A simple but effective daily skin care regime is important for everyone, but especially so for those who have acne.

Using the right products for your skin type can make a huge impact on control of your acne. Getting the balance right is important- too much scrubbing and over cleaning can strip your skin of protective oils and cause skin irritation.


Twice a day cleansing forms the foundation of your acne skin care regime, keeping your skin free of grime, excess oily and makeup. The trick however is to use a correct cleanser for your skin type and condition.

What type of cleanser should I use?

First of all avoid soap or acne washes which contain beads (such as exfoliants or scrubs). Soaps, scrubs and exfoliants are too harsh for acne prone skin.

Dermatologists recommend a non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol. Try Cetaphil cleanser or Neutrogena Face wash- The Blue label cleanser.

Other products which are suitable for acne prone skin include QV Gentle Wash.

How often should I cleanse?

Take note of the saying ‘wash your face twice a day helps keeps the blemishes away.’ We can all live in hope, but this IS a good starting point. Do not cleanse more than twice a day, as too frequent cleansing can strip the protective oily layer from the skin’s surface.

What water temperature should I use to clean my skin?

Use lukewarm water to rinse your skin, hot water can damage your skin and dry it out. Thoroughly rise away any cleansers.

Should I use a toner?

Skin specialists do NOT advise toner use. Toners often contain alcohol which can strip your skin of essential oils. Toners may also irritate inflamed acne prone skin. Don’t do it- save your money and your skin!


Moisturising frequently is important to help protect your skin, and ensure that the skin barrier is functioning properly. The use of a correct moisturiser is very important in acne prone skin types as finding the balance between moisture and acne free skin can prove to be difficult.

Why is it important to moisturise?

Using the correct moisturiser is important to the health of your skin. Moisturisers protect the surface of your skin and help prevent water loss and excessive oil production. Moisturisers also ‘rehydrate’ your skin and can reduce the irritation from acne creams.

What types of moisturiser should I use?

Many moisturisers can worsen acne, so choose carefully. Products labelled as Oil Free or Non-Comedogenic have been certified not to clog pores and worsen acne.

Oil free products won’t leave a heavy greasy feeling on your skin. If in doubt read the label of your moisturiser- aim to get a moisturiser labelled as ‘oil free, non-comedogenic.’  If you feel that a cream is still too heavy- aim for a moisturizing lotion. Lotions are lighter than creams.

The Acne Specialist Clinic recommends products such as La Roche Posay or Cetaphil as a daily moisturiser.

Should I avoid moisturisers that contain exfoliants?

Some moisturisers contain exfoliants or scrubs in their ingredient list- these include ingredients such as Salicylic acid or AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). These can be helpful in improving mild acne- especially the blackhead acne and clogged pores. The flip side is that salicylic acid and AHAs can also be very irritating if patients are also using prescription creams such as Differin , Duac or Epiduo.

As a general guide, keep your moisturiser as simple as possible.

How often should I moisturise?

Depending on your skin type, it is advisable to moisturise at least twice a day. Apply a moisturiser on top of your morning or evening acne medications.

What type of sunscreen should I use?

A light oil-free sunscreen is best for acne prone skin.

Our Specialists recommend La Roche Posay sunscreen range, as they have a Worldwide reputation for being the Specialist sunscreen of choice. Ask your dermatologist what they personally use!

What are the best moisturising tips?

  • Use a moisturiser with a sunscreen if you are going to spend time outdoors
  • In the evening, use a stand-alone moisturiser to dry areas. If you have sensitive skin, you will need to moisturise more, especially if you are on prescription medications and acne creams. The best time to moisturise is directly after a shower.
  • If you develop skin irritation from acne creams, use a simple non-comedogenic mosisturiser 30 minutes prior to applying your acne creams.
  • Keeping showers quick and cool will also decrease dehydration to  your skin

Make up

Make up is an everyday part of life for most women, and forms an important part of their skin regime. Make up can also help conceal acne and acne scars. It is very important to ensure that the make up you use does not make clog up and skin and worsen acne.

Is my makeup causing pimples?

Make up can be your BFF, but on the other hand using the wrong type could clog skin pores and worsen acne. Sure, covering pimples is high on the list, but choose a make up that is non-comedogenic.  Non comedogenic make up does not contain materials known to clog pores.

What to look for in make-up for acne prone skin?

All of your make up series from your eye shadow, blush, and moisturiser should be non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic (doesn't cause allergies), and oil free. Mineral based make ups contain added minerals such as zinc, titanium and silica with out the talc and parabens of other make ups.

Key words for finding the right make up for acne and oily skin

  • Oil free
  • non-comedogenic

Westside Dermatologists recommend- Mineral Make up, the Clinique Acne control range, and the I.D Bare Mineral range

What is mineral make up?

Mineral make up has soared in popularity over the past few years, and can be the make up of choice for acne or rosacea type skin. The majority of brands are talc and paraben free, and most importantly non-comedogenic. Switching to mineral make up can reduce your skin irritation, however is not a reliable method of improving acne.

What are the best make up tips?

  • Never sleep in your make up- make it a habit to remove all make up with a gentle cleanser before going to sleep
  • Let your skin breathe when possible- try and go make up free a few days a week, this ensures that your pores can take a breather every now and then. Even your skin needs a break.
  • Choose powder based make up instead of liquids.  Though liquid based make up gives better coverage, some contain an oil base. Powders are lighter on your skin with the added advantage of absorbing excess oil.

What’s the trick to concealing a break out (without squeezing your zits)?

Well written by Angela Palmer, Skin Care Educator -

A few simple hints can assist you to reduce the appearance of acne, while you wait for your acne treatments to kick in!

  1. Start with a cleansed face
    Thoroughly cleanse your face to remove excess oil, and apply a light moisturizing lotion. Moisturizing helps diminish the look of dryness or peeling that sometimes occurs with acne treatments.
  2. Apply your base makeup
    If desired, apply your liquid or cream-to-powder based makeup now. Put on your base makeup using light strokes to avoid irritating breakouts. If you use mineral makeup, apply it at step 5.
  3. Apply a green concealer to any red breakouts
    Here's a little color theory 101: Opposite from red on the color wheel is green, which means red and green cancel each other out. Dab green concealer (available wherever makeup is sold) on breakouts to tone down the angry red color. Do not rub; rather, pat gently with your finger or clean makeup sponge to blend. The green color should be blended out thoroughly.
  4. Apply concealer in your skin tone
    Dot concealer over any areas covered by the green concealer. Concealers in pots or tubes give better coverage than stick-type concealer. Pat gently to blend.
Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone, or one that is just slightly darker. Darker colors recede, making larger breakouts appear smaller.
  5. Lightly dust entire face with powder
    Translucent, or loose powder sets the concealer and gives the skin a matte appearance without adding extra color to the face. They also help absorb oil throughout the day. Mineral makeup can be used in place of translucent powder, if preferred.


  1. For more staying power and better coverage, let the concealer set for five to 10 seconds after application and before blending.
  2. Be certain to thoroughly remove all makeup you've applied before going to bed for the night.
  3. Don't just settle for covering up blemishes. Start on an acne treatment to help heal them too. If over-the-counter treatments aren't working, see a dermatologist for help.

What You Need:

  • Makeup sponge or applicator
  • Liquid or cream-to-powder makeup
  • Green-based concealer liquid or cream
  • Concealer cream in your skin tone
  • Translucent or loose powder in your skin tone