The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Prone Skin That’s Easy & Effective

Want to have great skin without wasting your time? Here’s The Ordinary Skincare for Acne guide that you were looking for.

You know, the ordinary sounds like a decent brand to get a long term successful skincare. 

But let’s be honest here, with so many products it can be quite confusing to put up a simple routine.

Here you can find a quick and easy guide, a few tips and tricks, and a simple way to start now.

However,

If you still want to take your time, and don’t mind spending some time making your own daily spa, we’ve got something for you  too.

Keep an eye, because after the quick routines, you should find more detailed info, packed cool insights just for you.

Let’s get started!

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Prone Skin That’s Easy

If you haven’t consulted a physician, it is better not to mix too many products, because you never know which reaction you may face.

We want to make it quick and easy, right? 

So, you probably don’t need tons and tons of products.

Take a look at the following ‘The Ordinary Skincare For Acne’ suggestions and see if you like them!

1# The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Basic Routine

To keep it super simple, wash your face, apply the Ordinary Niacinamide Serum, apply moisturizer and sunscreen.

This is the official Skincare routine advised by the ordinary website:

Morning 

  1. Wash your face with a desired cleanser (AM / PM)
  2. The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum (blemish fighting / minifies pores / oil control / use on entire face) 
  3. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (AM / PM)
  4. Sunscreen (AM)

Evening

  1. Squalane Cleanser
  2. Salicylic Acid 2% Masque (exfoliating deep cleansing mask / unclog pores / removes dead cells / Use on entire face, once or twice a week)
  3. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  4. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (AM / PM)

If you adopt this Ordinary Skincare For Acne Prone Skin, know that your skin can get sensitive to the sun.

Make sure to apply sunscreen and if you can avoid the sun exposure it’s even better. 

At night you can repeat the same process, taking off the sunscreen. 

If your skin tends to dry out, you can try adding a light weight oil like after the serum.

Always start slow and test the products to check efficacy and if they don’t cause severe irritation.

Take a look at this The Ordinary skincare Routine Guide For Every Skin type to learn how to create your own routine. 

2# Routine For Oily Acne Prone Skin

In our next The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Prone we are mixing a few products that are great for oily skin.

Note that if you have oily skin, you still need to hydrate your skin, that’s when moisturizers and hydrating serums are welcome.

Morning routine

  • Step 1: Squalane Cleanser
  • Step 2: Niacinamide Serum (blemish fighting / minifies pores / oil control / use on entire face) 
  • Step 3: Hyaluronic Acid Serum (retains natural moisture / Soothes The Skin / unclog pores)
  • Step 4: Sunscreen SPF / UV Protection

Night Routine

  • Step 1: Double Cleansing
  • Step 2: Retinoid Serum (anti-aging / prevents dead skin cells from clogging pores / acts in acne prevention)
  • Step 3: Hyaluronic Acid Serum
  • Step 4: Moisturiser

In this second suggestion, we mix a little more products, but we are into the quick spectrum.

These products are quick and easy to apply. 

Take a look at this The Ordinary skincare Routine Guide For Every Skin Type to learn how to create your own routine.

Read More: The Ordinary For Acne Scars 101 | A Powerful Regimen Guide 

3# The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Scars & Dark Spots

Acne and dark spots scars occur after the pimples are healed.

Even though dark spots may occur to every skin type and tone, it can be very prominent on dark skin tone.  

While treating active scars you can use comedogenic products and after it’s healed you can start hyperpigmentation, skin lightening treatments.

It is important to say that ordinary skincare products may not completely fade aways acne scars.

However they do an excellent job minimizing and treating acne scars and spots so let’s take a look at a few products that can help you with that.

If you want to treat acne scars and dark spots, here’s our suggestion:

Morning Routine

  1. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
  2. The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics (lightweight formula for hydration) 
  3. The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% Treatment ( brightens skin tone / fade acne scars / anti-aging / dark spot reduction / evens skin tone)
  4. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors ( Moisturizing)
  5. Sunscreen SPF / UV Protection

Night Routine

  1. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
  2. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% Treatment (dark spot and acne scars reduction / limits production of excess melanin) 
  3. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Treatment (reduces blemishes)
  4. Moisturize with The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors

Dark spots and after acne pigmentation occurs after excess melanin production, so products such as The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% are great for that.

It is also important to treat hyperpigmentation early. Dermatologists agree that the sooner you treat it, the better.

