The Ideal Skincare Routine For Aging Acne-Prone Skin

Some zits don't get the message when you say farewell to youth, but solid skincare can help you to kick them out for good.
BY Sarah Lim
| Last updated Apr, 2023
skincare for acne prone skin

If you have acne-prone skin, skincare can be challenging in and of itself. Ugh! But coming up with an ideal anti-aging skincare routine can be even more important for stressed skin. Double ugh!

Any skin type can suffer from acne, although oily skin is more likely to experience breakouts because excess oil production has been linked to inflammatory acne. 

So what is the ideal skincare routine for aging acne-prone skin? Let’s take a closer look at skincare for acne-prone skin when it comes to anti-aging!

How Acne-Prone Skin Can Change With Age

How Acne-Prone Skin Can Change With Age

Skin changes with age, and acne-prone skin is no different. Although people with oily skin tend to show fewer signs of aging than those with flaky skin, the fundamental changes skin experiences with aging are the same. 

• Lower Collagen Production

With aging, the skin’s collagen production decreases. If you’re over 80, your skin produces 75% less collagen than it did when you were in your 20s! Collagen is what helps skin look plump and smooth when you’re young.

• Less Skin Fat

The fat layer of your skin, known as the hypodermis, thins with age, resulting in less “padding” for the skin, which might result in thinner skin.

• Reduced Oil Production 

Your skin’s natural oil, called sebum, decreases gradually after menopause, then declines sharply at age 80 and after, which can cause the skin’s surface to be drier. 

It’s also common for women to experience skin condition changes with menopause, including skin aging and potential breakouts. Some women have acne for the first time in their lives, while others have a recurrence of acne they thought they had outgrown during their teenage years.

Decreased amounts of estrogen in the body after menopause mean more effects of aging, including less collagen, less elasticity, and less water retention in the skin. You’d have to cope with more age indicators as well as breakouts.

Anti-Aging Routines For Acne-Prone Skin

Whether you’re seeking the best anti-aging cream for acne-prone skin or need tips on skincare for acne-prone skin, here is the ideal routine based on your specific skin type if you’re acne-prone!

If You Have Oily Skin And Are Acne-Prone

spring skincare for oily skin

Step 1: Cleanse

Remember, you don’t want to strip skin of its natural oils, even if you have oily skin. Use a cream or gel-based cleanser. It doesn’t leave skin feeling dry and tight, such as Biossance’s Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser.

Step 2: Tone

You don’t necessarily need toner, but it might be a good idea to tone if you have oily skin. Use a toner to help prep skin and absorb beneficial ingredients without drying skin, such as Herbivore’s Jasmine Green Tea Oil Control Toner.

Step 3: Serum

Use a serum targeted for acne and anti-aging benefits, such as Juice Beauty’s Blemish Clearing Serum

Step 4: Moisturize

When choosing the best anti-aging cream for treating acne-prone skin, you want something that’s not too heavy, but you also shouldn’t skip this step. Moisturizing can help protect the skin barrier and prevent acne breakouts. Consider Farmacy Beauty’s Daily Greens oil-free gel moisturizer.

Step 5: Sunscreen

You never want to skip sunscreen, as sun exposure can accelerate aging! Use a lightweight physical sunscreen, such as Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen, to help prevent breakouts.

If You Have Combination Skin And Are Acne-Prone

Step 1: Cleanse

When you have combination skin, you need to be careful not to over-dry the dry areas of your face when fighting the oily skin types. Try a cleanser designed for combination skin. It helps to remove excess oil yet protect arid regions, such as Moon Juice’s Milk Cleanse (don’t worry, it’s vegan!).

Step 2: Tone

Combination skin types can benefit from toners that help balance the skin’s pH and prepare it for receiving nutrients, such as OSEA Sea Minerals Mist.

Step 3: Serum

Serums are a great way to get targeted anti-aging benefits while still combating acne treatment. Consider Eminence Organic Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum.

