top of page
  • Writer's pictureKaren Lee

Help! I've sprouted an acne beard!

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed expert. I just spent a better part of a year doing hundreds of hours worth of self education on products and ingredient research. This series consists of edited conversations from people who asked for my advice. Recommendations have been tailored for each individual based on their skin concerns, skin goals, budget, and product availability in their geographic location. My personal philosophy around product recommendations is to err on the side of caution when it comes to potential lasting biological and ecological effects. As clean and green as reasonable for the individual is the way I go, and I often recommend only products that I have personally investigated/tried. I always do a deep dive into the ingredients of products that they are currently using to try and pinpoint what may or may not be working. Names have been changed for anonymity.


I have a semi-permanent chin beard of pimples. My skin is prone to redness. I'm oily around the chin and drier around the eyes, but otherwise normal. My goal is to have the Russian model skin, like the ones who get daily facials.

I am currently using a Kiehl's calendula cleanser, a green Clarins toner, and a couple moiturizers. I usually use the Clinique daily moisturizer with SPF. I also use a Clinique eye roller ball cream. I also have a cleanser and moisturizer from Avene.


The combination of your Clarins toner and the Kiehl's foaming cleanser may be stripping too many oils away from your skin. Try a "simpler" cleanser with fewer ingredients.

One of the gentlest and most effective cleanser I have used is Drunk Elephant's Pekee bar. It's has a perfectly balanced PH and doesn't over strip your skin (that tight feeling). Even though, it contains sulfates which that I'm personally very sensitive to, I haven't had any problems with this formulation.

It may seem counterintuitive, but your skin can overproduce oil if you take too much away, thereby leading to more breakouts. Marula oil has a lot of skin-repairing benefits and doesn't leave a heavy/greasey feeling at all. There is quite a price range for this stuff (due to extraction processes, fair-trade, refinement etc.), but a well reviewed affordable one is from The Ordinary.

Your moisturizer may be exacerbating your acne. Mineral oils work by working as a layer to "trapping" water to your skin, so your skin cells may be prevented from shedding properly. It might be a little too suffocating for you skin. So what we might want to do to combat clogged pores is some exfoliation.

Lactic acid is a really gentle exfoliator. I really like Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, but it’s quite pricey over in the UK. Here is an affordable option from The Ordinary.

I just got over all this texture along my cheekbones, and I am also cycling through the end of a whole beard situation as well. I changed my routine to also include salicylic acid in the morning. (And I used the lactic acid at night).

So salicylic acid dissolves the oils in your pores. And lactic acid helps “un-glue” dead cells (chemical exfoliation). So together, they help clear whatever is lurking underneath the surface and keep your skin clear.

I have been using Caudalie's Vinopure serum for its salicylic acid. If you're in Paris, it's much cheaper, but otherwise, just focusing on the active works too. So again, we turn to The Ordinary for giving us exactly what we need on a budget.

Use one acid in the morning and one at in the evening. Mix a drop or two of marula into the few drops of salicylic/lactic it takes to cover your face. Follow up with moisturizer/spf.

Personally I use salicylic in the morning because it helps keep the oiliness down, and lactic acid at night

In terms of sunscreen, try using a mineral sunscreen instead of a chemical one built into your moisturizer. With chemical screens, they break down throughout the day so that by the end of the day it contributes to that gross greasey feeling.


Winter no longer has angry spots popping up on her chin, but still gets red and oily at night. She has named her new cleanser Princess Pekee.


bottom of page