ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH ACNE? DO YOU WANT CLEAR SKIN? THESE SKIN CARE HACKS CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR ME.
My Journey With Acne
Without being too long winded with this story, let me first start out by saying that if you’re struggling with acne, I know exactly how you feel. Starting in my teens, my skin was an everyday battle. And unfortunately, this trend of battling my acne only got more unmanageable as time went on, reaching the absolute worst point sometime around my 23rd birthday.
At this time, I was deeply unhappy, and quite likely, depressed. It was an awful phase in my life. And really, until you’ve experienced acne that severe, it’s hard to relate, but if you’re reading this article, chances are, you’re in a similar boat that I was, and I want you to know that things can (and will!) get better.
I don’t have pictures that really show off how bad my acne was (I wasn’t exactly into taking pictures at the time), but here’s what my skin looks like these days:
I have very minimal makeup on here, just a light cc cream and some bronzer. As you can see, my freckles still show through and there’s no acne in sight.
Also, here’s a more recent picture with absolutely no makeup on:
Not sure how to get clear skin like for yourself? Overwhelmed by all the advice out there on the best ways to clear acne?
Trust me, I get it. This was an all too familiar struggle for me just a couple years ago.
So today, with the hope that I can help just one of you with your journey to clear skin, I want to share what helped get me the skin you see in the photo above.
Are you ready to get rid of your acne? Let’s dive in!
Here’s what I recommend doing to help clear acne fast:
This post contains affiliate links, but keep in mind these are all products I have used, and have actually helped me clear my acne.
1) Ensure You Have a Cleanser For Sensitive Skin (NOT necessarily for acne prone skin)
Now, I’m no dermatologist, but I will tell you that when I was suffering with acne, I did not have a lot of success with using acne prone cleansers.
In fact, I found that products that were specifically formulated for acne prone skin actually made my acne worse.
Well, again, I’m not a dermatologist, but just from my own research and experience with acne, most of these acne prone products are formulated with different ingredients that are meant to dry out the skin, and ultimately, dry out the pimple.
But here’s the deal: when you have acne, your skin is already severely irritated and inflamed. When you start adding products into your routine that are drying and formulated with different acids and harsh ingredients, really, what you tend to do is irritate the skin even more, leading to further breakouts.
Instead, what you should do is introduce products into your skin care routine that soothe the skin. In particular, look for products that are labelled for sensitive skin. If your skin is anything like mine, you’ll likely have a lot more luck with this approach.
So what cleanser can you buy to help clear your acne?
I used the Sebium Foaming Cleanser by Bioderma for years, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is currently dealing with acne prone skin. It was actually the product that my dermatologist told me to use, and it really helped remove extra oil and pore clogging buildup on my skin.
The key to this product is that it’s formulated for sensitive skin, so it’s not going to further irritate any pimples that you currently have.
In addition, it’s been proven to help normalize sebum production, and if you know anything about your acne, then you know excess in sebum is what clogs your pores and creates pimples. With regular use of this product, you’ll be able to help regulate that, and dramatically reduce the amount of pimples that you’re dealing with.
It worked for me, and if you’re on the hunt for a cleanser that is compatible with your acne, I think you’ll find the Sebium Foaming Cleanser also works for you! Give it a shot.
2) Stop Using So Many Skin Care Products
When you’re dealing with acne, oftentimes, you’re probably tempted to start layering on all the products to help clear your skin. Unfortunately, though, by introducing your skin to a variety of products at such a fast rate, you could actually be irritating your skin even more.
Because remember, if you’re dealing with severe acne like I was, our skin is not “normal.” It’s extremely irritated and prone to breakouts. The more products you’re putting on your skin, the more opportunities you’re giving it to become irritated by a product it is sensitive to.
This doesn’t have to include fancy masks, serums, peels, or abrasive procedures. In fact, I strongly recommend staying away from anything beyond the basics when you have severe acne.
Pro Tip: Do NOT use a Clarisonic or other cleaning brush on your acne. Using this made my acne so much worse. I was told that The Clarisonic would make my acne worse before it got better, but it got so bad that I would never recommend someone use one of these on active acne.
RELATED: If you’re overwhelmed by skincare and don’t know where to start, try out this simplified skincare routine.
3) Don’t Make The Mistake of Skipping out on Moisturizer
This is one of the biggest skin care myths out there, so listen up…
Having oily skin does NOT mean your skin is well-hydrated.
In fact, having oily skin is often an indicator that your skin is starving for moisture, and is producing excess oil in order to compensate for how dehydrated it is.
Having said that, not everyone with acne prone skin necessarily has oily skin. Acne prone skin can be both dry and oily, and really, all that means is that EVERYONE with acne prone skin needs to be properly hydrating their skin with a good moisture daily (ideally, twice daily, once in the morning and once at night).
So what moisturizer should you buy to help clear up your acne?
As much as I love saving money and buying drugstore products, when you’re in the position of trying to clear up your acne, I highly recommend being picky with what skin care you’re putting on your face.
Many drugstore products are formulated with harsh chemicals and ingredients that are only going to serve to make your acne worse.
That being said, the product that I’m about to recommend is a bit more of a pricey product, but trust me, it’s the best moisturizer I have ever used, and your irritated skin is going to love you for it.
Introducing Clinique’s Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator.
Ideally suited for those with very dry to dry-combination skin, I would still recommend this to those with oily skin.
It’s oil-free, and formulated with no fragrance or any other harsh ingredients that will irritate acne prone skin. It feels cooling once applied, which is great for those with irritated and acne-prone skin. Plus, Clinique is known for providing products that are safe for sensitive skin, and, as mentioned above, when selecting products for acne-prone skin, it is best to select products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
If you want to help soothe your skin, while simultaneously moisturizing to control acne, I have nothing but amazing things to say about the Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator.
