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Best Moisturizers for Acne-prone Skin

Image Source: Polyvore.com

Many people with acne-prone skin (including me) tend to forget about the importance of a good moisturizer. We focus too much on drying out the zits and reducing inflammation. Then our skin is dry, flaky, and red. Fun stuff, right?

From years of experience, I have learned that the best way to take care of your face is to treat, moisturize, and give it time. Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Sulfur, and Tea Tree Oil are all common ingredients in acne-fighting products. But these ingredients are designed to “zap the zit” and therefore dry out your skin. Skin can actually break out more when it’s dry because your skin is trying to replenish itself with excess sebum production. More sebum= more clogged pores= more breakouts.

Once you apply these treatments to the affected areas, you need to moisturize. And here are some of the best moisturizers (that I have found) for Acne-prone skin. My morning moisturizers are always lighter since its being layered under my makeup. Moisturizers that are too hydrating can make my face in to an oil slick just hours after I put on my makeup. And when I’m working I don’t have time to touch up my makeup.

Morning Moisturizers

So, for the mornings I prefer to use face creams such as:

  • Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Face cream- this cream is light and great for normal to combination skin. It never feels sticky and absorbs quickly in to the skin. The cream has a light scent and leaves skin soft and smooth.

SKIN TIP: This moisturizer did not have a pump. So, to keep the product fresh and clean, I recommend using a makeup brush or Q-tip to grab product out of the jar.

  • CERAVE moisturizing lotion PM- don’t let the PM portion of this cream scare you. It’s perfectly fine to use in the morning. My dermatologist actually recommended this cream to me.  The PM cream is much more moisturizing than the AM. It is great for sensitive skin and doesn’t have a scent. Plus, this lotion comes in a pump, so the product stays fresh and contamination free. This cream layers well under makeup.
  • Kate Somerville Oil free moisturizer- a light moisturizer that is great layered under makeup. It absorbs quickly in to the skin and leaves it baby smooth. This is the perfect moisturizer for normal to combination skin. (And BTW, the moisturizer doesn’t come in a pump)
  • Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture Facial Cream- a lovely moisturizer for normal to combination skin. The formula is light and doesn’t have a scent. This moisturizer wears beautifully under makeup. (This moisturizer also doesn’t come with a pump)

Night Moisturizers

At night, I like to use creams with Hyaluronic acid, which replenishes moisture and leaves the skin more radiant and plump. For me, nights are my skin’s healing time and I want to help it heal as quickly as possible. So, I go to my thicker moisturizers such as:

  • Neutrogena Hydro-Boost Gel Cream- this moisturizer is great for dry skin. I mostly use this cream at night because this cream makes my skin too slick for makeup. A good night’s sleep with this cream layered on my face= the best beauty sleep ever!
  • Clinique Moisture Surge Extended thirst relief- the cream has a gel-like texture. Initially, the cream can feel sticky but it only takes seconds for the product to be absorbed. By morning, my face feels super soft.
  • The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalizing Sleeping Cream- this cream works best at night. And it’s great for dry skin. The cream is thick but it doesn’t have a sticky texture. The assortment of oils in this cream leaves skin smooth, helps heal blemishes, and reduce hyperpigmentation. (My fave!)

And that is it, my best moisturizers for acne-prone skin. Which one have you tried before?

Best Moisturizers for Acne-prone skin


Best Moisturizers for Acne-prone skin by julietlylillyrose
**This post is not sponsored.  I received the oils of life revitalizing sleeping cream free from the Body Shop as a press sample.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

The Perfect Skin Routine for Acne Prone Skin + My Skin Story

Skin routine for acne-prone skin Valentia moisturizerWhat’s up everybody! I’m back with a “new” skin routine.  I’ve made some minor changes and wanted to share some of my favorite products with you.

