My Skincare Routine | For my oily acne-prone skin

September 11, 2020


and goOoOOOooooOD morning

My skin condition is something personal to me, which I have struggled with for almost 9 years. I have acne problems starting on my forehead and spreading to my cheek, nose, jaws and neck. 

I started to have an acne breakout when I was 18 y/o. I had the worst time, sometimes I ignore it, sometimes I tried to avoid it. I received disrespectful remarks from strangers, comments from friends and stares.  

I have used different skincare products and taken supplements. While some product appears to be meaningless, some did have positive effects. You have a skincare routine, but sometimes your skin just doesn't breakout would be wilding like a land mine. 

Early this year, I seek for Dermatologist helps who prescribed me antibiotics, gels and cream. Abruptly, I suffered from health issues so I had to discontinue the prescription (antibiotic).

Skincare companies could tell you what you should have, but not what your skin specifically needs. I was not well educated on my skin and product to use - my initial problem. After I did my research and studying, I tried out new products combinations. 

Alhamdulillah, after 6 months with my current skincare routine, I have better skin after a long time of battling acne. So, I would like to share my current skincare routine (not a thorough product review), to help others with acne problems skin. But, please remind. This routine work for me, but may not work for you because our skins are different.

My skin

I have very oily skin especially in my T-zone. I have suffered from all different types of acne - cystic, pustules and nodules. Blackhead on my nose etc.  I have post-acne scars and hyperpigmentation. Basically, I have all these marks that could tell the story of my life.

Morning skincare routine 🌞

The morning routine is for skin protection. Overall, I have a simple routine. I was a student, so these products are mostly from local drugstores, affordable and long-lasting.

STEP 1Cʟᴇᴀɴsᴇʀ - Hiruscar Anti-Acne Pore Purifying Cleanser

Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble acid, able to penetrate the skin and unclog pores, reduce sebum secretion. It is also an example of an exfoliant. This was recommended by my friend's lab mate. There are potential irritants like SLS and fragrance, but it doesn't irritate nor strip my skin. It also has niacinamide but is listed almost at the end of the list. So, the concentration is probably not that high. 

STEP 2 | Sᴇʀᴜᴍ - The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and control excess sebum production along with zincUnlike other skincare products, DIACEM's The Ordinary products are well known to be affordable (especially for serum) with straightforward formulations. There was soo much hype on this particular product among dermatologists and skincare specialists so I decided to give it a chance. I saw changes in my acne breakout and my skin oiliness, so I will keep this...forever.

STEP 3Sᴇʀᴜᴍ - The Ordinary's Alpha arbutin 2% + HA

Alpha arbutin helps to reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin production. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant that attracts water (either from the environment or bottom layer of skin), suitable for usage in a humid environment. This is my main scar and dark spot treatment. 

STEP 4 | Mᴏɪsᴛᴜʀɪᴢᴇʀ - Nature Republic's Super Aqua Max Cream

Oily face needs moisturizer. This is the only moisturizer I have been using. It is water-based, suitable for oily skin containing seawater, glycerin, HA and natural extracts as humectant and emollient. It does have a strong fragrance. However, I have a new moisturizer product and will be experimenting on that one.

STEP 5 | Sᴜɴsᴄʀᴇᴇɴ - Clinelle UV defense SPF50

This is a chemical sunscreen ⁽ᵂʰʸ ⁿᵃᵐᵉ ᵗʰᶦˢ ᶜʰᵉᵐᶦᶜᵃˡ ʷʰᵉⁿ ᵇᵃˢᶦᶜᵃˡˡʸ ᵉᵛᵉʳʸᵗʰᶦⁿᵍ ᶦⁿ ˢᵏᶦⁿᶜᵃʳᵉ ᶦˢ ᶜʰᵉᵐᶦᶜᵃˡˀ⁾ which contains these key ingredients that absorb into our skin and reacts with UV.  It does not leave a white cast on the face unlike physical/mineral sunscreen (Zinc or titanium oxide). Remember Mark Zuckerberg surf meme? 

