Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Rithi Choudhury (Journalist) on 3rd Dec 2020
Don't let acne mess up your skincare routine! Go for a good moisturizer for acne-prone skin
Quick question. Do you need a good moisturizer if you have oily and acne-prone skin? It's time to bust the myth for once and all. Whatever your skin type, moisturization is a must! At the same time, let us shed light on the fact that even dry skin can be acne-prone. So it is essential to choose a moisturizer wisely that is hydrating enough without being comedogenic.
Here we have curated a list of moisturizing ingredients you should be looking for and components you should avoid when choosing a moisturizer for acne-prone skin.
Best Moisturizing Ingredients For Acne Prone Skin
- Panthenol: Panthenol, also referred to as Provitamin B5, is an ingredient that acts as both a humectant and an emollient. Being an emollient, panthenol helps soften and lubricate the skin. As a humectant, it holds on to moisture and plumps out the skin cells giving them life. Well-hydrated skin naturally looks well-nourished and beautiful.
When panthenol is applied to the skin, it converts into the active form of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Vitamin B5 is essential in maintaining skin barrier function and thereby preventing moisture loss (transepidermal water loss) from the skin. Panthenol is also anti-inflammatory and helps relieve skin irritation, redness, sunburn, acne inflammation, and repair the skin.
- Aloe Vera: We cannot stop raving about the multitude of benefits aloe vera gel has to provide. No wonder it is the first ingredient in our Minimalist serums. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, rich in antioxidants, is hydrating, and soothing. This succulent plant-derived gel is the perfect moisturizing ingredient for healing acne-prone skin.
If you are using store-bought aloe vera gel, make sure to look out for unnecessary ingredients such as dyes and fragrance. If you prefer using freshly squeezed aloe gel directly from the leaves, make sure you get rid of the yellow sap first, which irritates the skin.
- Ceramides: Ceramides are simply fats (lipids) present in the top layers of the skin that protect the skin barrier by preventing moisture loss and protects the skin from environmental damage. At one age, the natural production of ceramides depletes, which results in a compromised skin barrier. A weak skin barrier is prone to inflammation, irritation, and signs of aging. Fortunately, we have moisturizers in the market formulated with ceramides to help replenish this loss and keep the skin barrier intact. Studies have shown that moisturizers containing ceramides combat dryness and irritation, often resulting from acne-treatment with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
Did You Know:
Natural production of ceramides decreases after the age of 20.
- Niacinamide: Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of Vitamin B3 (niacin). Niacinamide helps build the protective ceramide barrier on the uppermost layers of the skin. Niacinamide's anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective treatment for skin inflammation and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, etc. It also helps control sebum, an excess of which clogs pores and leads to comedones and pustules.
Retinoids are incredibly useful when it comes to treating acne and acne scars. But it is often not agreeable with people who have sensitive skin. Niacinamide is a gentler yet effective alternative to retinoids.
- Tea-Tree Oil: Tea-Tree oil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Therefore it not only soothes existing breakouts and inflamed skin but also kills the acne-causing bacteria. Studies have shown that tea-tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide when it comes to treating acne.
Tea-Tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the Tea-Tree and therefore is very potent. Therefore always make sure to dilute it first before using it with your moisturizer. Otherwise, look for formulations with tea-tree oil instead of using it directly from the bottle. Essential oils, if not used in the right concentration, can cause more harm than good.
- Green Tea: This cult-favorite beverage is also an excellent ingredient to look out for in moisturizers. Green tea is highly rich in antioxidants, and therefore they scavenge free radicals. It is common knowledge that free radicals destroy the skin barrier and make the skin vulnerable to environmental damage and inflammation. It also has anti-inflammatory & anti-microbial properties, which help in calming acne breakouts and also clearing them.
Always check the ingredient label when choosing a moisturizer that says ''with Green Tea''. You want the benefits of green tea and not green-tea fragrance.
- Colloidal Oatmeal: Colloidal oatmeal is the extract of finely ground oatmeal that is boiled. This extract is loaded with vitamin E, flavonoids, beta-glucans (antioxidant), minerals, and replenishing lipids. Colloidal oatmeal protects the skin and soothes skin irritation. It also keeps the skin well nourished by holding on to moisture.
- Azelaic Acid: Azelaic Acid is another excellent ingredient to fight acne, treat inflammation and acne scars. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The best part about azelaic acid is that it is mild enough to be used even for sensitive skin.
Always do a patch test before trying any new product for sensitive skin.
Ingredients To Steer Clear Of
Every article on the internet and Beauty Gurus on You-Tube will ask you to stay away from comedogenic ingredients.
But the question is, what are comedogenic ingredients?
Comedogenic ingredients are the ingredients that tend to clog our pores. When your pores are clogged with sebum & dead skin cells, the oil eventually oxidizes, leading to blackheads and whiteheads. When bacteria acts on these clogged pores, the resulting inflammation is what we term acne-breakout or pimples. Therefore it is crucial to stay away from comedogenic ingredients such as coconut oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, Cetearyl alcohol, etc. For the complete components, refer to this list.
Fragrance is an umbrella term for many chemicals used in skincare products to give a pleasant aroma. It is a fragrance that often drives a consumer to buy specific skincare and haircare products because obviously everyone wants to smell like a bowl of fruit salad or a bunch of flowers.
But in all honesty, the fragrance has no benefit in skincare and is the primary cause of skin sensitivity, allergies, and reactions. You don't want to further irritate your already irritated skin by using a moisturizer loaded with fragrance. Go for fragrance-free variants, and your olfactory receptors may not, but our skin will thank you.
You will not believe how common denatured alcohol or alcohol denat in skincare formulations. It is used to make the formulation easily spreadable, and other than that, it offers no additional benefits. But it destroys the protective skin barrier, leading to skin irritation, inflammation, and acne breakouts.
When plagued with comedones, the temptation is to scrub them all away with the grainy/beaded scrubs that come in tubes and tubs. But these physical scrubs cause micro-tears on the skin, leading to more irritation and even more accumulation of dead skin cells in the already clogged pores. Instead, opt for chemical exfoliants (such as Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, etc.), which are, in fact, much gentler and beneficial to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores.
Try: Minimalist Salicylic Acid 2% or Minimalist Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%
Skincare Tips For Acne Prone Skin
To treat acne-prone skin, one cannot merely depend on moisturizers but need a 360-degree approach to skincare and diet.
Always take off any trace of makeup before going to bed. Even if you do not apply makeup, we recommend double cleansing to remove the sunscreen you have been wearing and reapplying throughout the day.
Cutting down on milk and milk products makes a tremendous difference to acne-prone skin. The relation between dairy and acne is those farm animals are treated with hormone injections to boost their milk supply. These hormones are secreted in the milk they yield, and when we consume it, our hormones get disrupted, which triggers acne breakouts.
Stress is behind almost every skin condition these days. We understand life is challenging and busy. But try to calm down & take things easy. Health is the primary wealth. Stay Calm! Stay Beautiful!