Step 4: Moisturize

If you have combination skin, you may need to use a lighter moisturizer in the summer and a heavier one in the winter. Try Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer in the warmer months and One Love Organics’ Skin Dew Coconut Water Cream for your luscious winter sidekick.

Step 5: Sunscreen

Combination skin types can use mineral or chemical sunscreen, but to play it safe, consider EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 41.

If You Have Sensitive Skin And Are Acne-Prone

Sensitive Skin Type

Step 1: Cleanse

Sensitive skin types need to be extra careful not to compromise their skin barrier when cleansing. That is why Fat and the Moon’s Moon Milk provides soap-free, ultra-gentle cleansing action for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Step 2: Serum’s

If you have sensitive skin, try skipping toner and going gentle with an anti-aging serum. That protects the skin barrier, such as True Botanicals Chebula Active Immunity Serum.

Step 3: Moisturize

Moisturizing is essential for delicate skin types, but using the right moisturizer is even more so. Consider One Love Organics’ Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm for nourishing, anti-aging power. 

Step 4: Sunscreen

Physical sunscreen is best for delicate skin types, so try cocokind’s daily SPF, which features zinc oxide with marine extracts and shea butter to protect the skin.

If You Have Dry Skin And Are Acne-Prone

acids to go for dry skin type

Step 1: Cleanse

Dry skin types need to be extra careful to protect their skin barrier, which is why oil-based cleansers and cream cleansers such as Earth Harbor’s Aloha Love cut.

Optional Step 2: Tone

People with skin dryness can undoubtedly benefit from an alcohol-free toner. But if you use a cleansing oil or balm, the toner won’t have much of an opportunity to do its job, so you could skip this step. Otherwise, choose a moisturizing toner such as Versed Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk Toner (which is also vegan).

Step 3: Serum

Dry skin types need a serum that’s targeted for both acne and anti-aging benefits, such as Earth Harbor’s CELESTINE Hydra-Plumping Peptide Serum.

Step 4: Moisturize

It sounds incorrect, but skin that’s too dry can trigger breakouts just as much as too oily skin. So keep skin soft and protected with Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream, which has plenty of ceramides, antioxidants, and omegas for anti-aging power.

Step 5: Sunscreen

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 offers mineral protection without the irritation of fragrance or chemicals for skin dryness.

If You Have Normal Skin And Are Acne-Prone


Step 1: Cleanse

Typical skin types benefit from the ability to use foamy or jelly cleansers without stripping skin. So you can try Herbivore’s PINK CLOUD Rosewater + Tremella Creamy Jelly Cleanser.

Optional Step 2: Tone

You don’t necessarily need a toner for normal skin, but if you want to use one, try a natural one such as Fleur & Bee’s Rose and Shine Rose Water Toner, which only has two ingredients!

Step 3: Serum

If you choose to tone skin, follow up with a serum such as Wild Rose Herb’s Purifying Facial Serum, which uses targeted oils such as tea tree and lavender to acne while soothing vitamin E and chamomile to calm skin in oils for anti-aging power.

Step 4: Moisturize

You definitely don’t want to over-moisturize if you have normal skin, but you don’t want to skip the moisturizing step either. Protect your skin barrier and reap anti-aging benefits with potent antioxidants with 100% Pure’s Green Tea EGCC Concentrate Cream.

Step 5: Sunscreen

Typical skin types can consider Derma E’s Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen for sun protection that won’t clog pores.

What’s Your Skincare Routine? 

Skincare for acne-prone skin doesn’t have to be complicated. Download our free checklist for ingredients you want to avoid in products when you’re looking for the best anti-aging cream for acne-prone skin!

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  2. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All the best

  3. It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people on this subject,
    but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  4. Pretty sure Sarah ! Your daily routine idea is very great for me and the products you have mentioned are very helpful for anti aging acne and I am also using on daily routine.

  5. I love this post! I have been struggling with acne for years and I have tried so many different things. This routine is perfect for me!


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