This Low Maintenance Skincare Routine Finally Cleared My Acne

I hate looking at pictures of me circa age 13-14 because of my acne. It’s all I can see. I had tried every fancy scrub, cleanser, and expensive spot treatment in the game. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me medicine that was supposed to clear the flare-ups. Yet my pesky acne haunted me well into my late-teen years.

Flash forward, now that I’m in my twenties, I am complimented often on the clarity and softness of my skin. Who would have thought? Sure, I get a few spots every now and then, but I think I’ve figured out the formula to taming my skin’s madness. Turns out, I didn’t need 27 steps, endless expensive products, and literal magic to clear my skin.

Here’s what I did (and continue to do) to keep my previously acne prone skin at bay. The best part? It requires little to no effort.

Cleansing your Face: I know that after a long day or a fun night, the last thing you want is anything stopping you from heading straight to bed. But the downfall of not taking off your makeup or skipping washing your face is far worse than those extra few minutes of sleep. Going to bed with makeup on traps all the oil and dirt that has accumulated on your face in your pores and leads to unwanted pimples.

My favorite makeup wipes to use are Neutrogena’s Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes. With just a few swipes even your waterproof eyeliner and matte lipstick can disappear. It makes taking off your makeup a quicker and more gentler process. The wipes can be on the pricey side, but they are so worth it if your alternative option is not taking off your makeup at all. (Pro tip: I like to buy mine in bulk at Costco!)

After I’ve taken off all of my makeup I use a moisturizing cleanser that gets rid of any leftover dirt from the makeup and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry or worn out. In the morning I wash my face once again either in the shower or before I brush my teeth. It’s important give your face some attention in the morning too, and it makes putting on makeup a better process as well.

Moisturizing and Spot Treatment: The biggest thing that seems counterintuitive for people suffering with acne is that you actually do need a moisturizer (despite having oily skin). My favorite moisturizer cost me a few dollars at Target. TBH I initially picked it up because it was small enough to fit in my luggage for my trip to Europe and was instantly hooked. It has a subtly smell, instantly freshens, and perks up my skin. It can also help swipe off any troublesome makeup (two for one!). I moisturize in the morning and night, making sure to get my neck as well. A thin layer goes a long way.

When, despite all my best efforts, I occasionally get a breakout, I dab a little bit of salicylic acid spot treatment on it once it turns red. Try not to overuse your spot treatment. If you’re covering your whole face in it every night it won’t work like it’s supposed to. If you are washing your face and moisturizing often, you won’t have to worry about crazy breakouts. If I have a particularly painful blemish, dabbing rubbing alcohol on it can dry it out, and tea tree oil can tackle the bacteria.

Face Masks: Once a week I treat myself to a face mask. I have a few in my arsenal; some of them collected through samples and promotions. I have a different face mask for every condition my face might be in. I love Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty for when I have breakouts because it’s detoxifying and refreshing. When my skin looks tired and needs brightening, I like to use a toning mask. When my skin needs an extra dose of moisture, I turn to my favorite hydrating mask. There is a mask for every skin concern you think of! Do some research to find the best ones for your skin.

Do you have any low maintenance skincare tips? Let us know in the comments below!