Down below I listed a few other products and treatments that you can check out

Take a look at this The Ordinary skincare Routine Guide For Every Skin type to learn how to create your own routine. 

Read More: The Ordinary For Acne Scars 101 | A Powerful Regimen Guide 

#Serums For Acne Scars & Dark Spots

  • The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution (brighten skin / even skin tone)
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (anti blemish treatment for spot-prone skin)
  • The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% (anti-aging / for manutention of healthy skin)

#Treatments For Acne Scars & Dark Spots

  • The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (treats hyperpigmentation / using before niacinamide, SPF, and retinol may reduce effectiveness of the latest products).
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA (gentle chemical exfoliant / removes dead skin cells)

#Oil For Acne Scars & Dark Spots

  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil (good for skin cell renewing)

#Moisturizers For Acne Scars & Dark Spots

  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (minimizes dark spots /acne scars)
  • The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%. (vitamin C / brightens skin / anti-aging)

#Exfoliators For Acne Scars & Dark Spots

  • Mandelic Acid 10% + HA. (bi-weekly)
  • Salicylic Acid Masque  (bi-monthly)

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne & Blemishes

Often enough acne will cause Blemishes (small inflamed bumps) on the skin which is very annoying.

These blemishes can occur once pores are clogged and inflamed so it is good to invest in deep cleansing and pore unclogging products.

In addition, it’s important to adopt exfoliators once or twice a week and lightweight products. 

Here’s another suggestion of The Ordinary Skincare For Acne and Blemishes that you can try out:

morning

  • Step 1: Cleanser
  • Step 2: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (exfoliating deep cleansing mask / unclog pores / removes dead cells / Use on entire face, once or twice a week)
  • Step 3: 100% Plant-Derived Squalane ( fast-absorbing and lightweight / non comedogenic / penetrates deep inside pores /   )
  • Step 4: Sunscreen SPF / UV Protection

Night

  • Step 1: Cleanser
  • Step 2: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (retains natural moisture / Soothes The Skin / unclog pores)
  • Step 3: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (Anti-Inflammatory, Skin Lightening, minimize pores)
  • Step 4: 100% Plant-Derived Squalane

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne And Aging

Adult acne can happen throughout your life, there are people in their 50s or more that are experiencing acne.

If you are younger and have been experiencing acne, you can combine an acne and anti aging routine as well.

The reasons for adult acne are diverses. This may be a hormonal process, maybe you are on your period and so on.

For severe acne, it is always better to consult a dermatologist before using and / or combining any advanced skin care routine.

Alright? That being said, here’s our suggestion of the ordinary skincare routine for acne and anti-aging:

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1%

Niacinamide is a topical form of vitamin b3 and many people like to include it in the ordinary skincare for acne.

It is very well indicated to treat normal redness that comes out when you have acne. 

It also helps with scaring, tightening pores and oil reduction.

You can have a few drops directly on your face AM and PM, doing a little massage, which feels great.

The ordinary Niacinamide texture is of a lightweight serum and it feels so good when you apply it onto skin.

Use AM and PM, after cleansing and before moisturizing and sunscreen on a long term and you will see great results.

For your acne and anti aging skincare routine, we can suggest you apply the ordinary buffet serum right after the niacinamide.

The Ordinary Buffet

The Ordinary buffet serum is anti-aging and in my opinion very hydrating that you can use even if you are in your 20s.

It not only delays but also minimizes signs of age such as wrinkles, loose skin, aging spots and things like that.

In combination with Niacinamide, it becomes a powerful treatment for dullness to pimples and wrinkles.

To enhance The Ordinary Skincare For Acne, use the buffet ordinary serum day and night, after niacinamide.

If you want, you can finalise with facial moisturizer and sunscreen.

Check out this full review on The Ordinary Buffet Serum, where you will find quite a lot of great info about it.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Hyaluronic Acid is a high strength-peeling that can leave your skin smoother. 

This can be used by all skin types but this is a great option for this acne anti-age skincare because treats:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines 
  • Dulness
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Scarring
  • Skin texture
  • hyperpigmentation

If you have sensitive skin, it can be too harsh to use it frequently, so pay attention to how your skin reacts to it.

On the ordinary official website they say you should cut off if your skin is sensitive, so it is better to be careful.

However many people related that this acid is actually ok and less aggressive than the purple acid for example.

Some people use it every night, some people with more sensitive skin may opt to use it twice a week.

