Hello there 🙂
Some people are blessed with genetically clear skin, but I'm not one of the lucky few who are lucky. My acne began to develop rapidly from early teens – from the tender age of 10, I have dealt with persistent bouts of painful cystic acne along with clusters of whiteheads and pesky blackheads. Before I knew it, my acne had developed into blemishes and spots along my back and chest. Picture day (especially in middle school) was an event I thoroughly dreaded and feared exposing my acne scars. Unfortunately, I vowed never to wear backless tops again. From over-the-counter topics like Proactiv to prescription antibiotics like clindamycin, I've tried everything with no real sustained success. While acne tends to make up for itself with hormonal changes over time, this has never been the case with me. That's why I took the plunge and went to a dermatologist to start treatment with isotretinoin (or commonly known as Accutane). Within a few months, the frequency of my breakouts improved dramatically and I finally understood what it felt like not to be confident when I went outside without a full face of primer. Even though Accutane did a lot to improve my skin – and the whole process wasn't a walk in the park – breakouts still happen if I'm not careful. Overly oily skin is in my DNA, so keeping my skin's rampant oil production under control and in check is a daily struggle. I've used and tested hundreds of products over the years before finally discovering my favorites and places to go when my acne shows its ugly head again. From cleansers to toners to spot treatments and much more, I share the products that have helped transform my skin. Since melanin-rich skin requires a little extra DC due to the increased severity of the hyperpigmentation, I contacted Dr. "Treating acne on darker skin tones requires thoughtfulness with the products used and the patient's patience," explains Love. There are many great recommendations ahead of you. So make yourself comfortable and keep scrolling. One of my greatest realizations after dealing with acne for so long is that you are not wasting your money on extremely fancy cleaners. Sure, it shouldn't feel like soap detergent and your skin should feel dry and flaky, but there are tons of products on the market that cleanse thoroughly and gently. I used to think (wrongly!) That because of my oily skin, the only way to prevent breakouts was to dry my face to reduce the amount of sebum. My poor face definitely paid the price, and to no surprise, my acne never got better. It wasn't until I was 20 that I learned that balance is the key. The ideal pH for the skin is slightly acidic, which is around 5. Because of this, I have sticked to low pH cleansers to protect my skin's natural microbiome, which also helps balance oil production. This Corsx face wash cleanses my skin without drying it too much. For days when I need an extra backup, I've used PanOxyl's benzoyl peroxide-laden foam wash. Anyone familiar with the world of acne control products will instantly recognize this antiseptic ingredient – it is certainly one of the livelier ones out there. Many dermatologists consider benzoyl peroxide to be one of the most effective over-the-counter acne treatments because it can clog pores and inhibit the growth of bacteria. It can certainly help in a pinch, but my advice: use it sparingly as it can dry out the skin with frequent use. How should you start incorporating such a powerful treatment when you're new to the game? "Many acne-fighting ingredients are also somewhat irritating. So if you ingest too many ingredients at the same time or too heavily in the ingredients, it can cause irritation and the resulting hyperpigmentation. Therefore, products should be slowly incorporated into the room – usually 1 -2 products at A time that starts only three times a week and slowly builds up to the daily level of tolerance, "explains Love. Salicylic Acid, or BHA, is a powerful scrub that Love recommends for treating acne and subsequent post-acne scars. "Because post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is often more bothersome than acne in darker skin tones, topics that treat both acne and hyperpigmentation are especially helpful – retinoids are the gold standard, and glycolic and salicylic acids also play a role," Love said. When it comes to toners, Paula's Choice can't be much more effective than this one. Its magic lies in BHA's gentle chemical peel, which helps remove blackheads and excess oil and fade acne scars. After trying my proportion of chemical exfoliating toners, I realized that you don't need to overdo it. Too much can have almost the opposite effect and lead to rough spots. You should find one that is relatively gentle and use it with moderation. I keep coming back to this one because it has helped me fade my scars and make my face bright and clear. Another great option is Acwell's low pH toner. Loaded with liquorice water and green tea, this serves as a gentle brightening of my cleaning agent if there is no dirt or make-up residue. It also acts as a reinforcement to protect the acidic environment of my face. I wish I could marry this toner. As a cult favorite, this "beauty elixir" feels like the most refreshing and powerful water drink for my face. Even with the best pro-hydration intentions, my skin can sway on the dry side after a cleanse. This spray is a refreshing, moisturizing mist that leaves just the right balance. Without a doubt, it was a lifesaver during my isotretinoin days when almost every crack in my skin felt like a lizard. At nearly $ 50, is it a boon? Yes, but sometimes it's not a bad thing to self-medicate. It's easy to overlook antioxidants when you're in an ongoing battle with acne. My brain was wired for years to ingest anything with the highest levels of benzoyl peroxide, or BHA, mistakenly thinking that only those ingredients would provide clear skin. But please don't overlook a vitamin C. Not only can it help reduce inflammation (an important factor in treating acne), it can also fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation. While the tendency to active breakouts is half the way to clearer skin, the other half is in treating the resulting