Leave Acne Behind
Putting your best face forward for 2019
Acne. That word has been with me since high school. It has bothered me so much that I decided to go back to school after getting my Psychology degree to pursue Esthetics. I am now a licensed Esthetician and feel more equipped to talk about the battle of acne. Unfortunately for some (like me) acne can follow you into adulthood. I do not have a "cure" but I do believe knowledge is power! The goal for this post is to share my education and personal experience with you in hopes that it can better equip you to control your acne . I can’t tell you how many times I went to a dermatologist, only to feel brushed off, and charged with a hefty fee. I would typically get 5 minutes of their time and sent home with another script that I had no idea how to use or what to pair with it! If you are struggling with acne, this is for YOU! I am pouring my heart and time into this, for YOU! * Before we start it is important to remember that there is no one trick treatment for everyone! You may have to test different treatments and figure out what works best for you, and what your skin responds to most effectively. I am going to give several recommendations based on skin type and budget. I am also going to cover this topic from multiple angles.
First and foremost, you need to know what skin type you have! This will help you with choosing the right skincare for your needs. How to find out your “skin type”:
Many people “think” they know what skin type they have, but are using products completely wrong for them. With that said, I want you to look closely in a well lit mirror. Starting with your nose I want you to note your pore size. Can you see them?
If you have very small pore size with little oil or “shine” produced, you may have a dry skin type.
If you have small to medium sized pores that appear on the nose and “T” zone with little to no “shine” or shine appearing towards the end of the day, you may have a normal skin type.
If you notice your pore size staying consistent throughout most areas of your face especially noticeable on your nose and cheeks, with “shine” beginning early to mid day, you likely have a combination/oily skin type.
*Side note to say: Don't be afraid of products that contain "oil", even if you have oily skin, there are "good oils" that can be oh so helpful for fighting acne!
Here is a quick example of what a daily routine can look like:
Gentle (non-treatment cleanser to avoid over drying)
SPF (if exposed to the sun)
Gently remove (excess) makeup
Wash with a medicated/treatment cleanser
Treatment (If necessary)
How to treat acne:
Topically: There are 3 main ways to treat acne, topically.
I will start externally, and with items you can find at your local drug store!
Drug store options:
Makeup Remover: Friends, do not spend your money on pricy makeup removers. They can often contain ingredients that are harsh and not helpful to those with acne or sensitive skin! I am going to share a secret! USE baby wipes! Not just any baby wipes… Water Wipes or any other minimal ingredient wipe.
Traditional makeup wipes often contain so many ingredients, many of which I have personally found to irritate my skin!I wear heavy makeup, (makeup artist here) and Water Wipes can completely and gently take off even my most stubborn mascara!
I use one or two wipes for my entire face-starting with my eyes. The point of makeup remover is to obviously remove makeup, it is not for “cleansing” your face. You will want a face wash for that! Likewise, you shouldn’t expect your face wash to take off all of your makeup either! A water wipe is the perfect bridge to that gap, and they are inexpensive! Yay!
Face Wash: Start with a gentle face wash like Cetaphil or CeraVe (if you can afford a bit more, scroll down to my Brand Name Options). With a gentle wash picked out, its now time to select a secondary face wash (for pm) that contains a acne fighting treatment! *For your secondary face wash/or your "nighttime" face wash, remember to choose something with one of the main acne fighting ingredients, mentioned above. *Also be mindful of added fragrances or dyes in ANY of your products and try to avoid them.
I suggest Panoxyl. Fun fact-Panoxly use to be by prescription only! I recommend using it at night because it will stain your clothes and towels!
I suggest Neutrogena Naturals, it is gentle and contains willow bark with is a natural salicylic acid!
I suggest Biore Charcoal Bar.
Toner: Before moisturizing and right after cleansing you should apply a toner. In a pinch witch hazel makes for a great toner! Mist it over your face (or use a cotton pad). Always moisturize both am and pm. Make sure to apply SPF if you will be exposed to the sun! It can be in your makeup, or skincare!
Topical Treatment: If you are needing an extra boost you need to add a Topical Retinoid to your routine to unclog stubborn follicles. I suggest Differin Gel. Differin use to be by prescription only, now it is available to everyone! It uses Adapalene to decongest your pores. Use it after your toner but before your moisturizer! Let it absorb ( for about a minute) before moisturizing. Differin now offers an entire product line with a variety of options including a face wash with Benzoyl Peroxide, to a light moisturizer.
*Just make sure with any topical treatment to not “over do it”. You do not want to cause extra dryness. Even when you have oily skin, acne products can dry your face, if overused. This in turn causes your skin to produce more oil. To avoid over stimulating your oil production, introduce products slowly in conjunction with your daily (gentle) face washes and lotions.
Brand name options:
Face Wash: If you can afford a bit more, I highly suggest two bars from “Herbivore”. They are roughly $12 each but will last you a long while! They feel like silk on your skin! AM: Herbivore- Pink Clay Gentle Soap Bar (I would recommend this for anyone and everyone)! PM: Herbivore- Charcoal Detoxifying Soap Bar (great for acne, and anyone wanting an extra clean).
Treatment: Sunday Riley-U.F.O. Ultra-Clariflying Face Oil- This oil is great for acne because it contains Salicylic acid. Slowly work yourself up to using it once per day, let dry then apply a moisturizer. Sunday Riley-Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask- This is the holy grail of sulfur treatments. To try all three of the Sunday Riley products mentioned a starter kit can be purchased at Sephora!
Moisturizer: Ren-ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream- Very calming everyday cream that can be applied am and pm. Herbivore-Emerald Cannabis Sativa Help Seed Deep Moisture Glow Oil
*Please note: I can only recommend so many products. Whats important to remember is there are many great brands out there, these are just a few I how found helpful! *Refer to the example of what your routine can look like and choose products that can fit into each categories based on your needs.
Vitamins: It is so important to start internally. Good vitamins and probiotics are key to getting you skin on track! You can also add in a “beauty” vitamin that will focus specifically on your skin! I will link a few that I recommend below, but start with what you can afford! I like to lean on the more whole foods/natural side when it comes to vitamins! Olly- I highly recommend adding in their “Flawless” Garden of life Rainbow Light
Antibiotics: I am not a fan of using antibiotics to treat acne. In my option it is a short term option, when acne can be a long term struggle. They are helpful to get a jumpstart on controlling your acne when paired with a long term treatment. A common antibiotic to treat acne would be Minocycline. Since I am obviously not a doctor, I recommend consulting one if you feel this is your next step.
Hormone Base Treatment: If your Acne is Hormonal Based or you struggle with deep cystic acne, you may consult your doctor about a hormone based treatment. Birth Control: Wether you are sexually active or not, Birth Control is one way to potentially treat acne. Brands like “Ortho Tri Cyclin” and “Yaz” are commonly recommended for helping acne. Spironolactone: Spironolactone is not a traditional acne treatment but is gaining popularity, fast! It has been around for a long time! Typically it is used to treat high-blood pressure, but this medicine can be a magic worker for hormonal acne!
*With any and all recommendations, please use your judgement. It is important to read the instructions and know the potential risks that could be associated with internal and external acne treatments!
Last but not least-Don't pick! Drink a lot of water! And KNOW you are beautiful regardless of your acne. I truly hope you remember that!