For cleanser, I rotate depending on my mood. I’ve used Alba Botanica’s Natural Acne Dote Deep Pore Wash a lot with my Clarisonic. It’s unscented and pretty mild, so doesn’t irritate my skin at all. The price is right with this too, since you can find it for under $10 wherever it’s carried! By the same company, Natural Acne Dote Clean ‘n Treat Towelettes are super nice for a quick wipe down of your face. I like to refresh with these on my no makeup days. I don’t use facial wipes on a regular basis, but I like to have them on hand when I’m at the gym, and I use them in the morning if I don’t want to wash my face.
Niora Alpha Clear Cleanser is a new product line to me, and is specifically formulated for anti-aging and adult acne. What I appreciate about this is that it’s great for adults unlike a lot of acne products out there. It targets lots of my needs at once in fact- fading fine lines/wrinkles, balancing oil/dryness levels, cleans, moisturizes, shrinks pores, and fades age spots. It’s a creamy cleanser and doesn’t lather- it’s more like a lotion in consistency really, but you can tell it’s cleansing the skin. I like that my skin feels soft after using this and not stripped of oils.
None of these cleansers are going to remove your makeup though- so you’ll want to begin your regimen with a good eye makeup remover and something to break down the rest of your makeup, like a cleansing oil.
I’m really picky about what toner I will use, but it’s a step I never ever skip in my skincare routine. If I don’t use a toner my skin feels beyond icky. If I am exfoliating with a scrub like in my next step, I will skip this step but every single other time I wash my face, this is the next step.
Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel is the stuff I’ve been using the longest. My husband and I each have a tube of this and we’ve been going strong for at least a couple years on each tube. In fact, I’m probably ready for a new one because mine is old enough that the ingredients probably aren’t even working anymore. This is the gold standard for acne treatments for me and it’s what I compare everything else to. Applying a small amount of this to a blemish will cause it to heal practically overnight for me. I have also had a pimple at work, and applied this to it, dabbed a little concealer over top, and by the time the day is done, so is my pimple. It’s like magic!
Drying lotions are kind of a craze in skincare, and I’ve seen them in Mario Badescu’s line, and Kate Somerville’s line. The idea is to have a clay like sediment at the bottom of the bottle, and the clear liquid at the top. Without shaking, you can dip a q-tip into the jar and apply the sediment directly onto your blemish. I’ve had the jars tip over before and it hasn’t been a problem if they get a little mixed up, I just wouldn’t go out of your way to shake the bottle! This is a product you’ll want to apply in the evening rather than during the day, because you’ll be sleeping with the medicated stuff showing on your face.
bliss ‘no zit sherlock’ Correcting Serum is another treatment, this one in a squeezy tube, that will help to heal your pimples. The only issue I see with this is that when I squeeze, even gently, I always get too much product out. It’s worth the struggle though because it really shrinks down a pimple quickly, reduces redness, and blends right into my skin’s texture. This or the Clinique product would be number one choices to wear under a full face of makeup. You won’t have to worry about the product pilling up or creating a dry patch!
My last spot treatment recommendation is so cool you really have to see it up close. I’ve never seen anything like it. Intraceuticals Clarity Wand Stylo is such a funky and unique product and makes treating acne almost fun. It comes with several tips and the idea is that you would never have to put a dirty tip on the stylo and then to your face. The stylo comes with applicators, and they’re also available separately as a refill pack if you find yourself needing more. These would really be well suited for people who have pretty bad acne and don’t want to touch a dirty applicator to their face, and don’t want to use their finger either, which can be germy. I think this is such a cool concept and it does work really well for me.
- Never skip eye cream. Don’t do that whether you’re breaking out or not! But I find that the dullness, dryness, patchiness, or oiliness of my skin is accentuated when the skin under my eyes looks weathered. Moisturize this area well and everything else will look better off for it, just trust me on this one!
- Go easy on the face makeup. When I am breaking out I try to get my skin to breathe as much as possible. I wear makeup, but only if I’m going out somewhere. I really try to give my skin a breather so it can wear the great skincare I’ve applied and try to heal, rather than being masked by a layer of foundation.
- Don’t over exfoliate. This is an easy one to mess up on because if you’re anything like me, when you’re breaking out, you just want to scrub! Don’t do it. It will make everything worse!