My Acne-Free Skin Goals for 2021 and How I’m Getting There


For me, 2020 was the year I finally gave into a proper beauty routine. While others learned how to make sourdough in lockdown, I painstakingly researched skincare products and invested in a number of serums, exfoliants, toners, treatments and eye creams.

While working from home (AKA never leaving the house) I seized the opportunity to try and get on top of my hormonal acne and gave myself the much-needed space to sample new products without the fear of reaction and breaking out in public.

I’m not there yet — anyone with hormonal acne will know there’s no “magic cure”, and that more often than not, you’ll have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince/solution — but one thing I have been able to land on, is the goals I have for my skin:

Going forward, I want to be able to make makeup feel like an option, rather than something I feel is necessary to make me feel confident. How I plan to do this? By finding solutions to the underlying causes of my acne, treating and reducing the scarring leftover from repeat breakout areas, and by investing in quality skincare and self-care.

Here are the ways I plan to do this.

Wear SPF Every. Damn. Day.

Some five years ago, I made myself a promise to never get sunburnt again. It’s probably the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever maintained, and perhaps one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made for my health and wellbeing.

In keeping my promise to myself, I wear and reapply SPF as recommended when I’m spending time in the sun, but not always will I pop on SPF if I’m merely running to the shops. In 2021, this is one change I will make.

“Sunscreen is your best bet for preventing the kind of skin damage that leads to skin cancer and melanoma, as well as warding off signs of premature ageing (if that’s something you care about),” Call Time on Melanoma founder Lisa Patulny tells The Latch.

I’ve tried a bunch, but have finally landed on Ultra Violette’s Lean Screen SPF50+ Mineral Facial Sunscreen. The physical SPF offers high sun protection, while the non-greasy, zinc-only formula is light on the skin with a slightly matte effect. Perfect for everyday wear.


Commit to Regular Facials

I’ve visited Sydney clinic Melissa Young Beauty a handful of times, and after each visit, I leave with refreshed and glowing skin. While facials are an investment, I find they’re incredibly helpful for allowing me to better understand my skin, while a facialist works to do what I simply can’t at home.

“A facialist can give your skin a deeper cleanse than the one you do at home,” Melissa Young tells The Latch. “We are able to use machinery and tools, plus a larger variety of potent ingredients specifically tailored for your skin and concerns. Even better, we can target more than one concern at a time to improve your skin’s overall health.”

Further to facials, I will continue to share my concerns with my GP and discuss any steps and solutions I have not yet explored. And actually, I have already kicked off on this one.

Following a recent consultation, my GP and I are working to gauge my reaction to a prescribed oral treatment that will hopefully stop new acne from forming. One week in and it’s probably too soon to tell if it’s working out yet, however, I have had no new pimples in a few days and feel excited to now tackle the scarring and pigmentation.


Nail the Skincare Routine

I’m not trying to have 40 serums in a beauty fridge; just a handful of products that do what I want them to and that have been proven to garner results from people with a similar skin type and skin issues to my own.

While I’ve found beauty groups of Facebook to be a fun forum for product discussion and recommendations, I’ve learnt the hard way that what works for one person really didn’t work for me, and so I’m paring back to a few key ingredients only:

“Most assume retinol is designed only for anti-ageing benefits, however, it has a wide range of benefits including assisting with acne concerns, pigmentation while also working as an antioxidant along with the anti-ageing benefits fine lines, wrinkles and firming of the skin,” says Young.

Vitamin B
“I always advise clients to do a thorough skin consultation with a specialised skin specialist to ensure their skincare routine is bespoke for their skin. However, I can’t live without my Ultraceuticals Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum,” Young says. The hydrating product contains Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol (Provitamin B5) and Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), which works to visibly plump and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Vitamin C
“This is an ingredient to be careful with if you are fighting with acne concerns, as not all acne skins will be able to tolerate this product as it may cause the skin to break out further if you still have active breakouts. However, vitamin C is a great antioxidant which protects the skin from free radicals and inhibits melanin production in the skin which will help lighten discolouration on the skin and brown spots,” says Young.


Give My Skin a Break

Sometimes literally, by skin fasting when I feel like I need to, but figuratively as well. Breakouts, while incredibly annoying, are super common and something I personally have been dealing with since my teenage years.

In 2021, I’m going to try not to get down on myself about a cluster of new blemishes, and instead make informed decisions about what it is my skin is calling out for when they arise. Because if I’ve learned anything, it’s that stressing about my skin really doesn’t help.

Remember: There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to skin. What works for one person may not work for another, and so it’s best to seek the help of a trusted GP, dermatologist, or GP to discuss any skin issues you may be facing.

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