How to Get Rid of Acne

Acne… nobody likes them, but everybody has them some point in their lives.

Today’s post was actually chosen by you guys, over on Twitter! I have a ton of content planned for you, but I’d love to put up what you guys want to see first, so I thought it’d be a good idea to create polls on Twitter. Once a week, I put up a poll on a few post titles in which you can vote for what you would like to read most! You can head over to my Twitter profile to vote for next week’s topic!

Today we’ll be talking about 8 tips to get rid of acne easily and painlessly! But firstly, let’s start with a little bit of my acne story!

I’ve had acne for many years, mostly in my early teenage years. I tried switching up my skincare routine and “cleaned up” my diet, but nothing seemed to work! After years and years of trying to get rid of my acne, I gave up and chalked it up to being “hormonal acne”. It’s easy to blame everything on your hormones (been there, done that!), especially when it comes to sucky periods (this post might help!), difficulty in losing weight (read this before blaming your hormones when you can’t lose weight!), and acne. Most often than not, it’s just clogged pores! Spoiler: the acne I had wasn’t hormonal.

Before moving on, you need to identify the cause of your acne to be able to clear them effectively. The two major causes of acne in women are clogged pores and hormones.

How do you know if you have hormonal acne?

If you find yourself getting acne in the days leading up to your time of the month, they are probably hormonal acne. Hormonal breakouts usually appear as cystic acne (the painful under-the-skin bumps) around the chin and cheek area.

In this post, we’ll be focusing more on how to get rid of acne that is caused by clogged pores. If you’re still not sure whether your acne is hormonal or caused by clogged pores, just hear me out and try out these super easy tips to get rid of acne. These tips are so effective when it comes to clearing acne caused by clogged pores, but they also work amazingly to reduce hormonal acne.

How to Get Rid of Acne

Double-Cleansing for the Win!

I cannot stress this enough. You know how Korean celebrities have youthful, glowy skin? Most of them swear by double-cleansing! Double-cleansing your skin is so important, especially if you wear makeup.

Wait.. what in the world is double-cleansing?

Double-cleansing is exactly what it sounds like – you cleanse your skin twice! The first cleansing step should be to remove your makeup using cleansing waters, oils or balms. This should take off most of your makeup. Most. Have you ever cleansed your face, dried it off with a face towel, only to find foundation smudges on your towel? This is why double-cleansing is so important! Use a facial wash as your second step – this will remove any leftover makeup, dirt, and oil that your first step might have missed.

But why?

Double-cleansing your skin takes off all traces of makeup, oil, and dirt on your skin so they don’t clog your pores. You only have to double-cleanse your skin at night and that’s it! All it takes is a minute or two to add an extra cleansing step to your skincare routine, to get beautiful skin in return.

For my first-step cleanser, I’m currently using and loving the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil – it takes off all of my makeup, including my stubborn waterproof mascara! I have a review of it up if you’re interested to read more about it! If you’re not a fan of cleansing oils, and you much prefer cleansing waters, I highly recommend the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. It’s so effective in taking off your makeup and it’s so affordable. Psstttt… it’s also a dupe for the Bioderma Micellar Water! As for my second-step cleanser, I’ve been obsessed with the Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, which you can read more about here.

Simplify Your Skincare Routine

Take a good look at your skincare routine – what does it comprise of? Do you use a cleanser, face scrub, toner, multiple serums, essence, mask, eye cream, moisturiser, day cream, sunscreen, night cream, and sleeping mask? If you do, you might want to consider simplifying your skincare routine.

When you have acne, you want to make sure that your skincare routine isn’t too rich. If you have oily skin, you’ve probably heard that your skin is super oily because the inner layers are actually dehydrated, and so your skin is producing more sebum to counteract the “drought”. This is true, but you don’t want to slather on a thick layer of skincare that your skin cannot absorb efficiently. This will cause all the oils to sit on the skin and clog your pores.

Simplify your skincare routine to include two cleansers (for double-cleansing), a toner, an eye cream, a moisturiser, and sunscreen. If you have oily skin, go for products that are labelled as “hydrating” and look for gels instead of creams. I love (as most of you probably know!) my Laneige Fresh Calming Morning Mask (read about it here) as a morning moisturiser. It’s honestly the best moisturiser for the morning time that I’ve tried! As for the night time, I highly recommend the Belif Aqua Bomb! This Belif Aqua Bomb is actually the first moisturiser I’ve tried that helped clear my skin – read more about that here!

Aloe Vera Gel

If you have acne, an aloe vera gel product is an absolute must! The best thing about aloe vera gel is its antibacterial properties. The antibacterial properties help to treat acne by preventing bacteria from infecting acne wounds, thus speeding up the healing process. Not only that, aloe vera gel is also an amazing skincare product that helps to hydrate your skin and soothe inflamed skin. If you have problems with tiny bumps on your forehead, aloe vera gel is also very effective at treating that!

