5 Dermatologist-Approved Skin Care Tips for Acne

5 Dermatologist-Approved Skin Care Tips for Acne


When it comes to skincare advice, dermatologists are chock-full of helpful tips and tricks. Dermatologists have the intel you need to address your concerns and achieve your skincare goals. Naturally, we asked the brain of board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anita Saluja of For Your Best Self on all things acne. Here, she shares five of the best skincare tips to both prevent and treat acne. Grab a notebook and prepare to take notes!

Acne Tip 1: Acne-Fighting Products Are Key

There is no one-size-fits-all skincare routine for people with acne prone skin. What works for you may not work for your best friend. If you’re not sure where to start, consider investing in a Clarisonic Mia Smart or Mia Prima to cleanse the skin. If you have products you already love, the Mia Smart or Mia Prima can help them cleanse your skin more effectively. The devices also pair excellently with our Pore & Blemish Gel Cleanser.

If you’re looking for more recommendation for products formulated with the top ingredients for acne, check out some of Dr. Saluja’s favorites:

Serum:SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel is great for helping to calm inflamed acne after cleansing,” she says.

Sunscreen: All skin types need to protect their skin against UV damage. Since some sunscreens can cause breakouts, you’ll want to find one feels lightweight and silky and dries to a comfortable finish. “SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 is one of my favorite sunscreens for acne-prone skin,” Dr. Saluja says.

Spot Treatment: No acne skincare routine is complete without a spot treatment. Reach for one that’s formulated with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur. Dr. Saluja is particularly fond of La Roche Posay’s fan-favorite spot treatment Effaclar Duo.

Acne Tip 2: Be Picky with Your Cleanser

If you’re invested in targeting your acne, you should take your cleansing routine seriously, and part of that includes using the best cleanser for acne. “Look for a skin cleanser with salicylic acid, a tried and true ingredient, that improves abnormal shedding of skin cells and helps unclog pores,” Dr. Saluja says. “In turn, this action helps prevent new acne from forming.” Since preventing acne is equally as important as treating it, this is great advice to follow. In addition to salicylic acid, Dr. Saluja recommends scanning cleanser labels for lipohydroxy acid (LHA). “LHA is also quite tolerable, so it's less likely to irritate sensitive skin,” she says.

The Clarisonic Pore & Blemish Gel Cleanser is formulated with 2 percent salicylic acid and an exclusive micro-exfoliating LHA to help clear and prevent acne breakouts without over-drying the skin. With continued use, expect to see skin that looks clearer and feels more comfortable, as well as a reduced appearance of pores.

Acne Tip 3: Cleanse With a Clarisonic

Cleansing your skin is one of the most important parts of any skincare routine, but it’s particularly important for people with acne prone skin. Acne feeds on bacteria and clogged pores and maintaining a regular cleansing schedule can help to keep those irritants at bay.

“A Clarisonic has patented technology to work gently to clean the skin more effectively than anything else, including your hands,” she says. “By removing makeup, dirt, environmental pollutants, and whatever else that is trapped in pores, your skin looks smoother and feels softer. I see this in my patients.”

While a Clarisonic can help you achieve clearer, brighter skin, you may not want to use it every time you cleanse your skin. Dr. Saluja urges everyone to use their best judgment. Overall, everyone can benefit from cleansing with a Clarisonic if they customize their own routine with the right brush head(s) and frequency. “Most people do best with daily Clarisonic cleansing, but some might do better with using it three times a week,” Dr. Saluja says. “As with all routines, experiment and practice until you find what works best for you.”

Acne Tip 4: Curb Poor Lifestyle Habits

Your acne-fighting cleansing routine may be next to perfect, but that’s only one part of the journey towards clearer-looking skin. Your lifestyle habits matter too, and if they’re not up to snuff you risk ruining all of hard work and dedication. So, in addition to following a self-care routine that works for you, eat a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruits. “Avoid processed or sugary foods,” Dr. Saluja recommends. Exercise regularly to get your blood pumping, even if it’s a brisk walk for 30 minutes each day. “And, don't forget to get your beauty sleep,” Dr. Saluja says. “Resting for 7 to 8 hours a night helps our bodies and our skin reset.”

Acne Tip 5: Don’t Let Skin Purging Ruin Your Momentum

Introducing a new product to your skincare routine can sometimes be frustrating if you have acne prone skin. For example, using a new device like a Clarisonic, for the first time is definitely exciting—if you experience positive results, that is. But if on your quest to eliminate breakouts you experience more of them as a result of introducing a Clarisonic in your routine, you may be tempted to give up on the tool altogether. This reaction is called skin purging, and it isn’t a cause for concern. “Skin purging, when the skin experiences more breakouts temporarily after a change in a skincare routine, can occur with over-exfoliation or irritation,” Dr. Saluja says. Since Clarisonic facial cleansing brushes are so efficient at deep cleaning the skin, the stimulating effect can in some cases make the skin look worse before it starts to look better.

Dr. Saluja’s advice? Stick with your Clarisonic cleansing routine, but be gentle until your skin settles down. “Start using your Clarisonic once every three days, then every other day,” she says. “Take your time to build up to regular daily use. Also, try a few brush heads to see which suits your skin best and keep your Clarisonic brush head clean.” Rinse your brush head after every use and replace it every three months. Skin purging is a small hurdle on the way towards the best skin of your life!

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