In case you feel this is a bit too strong, dilute it with other compatible products until you feel your skin is finally tolerant to the product.

Now, if you still think you need something more gentle, you can use The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA.

Make sure you use it only in the evening, after cleansing your face, apply a few drops on your face.

Only after, you can apply before oils, creams, and moisturizers. 

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne And Dry skin

Maybe oily skin is more prominent to acne issues, but dry skin can also suffer from that from time to time.

It can be a bit difficult to find the right products if you have dry skin and for some reason, is experiencing acne.

This is because most acne products are designed for oily skin and if you don’t choose the right product, skin can dry out even more.

Make sure you use cleansers and moisturizers that are specific for your skin condition (dry skin).

If you are looking for the ordinary skincare routine for acne, and have dry skin, here’s a few suggestions:

Morning Routine

  • Hydrating Cleanser
  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid. (For hydration)
  • Treat with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2%. (blemish fighting / minifies pores / oil control / use on entire face)
  • Moisturise with The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors.
  • Sunscreen SPF / UV Protection

Evening Routine

  • Hydrating Cleanser
  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid. (For hydration)
  • Treat with The Ordinary Niacinamide. 
  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors. 

Weekend Routine

If you want to complement The Ordinary Skincare For Acne, you can opt for a weekly routine.

This is totally optional but may give you an extra boost on your skincare routine. 

Anyways, you can always try this out and if you don’t like or feel that irritation occurred, you should suspend it.

For Beginners

If you are not used to acids, you can try out the following skincare once a week. 

Let’s say every saturday, instead of doing your normal routine you follow the steps below: 

  1. Use a hydrating cleanser and dry your face
  2. Use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque for 10 minutes. 
  3. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque

If you are fighting dullness and your skin is lacking vitality this is a great option for you.

This will improve skin texture, so it is great to have if  you are recovering from acne, oily and blemish-prone skin.

It removes dead skin cellsIn and in the end, your skin will be clear and smooth and refreshed.

But be careful because if you have sensitive, peeling, or compromised skin this product is not for you.

Do not use this product everyday as the ordinary recommends to use it once or twice a week.

In our routine suggestion we recommend using it once a week. 

You can apply The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Masque after cleansing, make sure skin is completely dry after using it.

Avoid applying close to the eye area.

For more advanced Users

If your skin is used to peelings and acids, you can try out the following skincare once a week. 

Let’s say every sunday, instead of doing your normal routine you follow the steps below:

  1. Use a hydrating cleanser and totally dry your face and neck 
  2. Apply The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution on face and neck for 10 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water
  3. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution is a wash-off mask that exfoliates your skin leaving it brighter and glowy.

This acid is not indicated for beginners and you should stay away from it if you have sensitive skin.

With a mix of different exfoliators in one product, here’s a few benefits you can expect from the ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling solution:

  • Deeper exfoliation
  • It helps clearing pore congestion
  • fight visible blemishes
  • Glowy skin
  • Improved skin texture
  • Fine lines reduction

It is important to say that during the period you use this peeling solution, you should avoid sun exposure.

Always use sunscreen and wear protective clothing for a week afterwards.

The Ordinary Skincare Products For Acne [Getting Started]

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Prone Skin

I know The ordinary has loads of cool products, but sometimes, it is better to stick with the basics.

By that, you keep yourself safe (not mixing something you shouldn’t) but you can actually have a better understanding of what works or not for your skin.

Apart from that, there are some people whose skin won’t respond well to too many products.

On the basic side, if you are in a rush, you can start with a gentle cleanser, serum, moisturizer and spf.

You can also use cleanser, serum with an additional treatment, combined with oil, moisturizer and spf.

There are many combinations you can try, but if you are getting started it is better to start with the basics.

If you feel like you need a more serious, advanced treatment, please look for a doctor and never rely on information you find on the internet.

Good Ingredients For Your Acne Skincare Routine  

1. Salicylic Acid (Anti-Acne, Redness and Inflammation)

2. Niacinamide (Anti-Inflammatory, Skin Lightening, Reducing Large Pores)

3. Azelaic Acid (Anti-Inflammatory, Improving Skin Tone and Anti-Acne)

4. Retinoids (Anti-Acne, Anti-Aging)

key ingredients you can use in your ordinary skincare routine for acne

While putting together the ordinary skincare for acne you can use one of these three types of products. 

