Top 5 skincare tips for people suffering with acne vulgaris

Hannah Wilson

Let’s face it - acne is the arch nemesis of a glowing complexion. Between its papules and its pustules, the face-faulting skin condition can really knock your confidence. Here at Face Dr, we know how important it is to have healthy, happy skin and we know just what to do to keep angry acne symptoms at bay. 

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that not all acne is made equal. In this article, we’re going to be sharing five skin-saving tips to help with acne vulgaris. Don’t be put off by the fancy terminology - this is just the scientific name for common acne which triggers a range of spots including:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Papules 
  • Pustules

NOTE: If you find you’re suffering with cysts (large, angry spots which are roaring with puss and resemble boils) you most likely have cystic acne. This is a more severe acne type and should be treated with prescribed medication. We can help with this too. Just email us at for more information. Sound like something you’re interested in? Book a free online consultation with one of our skin experts


With that in mind - these are our top five tips for people suffering with acne vulgaris...

#1 Cleanse, then cleanse again

Acne vulgaris is caused by clogged pores. Whether it’s bacteria, excess sebum or dirt, if it builds up in our skin with nowhere to go it’s going to cause breakouts. Keeping spots at bay starts with decongesting those all-important exit routes.

A super-simple way to make sure you do this is by introducing double cleansing to your skincare routine. Gone are the days of haphazardly removing the day’s dirt with a makeup wipe. If you suffer with acne, trust us, it’s worth the extra step - and your skin will thank you for it:

Stage 1: Remove makeup, excess sebum and any SPF products with a cleansing product. These are available throughout the market at a range of price points, so find one that fits your budget, and speak to a skincare professional if you need help choosing the right one for your skin. If you're looking to invest a little bit more in healthy skin, select a medical-grade professional product, like the cleansers we have here

NOTE: Avoid any oil/micellar combi products as these may clog your pores more and exacerbate your acne symptoms.

Stage 2: Once you’ve got all that grime off your skin, double-cleanse if necessary with a water-based cleanser that promises to penetrate deep into your pores. The ZO Exfoliating Cleanser is a great option for this step as it cleanses gently without stripping your skin. If you’d like to find out whether it’s the right product for you, speak to one of our skin experts.

man using skincare products for acne

#2 Use non-comedogenic products

Double cleansing is all well and good, but when you suffer with acne you need to make sure you’re avoiding any pore-cloggers at all costs. Look out for the phrase ‘non-comedogenic’ (skin speak for ‘will not clog pores and break you out’) when making a new purchase. 

As a general rule of thumb, steer clear of anything that feels really thick and balmy. Chances are these kinds of products won’t do your skin any favours.

#3 Resist the urge squeeze and pick

We know, we know. It’s so tempting to press, pick and prod those pesky little pustules but you. must. resist. Think about everything you touch throughout the day with your hands. 

Bacteria loves to build up under fingernails. If you’re squeezing and picking spots, you’re just adding all those nasties to your already suffering skin. Not only that, you’re also damaging the skin’s protective barrier, creating openings for even more dirt and germs to worm their way in. Not good. 

Squeezing spots can also result in you actually pushing the build up further into your skin - it’s all too easy to press puss and bacteria back down the follicle while squeezing. So, in general, this is an activity you’d be better off avoiding.

woman looking in mirror after using skincare products for acne

#4 Don’t scrub or use rough exfoliants

A common misconception people have of acne vulgaris is that you need to use all manner of vigorous products and processes to get rid of it - but the opposite is true. 

If you suffer with acne vulgaris, your skin is actually incredibly sensitive and needs to be treated with great care and sensitivity. With that in mind, coarse exfoliants and rough scrubs need to be taken off the anti-acne agenda immediately. We usually recommend gentle exfoliation when following a medical-grade skincare routine, but all of our exfoliants are gentle and suitable for acne-prone skin. A lot of the exfoliants out there on the market aren't, so be aware.

Yes, it’s vital that you break down and remove those dead skin cells, but you can do it without damaging your dermal layer with excessively abrasive products. Opt for acids instead (such as glycolic, salicylic and lactic acid products) which will exfoliate your skin gently without being too rough. 

#5 Always wear SPF

Most of us are guilty of skipping SPF at some point or another, but it really is the cardinal sin of skincare - and there’s never an excuse not to wear it. It protects your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays which prevents premature aging, sunburn and can even curb spots and fine lines. 

That being said, we understand that sun creams haven’t built a good reputation for themselves over the years. The thick and oily stuff your parents slathered on you at the beach is an acne breakout’s best friend. But, you’ll be pleased to know that those greasy eye-stinging formulas are not your only option. 

Use SPFs that have been specially formulated for acne-prone skin. Infrared rays from the sun can actually cause flare ups and irritate already angry skin, so this is a step you should never skip. Again, look for something that’s non-comedogenic with SPF30 (at the very least) running through the formula.

Time for expert advice? 

Face Dr expert giving skincare consultation for acne

By following these pointers, that can be easily introduced to your skincare routine, you should see some noticeable improvements in your skin. We hope these top tips take the edge off your acne and help curb those bothersome breakouts.

If you’re after a little more guidance and want to know more about your skin, our highly trained skincare experts at Face Dr can help. They’ve got years of experience and will be able to prescribe pharma-grade skincare products with higher concentrations of those all-important active ingredients. 

All you need to do is book a free online consultation. It’s as simple as that. We’ll  only recommend products from our trusted partners at ZO Skin Health and AllSkin Med, but there’s no pressure to purchase. We’ll just give you all the information you need and it’s up to you what you do with it.

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