Notes for Acne-Prone Skin

Throughout my teenage years, I experienced breakouts here and there and lost my -s*%t about it each and every time. I didn't understand: was it something I was eating? Drinking? Was my face morphing into a sea of oil that couldn't be dealt with? I stuck with drinking water and trying to eat healthier and eventually, it cleared up. But, I never did pay attention to what I was putting on my face. To be honest? I didn't even have a skincare regimen until last December!

This past holiday season, I broke down and went to Sephora. I approached a super cool Latina with piercings and tats galore and confided in her: "Mama, ¡ayúdame, por favor! I've never had a skincare regimen." After buying my first skincare set, a starter kit by Boscia, I was inducted into the world of formalized skincare. It can get overwhelming at times, reading labels, vigorously studying the rundown on the pros and cons of certain products and ingredients, and how those interact with our skin types. 

We've all been told to watch out for harsh ingredients, but what does that even mean? If it's cutely packaged and smells good, usually we just go with that, right? Apparently that's not the best idea! Here are a few ingredients you should avoid when doing your skincare shopping:


For those with acne-prone skin, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  1. Depending on your age, skin and acne type, certain ingredients are more harmful than others. Take the time to get consultations and really understand your skin type.

  2. If you breakout on a particular part of your face, e.g. the cheeks or chin, try avoiding using an acne-specific cleanser and applying that to the entire face. This will compromise the skin's health and possibly contribute to the formation of more pimples in areas that don't have them.

  3. Don't just assume that something is good because it's "organic." Again, all of us have different needs, so really investigate and see if that particular will help or exacerbate the issue.

What to Avoid

Since acne is an inflammatory condition, to the best of your ability, try avoiding the following sneaky bad guys which can cause further inflammation:

  1. Synthetic perfumes: Listen, I luuuuv me all-things fragrant, but be wary if your product contains "fragrance" or "parfum." These are irritants and can lead to further inflammation.
  2. Essential Oils: Again, while they have tons of healing properties, some are way too harsh for acne-prone skin and can further inflame your skin. If you do choose to use essential oils, research which ones would be best for your particular situation. Also, it's always a good idea to dilute them so they're not working too harshly on your skin.
  3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Although it doesn't necessarily roll off the tongue, this is commonly found in cleaners and can cause damage to the protective layer of skin, which means more inflammation.
Djali Brown-Cepeda