In this section we are focusing on Salicylic acid, Niacinamide, retinoids.

I am not saying these are the only ingredients for acne treatment, but these ones are pretty good.

It’s also good to look for Non non-comedogenic Products that help avoiding blockages and signs of acne.

Salicylic Acid 2% 

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), that you can use to exfoliate skin, removing dead cells and renewing it.

Ideal for oily acne prone skin, it helps you treat black heads, as it penetrates into the skin pores and clears it. 

While choosing products with salicylic acid the maximum dosage you will find is 2%.

Anything higher than that, should be prescribed by a professional.

The ordinary has a Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, which is a leave-in exfoliant.

This solution not only removes dead cells that renews your skin but anti inflammatory properties that helps with redness. 

As it is a gentle formula, you can use it daily morning and evening after washing your face.

Does that work for dry skin as well? 

If you have dry skin, the ordinary salicylic may dry your skin out. 

One alternative is to use a cleanser that contains Salicylic acid in the composition.

A good option is the CeraVe Renewing SA cleanser that contains three types of ceramides, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.

This cleanser is very gentle on skin, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and contains vitamin D.

NOTE: DO not use salicylic acid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding 

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Review

The ordinary salicylic is a great acne treatment that helps with blemishes and pore congestion.

In the case of the ordinary salicylic acid solution that exfoliates your skin deep inside, treating blemishes.

It is important to pay attention, because you should not use this formula on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin.

Another point that’s important to clarify is this is not a product for medical acne treatment.

According to The Ordinary website, if you fight extensive or persistent acne, you should not use this product.

Benefits Of The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

In sum, here you have some key benefits you can experience after continuous use of the ordinary salicylic acid: 

  • Soothes skin unclog pores
  • Deeply exfoliate your skin 
  • Unclog pores

How To Use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution?

  • Use AM and PM
  • Use it directly on the acne spot or apply a little amount all over the face
  • Avoid eye contour and eye contact

In case you notice some irritation, reduce the frequency and use it once a day or every other day.

In case you experience irritation during application, it can be ok, however if this sensation takes more than 10-15 minutes, wash your face immediately.

Once you notice your skin got better, acne is dry and healed, you can switch to the  AHA exfoliation.

This will help you treat and fade possible scars, redness and pigmentation. 

A good serum you can use in combination with this treatment is the Niacinamide serum.

Note: the Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution can be drying. So if you have dry skin and want to try salicylic acid, you can try using a gentle facial cleanser instead.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide goes well with almost  every skin type, even the sensitive ones. 

This is a very hydrating ingredient (vitamin) also known as Nicotinamide and Vitamin B3.

If you want to mix it with other ingredients, it’s always good to consult a dermatologist first, but you mix it with retinol, hyaluronic acid for enhancing hydration and anti-aging treatments. 

When used regularly, it can help prevent acne, by controlling sebum production on your skin that can be the root of acne.

By removing excess oils, it can unclog pores and fight acne. 

Also, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, by reducing skin inflammation, it treats acne scars, spots and redness.

So, niacinamide is a super ally as a part of acne treatments that leaves your skin hydrated and protected. 

Here’s a few benefits you can have by using niacinamide:

  • It Hydrates your skin
  • Treats Hyperpigmentation
  • Regulates skin sebo production
  • It’s anti-aging
  • Combats free radicals
  • Helps with skin sensitivity 
  • Minimize pores
  • diminish dullness
  • Skin strength
  • Even skin tone

The ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Review

As niacinamide treats skin blemishes and congestion, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% does that and helps with sebum control.

Note: DO not mix it with vitamin C. In case you want to add vitamin C to your routine, you can use it at a different time. Do not use both niacinamide and vitamin C at the same time.

On the ordinary website, they clearly state that the The ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is not an acne treatment per se.

However, as it fights blemishes and works in sebum balance/control, it can serve as a prevention, or post acne treatment.

For persistent acne, The ordinary recommends using Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Retinoic Acid (consult a physician for dedicated instructions)

How to use The ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 

  • Use AM and PM
  • Apply on the entire face before heavier creams
  • Do not use if skin is irritated 

If you notice any irritation occurring, stop application immediately and wash your face.

Retinoids For Acne Skincare Treatments

Retinoids are anti-aging but can also help those with moderate to severe acne. 

It unclogs skin pores and allows other treatments to penetrate deeper into skin, enhancing these treatments.

