My Skincare Routine for Acne Prone Skin: Part 2

skincare for acne products

A little follow up from my last skincare post, breaking down my favorite skincare products by what they do, and how they’ve worked for me!


After my post two weeks ago about Skincare for Acne Prone Skin, I had a lot of questions about which products work for various issues: redness, enlarged pores, brightening your skin, etc.

So today I’m breaking it all down by which products I love that do the best job for various skin issues.

And just as a reminder, I’m not an expert by any means. I’ve just tried a ton of products and tools and want to share my favorites.

What I use for hormonal breakouts

The three things that have worked the best for me are short term prescription use, a natural supplement, a really good face wash, and a spot treatment cream.

Antibiotic prescribed by my dermatologist. I’ve had hormonal acne issues since the moment I hit puberty. Throughout those last 15 years I’ve gone on an antibiotic several times. Once in high school, once in college, once after I stopped nursing one of my babies, and once when I went on a birth control that gave me horrific cystic acne. Each time I’ve taken it for only two months in order to reboot my skin, and it totally works. I don’t like to be on it any longer than that.

DIM Supplement recommended by my OBGYN. I talked about this in Part 1, but it’s an all natural supplement that helps balance your estrogen levels. It’s made a huge difference for me.

Tula Face Cleanser. I talked a lot about this cleanser in Part 1. It cleans my face so well, doesn’t dry it out, and helps keep it really clear. I notice a huge difference when I’m not using it. (use code MERRICKSUMMER for 20% off Tula products!)

Clearasil Spot Treatment CreamEveryone needs a good spot treatment cream for the times a little unwanted blemish pops up. A little goes a long way with this, and it dries it right up. Be careful not to use too much, or it causes a dry, peeling patch.


What I recommend for fine lines or enlarged pores

Retinol Cream. I’m still pretty new to the retinol world, but my dermatologist recommended I use one to help with anti aging AND with acne. I got the Retinol 1.0 from Skinceuticals, and since it’s pretty strong, I only put it on twice a week. I recommend starting with a 0.5 strength and working your way up. It may cause some irritation, redness, and peeling, but once your skin gets used to it, it helps a ton with fine lines and wrinkles.

Collagen Peptides. As I mentioned last week, I saw a noticeable plumpness in my skin within a few days of use. I feel like the skin around my eyes especially looks younger than it has in a few years. Also my pores definitely are smaller.

Derma Roller. I’ve seen the best results from using a derma roller. I have acne scarring from my pregnancies and a few fine lines starting to appear, and I’ve seen a big difference in my skin after using this 1-2 times per week for the last four months. My scars are fading, and the fine lines around my eyes and mouth are definitely smoother.

Tula Face Cleanser. A good face cleanser makes a huge difference with my pores because my face is actually getting super clean and junk doesn’t build up in my pores. This one from TULA is such a fantastic cleanser. (use code MERRICKSUMMER for 20% off Tula products!)


After breakouts, what I use to fade redness and discoloration

Regular Exfoliation. Turning over those skin cells helps redness fade a ton! This exfoliating mask from Tula is my favorite, and also my PMD tool is amazing.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Between regular, good exfoliation and moisturizing, I find that any redness from acne fades so much more quickly. I love Tula’s moisturizer, and also Colleen Rothschild’s. (use code MERRICKSUMMER for 20% off Tula products!)

…And in the mean time while you’re waiting for red spots to fade, I really like Jane Iredale’s BB cream to cover it up because it’s super lightweight but is super pigmented so it has great coverage.


My favorite products to help my skin be less dull and more bright

Last year I realized my skin was looking dull, so I started

Drink lots of water! It’s such a basic tip, but it makes such a difference. Drinking lots of water keeps your skin hydrated and happy.

Collagen Peptides. Like I mentioned above, this is great for helping your skin get back its elasticity and fullness. When I’m taking this regularly, the dullness in my skin fades and it looks overall so much brighter.

Regular Exfoliation. I love a treatment mask with exfoliating beads (this one from Tula is my favorite), and also my PMD tool. I try to use the PMD once a week, followed by an exfoliating mask, and my skin is so soft and glowy the next day! (use code MERRICKSUMMER for 20% off Tula products!)


Other simple things I do that help prevent breakouts

Change your pillowcase frequently. I change mine once or twice a week, but I know some who do it everyday. Putting your face on a clean pillowcase each night will help prevent the spreading of bacteria.

Sleep with your hair up so it doesn’t touch your face. I sleep with my hair in a high ponytail on top of my head. To prevent a crease or bump in my hair, I use a scrunchie or a spiral hair tie. Don’t use a regular hair tie!

Don’t touch your face during the day. Our hands are touching our phones, door knobs, railings, etc all day long, so keep those hands away from your face!

Go to a professional for a facial every few months.  I started going to an esthetician for facials last year when my skin was pretty out of balance. I went in every month for a few months, and now I go in about once a quarter (it can get expensive!). She does extractions of blackheads, gives me a chemical peel, and it completely rejuvenates my skin. If you’re local to Orange County, I recommend Leslie at SkinLiv.


What am I missing?? Tell me if you have any other questions!!


And if you missed part one, check it out right here.


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  1. Michelle says:

    This is all such good advice. I wish i’d had it years ago! I, too, struggled with acne when i was younger (in my 20s) and spent a lot of time on antibiotics. My derm made a lot of suggestions about lifestyle (more sleep, less stress, shorter showers) and diet (less dairy, carbs, sugar…) but i wasn’t ready to hear it. I tortured my skin and eventually went on Accutane, which worked–it really worked!–but which was very expensive (no insurance at the time) and which came with some side effects and a LOT of scary possible side effects. I often wonder how my skin would have fared if i’d just stopped looking for quick fixes and really changed how i approached my skincare. This really does sound like practical, healthy, easy alternatives to medicine. I hope it continues to work for you and your skin only gets more cooperative in time!

    • Merrick says:

      Thanks so much for this comment, Michelle! I’ve had many friends go on Accutane and it’s definitely intense!

  2. CANDICe says:

    Thanks for the tips but I have to say, i love your top! Where is it from?

  3. Claire says:

    I can’t say enough about just having a good face routine. I started a “k Beauty” routine last year and geared it towards acne when it starts to flare. My favorite part is DEFINITELY the two step cleanser: Oil based and then a water based (like the tula). My face has never felt cleaner!

  4. Lisa Hill says:

    Nice article! You are sharing a good skincare routine to deal with acne prone skin. i can add some new steps in my skincare routine. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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