It has a mild fragrance. However, chemical sunscreen can be irritating to one skin and oxybenzone is controversial for potentially harming the coral reefNowadays, people stay indoors during this pandemic. Should we wear sunscreen? Hope this could answer your question.

Sis nak try Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence sebenarnya, tapi sold out. So stuck with this dulu. It's a chemical sunscreen without oxybenzone at a cheaper price.

Night skincare routine 🌙

Night is where you apply products to heal and repair your skin after a day of exposure to dirt, makeup, stress, excess oil production etc.

STEP 1 | Mᴀᴋᴇᴜᴘ Rᴇᴍᴏᴠᴇʀ - ProACNE Solution Acne & Make-up Cleansing Water

Alkylpolyglucoside (APG) complex is a mild surfactant cleanser that removes impurities. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt derivative of hyaluronic acid, which helps to moisturize our skin.

Woop. This one is a wee bit expensive.  I had this since last year when I was testing Eucerin's ProACNE product line. I bought it for RM20 during Guardian 40% sale. It does remove my makeup well using 2-3 cotton pads. My makeup only consists of foundation, concealer and lip tint. It is basic and minimal. However, I don't wear makeup every day. So, I'm going to use this until it runs out before I opt for a cheaper one like Garnier's Micellar Water oil cleansing oil/oil balm for double-cleansing. 

STEP 2 | Cʟᴇᴀɴsᴇʀ - Hiruscar Anti-Acne Pore Purifying Cleanser

Hi! Same cleanser as my morning routine.

STEP 3 | Exꜰᴏʟɪᴀɴᴛ - Glycolic acid 7% toning solution

Glycolic acid derives from sugarcane, removes dead skin cells by gentle exfoliation and increase new cell turnover. Good for acne scar treatment. Glycolic acid also helps to reduce mild acne. Previously, I have used physical exfoliant (almost used walnut scrub 👀) but it didn't work. A physical exfoliant can be abrasive to the skin and create inflammation. So, I started using a chemical exfoliant.   I have been using this every day (after building up), for 6 months now and I still have half left. It is definitely long-lasting.

STEP 4 | Sᴇʀᴜᴍ - The Ordinary's Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Again. I'm using this at night. However, as you may not notice. I don't use niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% at night. I will explain it later.

STEP 5 | Sᴇʀᴜᴍ (?) - The Ordinary's 100% L-ascorbic acid powder

L-ascorbic acid is Vitamin C. It is the active form of Vitamin C. We also have D-ascorbic acid (inactive form), but I am not teaching chemistry today. Vitamin C is well known with antioxidant properties and helps to brighten skin tone, suitable for uneven skin tone, dullness and dark spotsPer company instruction, this product must not be used with niacinamide because it could affect the L-ascorbic acid integrity. I just used 1/4 to 1/2 scoop every night since it is very potent, could cause irritation at high volume. I mix it with my face mask essence.

However, vitamin C can be unstable and easily oxidized when exposed to light and oxygen, reducing its efficiency. This is a tricky product and there was a lack of opinions on this powder by the experts when I bought this. This is my 2-month trial and I will see how this go. If there are no changes, I probably invest in AHA+BHA peeling solution.

STEP 6 | Fᴀᴄᴇ Mᴀsᴋ - Mediheal Tea Tree Care Solution Essential Mask REX

Tea tree helps to control oil production, tighten the pores and moisturize skin. A face mask is not a compulsory step in a skincare routine. But, I found Mediheal mask to be really moisturizing and soothing because it contains many extracts with these properties. It just gives that satisfaction in the morning after. It has A LOT of essences. Sis not going to waste money, so I keep the extra essence and mix it with L-ascorbic acid powder.


Nᴏᴛ ᴅᴀɪʟʏ ᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛ

1. Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips

It was satisfying to see the strip filled with blackheads, oil, dirt, hair and sebaceous filament. wink. I used to do it weekly, but now it is rare because I have fewer blackheads compared to before. Although the nose strip successfully pulled out those dirty gunks on the nose (if used correctly), it does not prevent blackhead from re-occurring. Plus, the strip adhesive can also damage the skin outer layer. The best way to prevent blackheads formation is by using a cleanser and exfoliant.

