to physically reduce pore size, they really need to exfoliate and regulate their oil. I recommend they use something with at least 2% salicylic acid, either in pads or as an astringent. This helps eliminate the bad bacteria, as well as clean the skin and strip the oil. Another product I recommend is a clay mask at least once a week, depending on oil production. Clay helps to absorb excess oil.

Another skin type I see commonly is classic combination skin. These clients have active oil in all or some of the T-zone, and are usually dry or dehydrated on their cheeks and neck. For these clients, I still recommend a mild exfoliation daily on the oily areas as needed. This doesn’t need to be as strong as 2% salicylic acid, but that depends on how your skin handles the exfoliation. Then I suggest they do a hydrating mask once a week to help with their lack of moisture.

The key to controlling acne breakouts is to exfoliate followed by some kind of moisture. Even though you want to strip the oil from your skin, you don’t want to over strip, as the oil we produce is a natural protectant. I also recommend getting facials once a month because they offer the deep pore cleanse and hydration that you can’t get at home.