Before going to bed, I slather on a thick layer of aloe vera gel and let it work its magic overnight. Not only does it help in effectively treating acne, it also makes my skin feel smooth and soft. I wake up with bright, hydrated, smooth and soft skin that is the perfect base for makeup.

When choosing your aloe vera gel product, you want to go for something as pure as possible. I personally use, love and highly recommend the Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel. I included this in my 16 Korean Beauty Products You Need Right Now post because it’s that good! It’s super affordable ($4 for a huuuge tub) and it works wonders!

How to Get Rid of Acne | Use Chemical Exfoliants

Sayonara, Harsh Facial Exfoliants!

It’s a common misconception that exfoliating acne-prone skin is bad. It’s actually great for your skin… if you use the right type, that is! For acne-prone skin (or really, any type of skin), using a gentle exfoliant will go a long way in making your skin feel baby soft!

However, most physical exfoliants are way too harsh on the skin. Any scrub that has grit in it, that you can feel when exfoliating is a big no-no. When you have acne, your skin is already inflamed. Harsh scrubs will only irritate your skin and make your breakouts worse!

Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, are great for skin with acne. The most popular chemical exfoliants are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). AHAs don’t penetrate the skin as deep as the BHAs do, so BHAs are a preferred chemical exfoliant for oily, acne-prone skin. Both AHAs and BHAs have amazing skincare benefits like: they help to clean out clogged pores, brighten and even minimise wrinkles on the skin.

Bottom line is:

Use a gentle scrub, like the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, to gently exfoliate your skin. Or better yet, use a BHA product to exfoliate your skin. My current favourite is the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfect 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant (in-depth review can be found here). Both these products are gentle and work amazing!

How to Get Rid of Acne | Remove Dairy From Your Diet

Say Bye-Bye to Dairy

Yep. I know… this isn’t something you want to hear. Heck, you’ll probably not want to hear the next 3 tips but I promise they do wonders for your skin, so just hear me out, okay?

This was actually an accidental find for me. After I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t reach for any dairy. Just two short weeks later, I realised my skin has cleared up so much but I just attributed it to me eating cleaner than I usually do. So I went about my life happy that my skin is starting to clear up, until one day I had a crazy craving for yogurt. So I bought a huge tub of yogurt. I woke up the next day with a huge pimple on my forehead. I didn’t think much of it so I continued eating my tub of yogurt throughout the week. More and more pimples started to pop up and that’s when I started to do some research (read: Google) on dairy and acne.

What I found was horrifying!

There is a significant amount of IGF-1 in milk. IGF-1 is a growth hormone that helps baby cows grow. They’re not so good to humans, though. IGF-1 causes inflammation in humans, which can lead to acne. Not only that, dairy also causes your skin to produce more sebum, which then leads to clogged pores. And clogged pores = acne. You can read more about dairy and acne in this article by Clear Skin Forever.

After reading about this, I conducted an acne-dairy experiment on my face. I stopped eating my tub of yogurt (which truth be told, had like one spoonful left lol) and monitored my skin for the next week. Surely enough, my skin started to clear up again. Then, I repeated my experiment again but with milk this time. The results were exactly the same. When I drink milk, I get breakouts. When I stop, they clear up. That’s why I removed dairy completely from my diet! Who am I kidding… I still sneak in some milk chocolate once in awhile hehe, but for the most part, I’ve cut it out of my diet.

How to Get Rid of Acne | Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

I know… bleh! I can do fruits because they’re sweet and taste good, but I used to absolutely hate my veggies! I’ve gotten better at eating my veggies and found some that I actually really love!

There are many fruits and vegetables that can help get rid of acne and clear your skin. Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant that strengthens your immune system, gives you glowy skin and helps blemishes heal. Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C are, but not limited to oranges, kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, sweet potatoes and many more!

How to Get Rid of Acne | Drink Lots of Water

Drink Up!

Yep, this one is inevitable! Water is so good for you – not juices, not coffee, and certainly not soda! Remember what I said about dehydration and how it causes your skin to produce more oil to counteract it? Drinking enough water helps to keep your skin hydrated and is a natural detox that flushes out unwanted wastes from your body.

I used to barely drink 500mls of water a day. But after getting myself a cute bottle, I bring it with me everywhere. And now I drink at least 2.5litres of water a day. If you’re not a huge fan of the taste of water (what taste?), you can try making your own infused-water by chopping up some fruits and adding them into your water. My favourite combination is strawberries and mint – yum yum! Coconut water is also amazing for hydrating your skin, plus it has many health benefits as well!

How to Get Rid of Acne | Acne Patches

If All Else Fails, Acne Patch is Here to Save the Day!

Acne patches… they are truly a gift from the skincare gods! These are so handy to have in your skincare collection even if you don’t regularly get acne. Don’t you hate how acne always seem to pop up the night before an important event? Acne patches to the rescue!

