Wait, what?! Do I get acne, too?
You knew that fine lines and wrinkles are part of getting older. But no one warned you acne could join the party, too. Turns out, you don’t get a pass just because you’re out of puberty.
How do you deal with both? Acne actives can be harsh and drying – and that makes wrinkles worse. But a wrinkle-free face won’t make you happy if it’s riddled with pimples. Argh!
Fret not. I have good news for you: the best anti-aging actives do double duty: they keep wrinkles at bay AND fight acne AT THE SAME TIME.
The only question is: where do you find them? Here are the best anti-aging products for acne-prone skin:
La Roche Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum ($39.99)
La Roche Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum contains two of the best acne-fighters. A Vitamin A derivative, retinol kicks both acne and wrinkles in the butt. It works by accelerating cellular turnover (i.e. the skin’s natural exfoliating process) to smoothen out the surface of your skin and remove dead cells before they have any chance of getting into your pores and clogging them up. While it’s at it, it also boosts collagen production and fights free radicals. The catch? Retinol is harsh and can easily irritate skin. Enter Vitamin B3, a.k.a. niacinamide. Not only niacinamide has anti-acne properties of its own, but it helps reduce the irritating potential of retinol. Win win.
Available at: Dermstore, Feel Unique, and Ulta
Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Niacinamide In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that works against both premature aging and acne? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Aging + Acne” (it features product recommendations + right application order):
PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment 0.5% Retinol Night ($111.00)
PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment 0.5% Retinol Night is expensive – for a reason. This multitasker tackles acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Salicylic acid exfoliates skin and unclogs pores, removing all the crap stuck within them that’s giving you acne. Retinol gives it a helping hand in the exfoliating department, plus it fights free radicals and boosts collagen to firm skin. This combo can be pretty harsh on the skin, but niacinamide comes to the rescue – again. It calms down redness and irritation, hydrates skin, and even helps fade away dark spots. If your skin is resistant and can take daily use of it, this can replace several products in your routine.
Available at: Dermstore
Related: Can You Use Retinol And Salicylic Acid Together?
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($33.99)
There are a gazillion forms of Vitamin C out there, but only ONE has what it takes to treat acne: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. Studies show SAP reduces sebum oxidation (a main cause of acne and inflammation) by up to 40%! It’s also more effective than 5% benzoyl peroxide and 0.1% differin. Plus, it fights free radicals and brightens the complexion. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum pairs it with BFF ferulic acid and Vitamin E, two powerful antioxidants that supercharge Vitamin C and help it work better and faster.
Available at: Free People, iHerb and Ulta
Related: My Complete Review Of Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
Dermadoctor Ain’t Misbehaving Medicated Acne Control Serum ($48.00)
Dermadoctor Ain’t Misbehaving Medicated Acne Control Serum is packed with acne-fighters. Salicylic acid unclogs pores, removes blackheads, and soothe the redness that always comes along with acne. Azelaic Acid promotes exfoliation (so dead cells don’t fall into your pores and clogs them) and reduces inflammation (one of the main causes of acne). Finally, tea tree oil kills P. Acnes, the bacteria that gives you acne. What about anti-aging? This gem features green tea and superoxide dismutase, two of the most powerful antioxidants out there. Together, they patrol your skin looking for free radicals to destroy before they give you wrinkles.
Available at: Dermstore
Related: The Complete Guide To Azelaic Acid In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It
FaceTheory Supergel Oil-Free Moisturiser M3 (£13.99)
FaceTheory Supergel Oil-Free Moisturiser M3 has everything you need to fight acne and wrinkles at the same time. For starters, salicylic and lactic acids exfoliate your skin and keep your pores clean from excess oil, dead skin cells, and anything else that could clog them up. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C) and green tea have powerful antioxidants properties that neutralise free radicals before they can give you wrinkles and help you get rid of acne, too. Niacinamide is another multitasker that reduces inflammation, the look of fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and acne. Like, everything in here does double duty. Plus, its texture is so lightweight and fast-absorbing.
Available at: FaceTheory
Related: Adult Acne: Why It Happens And How To Treat It