As a teenager, I was blessed with clear skin that required zero foundation. But, somehow I managed to curse myself and that didn’t last long because adult acne became my constant battle. I tried so many products that worked for other people but they only made my acne worse. Most of those products targeted oily skin and aimed to dry your oils, but I had super dry skin! And when I say super dry, I mean dry patches everywhere. So, with that being said, I will tell you what has/ hasn’t been working for me in case you are in a similar situation. Please, please, please realize that some cases of acne are caused by a much bigger internal problem that goes beyond topical creams.
Things I changed in my Routine
- Drinking water – you’ve probably heard this one a ton but it’s because it actually works! Water flushes out toxins and toxins create acne. The main thing though is to drink enough water: 8 or more cups of water. I didn’t see a difference till I started to drink a lot. (Be warned: if you have a tiny bladder like me you’ll hate every moment of this. )
- Find out if your acne is caused by a dietary reason – I won’t repeat what everyone else says that “you are what you eat” and you must eat only healthy stuff if you want to get rid of your acne because that isn’t true. I still eat a bunch of junk food and fast food (which I don’t recommend lol) and I no longer have active acne (just occasional breakouts). However, I did figure out that dairy aggravated my acne and I limited my dairy intake. For you, it may be sugar, dairy, salt, or none of the above at all! To figure out if nutrition is the blame for your acne, eliminate each potential culprit for two weeks and see if there were any changes.
- Avoid adding more bacteria, dirt, etc. – The obvious way is to stop touching your face and to make sure your pillows are clean. Other carriers of bacteria though may be your couches (if you occasionally fall asleep on them while watching Netflix), your towels, or in my case, Bazooka’s (my dog lol) slobbery kisses! You have no idea where your pet’s tongues has been (and you don’t want to know trust me) so as adorable as they may be, don’t let them give you slobbery kisses.
- Eliminate irritants from your beauty products – This one is also very personal because not everyone is irritated by the same products, but use the process of elimination to see if you realize any difference.
The Products that Changed my Life (not in any particular order)
Sunday Riley UFO Oil – This product was a life saver because I have dry skin and most acne products will dry you out (this didn’t do that since it is an oil). It has 1.5% salicylic acid (fights acne and unclogs pores), tea tree oil (kills bacteria), licorice (brightens post acne scars), and neroli (soothes irritated skin). A little bit goes a long way so it definitely justifies the price in my opinion. I use this oil at night (sometimes mixed with foundation or moisturizer) when my pores look clogged and I could tell that I’ll breakout soon.
Rael Acne Healing Patches – I mentioned these babies in my Top 5 Amazon Skincare Products but they deserve another mention because they’re that good! They’re made of hydrocolloid which helps heal pimples faster while protecting them from bacteria and keeping moisture locked in (loss of moisture causes scarring). I use these when I have a few dispersed pimples.
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V – I can’t say enough good things about this product and if I had to get rid of all of my acne products, I would survive with just this one! It is an exfoliating lotion that tones, exfoliates, and nourishes. P50V contains salicylic acid (fights acne and unclogs pores), lactic acid (exfoliates, unclogs pores, lightens scars), citric acid (exfoliates, unclogs pores, lightens scars), and niacinamide (improves appearance of pores, fine lines, skin tone, wrinkles, and dullness) to name a few of the great ingredients. It also helps balance your PH levels which further prevents acne and allows your skin barrier to work to its fullest potential. Only downside is that it smells like vinegar lol! I use this every other day or two.
Indian Healing Clay – This face mask unclogs pores and draws impurities out of your skin. It’s 100% bentonite clay that extracts impurities from your skin and unclogs pores. You mix the powder with either water or apple cider vinegar (I get better results with apple cider vinegar). I use this once a week to get rid of any makeup buildup that may have accumulated.
Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Face Mask – If your skin is red and irritated because of acne (or any other reason), you have to try this! It soothes and hydrates skin immediately with fermented chaga and coprinus mushrooms while increasing its resilience (which helps it fight bacteria). I use this after the Indian Healing Clay mask weekly or as needed.
I’m really hoping that this helps anyone out because I know how hard the fight against acne could be. I’ve gone through it and I’m still going through it because my skin is now super acne prone (goodbye beautiful teenage days and hello adulthood). My acne used to make me feel embarrassed and 9 times out of 10, you’d see me wearing a baseball hat to cover my face. Now, I’ve learned to appreciate my skin because it has gone through a lot and is thankfully in a much better place. Just know, that you’re not alone and if you have any tips that have helped you, please leave them in the comments because you’ll never know who you could help!