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Acne Do's + Don'ts

Things to consider from topicals to lifestyle modifications.

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Barefaced Toning Pads II
Barefaced Toning Pads II: Every swipe reveals clearer, brighter skin.
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What Causes Acne?

Acne is a medical condition that occurs when your oil glands and hair follicles become clogged or blocked. The culprit is typically oil, dead skin cells, and/or bacteria. Although there is no specific cause, acne is correlated with hormones, genetics, diet, and medications.

Common Types of Acne


    • Blackheads — aka open comedones. They are not black because of dirt, but because the oil has oxidized with exposure to air and turned black.
    • Whiteheads — aka closed comedones. Stay white in color because the trapped oil is not exposed to air.

    Check out our post dedicated to these two types here.


      • Cystic — large, deep, pus-filled nodules that are typically inflamed and can be painful. They commonly result in scars.
      • Papules — small, sensitive pink bumps.
      • Pustules — pimples that are tender and red with a white pus-filled top.

    Any of these types can present in mild, moderate, or severe forms.

    Sample Routine for Breakouts

    The primary goal of skincare routines for breakouts is preventing dead skin cells from trapping dirt, oil, and bacteria in your pores. Here’s our recommendations:

    Cleansers: Papaya Enzyme Cleanser and Brightening Facial Wash typically work well for mild to moderate acne, but we suggest CLENZIderm Foaming Cleanser for moderate to severe or cystic acne. Pro-tip: always double cleanse at night if you’re prone to breakouts!

    Toning Pads (II): we always recommend first-time users start with and adjust to the acids in Toning Pads before moving up to Toning Pads II, but Toning Pads II are typically needed to tackle oily, blemish-prone skin types.

    Liquid Gold: brighten and protect skin from environmental damage.

    Brightening Serum: reduce post-acne mark discoloration.

    Overachiever: helps lessen redness around breakouts.

    RetinAL Skin Therapy: boost cellular turnover to keep dirt, oil and debris, from getting trapped in pores.

    SPF: protect from UV damage, which can increase inflammation.

    Hydrating Lotion: it may seem counter-intuitive or put lotion on skin that’s either over-producing and trapping oil, but trust us, this light-weight moisturizer is great for breakouts. If you let your skin stay dry, often times it will produce more oil. 

    Glow Peel Pads: this weekly treatment can be used in place of Toning Pads (II) 1-3 times per week for a deeper exfoliation of cells and cleanse of pores.


    Habits to Break That Can Help

    Treating acne can be a life-long process for some skin types (oily and combination are more prone). But, there are definitely things you can modify in your life to help reduce breakouts. We love a good list, so here are the first “5 things I would never do as someone who struggled with acne.”



    1. Never touch your phone to your face.
    2. Never was your face in the shower until after fully rinsing out shampoo and conditioner.
    3. Never go to sleep without pulling your hair back.
    4. Never try trendy products if your current routine is controlling your breakouts.
    5. Never use a face towel more than once to pat your face dry after cleansing.


    And for good measure, here are 5 more.


    1. Never do skincare before brushing your teeth.
    2. Never forget to double cleanse at night.
    3. Never start using more than one new product at a time to see if it agrees with my skin.
    4. Never go longer than a week without changing your pillow case. (Extremely prone? Sleep on one side, flip and sleep on the other, then change.
    5. Never dermaplane over active acne.



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