What To Do When Acne Flares Up

Hi! I’m Robin. I’ve been an esthetician since 2004, and love serving the beautiful  people of Rincon, Georgia. I want to be your dedicated Skincare Coach, passionately devoted to helping you achieve the radiant, blemish-free skin you deserve. I believe in empowering you to achieve acne-free complexion that aligns with your unique beauty.

At Face Grace Esthetics, it’s not just about treating acne; it’s about transforming lives. I understand that acne can be more than just a skin concern; it can negatively impact your  self-esteem and confidence. That’s why my mission goes beyond surface-level treatments to empower you with the knowledge to keep your skin clear.

Today, we are going to get all the answers about what to do when acne flares up. Whether you’re a teen grappling with hormonal shifts or an adult facing stress-induced breakouts, acne can truly take a toll on your confidence.

I’ve been asked what to do when acne flares up by  countless clients so today in my latest blog, we’ll tackle the challenges of acne flare-ups head-on.

First, let’s get the mini takeaway so you can find out what to do when those skin breakouts happen.

When acne flares up, in addition to getting professional treatments by an acne expert, be sure to use acne-safe products that will not exacerbate your acne flareup – especially the makeup you are using daily. Get my Acne Safe Makeup Guide to find out which makeup products are safe! 

The products you use at home play a vital role in your skincare journey. Make sure to use products free from harsh chemicals and irritants, to complement your in-clinic

Ok, so now we have the brief nailed, let’s begin by finding out more about what to do when acne flares up. In this blog, we will look at:

Understanding Acne Flare-Ups
My DIY Approach To Acne
How Face Grace Esthetics Helps With Acne
Conclusion: What To Do when Acne Flares Up

Understanding Acne Flare-Ups

First things first, let’s talk about what causes acne flare-ups.  Whether it’s hormonal imbalances, clogged pores, or inflammation, acne can rear its head at the most inconvenient times. However, understanding the root cause can help us tackle it more effectively.

According to dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology, acne flare-ups are often triggered by a combination of excess oil production, clogged pores, bacteria, and inflammation. So, when you notice that angry red bump starting to form, it’s time to take action.

Read more in my other article Why Does Acne Flare Up? 

A DIY Approach

Having worked with countless clients dealing with acne, there are some super effective strategies you can do to help manage the  flare-ups. Here’s what I recommend when you are wondering what to do when acne flares up.

Keep it Clean

Proper skincare is the foundation of acne management. Cleansing your face twice daily with an acne-safe cleanser is important  for removing excess oil, dirt, and bacteria without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

Try a non-comedogenic cleanser – free from harsh chemicals and irritants.

A non-comedogenic cleanser sounds super scientific but is just a facial cleanser formulated with ingredients that are less likely to clog pores and cause acne.

They are designed to effectively remove dirt, oil, and impurities from the skin without leaving a residue that could block pores.

They contain gentle, non-irritating ingredients that are suitable for all skin types, including  both sensitive and acne-prone skin. While you can buy acne products over the counter, if you choose to use me as your skincare coach, I will curate a selection of acne-safe products to complement your in-clinic treatments. These products will support your skin’s healing process and maintain its clarity between appointments.

If you use over-the-counter products, here are a few examples of some you may like to try:

  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
  • Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser
  • Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Gel Cleanser
  • Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
  • Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild
  • Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
  • Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water (for sensitive skin)
  • Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser


Spot Treat with Care

When dealing with acne it’s really important to resist the urge to go overboard with harsh products to try get rid of it. Instead, opt for targeted spot treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

These ingredients help reduce inflammation, kill acne-causing bacteria, and promote faster healing without causing excessive dryness or irritation.

Apply the spot treatment directly to the affected areas, always avoiding healthy skin to prevent unnecessary irritation.

Use Acne-Safe Moisturizers

Keeping your skin adequately hydrated is one of the main things to think about when you are faced with the issue of what to do when acne flares up.

Look for oil-free, acne-safe moisturizers formulated with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

They will provide much-needed hydration without clogging pores, helping to balance oil production and prevent skin dehydration. Apply acne-safe moisturizer morning and night after cleansing to keep your skin nourished and supple.

Watch Your Lifestyle

Achieving clear skin is not just about what you put on your face. It’s also about embracing a healthy lifestyle. I offer holistic guidance on proper nutrition, stress management, and self-care practices. A balanced lifestyle, combined with effective skincare treatments, can significantly improve your skin and overall

Pay attention to how your skin reacts to different foods and consider keeping a food diary to identify potential triggers. Common acne-triggering foods include dairy, sugar, processed foods, and high-glycemic-index foods.

