I don't really know what to call this post, yes its tips for acne skin but they're all tips that go against what is usually thrown in your face when you walk down the skincare isle. Its something that i've noticed recently, that all the things marketed towards people with acne/oily skin are truthfully things that will make skin worse. The biggest problem here is that the majority of products in the low end market contains or do the things that will make skin worse so when drugstore skincare shopping its important to know the areas to avoid - and there's a lot of them.
First lets start with the basics of cleansing: when in the skincare isle whats overwhelmingly marketed at people with problem or oily skin are foaming gel cleansers. In reality you couldn't possibly be using anything worse, foaming gel cleansers will dry out skin and strip skin leaving it dry and tight. Initially the person using the product will believe it has worked because their skin appears less oily; this is only because their skin has been stripped at the surface. What makes the situation a whole lot worse is that now below the surface your skin is working to produce more and more oils to compensate for the damage it has done.
An alternative to foaming gel cleansers are cleansing balms and creams, these tend to use much more natural ingredients and will work to hydrate while cleansing the skin and therefore can be used by people with problem skin to bring it back into balance. A great cleansing balm for people with problem skin is lush ultrabland; yes its a very oily cleanser which may put people with oily skin off but its a great cleanser to thoroughly cleanse while being gentle and natural.
Moving onto toning - most toners for acne skin contain such a high alcohol content your skin will feel like its burning when applied, toners should tingle not burn. Its the same concept as the foaming cleansers where more oil will be produced as a result of the harsh ingredients, so when looking for a toner the most important thing is the ingredients. The purpose of a toner is really a pre-step to moisturising so look for ingredients like glycerin which act as a humectant to prepare the skin for your serum and moisturiser.
An alternative to the acne skin toners/astringents/lotions are brightening toners like the botanics all bright cleansing toner, it has humectant ingredients and also natural AHAs from plants to give it that exfoliation tingle.
On the topic of toners i want to move to pores because they're something that toners for oily skin always mention. I think i might just state facts for this bit: you can't shrink pores they're hereditary, yes you can make them look smaller using astringent toners but its not good for them. Anything that claims to make your pores smaller is lying its will not be permanent and it will not be good for your skin. (i know it makes me sad too my pores make me look like a golf ball)
Lets move to moisturising now and the abundance of day moisturisers for oily skin that aim to mattify and reduce shine. The temptation to skip moisturiser when you have oily skin is so real but the need for hydration when you have oily skin is even more real. i go on about this in my last post on moisturisers so i won't here but i say leave the mattifying to your primer and makeup and focus on actual hydration that won't clog your pores.
The best moisturiser i've found for oily skin is the neutrogena oil free moisturiser, like i said its all in detail in my other post which you can read here.
I feel slightly like i've just written a rant because really this post was inspired by all the skincare companies basically lying to consumers because so many of their products work to deceive and only work visually on the surface. I think the most important thing to take from this post is to look at ingredients first and to ignore big claims that products make like shrinking your pores. Generally products that contain natural ingredients are kinder to your skin and work better in the long run, that's why the lush and botanics products are so effective. I really hope this will help you when picking your next skincare product and maybe will influence you to stray away from stereotypical acne skincare and more towards gentle but effective treatments.