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The Best AM & PM Skin Care Routine for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Dealing with an oily skin type, shiny complexion, or acne breakouts? With the right care and topical treatments, these skin issues can be minimized. Here is our simple, step-by-step AM & PM skin care guide to maintain clear, healthy skin.

Updated December 25, 2021 by Amanda Dixon

Best Products for oily and acne prone skin

Sticking to a morning and evening skin care regimen is imperative to experience positive skin changes. Here is our AM & PM guide for oily, acne-prone skin types:


Morning Skin Care Routine:

  • Cleanse: Our skin works to shed dead skin cells and produce oils while we sleep. It is therefore important to wash your face every morning. The skin may feel clean but we want to prevent dead skin cell buildup in the pores and wash away excess oils. The skin can be cleansed with water in the morning or a simple salicylic acne face wash.
  • Tone: Once the skin is cleansed, follow up with a facial toner. Many toners on the market are formulated with acne-fighting exfoliating agents including glycolic and lactic acid. We recommend using a facial toner a few times a week to slough off dead skin cells and clear the pores.
  • Treat: Next, apply a spot treatment to any active pimples. Benzoyl peroxide and sulfur spot treatments are highly effective and can be worn under makeup.
  • Moisturize: Even oily skin types need hydration! Opt for a lightweight, oil-free, water-based moisturizer on a daily basis to protect your delicate skin barrier.
  • Protect: Lastly, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ daily to protect your skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays. Sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide can help prevent future acne breakouts.


Evening Skin Care Routine:

  • Cleanse: Once your makeup has been removed, (we love using a cleansing balm or cleansing oil for this step), wash the skin with a face cleanser. Effective acne-fighting ingredients found in facial washes include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy acids, and sulfur.
  • Tone: Once the skin is clean, follow up with a facial toner. Many toners on the market are gentle enough to be used twice daily. However, if the face toner includes powerful acne-fighting actives including glycolic or lactic acid, reduce use to once a day or every other day. Slowly incorporate new actives into your routine to avoid skin irritation or dryness.
  • Treat: Next, apply a spot treatment to any active pimples. This step doesn’t have to be followed every morning and evening—overusing spot treatments can lead to irritation! Alternating days and always following up with a hydrating moisturizer is recommended.
  • Moisturize: Lastly, apply a rich cream to seal in moisture and repair the skin barrier overnight.


The Best Products for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Here are some of our favorite products that help fight against acne and control oil production:


  • LED Light Therapy Device: Lightstim for Acne - LED light therapy has been proven to be an effective acne treatment, with no negative side effects. This bestselling device uses NASA LED technology, combining red and blue LEDs to fight acne and calm the skin at the same time. Regular usage results in fewer breakouts and a reduction in redness and inflammation.
  • Cleanser: PCA Skin BPO 5% Cleanser - A powerful daily acne-fighting cleanser, this facial wash is formulated with 5% benzoyl peroxide to unclog the pores, treat existing blemishes, and prevent future breakouts. Gluconolactone and botanical extracts help soothe and calm the skin.
  • Spot Treatment: PCA Skin Acne Cream - This fast-acting benzoyl peroxide acne spot treatment supports breakout control while soothing the skin. This cream can be used at night or worn under makeup during the daytime. Lactic acid and tea tree oil promote a clear complexion while polyhydroxy acid gluconolactone leaves the skin soft, smooth, and comforted.
  • Moisturizer: Origins Clear Improvement™ Pore Clearing Moisturizer with Bamboo Charcoal - This oil-free moisturizing cream keeps the skin hydrated while helping to treat acne and prevent future blemishes. Its unique formulation includes bamboo charcoal and 1% salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and unclog the pores.
  • Tinted Sunscreen: Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Tinted Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45 - This mineral sunscreen is formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, protecting the skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays. These ingredients are also unlikely to cause acne breakouts compared to other facial sunscreens on the market. The lightweight skin tint helps blur imperfections and redness, giving the skin a naturally radiant complexion.

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