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How to Tackle Breakouts if You Have Sensitive Skin

A person holding IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Treatment

If you have sensitive skin, you know just how difficult it can be to find the perfect skincare routine. Shopping for beauty products becomes an exercise in avoiding irritating ingredients that could trigger skin breakouts, itchiness, irritation, and redness. Finding pimple treatments and products that tackle face breakouts can be particularly tricky since many formulations may end up further triggering sensitive skin.

How do you square this circle? Your first step is using skincare products formulated specifically for sensitive skin. IT Cosmetics founder Jamie Kern Lima built the brand because she struggled to find products that could help soothe and camouflage her rosacea. To that end, we at IT Cosmetics aim to formulate products with all skin types in mind—including those with sensitive skin.

Along with relying on products you can feel confident using, it’s also important to adhere to a consistent, simple, and gentle skincare routine and avoid certain triggers. If you’re dealing with pimples on your face and also have sensitive skin, keep scrolling to learn what causes skin breakouts and which ingredients and products can visibly help get rid of pimples.

Does Sensitive Skin Breakout Easily?

Generally speaking, sensitive skin types may be more likely to experience irritation and redness compared to normal skin. Many sensitive skin conditions occur due to a compromised barrier, which in turn makes skin more sensitive to certain ingredients and environmental factors. This is why it’s so important to follow a routine that suits your skin type and to avoid known triggers.

How Do I Get Rid of Pimples on Sensitive Skin?

If you have blemish-prone skin, it might be tempting to take an aggressive approach with your skincare routine in order to tackle pimples. This can often end up backfiring and lead to dry skin that’s irritated, red, and sometimes even more sensitive than it was to begin with. It can also potentially lead to more skin breakouts. For all the above reasons, it’s important to follow a simplified skincare regimen for sensitive skin.

Our below routine and streamlined set of products may be a good option if you have both blemishes on your face and sensitive skin.

Confidence in a Cleanser
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Confidence in a Cleanser


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Step One: Cleanser

Washing your face helps remove dirt, products, and excess oil from your face, which can help keep your skin looking clear. Use a gentle cleanser that is suitable for sensitive skin, like Confidence in a Cleanser, once in the morning and once in the evening. This skin-loving cleanser gently removes makeup, oil, and SPF. Plus, ceramides help improve the look and feel of your skin barrier while hyaluronic acid hydrates.

Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Acne Serum
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Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Acne Serum


Old price $36.00 New price $27.00
One size available for Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Acne Serum
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Step Two: Use a Blemish Treatment

To help visibly reduce breakouts, you’ll want a blemish treatment at your side. We recommend our product with salicylic acid, which lends to a clearer-looking complexion.

Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Acne Serum is made with 2% salicylic acid to help visibly reduce breakouts. What helps make this formula special is that it also contains 3% lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). The formula helps gently buff the skin’s surface to reduce the appearance of discoloration—AKA those stubborn lingering red and brown pimple marks—to reveal skin that appears smoother and softer.

We also need to play up that it goes beyond your typical acne treatment that treats active breakouts, also fading acne marks at the same time. It's also lightweight, soothing and non-drying.

To use, apply three to four drops of the serum onto clean skin. You can apply the treatment all over your face to address current and future breakouts.

Step Three: Moisturize

If you’re tempted to skip this step, definitely don’t! Though there are a lot of myths about moisturizers causing skin breakouts, they’re not true. In fact, moisturizing can actually help reduce pimples!

Step Four: Sunscreen

No sensitive skincare routine is complete without sunscreen. The sun can exacerbate irritation, so make sure to apply an SPF of 30 or higher every day.

The CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+, CC+ Cream Illumination Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+, and CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 40 are all formulated with mineral SPF.

How Do You Care For Sensitive Skin?

The above skincare routine for sensitive skin can help you get your skin breakouts under control. Here are some additional ways you can care for sensitive skin.

  • Avoid harsh scrubbing with products or a washcloth. This can lead more breakouts on your face.

  • Wash and shower with warm water instead of hot water. Hot water can dry out your skin and make it feel more irritated.

  • Stick to one blemish treatment and give it six to eight weeks to work versus changing products often. Make sure to use the product as described to avoid overuse.

  • Clean your makeup brushes once every seven to 10 days. Makeup brush can collect dirt, makeup, and bacteria, which can cause more irritation and skin breakouts.

  • Don’t pick at pimples or try to pop them. This not only causes more pain, but it can lead to scarring and more skin breakouts.

  • When introducing new products to your regimen, do a patch test. Apply to a discreet testing spot (like the underside of your arm) and apply the product twice per day for seven to 10 days. If there's no reaction, you can use the product on your face.

  • Avoid ingredients known to irritate skin, such as added fragrance, dye and alcohol.

Learn more about how salicylic acid can help with blemish-prone skin, then read up on the connection between 'bad skin' and your mental health.

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