Stubborn acne? Here's what we know works.

The New Year marks our favourite time to establish mindful skincare routines and set new skin goals. At the top of the list, for some, is acne. Fortunately, here at GK, we are well-versed in this area. From breakout prevention to healing stubborn acne scars, here's what we know works:


The Cause

While there are several catalysts for acne, we always start by asking - have you done a clean swap yet? How we approach acne treatment before, during, and after a breakout determines the duration of inflammation and the severity of scarring. The impulse with acnegenic skin is to attack it with harsh solutions, but many drugstore acne remedies contain known skin irritants that exacerbate breakouts. Your skin will thank you for switching to clean beauty formulas in every step of your skincare routine. 

Our Plan of Attack

There is no one-size-fits-all formula to zap acne (despite what you may have heard). And when a well-meaning shopper builds an acne routine on their own, there are often missed steps or competing formulations, resulting in further irritation. But this is where our ⚡️superpower⚡️ comes into play. We LOVE skin! And our complimentary skin consults and personalized skincare routines are what we're known for. When we curate a custom acne-based skincare regimen, we consider all angles of your acne and the most effective way to treat it. Our goal is always to work within your budget to find a balance between the best natural healing ingredients to calm inflammation (acne = inflammation) and targeted treatments with high-performance, good-for-you ingredients to zap bacteria. 


We've seen great success with the treatment plan below, but - again - we prefer to take a nuanced approach to your acne solution, so please reach out to us directly and let our knowledgeable Educators help. We typically start by asking what you're currently using. It's super helpful for us to know what ingredients are already in your toolkit (this is a judgement-free zone!) to identify competing ingredients or gaps in your routine and ensure your skin is supported, not assaulted. Don't live in Victoria? No problemo. We do Zoom consults all the time. 

Green Tea Water Bomb Mask gif

The Expert-Approved Skincare Routine to Treat Acne:

The Cleanser

Our cleansers contain the highest possible concentrations of active ingredients without excess fillers and synthetic preservatives. For acne-prone skin, we recommend one of these 3 cleansers, depending on what texture you prefer:
1) Indie Lee Purifying Face Wash - a non-stripping, lathering cleanser with targeted acne fighting ingredients.
2) Glow Jar Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser - a creamy gel cleanser that targets inflammation.
3) Viva Organics Bio Foaming Cleanser - a foaming cleanser suited for all skin types, popular with men and teens. 
For added detoxifying benefits, soap up this charcoal sponge and massage it gently onto the skin in a circular motion. This sponge does a great job drawing out pore-blockers.


An Exfoliating Peel

Exfoliants are the secret to soft, glowing skin, and that's what you'll get with these superpower multitasking plant active peel pads. The mandelic acid targets sunspots, fine lines, and blemishes, while the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) unclogs pores to minimize acne. Gentle acid treatments like this really help clear away dead skin cells, dirt, and oils, so your pores stay clean! 


The Acne Mask

Treat acne with a non-toxic and natural skin-clearing mask. Masks work quickly to unclog pores and reduce inflammation associated with acne. Whether a sheet mask or a clay, consistency is key. 


The Vitamin C Serum

Add Vitamin C into your skincare rotation. Topical Vitamin C stimulates collagen production and fades hyperpigmentation while brightening the skin. It's also a mild exfoliant, so go slowly at first. 


The Spot Treatment

We have seen excellent results with our acne-prone guests incorporating consistent spot treatment. If you're new to spot-targeting treatments, start by treating your zits with a powerful but gentle drying solution or an effective acne patch at night (bonus if it contains Salicylic Acid) and a fast-acting clear gel during the day.  


A Retinoid

Retinoids can help to prevent acne and improve acne scarring. Prescription-grade retinoids (Tretinoin) are often prescribed to treat severe cystic acne. But if that's not you, try this gentle retinol serum that works well on all skin types, including sensitive skin! 


A Featherweight Moisturizer

A clean alternative to conventional petroleum-based moisturizers, this vitamin-rich moisturizer from Glow Jar Beauty is squalane-based and won't clog pores! Wear it morning or night and under makeup. If your moisture barrier needs repair, we recommend CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture. It's nutrient- rich formula immediately calms and nourishes chronically irritated skin.


The Mineral Sunscreen

If you set just one skin goal this year, it should be to use sun protection daily (yes, daily). And not just any SPF - swap your chemical sunscreen for mineral. Chemical SPF contains some of the most irritating chemicals in the beauty industry, exacerbating that already angry breakout. Protecting yourself from sun exposure will shorten the time it takes your acne scarring to disappear. Skipping daily SPF application will significantly lessen the efficacy of your acne treatment products. Bonus: the zinc in this sunscreen is anti-inflammatory and helps with redness.


The Clean Concealer

Layering a chemical concealer over a breakout is a recipe for further irritation. Ensure your concealer is clean and made without petroleum, dyes, and plasticizers. We find dry pot concealer works best over a pimple. Dab a bit over the breakout using a brush, then pat (don't rub) until it smoothes over. Voilà.

 Glow Jar Beauty PM Retinol Serum

Our Takeaway

There are many effective acne treatments in the clean beauty space, and with the help of a smart skincare routine, (pop over here for a refresher on the correct order to apply your skincare to optimize results), you can combat acne at any age. Talk to a dermatologist about prescription medications for acne prevention if your acne doesn't calm down after a few months of using these products. If you're lucky to live with us here in Victoria, visit us at our brick-and-mortar for a complimentary custom skin analysis. All Green Kiss Educators are well-versed in skincare concerns and our product lineup and will topically guide you based on your skin condition or skin type. Or you can email us to set up a virtual skincare consultation. We are here to help you take care of you!


All copy found on The Green Kiss website is written for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.