The Guide to Acne-Prone Skin 


We get it, acne upsets us too! We want you to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin! 

Acne skin means skin that is known to have regular breakouts, not just the occasional spot. If you experience medical acne, you will require a treatment plan, which can be prescribed to you by a dermatologist. 

So let’s dive into acne-prone skin, why it occurs and how you can manage or control it through products and of course lifestyle changes. 


Why do breakouts occur? 

Firstly, let’s look at the risk factors that is a contributing factor that causes breakouts.

Hormones, genetics, the menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, humid climates, using oil-based makeup, and squeezing pimples are the main causes of acne. There is a range of factors that trigger acne, but the main cause is thought to be from a rise in androgen levels.

Androgen is a hormone, these levels rise when adolescence begins. In women, it gets converted into oestrogen. Rising androgen levels cause the oil glands under the skin to grow. The enlarged gland produces more sebum. Excessive sebum can break down cellular walls in the pores, causing bacteria to grow.

Some studies suggest that genetic factors may increase the risk. Other triggers could be medications that contain androgen and lithium, greasy cosmetics, emotional stress and menstruation.


What is the process of acne?

Beneath the skin surface, glands produce sebum, an oily substance and follicles connect the glands to the pores. 

These follicles are small sacs that produce and secrete liquid, it’s where small hair grows out of the skin. 

Sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. Pimples grow when these follicles get blocked, and oil builds up under the skin. This causes skin cells, sebum and hair to clump together into a plug, this gets infected with bacteria, and swelling occurs. A pimple starts to develop when the plug begins to break down.

The bacteria that cause skin infection leading to pimples is called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

Research suggests that the severity and frequency of acne depend on the strain of bacteria. Not all acne bacteria trigger pimples. One strain helps to keep the skin pimple-free.

Over the counter acne remedies may contain the following active ingredients:

  • Resorcinol: helps break down blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Benzoyl peroxide: kills bacteria, slows the production of sebum, rapid skin cell turnover.
  • Salicylic acid: assists the breakdown of blackheads and whiteheads and helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Sulfur: how this works is unclear, but its good to know so that we can eat food containing sulfur to help from the inside out.
  • Retin-A: helps unblock pores through cell turnover.
  • Azelaic acid: works to strengthen cells that line the follicles and stop sebum eruptions to reduce bacterial growth. There is cream for acne, but other forms are used to treat rosacea.

It is advisable to start with the lowest strengths, as some preparations can cause skin irritation, redness, or burning on first use.

These side effects normally subside after continued use. If not, see a doctor.


What lifestyle changes can help acne-prone skin?

There are a few things you can do in your everyday life that can help with your acne-prone skin. You can read them all in detail here, but they include: 

  • Exercise 
  • Eating foods that help with inflammation 
  • Drinking at least 2L of water a day 
  • Cleaning your skin more than once a day 
  • Going makeup free when possible 
  • Doing light exfoliating 
  • Getting a good dose of sun in your day 
  • Washing your makeup off before bed 
  • Avoiding touching your face 

Of course, reducing stress and increasing sleep also helps your overall health (and skin) as well. You can make these changes very easily in your life to help not just your skin but your overall health. 


Somaly Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin

The ingredients found in our products can help with acne-prone skin, our products help to control bacteria causing pimples and nutrients to heal and repair skin. Skin is in better condition and scarring is reduced.

Enzyme Cleansing Gel

This is a great daily cleanse that is suitable for all skin types, the key ingredient to help fight against break out Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid derived from White Willow Bark assists the breakdown of blackheads and whiteheads and helps reduce inflammation and swelling. Juniper Berry and Lime Essential Oils act as an antibacterial agent to fight against surface bacteria and control blemishes.



Brightening Serum 

Our serum is designed to help control hyperpigmentation, its active ingredients with high levels of Vitamin A, C & E, Probiotic Peptide and White Mulberry is also great for acne-prone skin.  These ingredients help to unblock pores repair and heal the skin by encouraging cell turnover while minimising the discolouration and pigmented scars left from acne breakouts.

Probiotic Peptide derived from Lactobacillus improves skin tone, reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The use of Probiotic Peptides in skincare has been based on new research on the skin natural balance of microbes and a healthy pH balance. The skin surface is a multifaceted environment, almost like a city of living things populating and working in every part of it, and probiotics play a crucial role in keeping it in balance.




Active – Renewal Cream

Our Renewal Cream is just that! It renews skin cells, the key ingredient that does that is the combination of Malic Acid and Vitamin C. Some research suggests that whether it’s in a lotion, cleanser, or light peeling agent, malic acid can help remove a build-up of dead cells. This is great for acne-prone skin. When the skin’s pores get clogged with too many dead skin cells, bacterial infections can develop and cause breakouts. 

Skin looks less dull and when your pores are unclogged, it helps reduce the formation of acne bumps and the discolouration that’s often associated with acne. Contrary to the term acid, malic acid balances the pH levels of the skin for a more harmonious balance and increases moisture retention. Including malic acid in your skincare routine may help with skin concerns like ageing, pigmentation, acne, or dryness, just be careful using it around your eyes. 

Malic acid is an AHA that occurs in fruits, vegetables, and wine. Our bodies also produce malic acid naturally when converting carbohydrates into energy.


Vitamin C

The 5% of vitamin C in our Renewal Cream is also great for acne-prone skin, the use of vitamin C on your skin can help the epidermis, the top layer of skin protects, heals, and produces new skin. Acne is a highly inflammatory condition that can be exacerbated by environmental stressors, vitamin C may play a role in treating it. L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of this vitamin, it’s also the least stable and goes rancid very quickly in skincare products. Therefore, more stable vitamin C derivatives are commonly utilised for topical.

Keep in mind that many vitamin C serums are made with other antioxidants like vitamin E to increase stability and provide additional benefits. This is why our Renewal Cream contains Jojoba oil, it contains antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. Jojoba oil contains natural forms of vitamin E. This vitamin works with yours as an antioxidant. This means that jojoba oil can help your skin fight oxidative stress caused by everyday exposure to pollutants and other toxins.

Although jojoba oil is a botanical substance, its makeup is so similar to the oil (sebum), because your body naturally produces that your skin can’t tell the difference. This makes it less likely to build up on your skin and clog your pores, leading to fewer breakouts and less severe acne.


We recommend pairing this product with our Anti-Age Elixir, with its high Vitamin E content, it is the perfect partner against free radicals as well as acne and ageing skin. And of course, our Anti-Age Elixir has soothing and healing properties to minimise scars and pigmentation, so it’s great to aid acne-prone skin to heal and recover.

No current studies tie dietary vitamin C to reduced acne or scarring.


Final thoughts 

In conclusion, acne-prone skin can be a challenge, but of course, it can be managed through lifestyle changes and by being aware of what might be causing the acne. 

You can change up your diet and make sure you get enough exercise, sleep and water in your day. We also recommend you seek medical advice if needed.

Other ways you can help acne-prone skin is through skin treatments. At Somaly Skin, we have a number of products that work to help acne-prone skin including our cleansing gel, the brightening serum and renewal cream. If you want more help or information, please contact us today! 




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