No time, no worries.
Not all of us have the time (or, let’s be honest – the motivation) to follow a daily 10-step skincare regimen.
It might work for some, but for you, the time needed alone for this extravagant routine is enough for you to say, naaah. Even if that means putting up with your acne-prone complexion.
Luckily, it doesn’t. You don’t need an elaborate skincare regimen or four-figure products to achieve clear, radiant skin. All you need are a few minutes and a handful of essentials.
Let us show you how!
And no, makeup removal wipes won’t suffice.
Daily cleansing is crucial for everyone, regardless of your skin type or concern. But it’s especially important if you have acne-prone skin, as cleansing prevents dead skin cells from building up, which clogs the pores and triggers breakouts.
Be warned: not all acne-fighting face washes work. In fact, many of them are so drying, they can even exacerbate acne. That’s because they mess with the skin’s protective barrier, leaving you vulnerable to breakouts with each wash.
Opt for a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser to dissolve dirt, oil, and bacteria without screwing with your skin. Using your fingertips, spend around 60 seconds massaging it into your skin to boost penetration.
Recommended: Truly’s Hemp Jelly Anti-Blemish Facial Cleanser.
Even oily and acne-prone skin needs moisture. Skipping this step will force your oil glands into overdrive and increase oil production to compensate, resulting in clogging pores and greasy skin. So basically the exact opposite of what you want!
“Moisturizing is a very important part of skin care, including skin that is acne-prone, as hydration allows sebum buildup to loosen and clear the pores,” says dermatologist Neil Sadick of the Sadick Dermatology Group in New York City.
Keep your skin hydrated with a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer containing hydrating ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid. You don’t need to apply loads – just a thin layer to nourish your skin and prevent it from drying out.
Recommended: Truly’s Flower Child Face Cream
Dull or sunny, SPF is a daily must.
“Ultraviolet rays that are the cause of sun damage and skin cancer are always present,” explains Dr. Shilesh Iyer, M.D., a Board-Certified dermatologist with the renown New York Dermatology Group. “They are independent of cold or hot weather, and are not blocked by clouds. On overcast days, only visible rays (but not UVB rays) from the sun are blocked. The best way to protect the skin is with sun protection.”
Choose a formula that contains SPF 30 or more – the daily minimum recommended by dermatologists. And try to look for a product that’s oil-free and non-comedogenic so that it won’t clog your pores.
Slathering on sunscreen is the easiest and most effective way to protect your skin from UV rays – and prevent those acne scars and pigmentation from getting worse.
You can get away with skipping your AM wash, but your PM wash – that’s non-negotiable.
“I think they’re both important but if I had to choose I’d probably say the evening wash [is the most important] to remove dirt, pollution, oil, pollen, etc, that may have accumulated during the day,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD.
Use the same cleanser you used in the morning to get rid of all the grime that accumulated on your skin throughout the day.
Lathering up at night won’t just keep your skin fresh and clean.
According to dermatologist Morgan Rabach, “Cleansing your skin also helps the active ingredients in your creams penetrate during the night.”
It’s a win-win.
Now that your skin is a blank canvas, what you apply on it next will penetrate easily, maximizing its effects.
Look out for a serum with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinol, or niacinamide. These treatments will slowly but surely improve your acne and lessen breakouts.
For the best results, start slow. With retinol, apply a pea-sized amount to affected areas 3-4 times per week to allow your skin to adjust. Salicylic acid, niacinamide, and benzoyl peroxide can be used daily.
Recommended: Truly’s Hemp Jelly Facial Serum
Lock in all that goodness by layering your morning moisturizer on top of your skin.
“Skin cells do their greatest renewal and repair while you sleep at night, so applying hydration and moisturizer [at night] is encouraged to maximize absorption and to enhance the skin barrier,” explains Rachel Nazarian, M.D., FAAD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
You don’t need a separate night cream. In fact, we advise against it if you have acne-prone skin since most night creams contain active ingredients. And active ingredients upon active ingredients is a recipe for redness and irritation.
Inside, you’ll find everything you need to meet your skin’s needs: facial cleanser, facial serum, toning solution, and body cleanser.
Loaded with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol, as well as soothing, hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and watermelon, this bundle is your key to unlocking blemish-free skin.
Sorry, but don’t expect to see your breakouts disappear overnight. Not to be a buzzkill, but you’re gonna have to stick to this routine consistently if you want to see results. Do that and trust us, your skin will transform. But we do advise you to keep up with it since most acne treatments take anywhere from four to 12 weeks before delivering visible results.
And that timeframe goes for any consistent routine – regardless of how many products or steps are in there. Even if you follow a 12-step skincare routine, you can still expect to wait a minimum of four weeks before your acne starts clearing up.
So it turns out, you really can get away with stripping down your skincare routine to the very basics for a beautiful, clarified complexion.