Basic Regimen for Mild Acne and Oily Skin

The Basic Regimen is a daily skin care routine for oily / acne prone skin to keep mild acne in check. It is a bare-minimum “good skin care habits” regimen that you can follow forever whether or not you are a teen. It is designed for both guys and girls.

The Basic Regimen is basically for Acne Prone Skin Type 2 and can be used for treating clogged pores (flesh-colored small pimples), whiteheads, blackheads and very oily skin.

The Basic Regimen is for you if

  1. You are a teenager with small pimples (whiteheads, blackheads) that do not have too much swelling or redness around them.
  2. Or you only get pimples once in a while, say once a month (during that time of the month).
  3. Or you had acne in the past but your skin is now clear and you want a daily maintenance regimen.
  4. Or you don’t have pimples but just very oily skin. This regimen will help reduce the oiliness.

You will not need to use extra products such as a toner or face scrub or mask with this regimen.

Ideally, you would be using only products mentioned in this regimen and no extra stuff on the side. Some of your extra products could be pore-clogging without your knowledge. And then you might wonder this regimen is not working for you.

Products and why you need them

All the products mentioned in this regimen can be found at supermarkets or popular online shopping websites.

Product Why you need it Brand choices
Cleanser you need it to thoroughly clean sunscreen and moisturizer without irritating the skin Kaya Skin Clinic Soothing Cleansing Gel (best choice) /
FabIndia Tea Tree Face Wash /
 Vedic Line Neem and Brahmi Face Wash /
Jolen Face Wash Gel with Lemon Extract /
 Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash
Exfoliant a low percentage glycolic acid product, an exfoliating cleanser  to keep pores clear and reduce oiliness AHAGlow face wash or Glomed face wash (medical stores)
Treatment a low percentage salicylic acid product to keep pores clear and reduce oiliness Sebonac Gel (medical stores)
Moisturizer for relief from dry, stretchy feeling and possible skin flaking Neutrogena Oil-free Moisture for Combination Skin (not the SPF 15 version) / Aloe Veda Aloe Vera Gel / Sebamed Clear Face Gel  (online shopping websites)
Sunscreen to prevent darkening of acne spots and overall sun protection Sunprotek Gel SPF 30+ /
Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF 50+ /
Kaya Daily Use Sunscreen + with SPF 15 /
Suncote Gel SPF 30

Steps of the Basic Regimen

Morning routine:

  1. Shave (boys) with cleanser.
  2. Girls and boys wash face with exfoliating cleanser.
  3. Apply sunscreen generously. Wait for 15 minutes.
  4. Dab moisturizer in areas that feel dry.


  1. If skin has become oily, wash face with cleanser. Reapply sunscreen.

Evening routine:

  1. Wash face with cleanser.
  2. Apply moisturizer on areas that feel especially dry.
  3. Mix a little bit of treatment with moisturizer in your hands and apply all over the acne prone areas (forehead, chin, nose, cheeks). Avoid eye area, sides of the nose and around the mouth. Dab extra on active pimples.

Tip: If you notice redness or small, white pimples (whiteheads) from using Sebonac gel, try mixing less of it with your aloe vera gel. If that doesn’t help, try using Sebonac only every alternate night. Salicylic acid based products like Sebonac can potentially irritate sensitive skins even at low concentrations and cause whiteheads. But if your skin is able to tolerate Sebonac, you’ve found a winner, so try different ways of using it before throwing it out. It is powerful, but sometimes too powerful for sensitive skins.

Alternative products

  1. From the sunscreens listed in this post, you will have to experiment a bit to see which one you like more. They are all non-comedogenic, so they won’t beak you out, but you may like one brand more than the other. Suncote Gel can give the face a shiny look, so try to look for other options mentioned if that is the case.
  2. There are aloe vera gels in the market that contain added oils that can cause pimples. Try to get the Aloe Veda one. Brihans aloe vera gel is probably fine too. Patanjali aloe vera is comeogenic and had broken out some people.
  3. If you cannot get Sebonac gel, try Clean & Clear Skin Balancing moisturizer instead of mixing Sebonac with moisturizer. Clean & Clear Moisturizer does have some comedogenic ingredients which may cause pimples, so try to get Sebonac.
If you run into any problems, go through the Regimen Troubleshooting Guide carefully and see if your question is addressed there.

Popular teen products that cause pimples

If you are using any of these products and you are still getting pimples, it is likely that they are worsening your acne. Stop using them for a week or 2 and see if pimples improve.

  1. Lacto Calamine Lotion
  2. Clean & Clear Foaming Face Wash
  3. Pond’s White Beauty products
  4. Fairness creams
  5. Fair & Lovely creams
  6. Vicco Turmeric creams
  7. Face washes that contain myristic acid / stearic acid (Garnier, Pond’s, Olay)
  8. Products that contain castor oil
  9. Cold creams (Pond’s, Nivea, Dabur)
  10. Any of these 80+ acne causing creams

If you have been getting pimples, check your current skin care products for pore-clogging ingredients. You can do that by copy-pasting the ingredient list in the Skingredients Online tool.

image martinaphotography@flickr

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