What is Acne-prone Skin? Causes and Prevention

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You are familiar with the word skin type, but you just don’t understand why you have bumps on your face, so what is acne-prone skin?

Caring for acne-prone skin isn’t the easiest thing to do. You have to be mindful of a lot of things from your skincare products to your general lifestyle.

Keep reading to find out why your skin is different and how you can care for it.

What is acne?

Acne is probably the most common skin condition but the word acne is generic.

There are many different types of acne, including whiteheads and blackheads, as well as papules and painful cysts.

Acne could be inflammatory or non-inflammatory.

Non-inflammatory acne is when pores become clogged and look like blackheads or whiteheads. 

It’s mild and it’s more common. Whiteheads are small bumps that look like skin.

Inflammatory acne refers to any acne that is red or has a more obvious look.

This might include everything from little papules and pustules to larger nodules and cysts.

What is acne-prone skin?

Acne-prone skin is the skin type that gets frequent breakouts or acne that never really goes away.

This means that your pores get clogged easily, which makes you more likely to get whiteheads, blackheads, or pustules than people with other skin types.

Dry skin or oily skin is more likely to have acne than normal skin types.

Acne vulgaris is a medical word that refers to a long-term, chronic skin disorder. So it may always be there but in different locations and severity.

If you have acne-prone skin, you’ve probably seen blemishes in different parts of your body.

Breakouts are more likely to occur on your face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders, all of which may take a toll on your self-esteem.

Related: What Causes Oily Skin? | 10 Tips To Control Oily Skin

What is acne-prone skin? What causes breakouts?

Acne-prone skin basically implies break-out-prone skin.

1. Sebum build-up

Sometimes, dead skin cells don’t fall off and stay on the skin.

When this happens, excess sebum is unable to exit the pore and drain away appropriately.

The sebum mixes with the dead skin cells and forms a plug.

2. Overgrowth of bacteria from p.acnes

Once the pore is blocked, it is no longer able to get oxygen. This, combined with sebum, is the perfect place for p.acnes bacteria to grow.

If you have acne, you’re more sensitive to p. Acnes bacteria.

The p.Acnes bacteria live in the duct of the follicle that is blocked. This makes the follicle to be inflamed.

3. Triggered inflammation

When pores become clogged with sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria (p.Acnes), this causes inflammation inside the follicle.

The wall of the follicle can break under the strain of this buildup.

When this happens, pus seeps into the skin and forms pimples, pustules, or papules in the area.

Related: Chin Acne Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Lifestyle changes to treat acne-prone skin

Just make sure your skincare routine is designed to keep oil and bacteria from building up on your face.

Here are the skincare tips for acne-prone skin.

1. Wash your face regularly

You should wash your face twice a day.

You might want to look for a wash that has active ingredients.

Gentle cleansers that don’t have any active ingredients can also help to lessen any irritation caused by acne treatments, as well.

To get rid of dead skin cells, you might want to use an exfoliating cleanser once or twice a week.

2. Go for active ingredients

When choosing active ingredients, you have to consider your skin type and the type of acne you have.

Dermatologists recommend these four ingredients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Adapalene
  • Retinol

Each of these chemicals helps to dry the skin and prevent acne from forming.

“Use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser in the morning and an adapalene or retinol product at night,” says Dr. Alex.

3. Use sun protection

We’ve been preaching about sunscreen forever. If you have acne-prone skin wear oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.

Even if you don’t have acne, it’s important to wear sunscreen because ingredients in acne medications like retinol make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Protecting yourself from the sun is another way to lessen the redness or dark spots that may still be there after acne has healed.

4. Moisturize

It may seem odd to moisturize oily skin, but acne treatments are drying, and it’s critical to keep skin moisturized and protect the face’s natural barrier.

Choose a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic and oil-free, which means it won’t clog pores or cause acne.

5. Don’t over-exfoliate

I know I said to exfoliate, but don’t go overboard with it. Over-exfoliating can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can make it more sensitive and lead to more acne.

