When I was in my early 20s, monthly hormonal breakouts popped up like clockwork around my jawline and chin. Just when I was starting to clear last month’s inflamed pimples, I’d get a new batch to deal with!! To clear these embarrassing blemishes, I tried tons of different products, but nothing really worked. Ugh. So frustrating!
Now that I know more about skincare, I recognize that the products weren’t the problem, the problem was how I was applying them. Without knowing it, I was treating my acne all wrong. I was never going to get good results, and that’s why I’m writing this article! I want you to get the clearest skin possible and not waste your time or money by using products incorrectly, so I’ll go over a recommended 30-day skincare routine for blemished skin.
But first, let’s quickly review the root cause of acne so that you can understand how an effective skincare routine tackles the underlying problem.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by an overproduction of dead skin cells and sebum (the body’s natural oil). When oil and dead skin cells mix, they form a sludge that clogs the pores. These plugs start as microcomedones (tiny, invisible blockages in pores), but as the material continues to build up, these tiny plugs grow into visible blackheads, whiteheads, or inflamed pimples.
If pimples get infected with p. Acne bacteria, they become swollen and red. Eventually, the mass of bacteria, oil, and dead skin explodes the pore wall, and this icky material seeps into the surrounding tissue. That’s when pimples get painful and angry-looking.
So what’s the magic solution for breaking the cycle of breakouts??? The bad news is that there is no quick, overnight remedy for acne. The good news is that the 30-day routine outlined below can help you to get measurable results within a month.
First, I’ll cover some important, all-purpose skin care tips, then I’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of a 30-day skincare routine using Almond Clear.
General Skin Care Tips
- No spot treating! For your anti-blemish routine to get results, the #1 most important step is to apply Almond Clear, or any other leave-on product that you’re using, to the entire area when you ever get breakouts. Do NOT just put the product on your active pimples!! This is called spot treating, and spot treating doesn’t work!! When you spot treat, you never prevent new microcomedones from turning into full-on pimples. Spot treating is like playing a forever game of whack-a-mole with clogged pores. So do yourself a favor and always apply your acne treatment product to the entire area where you ever break out.
- Apply evenly. Apply the serum in a very thin, even layer. When applying Almond Clear to the face, use the dropper to put one drop of serum on the forehead, nose, each cheek, upper lip, and chin. Then use your hands to rub into the face with gentle circular motions. When applying Almond Clear to the body, dispense a dime-size circle of serum into the palm of your hand, then rub into your skin, creating a thin, even layer.
- Harsh scrubbing makes breakouts worse! Harsh scrubbing with gritty cleansers or loofahs irritates existing blemishes, spreads bacteria between pores, and actually makes your breakouts worse! Instead, scrub gently with a warm, wet washcloth.
- Extra-drying cleansers aren’t helpful! A gentle, non-drying cleanser is all that’s needed. Your skin is already getting dried out by your leave-on acne treatment product, so there’s no need for the further drying that occurs with a harsh acne cleanser. Almond Clear’s Face & Body Wash is designed to be a gentle accompaniment to leave-on acne treatment products.
- Use moisturizer as needed. If your skin gets uncomfortably dry, then go ahead and use a non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) moisturizer. For moisturizing the face, a hyaluronic acid serum is an excellent option.
- Wear sunscreen or cover your skin! The active ingredient in Almond Clear, mandelic acid, will make you more sensitive to the sun and more likely to get sunburned. For that reason, it’s extremely important to wear sunscreen, or better yet, to cover your skin with protective clothing or a sun hat. Make sure your sunscreen is specially formulated for acne-prone skin.
- Wear Almond Clear under your makeup. Once you work up to twice-daily applications, you’ll need to start applying Almond Clear every morning. If you wear makeup, then first applying Almond Clear, then a hyaluronic acid serum for moisture, and once that dries, apply makeup that’s specially formulated for acne-prone skin.
30-Day Acne Skincare Routine
Week 1 Goal: Your main goal for the first week is to stop new microcomedones from forming and to calm some of your active blemishes.
Reasonable expectations for this week: Most people won’t see a big difference in the first week. Some of your larger, active blemishes may get less red and angry looking, and they may shrink in size a bit. Your skin will likely be dry and peely for the first couple of weeks, but this dryness will lessen over time. Overall, don’t expect to see results with acne this early on.
To stop new blemishes, you have to stop new tiny plugs from forming. That’s what you’ll start doing in week 1- ending the cycle of new clogged pores. But you can’t do much about the ones that are already there. The treatment that you’re beginning now may be able to prevent existing small blemishes from getting very inflamed, but they will still most likely rise up into visible lesions. It takes at least 30 days for enlarged pimples to form, so it will take at least 30 days to get clear skin.
One positive difference that you will likely notice right away is your skin becoming smoother. This is because Almond Clear is removing accumulations of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, and once these rough patches are gone, your skin will feel surprisingly smooth! Also, with these dull skin cells removed, your skin will take on a healthy glow, sort of like having a mild suntan.
- For the first week, start out by applying Almond Clear every-other night before bed to clean, dry skin. If applying to the body, make sure to let the serum dry completely before getting dressed.
- If you jump straight into using a new acne treatment product twice daily, then you’ll dry the bejesus out of your skin! Most people don’t like having white flakes all over the surface of their skin, so start your routine gradually. That way, your skin has time to adapt to the product and you won’t get overly dry. Even with a gradual introduction, you’ll still likely experience small flakes of dead skin on the surface of the skin and a feeling of the skin being tight or dry. This will fade over time.
