I have had really bad, seemingly incurable acne since the beginning of high school… almost 7 years ago at this point. I tried literally everything: proactive, extra strength proactive, prescriptions, birth control, plus every brand on the shelf; organic, all natural, not-natural, you name it. Not surprisingly, nothing worked. My mom, a nurse, also has bad skin (I have genetics working against me too, UGH), however, its also given us an advantage because we have been able to work together to figure something out.
So here’s what we figured out. It may seem like common sense, but putting it all together in the right combination is the key. ***
1. MEDICATED FACE WASH – I use a Neutrogena cream cleanser with salicylic acid, but any with NO OIL, and some sort of medication will do. *
2. ANTIBACTERIAL FACE WASH – TRUST ME ON THIS ONE, when I added this to my skin care regimen, it was like a gift from heaven. Noxzema makes a cream, and Clean & Clear makes a gel. Make sure it has Triclosan in it. Also, use this after EVERY work out. I like the cream because it doesn’t dry my skin out. *
*use one wash in the morning, one at night. Use warm water too, it opens up your pores.
3. MOISTURIZE – I know you all hear this, but think "moisturizer will just clog my pores"… i thought that too. The best by far is Arbonne "Clear Advantage" lotion (i think with Benzoyl Peroxide). Its in a little silver bottle, and can only be ordered online. It works SO INCREDIBLY WELL. It’s part of a set of 3, but I think you can order it by itself. Think about it this way: if you don’t moisturize (with something OIL FREE), your skin will only produce more oil because it will be too dry, and we all know that excess oil is no good for clearing up acne!
4. EXFOLIATE – Not too much though. Do it at the end of your shower, so your skin is soft, and the dead stuff comes off easier. Only a couple times a week though, otherwise your skin will get too irritated, and don’t try to scrub your whole face off. Use a soft washcloth and be gentle. Dead skin is one of the things that clogs your pores up, so make sure you get rid of it by exfoliating!
5. LIGHT MAKEUP – I use a pressed powder from Almay with salicylic acid in it. Powder is what I like best, because it helps to absorb the oil that your skin produces throughout the day, and isn’t as cakey as a liquid. Not to mention, medicated powder means your skin is getting a dose of medication the entire day. Makeup is best when kept light, but if you really wanna cover up those blemishes, get a concealer stick. That way you can cover up JUST the red spots, without covering your whole entire face and clogging all those healthy pores in the process.
6. NOURISH FROM THE INSIDE – The skin is the largest organ in your body, so its important to get enough nutrients to take care of it! Go to the store and pick up a multivitamin for your skin (and follow the directions, don’t be overzealous and take too much vitamin A or whatever, that can end up badly). A lot are for skin, hair AND nails, so you can get healthy hair and nails too!! Good fruits and veggies are DARK GREEN, RED, ORANGE, and YELLOW. That leaves you with a lot of options, such as corn, carrots, squash, zucchini, spinach and other lettuce, bell peppers, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries, and many many more. Also, I try to drink as little caffeine as possible, and make sure to drink enough water.
Those are my tips! Best of luck to you all!
*** disclaimer: these are all just TIPS, I am not a doctor or dermatologist, i am only sharing hints that i have found to be useful. Of course, you should check with a professional before you make changes to your habits to make sure that nothing you do will conflict with any medications you may be taking, and any conditions you may have.***
I also included before and after pictures.