Acne sucks. There I said it. In my mind few things are worse than having a presentation at work, going on a date, attending a wedding (or being in one), or going out with your friends and having a massive zit on your face. I thought acne was supposed to stay in high school with super low cut jeans and boy bands. So what the heck happened?! Sadly, I don’t have the answers for that question. However I do have some product suggestions that have helped me keep my acne at bay (and help shorten their lifetime significantly). It is hard to not let a small (or large) bright red blemish make you feel a bit self conscious. However, as I get older I find myself caring less and less about my acne. Everyone has experienced it at some point in their life, and most people probably don’t even notice it (much less focus on it like I used to think they do).
By no means do I have horrible adult acne. I get a few blemishes a week, usually on my chin or forehead. I have had acne since Grade 6. It always made me super self conscious, especially when I was in high school. I had a tendency to cake on a load of foundation and powder because I was desperate to hide every little blemish. In hindsight it probably made it way more obvious and drew even more attention to it. Around 18 I went on the hormonal birth control pill to try to help combat my acne. I had friends who had gone on the pill and suddenly had flawless skin, so why the heck didn’t it work for me. Fast forward 6 years, I’m no longer taking the pill (make sure you talk to your doctor if you are thinking of going off the pill) and my skin is freaking out all over again. Who doesn’t want to relive high school acne in their mid-twenties? Anyways that’s enough about me, lets get into the real reason you’re here…the products (aka. my sanity savers):
The Dream Team:
L’oreal – Pure Clay Cleanser ($9.97 CND from Walmart)
This cleanser has been a serious part of my skincare routine for about 6 months now. I use it every single morning to wash my face. It is “enriched with Kaolin + Montmorillonite + Moroccan clays and Red Algae Extract”. It does have a clay consistency when it comes out of the tube and when mixed with a little bit of water turns into a mousse. It does an awesome job of exfoliating the skin, without leaving it stripped and dry. If your skin tends to be on the dry side I would only use this a few times a week as an exfoliator and not a daily cleanser.
Pixi – Glow Tonic ($38 CND from Shoppers Drugmart)
This glow tonic is a chemical exfoliator (sounds way scarier than it really is). This helps to remove any left over dead skin cells that may be hanging out on your face. I know some people who swear by this product and use it every day. Personally I use it every second day after I wash my face at the end of the day. Since I am using an exfoliating cleanser everyday already I don’t want to over exfoliate my skin (this can cause it to break out, which kinds defeats the purpose). To use this product I just pour a little onto a cotton round and gentle apply it to my face the same way you would a toner. Also don’t be scared of the price, I have had this bottle for 8 months and have only gone through 3/4 of the bottle. A little goes a long way!
Vichy Normaderm – Skin Balance Anti-oiliness Hydrating Aquagel ($19.95 CND from Shoppers Drugmart)
This is a product that I can see myself using for years and years to come. This aquagel helps to decrease the amount of oil your skin produces. Big claim right? I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it actually works wonders! It contains 5% Salicylic Acid which means that it is also preventing and treating acne. Since I have quite oily skin I apply this under my makeup primer every day (I also use it on days when I’m not wearing makeup). It does dry down slightly tacky, but that goes away after a few minutes. This product leaves my skin super soft, hydrated and looking smooth.
Vichy Normaderm – Corrective Anti-acne 24H Hydrating Lotion ($29.95 CND from Shoppers Drugmart)
Can you tell I’m kind of obsessed with this range of products?
This is a thicker lotion that I apply every night before I go to bed. Since a lot of acne treatments (including some on this list) can make your skin super dry it’s important to have a good lotion. This is my favorite moisturizer because it hydrates my skin but still works to prevent and treat acne with 1.5% Salicylic Acid.
Kate Somerville – EradiKate ($31 CND from Sephora)
This is an amazing spot treatment! It is a thick pink paste (kind of looks like calamine lotion) and it does wonders for getting rid of zits. This product is best used as the last step before you go to bed at night. It helps to dry up zits, significantly reducing their lifetime. I use a cotton swab to pick up some product and dab it on any forming or existing acne (I usually end up looking a little crazy with pink dots all over my face). When you wake up in the morning your zits will be significantly smaller in size. It doesn’t always remove the zit completely overnight, but it will make it a lot more manageable.
GlamGlow – Supermud Clearing Mask ($27 CND from Sephora)
I’ve come to learn that anything from GlamGlow will work wonders for your skin, but is pretty expensive (in my humble opinion). This is the “mini size” of the mask, the full size costs $79 CND. That being said it is a miracle worker and this mini size will probably last me the rest of the year. I use this as a spot treatment. Instead of putting it over my whole face I use it just in the places I actually have acne (which is why a small jar will last me so long). After I wash my face in the evening I will apply this mask to any zits I want to get rid of. I let it sit on my face for 10 minutes before rinsing it off and following up with my Vichy Lotion and EradiKate spot treatment before bed.
Lush – Imperialis Moisturizer ($26.95 CND from Lush)
Although I don’t use this moisturizer every day (I did for probably 6 months) I still adore it. It is great for every skin type and leaves your skin super soft. It didn’t break me out, which is good because a lot of moisturizers do. Even though I don’t use it every day I still like to use it when my skin is extra dry from other acne treatments or the dry / cold winter weather.
Olay – All Day Moisture Crème ($9.97 from Walmart)
This is listed as an honourable mention because I still use it everyday, but it does nothing for my acne. This lotion actually broke me out when I put it on my face. I use this as a neck and décolletage moisturizer. If you’re starting to think I’m crazy, you’re right, but let me explain. We always spend so much time and money to try to slow the aging process for our face, but how often do you moisturize your neck and upper chest? Those areas can age you if they are not looked after properly. Although I’m not super into anti-aging products (yet) this is something I have been doing for the past year and will probably continue to do every night.
Well guys we made it to the end. Hopefully I haven’t overwhelmed you to much with this seemingly never ending list of products. If you try anything from this list I suggest you start with the EradiKate and Supermud Mask. They give amazing results and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t enjoyed them. As a final note keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and you may go through a few breakouts while trying new things before you find a routine that works for you. Remember that acne doesn’t define you, you’re beautiful with or without it.
Until next time internet friends,