7 acne-targeting products to add to your daily skincare routine, according to a dermatologist
Written by Lucy Partington
Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.
Ever wondered what products a consultant dermatologist relies on to keep their skin in check? Here, Dr Anjali Mahto shares her daily routine.
Dr Anjali Mahto has been a consultant dermatologist for over 16 years and has experienced her own acne issues since she was 12. Having suffered with the skin condition most of her life, she’s spent her career educating people, raising awareness and working to reduce stigma while tirelessly promoting skin positivity.
It’s also the reason she’s opened her own clinic, Self London, which is a first-of-its-kind thanks to the fact it specialises in acne and acne scarring. “We have been talking about body image for some time, but skin and its impact are often neglected. The shame, judgment, fear and anxiety are a daily reality for many of those with it,” says Dr Mahto.
Acne affects more than 80% of people in their life, with 20% going on to suffer from scarring, so it’s something that many of us have – or will – experience. While it’s important to note that some acne cannot be treated with skincare alone (if it’s cystic or painful, or if the products you’re using aren’t working, it’s worth booking in for a consultation with your GP or dermatologist) it’s important to ensure you have a routine in place that won’t exacerbate the issue.
Dr Mahto says she’s tried most products when it comes to managing her own acne. “It rarely changes from the following format, but I do swap out some products for similar ones occasionally – I like to be able to recommend the best things for my patients, so that includes trialling the newest releases for myself,” she says.
Keep scrolling to discover the current routine she’s got in place.
A consultant dermatologist’s morning skincare routine
CeraVe Hydrating Cream to Foam Cleanser
This is a fantastic cleanser that is suitable for most skin types. It’s fragrance-free and full of ingredients that thoroughly, but gently, cleanse the skin. It contains one of my favourite ingredients – ceramides – which help keep your skin barrier strong, and I like that it starts off as a cream and then lathers into a creamy foam. It’s brilliant, and I use it in the evening, too, as there’s no need to use something different unless you want to (I find it does a really good job at removing make-up, but I will still follow it up with a second use to ensure my skin is thoroughly cleansed, ready for the next step).
Shop CeraVe Hydrating Cream to Foam Cleanser at Boots, £12.50
SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture Cream
Next, I use a moisturiser. Using a separate moisturiser and sunscreen isn’t always necessary – if your sunscreen is moisturising enough – but sometimes I do like to layer this in if my skin is feeling on the drier side, especially at this time of year. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t feel too greasy or heavy on the skin, making it ideal for acne-prone and oily skin types.
Shop SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture Cream at LookFantastic, £77
Heliocare 360 Oil-Free Gel SPF50
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve recommended this sunscreen to my acne patients. It’s one of the few brands I’m stocking in my clinic because I love it so much. It’s the perfect choice for oily, acne-prone skin due to the gel formula and the fact it dries down into a lovely matte finish which is perfect for make-up application. Most importantly, though, it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen (it has SPF50 and PA++++) which is paramount for protecting my skin, especially so if I’m on medications that make my skin more susceptible to sun damage.
Shop Heliocare 360 Oil-Free Gel SPF 50 at Face The Future, £31
Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser
I wear this tinted moisturiser most days and it’s been in my routine for years. It’s a fantastic moisturising base that contains oil-absorbing properties (you may notice a theme here with my recommendations!) and gives the skin a lovely healthy glow.
Shop Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser at Boots, £37
Lancôme All-Over Concealer
I’m very picky with the base products I choose and recommend. Some are notoriously comedogenic (meaning they’ll block pores, which is a big no no when it comes to acne-prone skin). This and Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, £39, fall into the non-comedogenic category and so are perfect for my skin.
Shop Lancôme All-Over Concealer at LookFantastic, £25
A consultant dermatologist’s evening skincare routine
Youth To The People Retinal & Niacinamide Serum
I’m a big advocate of using a retinoid in the evening. They are fantastic for those with acne as they help to increase skin cell turnover which, in turn, can help with congestion. If I’m not using a prescription retinoid (I’m currently using tretinoin at a strength of 0.05%) then I’ll opt for a retinaldehyde-based, over-the-counter product. I like this by Youth To The People because it contains an impressive amount of stabilised retinaldehyde (it’s an ingredient that can be hard to formulate with) in a lovely lightweight serum.
Shop Youth To The People Retinal & Niacinamide Serum at Cult Beauty, £59
La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Moisturiser
I finish my routine with a moisturiser from La Roche-Posay – it’s a brand I love and I’ll often recommend their products in the clinic. Its Effaclar H range is brilliant and this moisturiserspecifically has been created for skin that is on acne medication, so it’s a fantastic final addition to my evening skincare routine.
Shop La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Moisturiser at Boots, £18.50
Images: courtesy of brands
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