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sensitive acne prone skin

How to Care For Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin

Here are our expert tips on how to care for sensitive acne-prone skin.
10 Aug 2020
Sensitive and Acne Prone Skin

For those suffering with sensitive, hyper-reactive skin, breakouts are often a regular and unwelcome occurrence. However, it can be hard to find products that are both gentle enough to nurture sensitive skin, which often requires hydration, while also being effective on breakouts which are often a result of oiliness.


Breakouts aren’t only for teenagers and can occur in adults too, especially when they are prone to having sensitive skin already. This type of complexion is hyper-reactive to its environment, often becoming red, flaky, spotty and inflamed and feeling itchy, hot and uncomfortable when triggered. This is because, for one reason or another, the barrier function of the skin has been compromised. Pimples are a very visual sign that skin is struggling to cope. They are usually a result of an over-production of sebum by the hair follicles in the skin. This oily substance mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria and clogs the hair follicle causing spots to form.

Acne-prone, sensitive skin may be genetic or because of certain lifestyle choices. Environmental effects like UVA rays in sunlight, pollution and temperature can all serve to make skin more sensitive. Stress, lack of exercise, poor diet and habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, can also affect skin health and cause breakouts, as can the hormonal fluctuations which occur around puberty, pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. Allergies to products and foods is another reason why sensitive skin might break out.


A regular skincare routine will go a long way to improving problem skin. For best results choose carefully selected products that work both to soothe sensitive skin and calm breakouts.

For hypo-allergenic, paraben-free products that tackle pimples and are specially designed for sensitive, problem skin, La Roche Posay’s Effaclar range is an excellent solution. The products help to balance sensitive, oily, breakout-prone skin, without being overly drying or weighing the skin down. However, no matter how much a product suits, it can’t perform well in isolation so a good beauty routine is key.

  1. CLEANSE - For maximum benefit, skin should be thoroughly cleansed morning and evening before a product or treatment is applied. Try a foaming cleanser in the morning like La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel and a cleansing water such as Effaclar Purifying Micellar Water in the evening, which removes make-up whilst respecting the sensitivity of problem skin. Both formulas are enriched with La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water and Zinc Pidolate which helps to control sebum production.
  2. TONE - Serozinc is a toning micro-mist designed for oily, blemish-prone skin, which offers immediate anti-shine and pore tightening benefits. It purifies and soothes the feel of the skin too and can be used throughout the day for an instantly mattifying effect.
  3. MOISTURISE - while it may seem counterintuitive to moisturise skin which is already oily, it is important to replace the moisture stripped out by the cleansing process and rebalance skin so that it can perform at its optimum level. Skin which is overly dry will encourage an emergency response by the cells, and may encourage more sebum production. Effaclar Mat rehydrates skin whilst also controlling excess sebum and being anti-shine and anti-humidity.
  4. COVER - The psychological stress problem-skin often causes in the sufferer can actually make the problem worse. It’s key to find a cover-up solution that is effective at perfecting the complexion and evening out skin tone, whilst not exacerbating pimples. Effaclar BB Blur is a daily moisturiser which gives a mat finish. Containing BB pigment this ultra-light formula visibly fades the look of pores, fine lines and redness.
  5. PROTECT – The Anti-shine invisible Mist SPF 50 is a micro mist spray that truly feels invisible and airlysium used by NASA and absorbs up to 100 times it’s weight in sebum.


A few simple changes to lifestyle can really ring the changes to a bad complexion. An effective beauty regime needs to take an holistic approach to skin health that addresses diet, exercise, sleep and stress levels.

  • Increase fluid intake - Sensitive skin is often caused because the skin becomes dehydrated, meaning that it’s not able to function as a barrier effectively. Continued exposure to the sun, exercise, alcohol consumption and stress will all serve to dehydrate skin further, especially as it ages. Drink at least eight glasses of pure, filtered water daily to help your body detoxify and retain moisture.
  • Reduce stress – prolonged periods of stress, often accompanied by poor nutrition and reduced fluid intake are known to inhibit the natural functions of the skin, meaning that it is unable to repair itself properly. Sleep - the simple act of getting a good night’s sleep can greatly increase the appearance of youthful skin as the body needs this quiet time to repair and rejuvenate.
  • Increase fitness levels – Regular exercise encourages more oxygen to circulate in the cells which has a rejuvenating effect on skin. Eat healthily - A diet enriched with plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables along with lean protein and omega 3’s from oily fish, seeds and nuts, will all help the skin to repair and rejuvenate.

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