Sometimes our skin lets us down. Spots can erupt overnight, leaving us to cope with a rash of congestion, irritation and inflammation. Given the challenges the world is facing, keeping a positive outlook and bright demeanour can be difficult at the best of times. The last thing we need is an acne attack. From hormonal teens to mature-skin breakout, when dealing with problem skin, look for vegan ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree, salicylic acid, gluconolactone, glycerin, witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, antioxidants, niacinamide, squalane, zinc, probiotics and d-panthenol.

Skincare routine for problem skin

These vegan products all have powerful acne-fighting ingredients that will help fight for your cause and rescue your face.

1. Cleansing

The first step in any skincare regime is cleansing. For acneic skins, a gentle and non-foaming product is ideal. Active ingredients in cleansers can be a waste, given the product is rinsed and wiped off so quickly.

Clean skin is important for problem skin so many reasons – to allow fresh skin to absorb beneficial ingredients and to prevent congestion and irritation from a build up of dead skin cells, pollution, bacteria and makeup. A double cleanse is the new essential step in a healthy skin ritual. If this is your nighttime routine, a micellar water or oil cleanse is the first port of call.

Try Ere Perez Gingko Micellar Water or Black Chicken Remedies Cleanse My Face Organic Purifying Oil Cleanser, followed by a gentle non-foaming gel or cream cleanser, such as Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Facial Cleanser. Supercharge the cleansing action with a gentle hot cloth massage to remove residue along with excess oil, and traces of pollution, dirt and makeup (Bass Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Cloth). Your skin will be ready to eagerly accept the round of active ingredients coming its’ way.


Supercharge the cleansing action with a gentle hot cloth massage to remove residue along with excess oil, and traces of pollution, dirt and makeup (Bass Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Cloth). Your skin will be ready to eagerly accept the round of active ingredients coming its’ way.

2. Probiotic Tonic

Using a probiotic tonic after cleansing will ensure your skin stays moist and receptive. It’s a great way to maintain a healthy acid mantle. Edible Beauty Probiotic Radiance Tonic contains live vegan probiotic strains to reduce breakouts.

The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner uses vegan lactic acid to smooth and refine texture while also harnessing probiotic powers. And it’s highly economical when you consider that this cult product addresses multiple skin concerns.

3. Exfoliant

A chemical exfoliant with AHAs, such as Mukti 2 in 1 Resurfacing Exfoliant, used a few times per week ensures further eruptions. Congestion is minimised gently and effectively and helps get rid of acne. With problem skin, avoid scrubs using textured granules as this type of formulation can further irritate acneic skin, or even cause blemishes when particles are lodged under the stratum corneum (upper layer of skin) by the rubbing motions of your hands.

4. Nourish & Calm

To nourish soothe and calm after cleansing or exfoliating, apply an antioxidant rich product containing salicylic or lactic acid such as Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Recovery Cream or Dirty Hippie Raw Face Feed Oil. Both have a beautiful balance of healing, soothing and clarifying ingredients.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose Daily Moisture is a great option for a light formulation with an exceptional antioxidant ingredients list suitable for sensitive skin. Antipodes Immortal Face and Body Moisturiser SPF 15 is a perfect product to use in your morning routine as it also offers sun protection. Look for ingredients like niacinamide, aloe, hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, zinc and d-panthenol.

Individual spots or particularly stubborn or blind pimples can be targeted with a blemish lotion utilising antibacterial and healing ingredients. Look for tea tree, witch hazel and aloe vera. Or for the pore clearing action, consider a 2% salicylic acid formulation. We recommend Dirty Hippie Tea Tree Blemish Treatment Tonic and Acure Incredibly Clear Acne Spot with the soothing effects of willow bark and glycerin.

5. Glow

After acing your skincare routine, the cherry on your skin care cupcake is to even out your skin tone with a facial fake tanning product. Eco Tan Face Tanning Water with aloe vera is the secret weapon in your routine, and sits front and centre on our beauty shelves. You’ll have no need for makeup, and the wholesome glow is all yours for the basking. Now you can venture out into the world and fight for the animals because there is nothing holding you back!

This article was originally published on 16 May 2019 and has been updated.

About the Author


Jessica Ferguson grew up on a nudist health farm in the Sunshine Coast hinterland to vegetarian parents, and was raised with ethical consumerism at the forefront of family life. In a small country town in Queensland, these ideals were often viewed as suspicious and against the norm.

While studying a Masters of Teaching, and a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Sydney University, Jessica spent many years working part time in modelling and television, where her interests in beauty and fashion developed.

Making a sea change to the NSW Hunter Region earlier in 2019 with her surfer husband and twins in tow, has been a revelation, revealing a vibrant and fresh lifestyle, rich with dynamic and motivated people.

Jessica feels this is an exciting time to grow the vegan voice, as we witness an enlivened global movement towards plant-based lifestyles and social awareness.

Our writers independently select all products featured on The Vegan Company. We only recommend products and services we love – and think you’ll love too. Just letting you know that when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.