Acne-Prone Skin? Here's How To Care For It

Our inbox, Instagram DMs and website live chat are flooded every single day with similar questions: “I have (fill in the blank) skin. What’s the best way to care for it?”

So we’ve put together a new blog post series to help you navigate the products, practices and routines that best support where your skin is at today. With the ever-evolving nature of skin depending on seasons, stress levels or lifestyle shifts, you may find yourself moving from one post to another and taking a few topical suggestions from one and a couple self-care practices from another. And we 100% support that. 🙂

While we’ve compiled our go-to solutions for caring for specific skin conditions, we always recommend letting your skin guide you. Feel it out, play with products and enjoy the process!

Alright, here we go, post #1.

These are our top tips for adult acne, problematic pre-teen skin and every breakout in-between.


If you’re prone to pimples, the best way to care for these flare-ups is to start at the source.

Since our skin is a reflection of what’s going on beneath the surface, it’s essential to work with the entire body for beautiful, healthy skin. Our tissues, organs and systems are all interconnected, so while it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an acne flare-up, we can trust that our skin is trying to tell us something.

We can’t stress enough how essential lymphatic drainage is for a clear, healthy, balanced complexion. The lymphatic system is our body’s natural cleansing system and helps to detoxify and purify the skin + body. But when this system is blocked or when lymph fluid becomes stagnant, it causes toxic buildup in tissues – leading to blemishes, blackheads, congestion and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Here are a few quick tips to stimulate lymph flow, flush out toxins and treat breakouts:

  • Oil Cleansing Method: It’s not the oil formulation that will boost lymphatic fluid (although it’s also must for clear skin – more on the OCM later!), but the facial massage is where the magic happens. Not only is this step crucial for proper cleansing, but consistent facial massage seriously promotes a healthy lymphatic system.
  • Dry brushing: These light, simple strokes (starting from your feet and brushing towards you your heart) stimulate lymph flow throughout the entire body to detoxify buildup + waste. A regular dry brushing practice is key for radiant skin and a healthy body.
  • Facial Gua Sha: This smooth gemstone tool + light pulling technique works with the skin by clearing blockages + buildup of toxins and excess fluid. Just remember to work around (not directly over!) any active acne to help create pathways of healing to the breakout. Shop our pure jade Gua Sha stones here!
  • Healthy movement: Exercise helps to facilitate the flow of lymph and natural removal of toxins in the body. Move your body in a way you enjoy to make it a part of your daily clear skincare routine!

Along with our lymphatic system, our endocrine system (aka hormones!) continue to play a huge part in the health of our skin. Our hormones can often be in flux or become imbalanced, especially with the burden of our toxic diets + environments and lead to acne-prone complexions. If vital organs (like our liver and kidneys) are being overworked or overloaded with toxins from chemical-laden products, processed foods or artificial hormones, it relies on the skin for support in filtering out waste and toxins. Simply put: skin becomes more prone to breakouts.

Here are a few simple ways to help bring your hormones back into balance and clear up blemishes:

  • De-stress: Chronic stress creates a spike of cortisol (our body’s primary stress hormone) which spikes inflammation within the body and makes skin more prone to breakouts. For clear skin, incorporate more stress-relieving practices (we love taking epsom salt baths, learning to say “no”, and keeping a gratitude journal) into your day-to-day.
  • Whole foods: Focus on adding in more nutrient-dense, whole foods + healthy, healing fats (like avocado, EVOO, walnuts, wild-caught salmon, and even Evening Primrose Oil) to your daily diet to help resolve hormonal fluctuations, replenish vitamin deficiencies and fight internal inflammation that often cause acne. And try to steer clear of a few inflammation-inducing foods: gluten, refined sugars, dairy and highly processed oils (aka canola, cottonseed, and soybean).
  • Adaptogens: These powerhouse herbs help the body adapt to stressors and have an incredible balancing effect on hormones – and acne-prone skin. We especially love this one and this one for coping with stress, calming inflammation + clear skin support. Their health benefits build over time so be sure to include small amounts into your diet daily.


So you’ve got skin that’s more prone to breaking out than most… and you’re hesitant to incorporate new products into your skincare routine for fear of pimples raising their (white) heads. We hear you. And we’re here to help.

While you may feel like a teenager again when you see a pimple appear, the last thing you want to do is revert back to old habits of treating it. Leave drugstore cleansers, harsh ingredients, aggressive scrubs, picking, and prescriptions in the past. The majority of skincare on the market is made with cheap, toxic ingredients that actually aggravate acne and is one of the biggest contributors to our toxic load.

Here’s our tried + true guide for a simple skincare routine that powerfully supports acne-prone skin:

  • Step 1: Cleanse. First things first. Girl, wash your face. (Any other Rachel Hollis fans out there?! 😉 ) Cleansing is a must for creating a clear complexion. And I’m going to give it to you straight – cleansing wipes or just plain water won’t cut it. When it comes to washing your face, this is the one step where you want to spend a little extra time + show your skin a little more love. Enter: Oil Cleansing Method. This age-old method of cleansing utilizes expertly-formulated skin-loving oils (and lymph boosting facial massage!) to purify pores, dissolve buildup and actually balance oil production. Here’s a video tutorial to show you exactly how to do it!
  • Step 2: Tone. Look for toners with pure plant extracts, essential oils and antibacterial ingredients to help prevent and calm acne, redness + inflammation. We suggest pouring this clear skin toner onto an organic cotton round and sweeping across skin morning (as your first step in your routine) and night (after oil cleansing) for a clear, balanced complexion. The organic raw + unfiltered apple cider vinegar balances pH levels and contains powerful healing enzymes, while organic tea tree essential oil disinfects and organic lavender essential oil heals and regenerates.
  • Step 3: Treat. Serums are skin superfoods with potent levels of pure essential oils and active ingredients to target and treat specific skin conditions – in this case, acne + inflammation. Our customers have been completely obsessed with our brand new Clarifying Serum to minimize inflammation + breakouts, brighten uneven skin tone and clarify the complexion. Anti-bacterial and brightening ingredients (including Turmeric Oil, Marula Oil and Green Tea) balance oil production, purify pores, and diminish discoloration from acne scarring to create clear, glowing skin. And it does just that – almost overnight.
  • Step 4: Hydrate. It may come as a shock, but even oil-rich skin needs hydration. Skin that is stripped with scrubs, harsh cleansers or chemicals (which sadly, is often the go-to acne protocol) can go into a state of shock and start to overproduce sebum to make up for the lack of oil. The outcome? Excess oils and even more acne. So when searching for a moisturizer to balance already oily + acne-prone skin, it may sound counterintuitive, but steer clear of oil-free formulas. We can’t say it enough – healthy, skin-loving oils are really, really good for your skin. And this Blue Tansy Beauty Cream is one of our favorites for calming inflammation without clogging pores! Apply a light layer before bed to deeply nourish acne-prone skin while you sleep.

Believe it or not, acne doesn’t have to be something you just accept as your skin’s fate or an issue you have to fight against. Your skin is brilliant + absolutely beautiful and these simple practices + skincare products are a powerful place to start in caring for acne-prone skin.

Stay tuned for more skin-specific products + customized support launching soon to care for your acne-prone skin! And as always, please share your go-to clear skin tips in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear what has been helpful for you in creating a clear complexion! XO


From adult acne, problematic pre-teen skin and every breakout in-between, these are the products + practices to care for acne-prone skin. Click here! | Primally Pure Skincare

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Courtney O’Connor

Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.