If you are experiencing acne outbreaks, it can help you, because once applied, it prevents dead skin cells from clogging pores.

In the end you may even prevent acne scars.

The ordinary skincare has different retinoids. Down below we have a few examples:

2% in Squalane Granactive RetinoidModerate Strength / No irritationDo not use with: 
retinoids including retinol or retinoic acid  / Direct acids / Pure Vitamin C / Copper Peptides
2% Emulsion Granactive RetinoidModerate Strength / No irritation
5% in Squalane Granactive RetinoidHigh Strength / No to low irritation
  • Start with the lowest strength 
  • Apply retinoids after cleansing/exfoliating
  • Start using it twice a week, at night and gradually change the frequency to every other day
  • You should use retinoids in your evening routine only and it is better to avoid sun exposure 

Note: As you can see on the table, retinoids can cause conflict if mixed with the wrong product/solution. Please contact a professional for personalised instructions on how to mix it with other products.

2% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid 

This Squalane Granactive Retinoid is water free and contains 2% of advanced retinoid active complex.

Contrary to ordinary retinols, the ordinary retinoids can cause low to no irritation on your skin.

Retinoids are not a direct acne treatment, instead it is a very powerful anti-aging actor in your skincare.

In fact, if you have acne you may experience a temporary acne increase in the first few weeks.

However, when used before compatible acne treatments, it unclogs your skin pores and allows other treatments to penetrate deeper into skin.

Note: DO not use this product in conjunction with other retinoids including retinol or retinoic acid

How to use

  • Apply in the evening (PM routine)
  • After Serums
  • Before heavier creams  

2% Emulsion Granactive Retinoid

This is a very lightweight milky-textured serum that is mainly used for anti-aging skincare routines.

It combats signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dark spots without irritating skin.

If you’ve suffered from acne, it works on the overall quality of your skin, leaving you hydrated, and helps with dark spots.

However, it may take a couple of months to start seeing improvements on dark spots so you’ll need to be patient.

5% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid

This is a high strength retinoid with an oily texture. 

Despite the retinoids we have mentioned here, which causes no irritation, this one can cause low irritation.

But it depends, some people reported not to experience any type of irritation by using this 5% retinoid.

As an oily product, you may not feel comfortable to use it if you have oily skin, however, this solution won’t clog your pores.

Squalane is a type of ingredient that is very similar to natural sebum the skin produces.

Once you apply it, skin recognizes it as a familiar sebum and absorbs it quickly and effectively.

Even though the retinoids  we have mentioned can dry out skin, this one is the most hydrating between them.

It is probably the best for dry skin, however, if you are just starting out with retinoids, it is not indicated to use the 5% formulation but a lower solution.

How to use the ordinary 5% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid?

  • You can add the ordinary 5% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid to your  Evening Routine, every other night, after cleansing. 

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (Anti-Acne and Anti-Redness)

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (Anti-Acne and Skin Tone

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane (Anti-Acne and Anti-Aging)

Exfoliators For acne Treatment

If you are looking for exfoliators, you can check the table below where I give you two suggestions.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is good for oily, acne prone skin and the Mandelic Acid is good for sensitive acne prone skin.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution 
For Oily And Acne-Prone Skin
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
For Sensitive / Acne-Prone Skin

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Conclusion

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne guide thinks about a few different scenarios that acne can occur.

We are humans, and even though most acne prone skins tend to be oily skin, there may be a lot of different situations.

In this article we talked about acne prone skin, oily skin, dry skin with acne, combination skin.

We have put together a few skincare routines, product suggestions, tips on how to use these products and so on.

These are all cool stuff, the result of a large research online I did, where I could combine a few different recipes.

However, I am just a user like you, and if you would like or need to try an advanced routine, then it is better to look for a dermatologist, alright?

If I forgot to mention something or if you have a skin type that I haven’t covered, feel free to send me an email and send me suggestions and ask questions.

Please also, leave your comments below as we’d love to hear from you!

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Disclaimer

The Ordinary Skincare For Acne Prone Skin That’s Easy & Effective is not a sponsored post.

I haven’t received anything from The Ordinary to write about these products.

This article comes from the necessity of my readers, who like to look after their skin and were looking for some tips on that.

For the moment, this article DOES NOT have any affiliate link that pays me commissions.

I may add these links in the future, but for the moment, there are no affiliate links.

Thanks for reading and being part of this site, I would love to have you back anytime you want!

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