The Breakdown: My Perfect Skin routine

Wash face TWICE a day with deep cleaning cleanser

Morning: apply tea tree oil all over face, concentrating on areas with blemishes

Night: apply Benzoyl peroxide spot treatment all over face

Apply moisturizer


Before we get in to all the details of my skin routine, let’s dive in to my skin story.

My Skin Story

I’ve been battling against cystic acne since I was in 7th grade.  It actually hurt to wash my face and instead of being gentle with my skin.  I dried it out.  I applied the clean and clear spot treatments three times a day and my skin started flaking.  But my acne looked less inflamed so I continued with the treatment.  Applying moisturizer to my skin back in those days actually hurt.  It actually burned because my skin was so dry.  A few more weeks passed and the acne got worse.  The pimples were larger and even more inflamed.  So, I just stopped doing anything.  I stopped using the cream and just gave up.  My confidence was shot and I avoided mirrors as much as possible.

When I was in high school, my mom finally took me to a dermatologist and after a few appointments and follow-ups we found what worked for my skin.  It was low percentages of benzoyl peroxide and sulfur.  My skin cleared up.  It’s not permanently clear but I don’t break out as much anymore.  I get the occasional large zit here and there but only during certain times of the month.

Here’s how I keep my skin relatively clear.

My Skincare Routine

For me, the perfect skin routine starts with the Biore Charcoal cleanser every morning and night. Simplicity is key for me.  As much as I want to start one of those 10 step skin care routines, I know I’m too lazy to actually keep up with those.  My perfect skincare routine must be simple or I won’t do it.  When I’m finishing up homework at midnight and waking up at 5AM, I’m not going to go through the ten steps necessary for my perfect skin routine.

After washing my face, I take a few drops of tea tree oil in to my palm and apply it directly to my face.  Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties to prevent acne.  After applying the oil to my skin, I put on my Valentia Brightening Moisturizer.  This moisturizer keeps my face hydrated and gives it a healthy glow.  The scent is very fresh and the product absorbs quickly in to the skin.  I love it.

If I’m not working or filming a video, this is the end of the my skincare routine.  For work or filming days, I apply my Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer or Smashbox Photofinish primer before applying foundation.  Lately, I’ve been loving the natural look so I’m using  the Missha Magic Cushion Foundation or the Bourjois healthy mix serum foundation.  These foundations even out your skin without making you look cakey.  The coverage is light to medium and gives your skin a natural dewey look.

At night, I use the Soap and Glory cleansing milk to wash off my makeup.  If I don’t have makeup on then I just go straight to my Biore Charcoal cleanser. After washing my face, I apply the Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne treatment all over my face then apply the Valentia Moisturizer. I like this spot treatment because there is only 5% benzoyl peroxide so it doesn’t dry out my skin. For especially large zits, I dab a little EradiKATE sulfur treatment over it with a clean Q-tip.

When I need a quick pick-me-up or when I have multiple breakouts, I use the Dr. Jart Clearing solution sheet mask or GlamGlow supermud clearing treatment to help calm my skin.  I generally do this once a month to keep my skin smooth and clear.  Plus, these masks treat the hyper-pigmentation left by the acne.

And that’s it.  My face has stayed relatively clear for over 6 months now.  If your skin gets dry from the cleanser, use the Soap and Glory cleansing milk for night and day.  This cleansers cleans your skin without stripping it.

My perfect skin routine may not work for your skin type, so adjust to fit yours.  And remember the perfect skin routine has to include a good cleanser and moisturizer.  These two powerful pieces will clear out clogged pores and keep your skin hydrated!

If you have any more questions, just leave a comment!

skin routine for acne prone skin Valentia Moisturizer pure glow

**Disclaimer: I received the Valentia Brightening Moisturizer free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

Best Summer Makeup Routine for Acne-prone Skin + The Best Way to Conceal Blemishes

summer makeup routine for acne prone skin and how to cover blemishes

The heat index in RVA has been breaking a 100 degrees fahrenheit every, single, day this whole week.  So, my normal winter foundation routine is just not cutting it.  In the winter, I loved using my PUR cosmetics hydra-fluid foundation.  This stuff is amazing for dry skin and never leaves me looking patchy.  But in the summer, this finish is just too dewey.  Summer makeup, for me, supposed to look natural and light, while also being sweat-proof. So, here’s the best summer makeup routine for acne-prone skin.