Acne patches are stickers that come in various sizes of dots. All you have to do is, stick one over your acne, go to bed, and remove it the next morning. How they work is, acne patches draw out the gunk from your pimple safely so you don’t get scars. After removing it, your formerly pulsating zit will become calm and flat (much easier to cover!). When you remove it, you can actually see the gunk from your zit in the middle of the acne patch sticker, which is gross to admit but… it’s actually pretty satisfying.

There are a ton of drying creams out there that are supposed to dry out acne overnight, but I have never tried any that actually work! After trying my very first acne patch, I’m never going back. I have to say, though, that not all acne patches are created equal. There are some out there that do absolutely nothing, and some that are amazing! I swear by my Miacare Acne Patches (which you might have seen in my “Skincare Routine for Combination Skin” post). They have never failed me – not even once – and I’ve been using these for over a year now.

The takeaway is…

To get rid of acne and keep your skin clear, you need to keep your pores clean. You can do this by keeping your skin hydrated. If your skin is dehydrated, it will produce more oil to combat the dryness, which will end up clogging your pores and causing acne. Also, steer clear of any skincare products that are too rich for your skin. Eat lots of veggies and fruits, drink lots of water, and if all else fails, acne patches are always there for you!

Do you have any tips on getting rid of acne and keeping your skin clear? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section down below! 🙂

Have You Read These?

5 Simple Steps to Make Your Period Suck Less

Why You’re Not Losing Weight + How to Lose 10lbs in 30 Days

Brainstorm 100 Blog Post Ideas in 30 Minutes

5 Amazing Travel Beauty Hacks You Need to Know!

Shaving 101: The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Body Hair Removal

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  • I have the worst hormonal acne! I’ll have to try those acne patches!

  • Sondra Barker

    I have heard that double-washing can strip your skin of natural oils and cause it to overproduce oil and clog pores even more. Do you think there is a balance?

    • Hi Sondra! While it is possible, it is a common misconception that double-cleansing strips your skin of natural oils. It is actually the products you use that aren’t suitable for your skin type that causes this!

      The double-cleanse method usually starts off with oil or water-based (oil is the recommended!) cleansers which are very gentle on the skin. These will remove the layer of makeup, along with dirt and impurities at the surface of the skin. Oil cleansers are recommended because they will not strip the skin of the essential lipids and ceramides that is needed to keep the skin balanced and healthy.

      The next cleansing step (usually a cleansing foam) will remove the dirt, oil and excess makeup. For this step, you want to choose a cleanser that works for your skin type. Go for a more heavy duty cleanser if you have oily skin, and a gentler alternative if you have dry skin.

      Basically, the first step of double-cleansing doesn’t strip your skin of any oils, only the second step does. Because of this, double-cleansing your skin doesn’t strip away any more oil from your skin than just cleansing your skin with one cleanser does. Double-cleansing only helps to ensure your skin is completely free of makeup and dirt!

      Sorry for the super long reply, but I hope this was somewhat helpful to you! 🙂

  • Hormonal acne is my current struggle, ugh! I didn’t even think to reduce my diary intake. I’ve been eating a lot of cheese though because I’m on a low carb diet. That’s probably the culprit!

    • Hormonal acne is the worst! Try to cut out dairy for around two weeks and see if there are any improvements!

      And btw, I am huge fan of your blog! I binge-read the whole spooky series a few months ago, haha!

  • Great tips! Except for giving up dairy.. I love cheese too much, ha! I haven’t heard of the acne patches but I could definitely see them being helpful with breakouts!

  • Great information. Thank God i’m past the ‘acne age’ because i’m not giving up dairy, and don’t eat may veggies. nice post!

  • Anna Hubbard

    Oooh these are great tips! I won’t give up any dairy though – gotta have that, haha!

  • Sydney Power

    What a helpful and brilliant tips! Acne is one of my problem before, glad that you shared this.

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    This is such a great post! Acne is something that everyone suffers with from time to time!

  • I def have more of hormonal breakouts, but these are great tips!

  • Great tips for banishing acne. I don’t really get bad acne on my face but I do get it on my back sometimes which always makes me feel GROSS.

  • I’ve been pretty lucky with acne all my life, but as an adult I get HUGE ones in really obvious places on my face every 28 days or so (heh). I will definitely use these tips!

  • I am not a fan of hormonal break outs. I can’t wait to try these tips the next time I feel a break out coming through.

    Diary of a Debutante

  • These tips are all SO good! I’ve had hormonal breakouts for as LONG as I can remember! These patches sound so cool, I’m going to have to get some and try them out!

  • Lauren Scorzafava

    Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

  • The Sunday Mode

    I always hear about the dairy and acne thing but to be honest I don’t know how much is fact and fiction because with my own skin, personally hormones and stress seem to be the biggest causes of breakouts for me. Next time I breakout though I’ll try and stop having dairy and see if it helps!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode