Sensitive Skin SOS: Effective Acne Treatment

Acne can be incredibly frustrating, but if you’re looking for an effective acne treatment for sensitive skin, we can help!

Trust me, I know how frustrating acne and blemishes can be. It can be embarrassing, annoying, and just plain exhausting. Things are even worse if you’re someone with sensitive skin, as some of the most well-known skin cleansers and acne scrubs can just make things worse.

Today, I’m going to share some acne treatments that won’t irritate and inflame your skin. Rather than hopelessly scrubbing your face with harsh chemicals that dry your skin out and leave it looking reddened and chafed, these options can treat your acne and pimples gently and effectively.

If you’re ready to find a real solution, let’s get started!

How Do You Know If You Have Sensitive Skin?

Before I highlight my favorite acne skin care products and treatments for sensitive skin types, let’s take a moment to determine if you actually have it. People with sensitive skin are far more prone to inflammation when using over-the-counter acne treatments and cosmetics.

If you find that your skin gets red, itchy, and almost feels tight whenever you use commercial skin care products or cosmetics, there’s a really good chance that you do, in fact, have sensitive skin. This means that your skin type is more prone to damage, and it also takes longer to repair itself.

It’s really that simple. Sure, most people will experience some dryness and irritation if they scrub their face with harsh cleansers every 20 minutes, but those with sensitive skin can experience these symptoms almost immediately after a single treatment, and they take a long time to go away.

If any of this sounds familiar, consider trying one of these sensitive skin acne treatments.

Best Acne Treatments for Sensitive Skin

Try Gentle Topical Treatments That Contain Benzoyl Peroxide

When used in moderation, this active ingredient can help treat your acne-prone skin without causing significant irritation.

I highly recommend looking for an acne cleanser that contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, as this will help kill the acne-causing bacteria that can get trapped beneath the surface of your skin. It works by smothering the bacteria with high oxygen levels, which is enough to kill it.

At a concentration of 2.5%, you also shouldn’t need to worry about your skin becoming inflamed. Harsher products that contain a higher concentration might just trigger more inflammation.

Avoid Cleansers With High Concentrations of Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter acne medications. It works by penetrating deep within the pores so it can remove the bacteria and trapped oil that can cause pimples.

While it works, it can cause serious dryness and irritation for those with sensitive skin types. I wouldn’t use any product with a salicylic acid concentration over 2%. If you do want to try a sensitive, skin-friendly salicylic acid-based acne product, I’d recommend one that contains a concentration of 0.5%.

Consider Making Some Lifestyle Changes

Trust me, I know that you can take care of your skin but still suffer from acne breakouts and recurring pimples. With that said, there are some lifestyle changes you can make that will have unexpected results on the condition of your skin.

A poor diet, excessive consumption of alcohol, chronic dehydration, smoking and vaping, and high levels of stress can all result in acne. Nicotine and alcohol can damage and dry your skin, while a lack of essential nutrients in your diet can prevent your skin from looking healthy.

If you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, consider giving it a break. I’d also recommend drinking more water; it can hydrate and improve the health of your skin. Taking some time to improve my diet also really helped me. I get it; McDonald’s fries are life, but a poor diet can really mess up your skin.

If you find that your acne flares up when you feel anxious, it could also be stress-related. Stress isn’t easy to deal with, but the physical symptoms might surprise you. Consider managing your stress with safe behaviors and techniques; it might even help get your acne under control!

Try Natural Anti-Inflammatories

There are plenty of natural ingredients that can help reduce skin inflammation. While they may sound like they wouldn’t work, you’d be surprised how effective they can be at reducing some of the redness and irritation that can make acne so noticeable.

Aloe vera gel is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help your skin repair itself, while tea tree oil works as both an anti-inflammatory and a natural anti-bacterial agent. It may sound a little strange, but even applying pure honey to your acne-inflamed skin can help, as honey is another natural anti-microbial. Finely ground oatmeal mixed with warm water can also soothe some of the inflammation related to acne and pimples.

The best part about these natural remedies is the fact that they rarely cause skin irritation, even if you have really sensitive skin. Even if you don’t see immediate results, they’re worth trying!

Avoid Over-Washing Your Skin and Using Harsh Scrubs

We’ve all been there − you want to cure your acne, so you end up washing your face 20 times a day and attacking your skin with abrasive scrubs and any acne product you can get your hands on. It may sound a bit weird, but over-washing your face can actually do way more damage than good.

Over-cleansing your skin and using harsh scrubs and exfoliating products can strip it of the natural oil it needs to repair itself. This is even more of an issue if your skin is already sensitive.

Final Words 

Always try out any sort of new product or strategy slowly. This will help you gauge the effectiveness and whether or not it will irritate your sensitive skin.

If you just can’t seem to find a treatment for your acne, you may want to consider visiting a dermatologist. They will be able to work with you to find a custom-tailored solution, and they may even recommend some of the prescription options out there.

Good luck!


  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.

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