The Basics: Summer Makeup Routine

The first step to any summer makeup routine or any makeup routine for that matter is moisturize.  Prep your face for makeup.  And since the sun is blazing, remember to put on sunscreen!  Prevention is key for radiant skin.

The second step (another super important one) is primer. You HAVE to have primer.  Seriously, it’s summer.  It’s hot and you’re going to sweat, so your makeup will start moving within the hour.  Trust me, your perfect highlight and contour will soon be a muddled mess.  To prevent that from happening use a primer.  A good primer will keep your skin looking flawless and lock in all your hard work.

The third step requires a little skill.  Don’t worry, it’s just a little.  For the summer, you want a more natural look since cakey makeup would slip and slide too much in the heat.  However, if you have a breakout, a natural foundation generally has less coverage too.  So, keep reading to find out my secrets on concealing a zit.

Best Way to Conceal a Zit

When you have a breakout, it’s super easy to just cake on concealer to cover it up, but that actually makes the breakout even more noticeable.  The best way to conceal a zit is to treat it then cover it.  I apply tea tree oil to all my problem areas, then I go in with a light moisturizer.  Once my face is nice and hydrated, I apply a good primer to blur out my pores.  After my primer, I start dotting concealer over my problem areas.  Once those are covered, I take a CLEAN and dampened beauty blender to blend the concealer in to my skin.

After my concealer is blended in, I take my dampened beauty blender and blot it over my compact foundation.  I’m currently using the Hello Oxygen Compact and it does a fabulous job of evening out my skin and decreasing redness.  PLUS, this stuff sticks!  My foundation was still on even after three hours of pokemon hunting.  If you play Pokemon GO, then you now this foundation is seriously AMAZING!

My Summer Makeup Routine + Products Used

To help treat and prevent more acne, I’m using my favorite Almay concealer with salicylic acid.  I take the concealer and dot the center of my face, sides of my nose,and over any blemishes.  Once my face is covered in little dots, I take a damp beauty blender to blend it in.  After I’m done, I seal in my handy-work with my Hello Oxygen Compact.  This combination feels light on the skin and leaves you with a matte finish that lasts all day.  Plus, the compact has SPF!  WIN!!!

I finish off this foundation routine with Benefit’s WATTS UP highlighter on the bridge of my nose and under the eyes for a natural glow.  And if you have thin or non-existent eyebrows, I definitely recommend using the Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade.  This stuff lasts all day and a little really does go a long way.  I grab a little product on my brush and line the bottom of my brow.  And using the little spool side, I brush out the product.  This technique gives a nice natural looking, full brow that lasts all day (which is key because when I’m out and about in the summer I don’t want to worry about touch ups). Finish the look off with a little mascara and you’ll have the perfect natural makeup look that won’t break you out!

What’s your favorite summer products?

My Must-Have Acne-Fighting Products + Nightly Skin Routine

Acne-fighting products

These passed three months have been rough.  I got huge blemishes all along my jawline and some large spots on my cheek and forehead.  They were everywhere!  After a week, these blemishes turned cystic and were impossible to cover-up with makeup.  I needed an Acne-fighting treatment, bad!

My Favorite Acne-fighting products:

  • Neutrogena Spot Treatment
  • Biore Charcoal Cleanser
  • Kate Somerville Eradikate Sulfur Treatment
  • GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment

Neutrogena Spot Treatment

I stopped using Epiduo five months ago.  I replaced that benzoyl peroxide cream for the Neutrogena spot treatment.  And it worked for quite a bit.  This Neutrogena acne-fighting treatment has 5% benzoyl peroxide so it’s strong enough to treat my blemishes without trying out my skin.

