CERM Skin Acne dos and don'ts. Young man removing facial mask. Image: Pexels.com/Ron Lach

Crush acne: 10 dos and don’t for clear skin!

Acne doesn’t need to be a life sentence. We've got 10 dos and don’ts to help you calm your skin and slay those breakouts, now that you understand the types of acne and importance of treating it early!

Check out these expert tips to soothe acne, reduce oiliness, and prevent future breakouts.

The acne paradox

There are classic mistakes people with acne make that can make your problem worse: 

  • Thinking… My skin feels oily. No probs. I’ll just cleanse more often and vigorously with a cleanser that leaves my skin squeaky clean and tight, with not a trace of oil. 
  • Thinking… Use moisturizer and sunscreen? Forget it! That tacky and oily feel on my face – no, thanks. 

The problem is, doing these things could start a whole new world of pain for your skin. Let’s find out how you soothe angry acne, reduce oiliness and prevent future breakouts. 

1: DO understand there’s no quick fix

This is the most important thing to understand. There's no overnight fix for acne – it's a journey. Depending on how mild or severe your acne is, you'll see your skin become more clear in a few weeks to 3 months. Acne is an inflammatory process, and the stuff you see on the surface has been brewing in your skin for months, so treatment will also take a few weeks to clear.

2: DO be kind to your skin

Cleanse gently twice daily with a mild cleanser with salicylic acid and use an exfoliant with exfoliating acids.

DON’T be aggressive with rough scrubs or harsh cleansers. It may seem like the right thing to do and feel satisfying, but that squeaky clean, tight feeling means you’ve stripped away the protective moisture barrier from the skin’s surface (which leaves it vulnerable to dehydration and external attack), so your skin ‘panics’ and over functions to repair this by producing more oil. 

‘Remember acne is an inflammatory process. The skin needs to be rehabilitated… time is necessary for improvement’

3: DO target acne with the right ingredients 

Acne isn't just about the skin producing too much sebum (oil), it's about the type of oil produced, too! You need to use treatments with ingredients like niacinamide that regulate the amount and quality of oil produced. 

This helps prevent blocked pores and the vicious cycle of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Salicylic acid and poly-hydroxy acids (PHA) chemically exfoliate the skin gently, improving skin texture and clarity.

4: DO moisturize like a boss 

DON’T fear moisturizers, we beg you! Oily skin also needs hydration, or it can become dehydrated. Just pick an oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin barrier strong. Trust us, your skin will feel fresh, not greasy.

CERM Skin Dos and don'ts. Use moisturizer. Image: Pexels.com/Anna Nekrashevich

Please use moisturizer and sunscreen!

Image: Pexels.com/Anna Nekrashevich

5: DO use sun protection – it’s not negotiable!

Ever notice that when your acne heals, you get darker pigmentation marks on the area? That’s called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and it may last longer than the acne itself. Also, many acne treatments make your skin sun-sensitive so it burns more easily and you get premature skin aging. 

So, DON’T skip the SPF 50+ sun protection. Protection from UV, infrared and visible light helps prevent this pigmentation becoming worse, and it will help your skin tone return to normal more quickly. 

Find a good, oil-free sunscreen with micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which won’t leave a thick, greasy texture. Many good sunscreens also contain acne treatment ingredients, tints and matifying powders, so your skin looks gorgeous.

Different types of acne, from mild to severe




Oily skin and mild to moderate acne

Keep skin clean and pores clear, control oil, moisturize and strengthen the moisture barrier, plus protect against UV

2% Salicylic Acid Clearing Cleanser 

13% Niacinamide + B5 Serum

Microbiome Balance Moisturizer

Oil-free sunscreen

Moderate acne and irritated skin 

Clear pores, prevent bacteria and soothe irritation to speed up healing

2% Salicylic Acid Clearing Cleanser 

PHA + Salicylic Acid Serum 

Cica Complete Repair Serum

Microbiome Balance Moisturizer

Oil-free sunscreen

Severe acne (nodular or cystic acne)

Besides your home routine, the dermatologist may prescribe oral and topical medication to tackle the problem from inside-out, plus advanced treatment like light therapies and exfoliating peels

2% Salicylic Acid Clearing Cleanser 

Cica Complete Repair Serum

Microbiome Balance Moisturizer

Oil-free sunscreen

Speak to a dermatologist about medical solutions

6: DO resist the pop and snap

DON’T even think about popping those pimples! Despite what you see on social media or TV, leave this to the professionals. DIY popping, pinching or squeezing is a one-way ticket to scar town, and it carries the risk of driving the infection and inflammation deeper into your skin. Grab some acne treatments instead. And if you can't live with Krakatoa on your chin or are frustrated by the wait to see progress, you can go for a pro facial and extraction once a month. 


CERM SKIN acne dos and don'ts. Don't pick. Image: https://www.pexels.com/@anna-nekrashevich/

Ouch! Please don't pick.

Image: Pexels.com/Anna Nekrashevich

7: DO keep up with hygiene

Let's talk about those everyday things that might be playing a role in making your acne worse.

First up, try not to touch your face too much. And wash your hands regularly.

Next, your trusty pillows and towels: Switch out your pillowcases every week or even twice a week, to stop that oil, skin cells and bacteria getting up close and personal with your face.

Keep a towel just for your face and use a clean one every couple of days.

Now, onto our beloved phones: have you noticed more acne between your ear and jaw? Give your phone screen a wipe-down with a gentle cleanser for phones or disinfectant wipe regularly, like a little spa day for your device. No harsh stuff, though – we want happy skin!

DON'T forget to keep your keyboard clean, too. 

8: DO watch what you eat

There have been a bunch of studies on diet and acne (with more to come), and they’ve found that going heavy on high-glycemic index foods can lead to acne. And watch out for milk! There's been this ongoing debate about dairy causing acne, especially in skim milk. Apparently, it's got hormones that mess with your skin, cranking up oil production 🥛

So, like with most things, it's all about keeping things balanced.

  • DON’T make junk food your regular food. Keep it as an occasional treat, and swap it out for some good ol' healthy and well-rounded meals. 

Make sure you have a good balance of protein, lots of fresh, brightly colored fruits and veggies (hello, antioxidants), good fats like omega-3 and extra virgin olive oil, and don’t forget to get at least six glasses of H2O a day. 🥕🥒🥗

  • Keep your gut healthy. It’s like a buddy system with your skin. If your gut crew is out of balance, it might cause inflammation and not-so-great nutrition for your skin, leading to acne. 
And we all know stress messes with our gut. So, keep your gut squad happy by snacking on probiotic champs like kombucha, kefir, live yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. Cheers to happy skin and a happy gut! 🌟

9: DO keep makeup light 

In the multi-filtered world we live in, asking someone with acne to leave home without a long-lasting foundation seems like stripping them of a protective forcefield.

You need to look for makeup that gives you cover but doesn’t cause occlusion (pore-blocking) that may make your acne worse. Rather use a concealer on areas that bother you more, and use a lighter, breathable foundation over the rest of your face. Some foundations even contain acne-busting ingredients, so do your homework.

Our tip: Make sure your hands and makeup brush are always clean. Pat on the concealer and build up the coverage where you want it. 

10: DO stay hopeful, acne warriors!

Whether you're a teen battling breakouts or an adult dealing with the struggle, there's always hope. Tweak your skincare game, and victory will be yours! ✨🌈 #ClearSkinGoals