To start the process of getting soft acne-free skin you could try reducing how much of these foods you eat on an average day  and start eating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet to support overall skin health.

Read more in Is Your Diet Causing Your Acne? 

Don’t Forget Sun Protection

Sun exposure can make acne worse and cause inflammation, as well as causing flare-ups it will also increase the risk of sun damage and premature aging.

One of my most important tips when heading out into the sun is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, regardless of the weather.

Look for oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreens that won’t clog pores or aggravate acne. We are all familiar with that word now, right?

Here are a few good ones you could try.

  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 35
  • Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
  • Cetaphil Pro Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30
  • Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40
  • Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Oil-Free Face Cream
  • Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30
  • Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30
  • Coppertone Oil Free Faces Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Apply your sunscreen generously to all exposed skin areas and reapply every two hours, especially if you’re spending time outdoors or doing anything that causes sweating or if you are swimming.


Seek Professional Help

Despite your best efforts, acne could carry on resulting in flare-ups  that can impact your confidence and quality of life.

So if you are finding nothing is helping, then it may be time to get help from a professional esthetician.

Skincare experts who are knowledgeable and trained can assess your skin condition, identify underlying causes of acne, and recommend personalized treatment plans tailored to you.

Treatment options may include prescription medications (from a dermatologist), chemical peels, laser therapy, or other advanced procedures designed to target acne at its source.

With professional guidance and support, you can achieve clearer, healthier skin and importantly regain your confidence.

How Can Face Grace Esthetics Help?

If you are ready  to kickstart your journey to clearer, radiant skin, I have a range of Advanced Skin Treatments that can help with those breakouts.

If you’re dealing with persistent acne and have tried multiple treatments and consultations without success, we’re here to help. Our boot camp provides a specialized approach tailored to your unique skin and lifestyle.

The boot camp commences with an in-depth skin assessment, where we discuss your skin goals and curate a regimen specifically for you. Throughout the three-month program, you will have ongoing check-ins and treatments with Robin to assess your progress and make necessary adjustments along your journey to clear skin.

We also offer add-ons which enhance your regular treatments.

The Acne Back Peel is a superhero for those hard-to-reach spots, using different acids to tackle acne, scars, and hyperpigmentation. So, you can say hello to smoother, happier skin on this hard to reach area!

Chest peels are specialized treatments targeting blemishes, scars, and hyperpigmentation in the chest area.

Using a blend of powerful ingredients they deeply exfoliate and renew the skin, revealing a smoother, clearer complexion.

Want to give your skin a little extra love? Dermaplaning might be just the thing. It’s like a gentle exfoliating session that helps your skin absorb all those good-for-you ingredients even better. Dermaplaning for acne is a gentle exfoliation technique that removes dead skin cells and peach fuzz from the face. By promoting smoother skin texture and enhancing product absorption, it can help reduce acne breakouts and improve overall skin clarity.

LED Light Therapy for acne is a non-invasive treatment that utilizes different wavelengths of light to target acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. Stimulating the skin’s natural healing processes accelerates acne healing and minimizes future breakouts. Safe and painless, it’s an effective option for clearer, healthier skin and leaves you with that post-spa glow we all love!

Just a heads up though, it’s always best to book a consultation first to see if the treatment you are thinking about is right for you.

Face Reality Bootcamp

Experience the transformative power of the Virtual Face Reality Bootcamp, where clear and confident skin becomes a reality regardless of your location!

For those of you who prefer a more hands-on approach, our In-Clinic Face Reality Bootcamp offers specialized solutions for persistent acne.

Beginning with a personalized skin assessment, it’s a tailored approach  to your unique skin. 

Over three months, you’ll receive ongoing check-ins and treatments to monitor progress and make adjustments. Begin your skin transformation!

What To Do When Acne Flares Up? To Finish Up…

So are you ready to say goodbye to acne and hello to glowing skin? Let’s do this!

These therapies aren’t just about treating acne, they’re about restoring confidence and embracing your skin’s natural beauty.

By combining homecare with personalized in-clinic care, they offer a path to clearer, healthier skin that reflects your unique glow.

With each treatment,  you’re not just investing in skincare; you’re investing in yourself, empowering yourself to face the world with renewed confidence and radiance.

 Also don’t forget the power of lifestyle changes! Eating balanced meals, managing stress, and sticking to a skincare routine can all lend a hand in promoting overall skin health and keeping flare-ups and breakouts at bay.

To find out more about my services and how I can help you understand what to do when acne flares up, get in touch for a free consultation, or dive straight into my specialist Initial Acne Consultation