Acne Survival Kit
So I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that acne is one of the worst things in the world. Am I right? What makes it even worse is not having a surefire way to get rid of it. Then when you do finally get it gone, it’s probably gonna come back again and you have to start the fight all over. I have been fighting this battle since I entered my preteen years and although I can’t seem to keep it gone for good, 100% of the time, I’ve found some pretty amazing products and tips to make acne life a little easier.
Since not all skin problems and solutions are the same, I should probably let you know my skin type before we get started. It’s pretty simple: super oily and very acne prone. It’s not really sensitive at all, but there are certain ingredients in skincare and makeup that irritate it. For example, the talc that is in mostly all bronzers, blushes, and powders break me out underneath the skin. I know I’m going to sound like a commercial right now, but I literally feel like I have tried everything. Although I haven’t ever gone to a doctor to get any type of prescription, I’m not really into that sort of thing. Proactiv didn’t even do anything for me and neither did all-natural products.
My senior year of high school I was getting my makeup done for homecoming at the Estee Lauder counter. Obviously the sweet lady noticed my struggle and recommended that I try Clinique's Acne Solutions 3 Step System. My parents bought it for my birthday and I’m not kidding, I noticed a difference the very first day. My acne cleared up so fast and I also noticed that the redness in my face begin to disappear and my skin wasn’t as oily. It is on the pricey side of things (about the same as Proactiv), but it is so worth it. I’ve sworn by this system since I started using it over four years ago and don’t mind paying a little more when it comes to taking care of my skin. When you buy all three, it totals up to $58 or you can buy the travel kit for $38. I usually purchase mine at a Clinique counter in a department store, but they also sell it at Sephora.
A new product that I have tried and has recently made itself a staple in my routine is the Mario Badescu Drying Cream. Not to be confused with the line’s Drying Lotion, which is a completely different type of product. I’ve gone through a lot of spot gel type of treatments that I did really like, but none that have performed in the way that this one has. You don’t get very much product for the price, but a little bit goes a long way so it should last a while. It’s a more natural, limited ingredient item which I appreciate. It does have an unpleasant scent to it, almost like powdery sulfur, but again you don’t need to apply very much. There’s a little bit of color to it, as you can see in the picture below, which is nice because it can act as a light coverage concealer whether you’re just at home or applying makeup on top.
I know a lot of people advise against this particular method, but I have found it to actually do really good things for my skin. What I’m talking about it using an exfoliator every day. My favorite one that I have ever tried is the St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub. Some people don’t like this one because it’s a really harsh scrub, but that’s the main reason it’s my favorite. I’m not a big fan of the softer exfoliators, but if you are then their Green Tea Scrub is a great alternative. I use the apricot scrub to take my makeup off every day which works as a two in one for me. While washing away all the makeup, it also takes all of the dead skin off along with it. I prefer to purchase it in the tub rather than the squeeze tube because it’s easier to use and I can get all of the product out of it. Plus the fact that it’s cheap and on the more natural side is a big bonus. Not to mention how amazing it smells!
A couple other quick and simple things that have helped me is to change my pillowcase weekly, have a separate face towel, take biotin daily, and frequently clean my makeup brushes. Of course you absolutely need to wash your face every night before going to bed, but through the night oils and sweat can get on your pillowcase so it’s a good idea to change it frequently to prevent your skin from picking up any more acne culprits. We use hand towels for many different things during the day, so for the same reasons as changing your pillowcase you also want to have a separate towel dedicated to your face only. Same thing goes for cleaning makeup brushes. You don’t want to keep using dirty brushes with old germs on them.
Biotin is a supplement that you can take to improve your hair, skin, and nails. I buy mine at Walmart ($2.94 for 150 softgels) and take two a day. The instructions on the back of the bottle say you can take up to five a day, but I don’t want to get in the way of my body’s natural production of it. I’ve been taking biotin regularly for almost a year now and can definitely notice a difference in my skin when I may miss a day or two.
Some things that I have found to be a big no no is to not use any type of sponge or a brush to wash your face with more than twice a week. Konjac sponges have become really popular lately. They might make you feel fancy or like you’re doing something good for your skin, but in reality a sponge is still a sponge when it comes to germs. Even if the sponge dries completely between uses, it will still harvest bacteria and that’s one of acne’s bff’s! Brushes, such as the Clarisonic, have also become very popular. They’re a little bit easier to clean when it comes to bacteria, but it’s still gonna be there. When it comes to washing your face, there’s nothing as sanitary as your clean hands. You may also want to be careful where you’re spraying your hair products or when styling your hair. The ingredients in hair products mixed with the natural oils from your body can not only cause breakouts on your face, but also on your back. Whenever I have a really really bad breakout, I usually just keep it lazy and wear my hair up until I can get it to go away.
Although all of these products and tips combined is what helped me clear my skin, if I had to choose which worked the best I would say the Clinique products. The three of them compliment each other very well and actually gave me something to look forward to in the mornings. Besides my coffee, of course!! I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it’s a little long but I didn’t want to leave out any important details. If I did forget something or if you have any questions, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback if you have tried any of these products or tips. Have a wonderful day!!