Eight months ago, I stopped using my dermatologist prescribed sulfur cleanser and replaced it with the AcneFree Therapeutic sulfur mask.  It worked pretty well and my skin was pretty clear.  I didn’t have any serious breakouts.

But three months ago, I ran out of the AcneFree mask and decided to use the Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur mask.  This mask dried out my skin.  And I had patches of flaky skin.  But that didn’t bother me too much cause my breakouts weren’t that bad.

Eradicate Sulfur Treatment

Then out of nowhere, I started having these huge blemishes along my jawline.  And its been six weeks since I discovered the Kate Somerville Eradikate Sulfur treatment in Sephora.  This stuff is amazing! This acne-fighting treatment contains 10% sulfur.  So, my blemishes are less inflamed and swollen overnight!

After using this treatment everyday on my jawline, I’m happy to say that the blemishes are finally going away.  My skin finally feels soft and smooth again!

However, the spots left me with terrible hyper-pigmentation, which I’m currently treating with Kate Somerville d-scar serum.  I’ll update you on how that’s going in a few weeks!

For my nighttime skin routine, I wash my face with the Biore Charcoal Cleanser. After washing, I apply the Neutrogena Spot treatment on my spots and then moisturize with my favorite Cerave cream.  Once my face is hydrated, I apply Kate Somerville’s Eradikate to the large spots around my face.  And I’m done!

Stay tuned for my Morning Skin Routine, coming soon!

How to Choose the Perfect Mask + The Benefits of Detoxifying Clay Masks

perfect mask Valentia benefits of detoxifying mask

There are sooooo many masks out in the market today: hydration, calming, brightening, detoxifying, and so much more.  So, how do you choose? Follow my five guidelines for choosing the perfect mask and you’ll be on your way!

My Five Guidelines for Choosing the Perfect Mask:

First Guideline:

Dry patches are some of the most annoying skin problems. To remedy those patches of dry skin, treat your skin to a hydrating or exfoliating mask.

Second Guideline:

Honestly, acne is one of the most stubborn and annoying and sometimes even painful skin conditions.  For acne-prone skin, calming and detoxifying skin masks are perfect!  Calming masks will help reduce redness while detoxifying masks will draw out impurities.  One of my favorite detox masks is the Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask.  It has clay which helps reduce sebum production and a bunch of anti-aging properties that help collagen production.  An increase in collagen production can reduce acne scarring.  The mask also contains Astaxanthin which improves skin texture and tone.

Third Guideline:

Dull skin is an easy fix!  Sometimes we don’t get the sleep we need or just need a little extra pick-me-up and that’s when you whip out your brightening or exfoliating mask. The Valentia Skin Detoxifying mask is a one-two punch with brightening and exfoliating properties in the mask.  After leaving the mask on for 15-20 minutes, gently wet your hands and wash the mask off in circular motions, so that you can take advantage of the exfoliating fibers in the mask. Valentia also has a great Vitamin C serum too!

Fourth Guideline:

Oily skin means super shiny forehead two hours after applying makeup.  Am I right? To reduce sebum production in the skin, invest in a good detoxifying mask.  Sebum is the oil your skin produces.  And it can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.  However, sebum production is also increased when skin is dry, so hydration masks are also a good option!  Your skin is trying hydrate itself by producing sebum but this excess production leads to oily skin, clogged pores, blackheads, and breakouts.  When you invest in a detoxifying or hydrating mask to reduce sebum production- it’s worth it, I promise!

Fifth Guideline:

Another important skin guideline is for people with just normal skin.  In other words, skin that is not amazing, possibly dull, and just missing some dewiness and warmth.

Normal skin could always use a little more radiance, so grab a brightening mask next time you’re shopping for skincare.  You’ll be amazed how a brightening mask can improve the overall tone and texture of your skin.

What tips would your share? Comment down below!


I received the Valentia detoxifying mask free for reviewing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.