Clean skincare and clean makeup to help oily, acne-prone skin transition from winter to spring that also addresses signs of aging.
If you suffer from oily, acne-prone skin in your mid- to late 30s and are also worried about aging, it can be tough finding products that hydrate without breaking you out. You want to hydrating aging skin without clogging pores, and unfortunately many hydrating formulas are too rich for acne-prone skin. In this post I share which products work for my aging, oily, and acne-prone skin.
Something happened last month that flipped a switch for me. My birthday is in January, the month everyone loves to hate. When everyone is constantly complaining about how long the month is and how they hate life, it’s hard to get excited about your birthday.
However, for some reason I was totally off on how old I was turning. For some reason I thought I was 34. When my husband reminded me I was turning 36 and not 35, I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.
I know my genetics will treat me well, but for me that doesn’t mean fine lines and wrinkles. Aging for me will manifest as dull skin, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and sagging. So hitting 36 made me take anti-aging skincare pretty seriously.
Moving to Dallas has also added another layer of complexity, as the climate is drier (thank heavens). The heat + humidity of Florida breaks me out and makes my oily skin go into overdrive. Because of that, the products I brought with me to Dallas were ill-equipped to hydrate my skin. So, it meant that I did have to buy new products.
Buying new skincare products is always scary for me because rich, hydrating formulas break me out. Skincare is one of those things that is truly unique and personal, and sometimes only trial and error will help you find what works. I suggest slowly adding in new skincare, sometimes only using a few times a week, so your skin does not breakout.
If, like me, you have oily + acne-prone skin that improves by cutting out dairy and sugar, I hope these clean beauty skincare products help your skin feel hydrated without breaking out as you transition from winter to spring.
Let’s dive in!
Clean Skincare for Acne-Prone Skin
Cleansers for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
Hydrating Cleanser – Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Creamy Bubbling Cleanser – Alypn Beauty is new to me, but I fell in love with the brand at a Credo Beauty store event. This cleanser is light and hydrating, and takes off most of my makeup in one cleansing. (I double cleanse as it helps prevent breakouts). This cleanser can also be used as a mask in the shower. Love love love this!
It’s not synthetically scented, so the light scent occurs naturally from the botanical ingredients. Pair it with a Foreo Luna sonic to cleanse your skin of the day’s makeup, sebum, and pollution from city life. I found the Clarisonic to be too harsh for my skin, and it actually led to more breakouts.
Deep Cleaning Cleanser – Beautycounter Charcoal Bar (not pictured) – this is often my cleanser of choice for the second step in double cleansing. This helps remove any last traces of makeup and oils left behind from the first cleanse. I have less breakouts and clogged pores since doing this step. Highly recommend.
Serums for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
Plumping Serum: Indie Lee Stem Cell Serum – O.M.G. This is hands down my favorite purchase this winter. The only con? The price. It’s quite the investment, but I can happily report that I’ve had no breakouts from using it. Praise be!
I got it specifically to use on my skin after dermrolling with my GloPro. My skin is so plump and glowing the morning after that I’ll never be without it! Holy grail stuff right here.
Retinol alternative serum: Beautycounter Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum – this lightweight serum is slightly hydrating but packs a powerful punch. It has peptides a high amount of the retinol-alternative bakuchiol that’s clinically proven to improve fine lines and collagen production as well as retinol without the irritation.
Vitamin C serum: Marie Veronique Vitamins C, E + Ferulic Serum – if you’re looking for an affordable version of the SkinCeuticals cult classic (that also has clean ingredients) look no further. However, it’s not the same transparent pink color like SkinCeuticals.
Marie Veronique’s serum has a light orange, creamy texture with an odd, citrusy smell. If you’re willing to put up with that in exchange for reduction in hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and firmer + brighter skin you’ll love this!
What sold me on this serum were the reviews on Credo’s site that say it works better than the pricier SkinCeuticals vitamin C + E and Ferulic serum. I’ve been using Marie Veronique’s clean version 2x a day for a week and can already see a big difference in my acne hyperpigmentation brown spots. YES!
Exfoliants for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
Over the years I’ve learned that my skin doesn’t exfoliate as well as that of my friends. I have to use both chemical (serum) and physical (gritty) exfoliants in order to see a difference in my hyperpigmentation.
Sometimes I’ve even scrubbed with a microfiber cloth after exfoliating. However, after adding these into my regimen, I no longer have to work so hard to have smooth skin.
(Note: My skin can handle stronger exfoliants because it doesn’t exfoliate as easily. If your skin is sensitive, I recommend Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel instead of the ones below. It’s excellent for texture and refining pores.)
Chemical exfoliant: Arcona Gentle Solution* – I first tried this in October and I am hooked. It’s not harsh at all, like it’s name, and you won’t feel a burn. However, it does reach deeper than other peels and is especially helpful for stubborn hyperpigmentation on darker skin tones. I layer this under the Counter+ No. 3 Balancing Oil before bed.