6. Avoid oil-based makeup products

Makeup, particularly oil-based and heavy makeup, may clog pores and cause acne. These products make it hard for your skin to breathe.

7. Don’t pop pimples

Picking at or popping pimples not only makes a little pimple larger, and also prolongs healing time and raises the risk of scarring.

What is acne-prone skin? Prescription treatment for acne

There really isn’t a quick fix treatment for acne but you can manage it through skincare and lifestyle changes.

Acne symptoms can be reduced and breakouts can be prevented if you use an effective skincare regimen. 

A daily skincare routine is necessary even if you don’t have acne.

Your doctor may recommend the following prescription drugs to treat severe acne.

1. Antibiotics

To use an antibiotic, you can put it on your skin or take it orally.  Antibiotics clear the skin of bacteria that cause acne and reduce inflammation.

There are creams, gels, solutions, pads, foams, and lotions that can be used on the skin.

Topical antibiotics spread through the body and into sebaceous glands, whereas systemic antibiotics can get into the skin and clear deeper acne.

It’s also true that systemic antibiotics can have more side effects than topical ones. But, they can be used to treat more severe types of acne.

Antibiotics may not treat the underlying causes of acne and it may take many weeks or months to clear it up.

They are often used with other medications that “unclog” follicles.

Related: Body Acne: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

2. Oral contraceptives

Birth control pills are made up of female hormones that work to stop the effects of male hormones (like testosterone) on your acne.

They can only be used by women.

The full effect of oral contraceptives on acne lasts for three to four months.

Some of the side effects are nausea, spotting, breast tenderness, and blood clots.

3. Retinoids or vitamin A derivatives

These medications may be used orally or topically.

Topical retinoids help to clear moderate-to-severe acne by influencing how the skin grows and sheds.

They may be used with conventional acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and oral antibiotics.

Although topical retinoids do not have the severe adverse effects of oral retinoids, they are not advised for pregnant or nursing women.

The most common side effects of topical retinoids include redness, dryness, and itching skin.

This is the only medication that treats all three causes of acne.

It is often effective in treating severe acne that has not responded to previous therapies.

However, the product may have side effects.

It may cause serious birth problems and should never be used by a pregnant woman or a woman who is not taking contraceptives.

4. Azelaic acid

There is also azelaic acid, which comes in a gel, cream, or foam which is known for its anti-bacterial and inflammatory properties.

It is more commonly used to treat another condition called rosacea, but it may help with mild acne as well.

5. Spironolactone

Spironolactone is an oral medication that may inhibit the activity of hormones on the skin’s oil glands.

This medicine is not FDA-approved for acne treatment, but it is particularly beneficial for women who suffer acne that worsens around menstruation and menopause.

Related: What Causes Itching Of The skin? Treatment for Itchy Skin

What is acne-prone skin? -FAQs

These are the questions you’ve been asking about acne-prone skin, the answers you’ll love are right here.

Can I skip moisturizer if I have acne?


Even if you have active acne, you should always moisturize your skin.

The idea that moisturizing your face can make your acne worse is wrong.

You need to moisturize to keep your acne-prone skin relaxed.

Is Vaseline good for acne?

The answer is no.

According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, if you have acne-prone skin, Vaseline can make your skin flare-up.

If you’re having a breakout, don’t put petroleum jelly on your face. This will make it worse.

If you have acne-prone skin, there are a lot of other ways to moisturize.

Is honey good for acne?

Raw honey helps to keep the bacteria on your skin in balance. This makes it a great natural treatment for acne.

Plus, honey helps your skin cells heal faster meaning acne scars heal faster too.

Is Aloe Vera good for acne?

Aloe vera has antibacterial properties that can help control and reduce the bacteria that cause acne just like cinnamon and honey.

By combining all three for an at-home spa treatment, you’ll increase your chances of having smooth, acne-free skin.


Having acne-prone skin can really get in the way of your entire well-being. It’s frustrating, we know.

But thanks to the tips we’ve shared with you in this article, you know just how to get the most out of your acne-prone skin.

So go, live your best life!

If you have questions about this article? Kindly drop it in the comment box below, we will be happy to help you.

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