6 Steps to Clear, Acne-Free Skin – Dr. Dray



Dealing with acne can be difficult, I have been there. I had to go to work every day with a face full of acne, I had my colleagues telling me it looks yuck, yes that happened. Trust me, it gets better. I went to see a dermatologist and it took about a year, but I got rid of my acne. You do not need to go see a dermatologist, try some of these dermatologist-recommended products and ingredients in a skin care routine meant for acne prone skin.


Note: The inserted images from amazon are for your benefit and mine. They give you a better idea of the products I talk about; and if you use my link to make any purchase, I make a small commission from Amazon as part of their Amazon Affiliates Program.

If it does not work for you, you can always see a dermatologist, but try this first.

  1. Use a Salicylic Acid Cleanser in The Morning for Clear Skin

Good for anti-aging purposes, hyperpigmentation as well as acne related issues, salicylic acid gets into the oily surface of the skin well and seeps down into the pore to exfoliate it from the inside. Lather the cleanser to your skin, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse it off. That is how you use salicylic acid to maximize benefits. You could use it twice a day as well.

Dr. Dray Recommended Salicylic Acid Cleanser

Zapzyt Acne Face Wash

dr. dray


  1. Use Sunscreen for Clear Skin

Yes, I said sunscreen. Sun block is crucial for clear skin because ultraviolet radiation from the Sun delays skin healing considerably and generates a lot of inflammation that is going to make the redness and discoloration persist a lot longer than it would with sun protection. Any skin issue that you have, can get a lot worse if you fail to protect your skin from the Sun.

Click here for a list of Dr. Dray’s favorite Sunscreens. 

Dr. Dray Recommended Sunscreens

CeraVe Hydrating Sheer Tinted Sunscreen

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral, SPF 50

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF

  1. Wash Your Face at the End of the Day With a Gentle Cleanser

It is important to cleanse your face to remove dirt, makeup, and sunscreen. Stuff left behind on your skin can generate oxidative stress by creating free radicals, and that ends up driving more inflammation and irritation to your skin and acts as a big barrier to your journey to clear skin.

Use a gentle cleanser, even if you have oily skin. Do not assume that just because you have oily skin, you can use harsh scrubs on your skin and get away with it.

Dr. Dray Recommended Nighttime Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

If you wear water resistant sunscreen or makeup, Dr. Dray suggests using a cleansing oil or a cleansing balm first, this helps to break off that sunscreen and makeup, you can follow that up with a cleanser.

I have a post about some of the best cleansing oils and cleansing balms that dermatologist Dr. Dray recommends. You can find some great recommendations here.

For convenience’s sake, I am adding some Dr. Dray recommendations to this post as well.

Albolene Moisturizing Cream

Neutrogena Body Oil

  1. Use A Moisturizer with Niacinamide or Licorice for Clear Skin

Oil and moisturizer are two separate things, just because you have oily skin, does not mean you do not need to moisturize. I used to believe that, before I discovered this truth, and using a moisturizer alone has helped me improve the texture of my skin over the last two years.

What ingredients to look for in your moisturizer for Clear Skin? These are the ones that dermatologist Dr. Dray recommends – Niacinamide and Licorice. These ingredients help to reduce free radicals from your skin. They are known to help inflammation, redness, and hyperpigmentation.

Dr. Dray Recommended Moisturizers

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizer


Procure Rosacare is another great one that helps camouflage redness.

You could use these moisturizers in your daytime routine as well, before the sunscreen, and after cleansing. Make sure the moisturizer dries before you apply a sun block.

  1. Retinol / Adapalene / Retinoid for Clear Skin

If you are not on prescription Retinoid, Dr Dray highly recommends incorporating retinol, or adapalene to your nighttime skin care routine. Retinols help keep your pores clear, healthy and reduce acne flare ups in the future. Retinols help in skin cell turnover and are notorious for being highly useful for clear skin.

If used consistently, retinols help with collagen production. This is useful in improving the texture of your skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and retinols are also beneficial in reducing acne marks and dark spots from the skin.

Dr. Dray Recommended Retinols

Differin Gel

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

(This one also has licorice root and ceramides for the added benefits)

Once your moisturizer has dried, put a pea-sized amount of your retinol. Avoid the eye area, you can use Vaseline around your eyelids to make sure you avoid that area. Dr. Dray suggests keeping this product away from your neck as well. Skin on the neck is more delicate than the skin on your face so not every product that is used on your face, can be applied to the neck.

  1. Do Not Pick Your Skin for Clear Skin

Picking skin can be a symptom of anxiety and stress. It is a habit, and we might be doing this without even realizing. Picking your skin, acne, bumps, pimples will make sure it never heals. I know it sounds serious, but it is. Every time you pick your skin, that area is traumatized, making sure that it does not heal.

A product that dermatologist Dr. Dray recommends, to help avoid skin picking is, Mighty Patch. These are pimple patches that are used on active pimples. These patches help pull out the pustules to help heal the pimple and having these on acts as a barrier for skin pickers.

These skin patches stay on and you cannot see them on the face. This a great product for acne and acne pickers. Use these whenever you feel like you have the most urge to pick your acne.

Mighty Pimple Patches

Wrapping Up

These recommendations are not just for your face, you can use these products anywhere on your body where you have acne, or acne marks. You just need to be a bit more patient when it comes to your body because the skin on your body is thicker than the skin on your face, so the products take a bit longer to get through the thick skin.

Cheers to a calmer mind and skin!


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