A 6-Step Evening Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

Already checked out our morning skincare routine for acne-prone skin? Things get a little bit different when it comes to overnight skincare… You need a powerful cleanse to remove a day’s worth of makeup and grime, and it’s also your opportunity to make the most of active ingredients which aren’t recommended to use in the daytime, like acid-based exfoliators, masks, or retinol. This routine includes all the basics (cleansing and moisturising) with added extras that specifically help to both address existing breakouts and prevent future ones.

Scroll down for a simple, easy-to-follow evening skincare routine for acne-prone skin, featuring product recommendations and application tips. 

1. Cleanse

No matter how tired you are, it’s super important that you wash your face before bed – especially if you’ve been wearing makeup. And no, face wipes and micellar water alone won’t cut it. Acne-prone skin will benefit from double cleansing, a process that ensures skin is left super clean. Start with an oil-based cleanser like a cleansing oil or balm which will remove makeup, dirt, and grime. Spend two to three minutes massaging it all over your face, then rinse it off using warm water and a clean flannel. 

The best cleansers for acne-prone skin

2. Double cleanse

The second cleansing step gives a deeper cleanse for skin and provides an opportunity for you to utilise active ingredients like exfoliating acids or charcoal to help target clogged pores, excess oil, and active breakouts. Thoroughly massage into skin (you may want to use an electronic cleansing tool with this step), then rinse off with warm water and a clean flannel. 

The best oil cleansers for acne-prone skin

3. Exfoliate

It’s important not to over-exfoliate your skin, especially if your skin is sensitive and breakout-prone, so this step should only be done twice a week. Whether a clay mask, acid toner, or overnight treatment (in which case skip the following steps) these powerful exfoliants will help to target long-term issues like stubborn congestion along the jawline, blackheads around the nose, or scarring on the cheeks.  

The best exfoliating treatments for acne-prone skin

4. Treat

Serums are concentrated blends of ingredients chosen to address specific skin concerns. For acne-prone skin, look out for ingredients like glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid, or retinol in your evening serum. These ingredients are best applied overnight as they increase skin’s sensitivity to UV. Pat your serum onto damp skin, using your fingertips to gently press it in. Skip this step on nights when you’ve used an exfoliating treatment, and always remember to wear an SPF the following day. 

The best overnight serums for acne-prone skin

5. Moisturise

Hydrated skin is healthy skin and healthy skin is better able to heal and fight breakouts, so don’t skip this vital step. Use a gel-cream textured moisturiser which focuses on hydration and don’t be tempted to use anything that’s loaded with “acne-fighting” ingredients – your skin has already got these from your serum and doesn’t need overloading. To apply your night cream, massage generously all over your face and neck. 

The best night creams for acne-prone skin

6. Target

While in the morning you probably want your spot treatments to absorb fast and appear invisible, you probably don’t have the same concern at night. Look out for hero ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, zinc, and calamine which help to quickly reduce inflammation and clear the impacted pore. For spots that have already come to a head or have broken skin, apply blemish stickers to draw out congestion and prevent bacteria from entering the wound. 

The best overnight spot treatments for acne-prone skin