Manual exfoliant: Arcona Golden Grain Gommage* – where has this been all my life? The ingredient list will deceive you (yellow cornmeal and oatmeal) but don’t be fooled. It has tons of fruit enzymes and glycolic acid to help physically exfoliate.
Use this the morning after using the Arcona Gentle Solution to help increase fading dark spots. I like to leave it on for a minute before rinsing off. Amazing.
* Use code LISETTE15 at Clean Beauty Specialists for 15% off your purchase!
Masks for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
Detox mask: Beautycounter Counter+ Charcoal Mask – My holy grail charcoal mask, forever and ever, amen. I use this Sunday nights and at least one other night a week and it lasts me months! It’s the perfect way to shrink breakouts and detox my pores.
Hydrating Mask: Alpyn Beauty Calming Midnight Mask – this overnight hydrating mask smells sooooooo good! Best of all, it doesn’t break me out when used a few times a week. This mask has vitamin C and squalane, in addition to anti-aging bakuchiol, and melatonin to help you get your beauty sleep on.
My skin wakes up plump and super hydrated. I use this 1x a week as the last step in my skincare to seal in all the hydration. (Note: it will break me out if used too frequently, so adjust accordingly).
Moisturizers for Oily Acne-Prone Skin
Moisturizing my acne-prone skin has always been a leap of faith in any product’s claim to be noncomedogenic. Most products described as such break me out, but the following moisturizers have lived up to the name.
Lightweight moisturizer: Arcona Magic White Ice Gel Moisturizer* – this is the best lightweight moisturizer for oily, acne-prone skin with a clean formulation on the market. I like to use it mostly during the day, under my sunscreen and makeup, since the other layers keep my skin hydrated. It’s a gel that dries matte.
Since my skin had a rough time acclimating to the drier Dallas climate, I had to buy something a little more hydrating to carry me over. However, I’m back to using this during the day.
Hydrating moisturizer: Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer – I have found my winter moisturizer. I hope Alpyn Beauty never stops making this! It literally melts into your skin with a matte finish. It’s like magic!
It’s been my skin’s saving grace as it’s transitioned to Dallas’ climate. I use it mainly at night, over my serums, whenever my skin needs a little more hydration. Otherwise, I use the following oil.
Balancing oil: Beautycounter Counter+ No. 3 Balancing Oil – this oil is the fairy godmother for oily skin! If you can only get one product from this list, make this one the one you get. It has transformed my oily skin and has made its oil production manageable.
It has a light ylang ylang scent that is nice but not overpowering. I no longer need paper towels to soak up oils midday. Holy grail product forever and ever.
Before I purchased Alpyn Beauty products I had just restocked on this oil. I still use it most nights as the last step in my skincare regimen. It will be my only nighttime moisturizer when I return to hot + humid Florida. I also use this on the nights I dermaroll to help seal in my serums.
I stopped wearing perfume years ago because of family members with allergies. Little did I know that many perfumes contain phthalates, a family of toxic chemicals used to extend the life of a scent at the expense of disrupting our hormones.
I just recently learned that there are clean fragrances without phthalates or other endocrine-disruptors. One such brand is Clean Beauty Collective. The new Clean Reserve Radiant Nectar scent is light and floral musk. The longer I wear it the more I love it!
I’m so glad to have found a clean fragrance that smells good. Plus, they’re on a mission to save the bees. What’s not to love?
Clean Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin
Tinted Sunscreen: Beautycounter Dew Skin – This technically isn’t makeup (not in my book) but it is a tinted sunscreen that also provides a nice dewy finish. I always get compliments when I use it. Sunscreen is a MUST to protect your skin from UV damage, not to mention undoing all the work of your dedication (and dollars spent on expensive skincare).
Warm Eyeshadow Palette: Āether Beauty Summer Solstice Crystal Palette – I’ve been eyeing this palette for months and finally took the plunge after swatching it at Credo Beauty in Plano. The colors are gorgeous, the pigment is potent, and the colors blend like butter. I also love the duo-chrome colors in the center of the palette. Get 20% off with code LALALISETTE.
Buttery Bronzer: Beautycounter Radiant Bronzer in Cabana – the most perfect bronzer I’ve ever used. Hands down. Blends like butter, and is buildable. It costs a little more than the HAN bronzer below, but there’s no risk of streaking because it blends so easily.
Budget-friendly clean bronzer: HAN Bronzer in Maui – if you’re looking for an organic powder bronzer on a budget, this is it. The HAN bronzer has a ton of pigment but it can be a little difficult to blend well. Another downside is that the product in the pan collects oils from your brush pretty easily, so be prepared to take Scotch tape to it often to keep it clean.
There you have it! I hope these clean beauty products help transition your oily, acne-prone skin from winter to spring.