- Everyone’s skin is different, so some people can increase the frequency of applications more quickly, while other people need to proceed with caution. In general, if you have oily skin and if you live in a humid climate, then you can increase more quickly. If your skin is dry and/or if you live in a dry climate, then you may need to increase more gradually.
- In the morning, use a warm, wet washcloth to gently scrub the skin and remove any flakes of dead skin. If your skin feels dry, then apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer, or for the face use a hyaluronic acid serum.
Week 2 Goal: Now that your skin has adapted to the product a little bit, your major goal is to gradually increase the frequency of applications. Most people find that twice-daily applications are the best way to really get acne under control, but if you have very dry or sensitive skin then you may need to proceed more slowly.
Reasonable expectations for this week: Your expectations for this week should be similar to week 1. Your existing blemishes may not be as red or inflamed as they usually are, and you may notice some blackheads loosening and falling out of the pores. Or, you may not see any major changes yet, and that’s okay, too. Just stay consistent with your applications, and changes will come!
If you are using Almond Clear on your face, you may begin to notice a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. This is because mandelic acid stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that make your firm tighter and plumper.
- Start working towards applying Almond Clear every night before bed. If your skin gets too dry, then back off a bit. Everyone’s skin is different, but many people can work up to nightly applications during the second week.
- Apply only Almond Clear at night to a clean, dry face. Then, in the morning, apply moisturizer or hyaluronic serum as needed.
- The end of the second week is a common time for people to lose patience and give up, but that is a big mistake! Many people’s skin turns a corner during the third or fourth week, so be patient!
Week 3 Goal: By now, you’ve been applying Almond Clear regularly for quite a while, so you’re starting to disrupt the formation of new breakouts. Your goal this week is to continue keeping those pimples from forming while working up to twice daily applications.
Reasonable expectations for this week: By week 3, most people begin to notice that they’re getting less new breakouts. Notice that I didn’t say “no” new breakouts! Remember, it takes 30 to 60 days for pimples to form, so you can’t expect to have fully stop the breakout cycle until after at least 30 days. But by this point, many people start to see less breakouts, and their existing blemishes are healing and fading away. Blackheads continue to soften and release from the pores.
Around this time, you may also start to notice dark acne scars beginning to fade. Almond Clear gradually reduces scaring, so as you continue to use the product, your scars will fade more and more.
- By the end of this week, most people should be able to increase to twice-daily applications: morning and night. People with dry skin or who live in dry climates may need to move more slowly.
- Now that you’re applying twice-daily, you can’t separate serum and moisturizer application into morning and night. If you need to use moisturizer, make sure that you wait a few minutes after applying Almond Clear so that the product is completely absorbed into the skin.
Week 4 Goal: Congrats, by the end of this week, you’ll be getting close to the minimum of 30 days that it takes to disrupt the formation of new breakouts! Your goal for this week should be to stay totally consistent with your twice daily applications, or if you haven’t worked up to this level yet, then aim to continue increasing the frequency of applications.
Reasonable expectations for this week: At this point, you can expect to see noticeably fewer breakouts. Your skin should be smoother and more firm, and your dark scars should be fading. However, it’s not reasonable to expect that you will be totally breakout-free. It takes a minimum of 30 days for a microcomedone to become a full-on zit, but it can take longer. For this reason, you will likely continue to occasionally have a lesion pop up. Overall, the vast majority of people see a huge improvement by the end of the first month.
If you’re a woman who menstruates, you may continue to get monthly hormonal breakouts for a month or two longer, but as you continue to keep your pores free from breakout-causing oil and dead skin cells, your monthly breakouts will dramatically decrease.
- Continue to apply twice daily!
- If you’re still breaking out, then you have a few options. First, if the breakouts are on your body, then you can switch to the Level 2 serum, which has a higher concentration of mandelic acid. If your face is very oily and non-sensitive then you may be able to use Level 2 on the face without too much drying, but most people find Level 2 to be too strong for the thinner and more sensitive skin of the face.
- Another option to help reduce pimples that are still popping up is to add benzoyl peroxide (BP) into your routine. Benzoyl peroxide breaks apart oil and adds oxygen to your pores. Bacteria don’t like oxygen-rich environments, so the inflammation-causing p. Acne bacteria will die off with continued use of BP.
- Choose 10% BP for your body, and 5% BP for your face. Start with every-other night application, and make sure to apply the BP and let it absorb thoroughly before applying Almond Clear. As tolerated, you can work up to nightly application of BP. CAUTION: BP will bleach your clothes and sheets. Most people deal with this by using white sheets and by wearing white pajamas.
- If you’re still breakout out, another option is to see a dermatologist who can give you prescription-strength products to tackle your remaining breakouts.
Beyond the first month
- As you continue to use Almond Clear, your skin tone, texture, and clarity will keep improving. Eventually, you can expect to stay 95% breakout-free, and your dark acne scars should completely fade away.
- All Almond Clear products are backed by a 60-day full refund policy. If you’re not satisfied with your results then you can get a refund at any time in those 60 days, even if you’ve finished the entire bottle. Or you can choose to do a free exchange to the Level 2 serum.
- After your skin has been fully clear for a few months, you may be able to decrease to a maintenance application of once-daily, especially if you’re using Level 2. Again, everyone’s skin is different, so you’ll have to see what works best for you.
- Hopefully, this article answered all of your questions about the best skincare routine for using Almond Clear, but if you’re still unclear about anything, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to chat skincare!