June is Acne-Awareness Month | Impact of Skincare Products on Acne

June is Acne-Awareness Month | Impact of Skincare Products on Acne

June 2024 | Written by Danna Lee


June is Acne-Awareness Month. Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. Acne can be mild, with few or no symptoms, or it can be severe, so severe that it causes scars on the skin.  Acne is not just a teenage problem; it can impact anyone of all ages and can lead to a source of frustration and self-consciousness. I have written this blog post to help you understand how certain skincare products can impact your skin and cause acne, and how clean skincare routine can help address acne and achieve clearer, healthier skin.


Understanding Acne

Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells. This blockage can lead to whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and even cysts and nodules. You'll most likely find acne on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, or shoulders because these areas have the most oil glands.

Several factors can cause acne, including hormones, genetics, diet and stress. Acne mostly occurs during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, or extreme stress because hormonal fluctuations can increase sebum production, leading to clogged pores. Seasonal changes, especially in summer or winter, can also affect sebum production. Research suggests that diets high in sugar, dairy, and carbohydrates can trigger or exacerbate acne. Certain medications, including corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium, can cause acne too.


The Impact of Skincare Products on Acne

Above are factors that many of you might be aware of. However, did you know that even the skincare products you use might cause or worsen acne? I wanted to share a personal experience that taught me a lot about the impact of skincare products on acne and the overall skin health.

I rarely had acne my whole life, except for a couple of months when I was in 7th grade. However, when I was 22, I bought a random AHA exfoliating serum (from a well-known brand) from chemist to improve my skin tone and texture. It tingled and hurt upon application, but it instantly made my skin feel smoother. A couple of days later, my skin started breaking out. I freaked out. I went on internet. I found many articles praising AHAs, saying they were beneficial for the skin and especially for acne. It was mentioned that there might be a "purging" phase where underlying clogs are brought to the surface, "temporarily" increasing breakouts but eventually repairing the skin. However, my breakouts didn't feel temporary—they were persistent and soon spread to my neck and back. Yes, I got a skin infection from just one use of the AHA serum.

Since then, I tried everything—retinoids, salicylic acid, you name it. Instead of improving, my skin got worse. It became dry and irritated, and I felt so frustrated and unsure of what to do next.

That's when I started using natural products only. I thoroughly checked the ingredient lists of my products, and threw away everything with harsh, synthetic chemicals. Consistently using Carol Priest products only for about two months, I started seeing results. My skin began to heal. The breakouts gradually reduced, and the dryness and irritation disappeared. My skin now feels stronger, more resilient. The acne on my neck and back started to clear up as well (although I didn't do much on those areas). 

One of the most important lessons I learned is the impact of synthetic ingredients. While they can show quick results for some people, they often come at a cost. Synthetic ingredients can be harsh, causing irritation, dryness, and even worsening skin conditions. Even the ones that has EWG green grade, and widely known as safe, we don't know about their "long-tern" risks yet. 

Whether or not you're struggling with Acne, I suggest to go for natural products. Because our skin is natural, the skincare solutions should be natural too. There are so many natural ingredients with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can be as effective as those synthetic ingredients. The difference is that they are gentle on the skin and they focus on promoting the long-term health of the skin, instead of giving quick fixes.


My Acne-Fighting Skincare Routine

If you're already struggling with acne, here are my suggestions. These tips are from my own experience but also what many of our customers agree who achieved Clear skin using Carol Priest products.

1. Cleansing

I've used Blue Chamomile Cleansing Cream twice daily. I never went to bed without removing my makeup. Although the cleansing cream is for oily and acne-prone skin, it was nourishing and hydrating enough for my dry skin. It never strips the skin off, so after each wash, my skin would feel hydrated. The high doses of Chamomiles and Bisabolol which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, really help calm and soothe acne breakouts.

2. Regular Exfoliation & Masks

I've added Almond & Lemonbalm Facial Scrub and Green Clay Mask with Herbal Oils into my skincare routine. The scrub is very gentle as it uses the ground almond as the natural exfoliator. While it may not feel as effective if you're used to exfoliators with synthetic ingredients, it still instantly makes the skin feels smooth after each use.  Because it is so gentle, I use the scrub in the morning (not every day, 2-3 times a week) before my make up. This gives my skin that radiant glow without causing the foundation to separate.

I've been consistently using Green Clay Mask twice a week since then, and my skin feels so much brighter and stronger. When I first started using it, I could feel my skin was tightening. Not much anymore; I believe it's now maintaining my skin.

These two products smell incredible. I use them when I have a mild headache, and they would get rid of it too due to their aromatherapy benefits. I honestly recommend trying these to everyone.

3. Tone to Balance

Manuka Toner really helped calm and soothe my skin. Although I'm not a big fan of the scent (Now I'm back to using Damask Rose Toner as it keeps my skin feel more hydrated), Manuka Toner is very effective with the acne. The Manuka Oil itself has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that fights breakouts, but the one in our toner (and in all our products) is organic and full-moon harvested, which is even more effective. You can use it with cotton pads to remove residual impurities after cleansing, but when I had breakouts, I just spritz it over my face and let my skin absorb it to avoid any irritation.

4. Spot Treatment

As mentioned, initially I tried using synthetic ingredients to treat my acne. I also went to pharmacy to get some acne ointments. They didn't help much. I used Rosa Damascena Facial Serum to reduce individual pimples and prevent future breakouts. The serum is a 2% Rosa Damascena (Rose Otto) blended in Jojoba Oil, which not only helps soothe acne but also visibly reduce the acne scars.

5. Hydration using Non-comedogenic Moisturiser

Hydration is essential for all skin types. Our Lettuce & Jojoba Moisture Lotion is a light weight, non-comedogenic moisturiser that is specially designed for those with oily & acne-prone skin to hydrate without clogging pores. For me, it didn't give me enough boost of hydration, so I layered it with a thicker cream type moisturiser - Vegetal Rich Rose Face & Neck Cream.

6. Sun Protection

The sun here in New Zealand is very strong. We have one of the highest levels of UV radiation in the world, which can damage the skin to be more prone to irritation and inflammation, worsening acne over time. Whether you have acne or not, It’s crucial to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. If you have acne, find a non-comedogenic sunscreen. Please don't miss using sunscreen when going out. 

7. Healthy Diet, Enough Sleep, Stress Management, and CONSISTENCY

Obviously, addressing acne requires more than just proper skincare. You need to have a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and manage stress. What is most important is consistency. It may take time to see significant improvements. Stay patient and persistent in your efforts, and your skin will thank you.


Remember, acne is not your fault. It's a condition influenced by various factors, many of which are beyond your control. However, finding the right skincare products that prioritise natural ingredients and gentle care can make all the difference. To support those with acne-prone skin, we have curated a list of products specially designed to target breakouts and blemishes.

Be patient, be kind to your skin, and know that clearer, healthier skin is within reach.


Please note that any opinions, comments, recommendations or advice that is contained within Carol Priest Blog Posts are solely those of the person posting on the Blog and do not in any way directly or indirectly represent the opinions, views, beliefs or intentions of Carol Priest Organics.