2. Vaseline's Healing Jelly Cocoa Butter

I just applied at night if my lips are dried and chapped. Next morning, I will gently rub it off with moist tissue to remove the dead skin so that my lips appear moist and smooth before applying lip tint. This works well for me without using a lip scrub.  Drink lots of water because dry lips are a sign of dehydration whereby your body cells draw water from the lip or skin to hydrate.

3. WATSONS's Facial Oil Absorbent Paper

This paper just absorbs face oil but does not solve the excessive oil production problem. I use these to absorb excess oil or do an oil check on my face, is it too oily or not. Before I start my current routine, it took about  4 sheets of paper to bloat all the oils on my face. Now, it took 1-2 sheets, which is good because my face still produces natural oils but not at an excessive level, as a skin protective barrier. 


My current state of skin 

I don't have acne breakouts anymore. Pimple only appears around the month and fade in two days. The dark spots on my chin have gone and on my cheeks almost disappeared

My acne scars are almost gone. My pores are minimized but still, appear larger on my nose sometimes. Stubborn guy.

By the way, most of the products I have purchased from Shopee, except for Hiruscar cleanser and sunscreen. Just make sure the shop sells authentic products.


What have I learnt..

  1. Understand your skin
  2. Know and understand the product ingredient
  3. For a beginner, start your skincare with basic routine (Cleanser-moisturizer-sunscreen)
  4. Skincare products don't work the same with everyone
  5. Be patient in skincare
  6. The skincare product is gender-neutral.⁽ᵖʳᵒᵈᵘᶜᵗ ᵐᵃʳᵏᵉᵗᶦⁿᵍ ˢᵗʳᵃᵗᵉᵍʸ ᶜᵃⁿ ᵇᵉ ˢⁿᵉᵃᵏʸ⁾
  7. Acne breakout is multifactorial - skin conditions, hormone, diet, lifestyle, microbial infection etc.
  8. Not all natural is good, and not all chemical is bad.

No one is born ugly, we're just born in a judgemental society

⚠Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All of this information based upon my own research, reading and my own experience. I am also not associated with any dermatologist, aesthetician and nor do have knowledge beyond these knowledgeable people. Please seeks them to resolve your acne concern. 

p/s: I don't have before and after picture post. For personal matter and privacy... and I don't take them. 


  1. thank you for the steps, i always clueless which one to wear first

    1. Boleh search online "How to layer sikncare products"
      Perkara basic cleanser>moisturizer>sunscreen

  2. Yesss, I'm so glad I came across this post! Thanks for sharing your comprehensive and helpful skincare routine. I have friends who are still figuring out the products that are suitable for their oily prone skin and I wasn't sure what to suggest. I'm sure your post would be a great step for them to start exploring the possibilities for better skincare!

    1. Alhamdulillah! Thank you sis!

      Do check out some of the website links I have listed beside if they haven't. These channels help me a lot to understand my skin and skincare products.

      For starter, I recommend Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum. I was skeptical a first. I don't know why I didnt use it earlier. Now it is my must-have item

    2. I'm taking down notes! Haha thanks so much for your tips!

  3. Hi Ema. Thank you for the share.
    U beli Ordinary in which Shopee shop?
    I always worry I bought non-ori ones.

    1. Hi!
      Saya beli dari shop ni >

  4. alpha dengan nia yg dari ordionary skin AD xleh tolerate tap peeling die best, lepas tu vitamin c die pon AD pkai.dengan retinol so far alhamdulillah...AD beli dari diem official store utk free delivery AD share rmai2 dengan kwn..

    Congrats skin Ema da elok..yeayyy

    1. Tak elok sepenuhnya. Cuma tak ada break out jerla.
      Post-acne tu yang kena jaga.
      Kadang2 hormonal acne ni go crazy certain time


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