Pro tip for trying new skincare
Because your skin is so sensitive and already irritated from your acne, I always recommend that people try small quantities of products before making commitments to full-size products. The best way to do this is to order the travel size of something. I find that just asking for a sample isn’t enough to really test a product, since your skin sometimes needs more than a week to get used to a product. On the other hand, though, having a full size product that isn’t working for you is a waste of money. A travel size is the perfect test size if you’re unsure.
4) This Is The Only Acne Treatment I’ll Ever Recommend
Everything I’ve said from above I strongly believe in; however, if you’re serious about finding a solution to your acne, a cleanser, moisturizer and a simplified skin care routine is not going to cut it.
You need a treatment that is specifically formulated for acne prone skin, but one that isn’t so severe that it only irritates your skin more.
For me, the only treatment that I ever found that fits this bill is the The Regimen by Acne.org.
This is a three step skincare system that is composed of a cleanser, a treatment, and a moisturizer (there’s also an AHA and oil that work really well, pictured above).
It is specifically formulated with acne prone skin in mind, but it will not overly irritate your skin. In fact, it was through using this skin care system that I learned the importance of being gentle with my skin.
In particular, the treatment step of the system is what I found ramped up my success with The Regimen.
The treatment is a pharmaceutical grade benzoyl peroxide, which is what is often prescribed by dermatologists to treat acne, but instead of the usual 10% benzoyl peroxide that is prescribed, this treatment uses only 2.5%, meaning it won’t irritate your skin, but it will still work! Especially when combined with the PH balanced cleanser and the non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Trust me, guys, this product is what allowed me to enjoy my early 20s and not worry about acne. After I started using this product and cleared my acne, people actually started complimenting me on my skin, which is something I had never experienced.
Before this I tried the 10% benzoyl peroxide, birth control, vitamin A capsules, antibiotics, and fancy cleansers. Nothing worked as well at The Regimen. Nothing.
I highly recommend at least checking out to see if it’s a product that you want to try. If you’re desperate like I was, really, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain 🙂
5) Strongly Consider What Makeup You’re Using On Your Face
When I first started breaking out in high school, I’m fairly convinced that what set off my acne was my makeup.
Of course I can’t know that for certain, and I’m sure hormonal changes had something to do with it, but, as a teenager who loved herself some cheap drugstore makeup, I don’t think slathering my skin in pore clogging makeup did me any favours.
Since then, I’ve always been extremely cautious with what makeup I put on my face, especially when it comes to foundation, since this tends to be the layer of makeup that interacts most with my skin.
Remember, just because your makeup isn’t necessarily a skin care product, it does interact with your skin just as much as your cleansers and moisturizers. This is why it’s extremely important to consider the ingredients in your makeup. You want to ensure there’s nothing in there that is going to irritate your skin, especially when you’re dealing with active acne.
I used a couple different products while my acne was bad. In particular, I was very loyal to the Pur Minerals brand; however, it’s been quite a while since I’ve used that.
What foundation do I recommend for acne prone skin?
These days, I am one hundred percent loyal to the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream.
For me, there is no better foundation out there. It’s extremely lightweight, gentle, amazing for sensitive skin, and it actually has skin soothing ingredients in it. It’s basically like a 2 in 1 product. You get an amazing foundation, but you’re also treating your skin with the vitamins and minerals that it craves.
I would absolutely recommend the It Cosmetics CC Cream to anyone who is currently struggling with acne, and wants a light foundation that will give them coverage, but without clogging their pores.
You can read my full review on the It Cosmetics CC Cream here.
And, if you want a light makeup tutorial that is natural and perfect for those who are dealing with acne prone skin, this makeup tutorial using the It Cosmetics CC Cream is a must-read.
Final Verdict: How To Clear Your Acne
I can’t reiterate enough how much I understand how it feels to be crippled by your acne. I can very vividly recall how it felt to be constantly reading articles, hoping someone would offer me the solution to clear my acne.
I hope I’ve been able to give you a little hope today.
To review, here’s what I recommend doing if you’re dealing with acne
1) If you get the occasional pimple, or your skin goes through phases where it’s slightly more acne prone, I suggest picking up a cleanser that is formulated for sensitive skin, but that won’t dry out your skin. The Bioderma Sebium Foaming Cleanser is my absolute favorite for this.
2) You might be tempted to try every and any skincare treatment that you can get your hands on, but be picky with what you put on your face. The more product you add, the more you’re likely irritating your skin further.
3) Never make the mistake of skipping out on moisturizer, even if it feels like your skin is oily. This is likely only a reaction to your skin being irritated by the acne. Invest in a high quality moisturizer like Clinique’s Moisture Surge.
3) If you’re really struggling with your acne, and it feels like new pimples are constantly showing up, I would definitely try out The Regimen. All the products in this three step system are formulated with acne prone skin in mind, but won’t leave your skin irritated. I strongly believe this could be solution you’ve been looking for.
4) While skincare products are important, it’s just as important to be aware of what makeup you’re wearing on a daily basis. Your makeup can clog your pores and make your acne worse. For makeup that is light and won’t clog your pores, I use the It Cosmetics CC Cream everyday, and have never found a product I like more than this.
Don’t let your acne run your life. Try out some of the skin tips and products from above, and I really do think you’ll see a difference in your acne and skin. If I was able to help just one of you, I’ll be happy.
And oh, if you found these acne tips helpful, please feel free to share this image with your Pinterest friends. Thanks so much!
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