Acne Skincare That Works: Dr Tanya’s Top Tips for Acne-Prone Skin

Written by: Georgie Steele



Time to read 5 min

If you suffer with acne or acne flare-ups, we know how frustrating skincare can be! The constant battle with breakouts, oiliness, and inflammation can make finding the right skincare routine feel like a daunting task.

Plus, if you came here after receiving ‘Acne-Prone’ on your Skin Quiz result, you’re in the right place.

We spoke to Dr Tanya about the best ways to go about acne skincare , including gentle yet effective product recommendations and how to approach your skincare ritual.

Understanding Acne-Prone Skin

Acne-prone skin is often characterised by enlarged pores, excess oil production, and a higher susceptibility to breakouts. There are several different types of acne , from whiteheads and blackheads to nodules and cysts.

While there are different treatment options that are better suited to each kind of acne, Dr Tanya generally recommends three key areas to focus on if you suffer from acne:

  • Control oil production

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Maintain a balanced skincare routine

Typical blackheads and whiteheads can often be effectively treated using targeted skincare products like vitamin A serums and glycolic acid products . More inflammatory acne types like papules and pustules, however, may require stronger over-the-counter topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide , topical retinoid, or even birth control pills.

Dr Tanya encourages you to speak to your GP or a dermatologist before trying any new products for your acne, as some of these OTC products can cause side-effects.

Oily Skin: The Culprit of Acne?

While acne can have other causes like hormones and genetics, there’s another big factor that can lead to or make acne worse: oily skin . But oil in our skin isn’t all bad – in fact, it’s actually very beneficial.

Oily skin results from an overproduction of sebum , the natural waxy substance that locks in moisture and protects your skin. This is obviously essential for skin health, but it’s when sebum levels get too high that shine, clogged pores, and acne can start to take over.

A consistent skincare routine can help manage and reduce oiliness over time. For underlying medical issues contributing to oily skin, seeking advice from a doctor can provide targeted solutions. 

Woman looks at her skin in the mirror

Do I Have Acne-Prone Skin?

Not sure whether you have acne-prone skin, or if something else might be more accurate for your skin? Learn how to accurately determine your skin type in our comprehensive guide, which outlines all the different skin types and walks you through an at-home skin test to help you figure it out.

Alternatively, take Dr Tanya’s Skin Quiz for quick answers and personalised skincare ritual recommendations.

But for now, let’s get into Dr Tanya’s top 7 tips for managing acne-prone skin. 

Tip 1: Cleanse Gently and Effectively

Cleansing is the cornerstone of any skincare routine, especially when it comes to acne skincare. It's crucial to remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

Dr Tanya's Miracle Cream Cleanser provides a perfect balance of thorough cleansing and gentle exfoliation, making it an ideal choice for acne-prone skin. This doctor-formulated product:

  • Gently exfoliates with 5% Glycolic Acid

  • Removes impurities without stripping natural oils

  • Is suitable for all skin types

Hot tip: Double cleanse your face at night to remove sweat, excess oil, and bacteria that can clog pores. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Woman holds a serum dropper

Tip 2: Use Hydrating and Anti-Inflammatory Serums

Hydration is key for acne-prone skin. Many people mistakenly avoid moisturisers, thinking they will make their skin oilier. However, dehydrated skin can actually produce more oil to compensate, leading to more breakouts.

The solution? Hydrating and anti-inflammatory serums that balance the skin without adding extra oil.

Our Holy Basil Face Serum is a powerhouse of soothing and hydrating ingredients, perfect for calming acne and keeping your skin balanced. This serum:

  • Is jam-packed with the anti-inflammatory properties of Holy Basil

  • Balances and hydrates skin

  • Reduces redness and irritation

Hot tip: Vitamin A serums can work wonders for acne-prone skin. Just be aware of the higher concentration of these serums, as they can also cause side effects like redness and more sensitivity to UV. 

Tip 3: Exfoliate Regularly But Gently

Exfoliation helps to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells, preventing them from contributing to acne. However, it's important to exfoliate gently to avoid irritating already sensitive skin.

The NuSonic Facial Exfoliator offers a gentle, at-home exfoliation experience that helps keep acne-prone skin clear without causing irritation. This holy grail of exfoliators has so many benefits, including:

  • Gentle yet effective exfoliation

  • Enhances skin texture and tone

  • Suitable for acne-prone skin

  • Can be used easily with your existing cleanser, meaning you can combine your cleansing and exfoliating steps into one

Hot tip: How often should you exfoliate your acne-prone skin? Dr Tanya recommends anywhere from one to three times per week using a gentle exfoliator like the Dr Tanya NuSonic device. However, as always, we recommend seeking professional advice before starting any skincare routine, as all skin is unique and requires a customised approach.

Woman holds an open pot of moisturiser

Tip 4: Moisturise with Lightweight Formulas

Moisturising is essential for maintaining the skin's barrier function and preventing overproduction of oil. For acne skincare, it's best to opt for lightweight, oil-free moisturisers that hydrate without clogging pores.

Dr Tanya's Radiant Day Cream is formulated to deliver hydration and protection without adding extra weight or oil to your skin, making it a staple in any acne skincare routine. This must-have moisturiser:

  • Is lightweight and oil-free

  • Provides long-lasting hydration

  • Soothes and protects the skin

Tip 5: Incorporate Targeted Treatments

Spot treatments and serums specifically designed for acne can be incredibly effective in reducing breakouts and preventing new ones from forming.

Look for ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which target acne-causing bacteria and unclog pores.

A woman’s neck in the sun with shadows

Tip 6: Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Sun exposure can worsen acne and lead to hyperpigmentation . Protecting your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential. Opt for non-comedogenic formulas that won't clog your pores.

Hot tip: Some acne medications can further increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV . Along with sunscreen, always wear a hat and higher-coverage clothing when going outside during the middle of the day when UV rays are at their highest.

Tip 7: Maintain a Consistent Routine

Dr Tanya’s final tip may sound obvious, but it’s actually the most important when dealing with acne. Frequent changes in products can lead to irritation and breakouts, and simply don’t give the original products time to work.

Consistency is key in any skincare routine, but particularly for those with acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association , acne takes time to respond to treatments , and typically doesn’t show major results for around 4-6 weeks (sometimes longer).

It can feel fruitless at the beginning, but it’s best to stick to a routine that works for you and be patient; results take time.

Hot tip: Consistency is crucial, but not if a particular product is causing a bad reaction or making your acne flare up. If you do notice any adverse reactions to a topical treatment or medication, stop using it immediately and consult your doctor.

Woman applies skincare products to her face in the mirror

Nail Your Acne Skincare Ritual

Managing acne-prone skin may seem challenging, but with the right approach and products, you can start to achieve a clear and healthy complexion. To kickstart your acne skincare ritual , try these staple Dr Tanya products:

Remember, patience and consistency are crucial. Embrace these tips and watch your skin transform!

Further reading: How to Build a Skincare Ritual: The AM to PM Guide to Glowing Skin