10 Products to Gift Someone With Acne-Prone Skin

10 Products to Gift Someone With Acne-Prone Skin

November 19, 2021

As someone with super sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin (yeah, it's not fun), I kind of hate receiving beauty products from my family for the holidays. Don't get me wrong, I'm a skincare junkie and love testing out new products as much as the next person. But it just seems like every time I receive some TikTok-trending, celebrity-endorsed product that swears to clear my skin, I end up even more broken out than before. So then those pretty, shiny bottles just sit in my medicine cabinet collecting dust or tempting me to give them another try all to result in another bout of acne.

But there are products out there that I have found to be tried and true for my delicate skin — gentle enough not to irritate, but strong enough to diminish even the most stubborn pimples.

When shopping for someone with combo skin, New York City-based board certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King advises staying away from products with potentially comedogenic ingredients that will lead to clogged pores (like coconut oil). Or ask them if any of their current fail-proof products need to be refilled this holiday season. "They may be very experienced figuring out what works for their skin so consider sticking with products they already know and like," says Dr. King.

But if you don't know where to start I've rounded up my acne-prone skin wishlist, chock full of my favorite products or ones that I'm dying to try, recommended by the experts. You can shop this list for your friend or family members with sensitive skin or add the links to your own wishlist. Heck, maybe you're just in the spirit for some self-gifting, so go ahead and treat yourself. 'Tis the season after all.

It all starts with a good cleanser, and Dr. King loves this AcneFree Oil-Free Cleanser. “Benzoyl peroxide is helpful for treating acne because it not only kills bacteria that contribute to acne, but also helps to prevent and clear out clogged pores,” she says. “Micronized formulations are great because they cause less irritation to the skin, and they stabilize the molecule so the shelf life can be longer.” And at $6 a bottle, this effective cleanser makes for the perfect stocking stuffer.

Board certified dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer MacGregor from Union Square Laser Dermatology in NYC swears by these inexpensive salicylic acid pads that promise to clean, exfoliate, and prevent pimples without irritation. “Salicylic acid concentrates in the pore to dissolve keratin plugs and work as a penetration agent to help other topicals get in and work better,” she tells us. An added bonus? Dr. MacGregor says they’re gentle enough to use every morning.

“Adapalene is a third-generation retinoid with proven efficacy and tolerability for the treatment of acne,” says Dr. King. “It has been studied in numerous clinical trials that have demonstrated high efficacy and lower risk of skin irritation.” 

She adds that this OTC medication also as anti-inflammatory properties, with a decreased risk of irritation. Her favorite is the Adapalene Gel from La Roche-Posay.

This item is a bit of a splurge, which is exactly why it’s on my wishlist this year. This vitamin C serum can prevent oil oxidation that leads to unwanted to breakouts, plus, it’s formulated with acne and oily-prone skin in mind. Silymarin (milk thistle extract), l-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid, and salicylic acid all work to improve texture, treat blemishes, reduce pores and fine lines, and protect from environmental elements. 

Much like the La Roche-Posay topical gel, this Differin formula (which used to be prescription only but is now OTC) contains Adapalene, a retinoid that works to clear skin by regulating your skin cell turnover rate. “It’s light, so you can use it in the a.m. or p.m., and just a pea size amount under a moisturizer can work wonders,” Dr. MacGregor tells us.

This is one of my personal favorites that I swear by and use every night before bed. If you ever feel a pimple coming on — especially one of those hard, painful under-the-surface ones — apply this naturally drying paste on it overnight and the pimple will magically disappear. The charcoal pulls out any impurities or white heads while sulfur dries and witch hazel treats.

Another great AcneFree product that Dr. King loves is the Blackhead Removing Exfoliating Face Scrub with 2% Salicylic Acid and Charcoal Jojoba. She says salicylic acid is great for penetrating your pores to “gently exfoliate and remove sebum,” while the charcoal helps to absorb oil and pull out impurities.

Everyone loves a little self-indulgence — and kicking back with a face mask or two is a great way to do just that. But so often, masks have other ingredients that can be irritating for sensitive skin. Dr. King recommends treating yourself with the Loops Clean Slate Face Mask. “This mask is rich in aloe vera, volcanic ash, and bambusa water, designed to hydrate, cleanse and soothe,” says King. Plus, it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, drying alcohol, or mineral oil, so that you actually do some good for your skin during your next self-care sesh.

Believe or not, healthy clear skin starts with hydration. So the first step after cleansing (and toning if you choose) should be a hyaluronic acid to seal in moisture and prep your skin for the rest of your products. This Face Gym Hydro-Bound serum contains hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide to smooth texture while hydrating. Plus, it comes with a QR code you can scan to access a plumping and sculpting face workout to go along with the product.

Feeling a pimple come in is kind of the worst, especially when you have New Year’s parties to attend. Instead of panicking and picking, grab the InnBeauty Project Overnight pimple paste to dry that sucker right up. Dr. King says that oregano and thyme essential oils have antimicrobial properties that “help kill the bacteria propionibacterium acnes and staphylococcus epidermidis, two of the major acne-associated bacteria.” She adds that they can even prevent future breakouts while treating current blemishes on the surface.

Source: Read Full Article