scars. While C E Ferulic from Skinceuticals and C Firma Day Serum from Drunk Elephant are worthy competitors, I went for Tatcha's Violet-C Serum, which contains two forms of stabilized vitamin C. You can see this marvel from the depths of Tik-Tok, but it has been one of my tried and true products for years. Another helpful remedy for fighting inflammation and excess oil, niacinamide also helps neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Zinc is also a hot ingredient that some claim helps reduce acne-causing bacteria. The judges aren't sure yet, but the way I see it never hurts. It's gentle enough that I can apply it without irritation. Dermatologists keep telling me that my oily skin is a good thing (for one thing, the excess moisture helps fight off wrinkles), but I can't help but curse the pools of oil that build up on my face at the end of the day. The game of choosing an acne fighting serum is complicated: it shouldn't be too dry or harsh, but you want to feel something. Caudalie's Vinopure Serum contains a natural form of salicylic acid and is light on the skin. After using it in the morning, I notice a noticeable difference in the size of my active breakouts throughout the day. It really is one of the best serums out there. The active ingredient in Differin used to be a prescription treatment and adapalene, a type of retinoid. Dr. Love considers retinoids to be the best of the best among the subjects used to treat acne and hyperpigmentation. But not so quickly: adapalene is considered the least effective retinoid for clearing acne (with isotretinoin being considered the best), and in my experience, Differin does not completely eliminate more aggressive cystic acne. On the other hand, it helps keep my medium-sized pimples at bay. I don't use it every day to avoid irritation so I try to stick with my applications a few times a week. Dr. Love recommends Effaclar from La Roche-Posay, a similar adapalene gel. Sulfur was a godsend for fighting the pimples that seem to come out of nowhere. Since my teens, I've tried everything from sulfur soap (which dried to the maximum) to sticky sulfur ointment (that was a nightmare to sleep on), with some mixed results. I'm happy to report that this sulfur spot treatment is the real deal. Just a small swab at night is enough to dry out unsightly whiteheads and lay the foundation for the rest of my treatments so they can do their thing. Now that I've dealt with my issues, I want to treat stubborn pimples with a good ol 'band-aid. It may not work 100% of the time, but it's one of the better ways to keep the area around my pimples free of extra bacteria. However, it usually does reduce the size of my breakouts to some extent, which is a better result than most of the things I've tried! Once you are comfortable with applying these products, you can lay them flat so that they are almost invisible against the skin and apply makeup over them if necessary. Not the case for me, but I hardly ever leave the house.
If you are seriously at the end of your joke with your acne-prone skin and cross something off this list, skip blue light therapy. With the exception of isotretinoin, nothing has cleaned my skin as dramatically as blue light treatments. A newer, innovative acne treatment available in the market. I haven't noticed yet that it has completely gone mainstream. After hearing about it from a friend of a publicist, I too was doubtful until I tried it a few years ago. Now it is seriously one of the most critical parts of my routine. Thanks to the antimicrobial effect of blue wavelengths, the emitted light effectively kills various types of pore-clogging bacteria. After one session, my breakouts literally shrank overnight, drying them up and making them a lot easier to deal with with subjects. It's not particularly convenient because you have to sit idly with a ton of lights flashing on your face, but it's really worth it. I am a fan of Dr. Dennis Gross's mask-like device, but there are many other affordable and equally effective options.
I've met enough beauty writers and dermatologists to know that if sunscreen isn't part of my skin care routine, I'll be prepared for failure. Seriously, all of the work of trying to fade acne scars really goes down the drain without adequate protection from UV rays. I winced at the idea of putting something remotely creamy on my face because of my oily skin, but I turned the corner at Supergoops sunscreen. It is super light and oil-free as well as water and sweat resistant. I usually apply this instead of a separate moisturizer.
But if your acne prone skin needs extra moisture, what do I recommend? Heavy moisturizers tend to throw my oily skin off balance, which in turn creates more oil and more breakouts. However, Belif's moisture bomb and CeraVes ultra-light moisturizing lotion gently erase the skin.
Almost everyone has heard of this mask. I feel like one of the last people in the world to try them. With all the hype, I'll admit I was skeptical, but it really deserves the tire. A popular hack is to mix it with apple cider vinegar, but even so, I've used it with water with equally effective results. It can serve as a spot treatment to dry out a pimple or as an all-over mask for a spa-like experience. Acids are my happy place, and I don't feel happier than when masking with Sukari Babyfacial from Drunk Elephant. A 25% blend of AHA or glycolic acid (another of the three ingredients Dr. Love suggests for post-acne hyperpigmentation) and 2% salicylic acid is touted as a pro-level mask that you can use at home. Essentially, all of these acids exfoliate the skin, causing faster cell turnover and clogging of pores. After months of use, my skin thanked me in the form of reduced acne scars and a lighter complexion. Applying this feels like self-care in a plastic bottle. Who doesn't like the feeling of fresh, clean pores? Well here is the feeling in a tube. This was one of my favorite masks when my skin feels dull or just pale. Another clay-based mask helps decongest the skin, removing dirt and pore-clogging oil. Pro tip: Steam your face before using (I like this one), it will feel like heaven. Next, dermatologists agree: This one treatment is the key to firmer skin.