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What To Change In Your Skin Care Routine To Clear Breakouts


In the last blog post/video, I talked about How I Cleared Up Adult Acne Naturally. Aside from making massive diet and lifestyle changes, I wouldn’t have been able to clear up my skin if I didn’t change my approach to my skin care as well.

Like most acne sufferers, I always believed I needed to target my breakouts with strong skin care products containing acids, chemicals, and drying compounds. Looking back in retrospect, I now wonder, what was I thinking?!

Learn how your skin care routine is making your breakouts and acne worse, and what to do instead.

If you have acne and breakouts, you have sensitive skin

I want you to look into the mirror and tell me what you see? Aside from the pimples and breakouts, is your skin red, irritated, or inflamed? Perhaps you have some dry, flakey spots? Maybe some cracked skin, or even opened and oozing pimples?

Acne prone skin is very sensitive skin, especially when you are in the middle of having a breakout. If your skin is irritated and inflamed from the breakouts, the last thing your skin needs is to be smothered with chemicals, acids, and drying lotions.

Your acne prone skin needs soothing

In order to heal your skin and stop the breakouts, you have to first work on diminishing the inflammation and irritation.

How I see it, if you were to have a rash, burn, or cut on any other part of your body, you would make sure it was clean and dry, and let air circulate around the area so the wound could heal. You wouldn’t be layering toners, serums, drying lotions, and creams on the wound. But for some reason that’s exactly what we do to the pimples on our face.

Less is more

Optimally, when your skin is broken out, the less products, and even the less makeup you are using, the better. This is the time to take a break, to cut back on what you are putting on your skin.

I know the idea of not using creams, acne lotions, and makeup sounds quite drastic; but when you are having breakouts, the less you put on your skin, the easier it will be for your skin to heal and clear up. We’ve been marketed to believe that when we have breakouts and acne, we should be loading our skin with products, but in fact, that’s the last thing your skin needs.

Later on, when you skin is no longer inflamed and irritated, and it’s well on it’s way to recovery; then, by all means, you can introduce makeup and skin care products back into your routine again.

What if you just can’t?

You might be reading this and thinking:

“Ya, I get it. I totally understand what you are saying, but, there’s no way I can leave my house without makeup. And, I’m not giving up my moisturizer!”

I understand going makeup-free, or giving up your beloved skin care products doesn’t sound appealing, practical, or even possible. It’s not for everyone! But that doesn’t mean you can’t make simple adjustments to your skin care routine that will still improve your skin, and get you results.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Is there anything in your skin care routine that isn’t necessary, that you can take a break from until your skin is less irritated, and less broken out? (perhaps take a break from using a toner, serum, acne drying lotion, etc.)
  • Have you been using acne products for over 3 months with no visible results? (if you haven’t gotten results by now, you probably won’t later – time to give them up!)
  • Are there days where you’re not going outside at all, and can skip using SPF/sunscreen?
  • Is there any makeup product you can take a break from right now?
  • Can you switch to using a concealer to cover-up spots and breakouts instead of using full coverage foundation?
  • Are there any products or makeup you are currently using that you have a feeling is irritating your skin, but you haven’t gotten around to trying something else?
  • Is there ever a day where you can skip wearing skin products and makeup altogether? (maybe on your day off, or even just a half day?)

As you can see, there’s no need to take the “all or nothing” approach.

Instead, start by making easy changes and adjustments. Look over your skin care routine and the makeup you are using and see if there is anything you can skip, take a break from, leave out, or eliminate completely. Every effort counts, and you’d be amazed even small adjustments can yield big results.

About the Author
Hi, I’m Natasha St. Michael, Founder of Inspire Beauty. I’m also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Health Educator accredited by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. I’m obsessed with skin care and self-care. I’m 47 years old, struggled with adult acne until I was 30, and now I’m all about preserving the youthfulness of my skin (and sharing all my tips and tricks). If you have a question about a product or need a recommendation, feel free to contact me anytime.


This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own. 

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2 Responses

  1. Hi! In regards to cutting something out, for me I wonder, how detrimental is the skin care line that I use ( Evan Healy). Its not something I buy in a plastic bottle at a big box store with lots of scary ingredients I can’t pronounce but I have been using it for a long time and it hasn’t diminished my flaking skin ( premolar dermatitis) and acne breakouts. So with that realization perhaps I am able to stop using for the time being. Sometimes its so mentally difficult to go without makeup but then the day goes by and no small children cry at the sight of me and I am not banished from my communitty 😉 and I see that it’s okay. Sometimes my makeup actually accentuates my flaking skin around my nose! Rats. So I could commit to a period of time with no makeup and no face products and see what happens.

    1. Thanks Marias for your comment!
      Yes, definitely commit to a period of time with no makeup and products and see what happens. You might actually be pleasantly surprised! I would love to hear how it goes for you and what happens, so do keep me posted. I stopped using any products on my skin for a period of a few years, and nowadays I do use some skin products on my skin and makeup once in a while. I still find “less is best!”. I can also say that when you go a while without using makeup and skin care products, once you start using them again, you’ll be able to tell more easily what products and ingredients cause skin issues and breakouts, and which ones don’t. Definitely give it try 🙂

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