I have been struggling with acne for what feels like my entire life. It started back when I was playing hockey as a kid. Not only did I have it on my face, but with all my equipment, I had it on my back and my chest. It was everywhere and we tried everything but could never get it under control. So at its worst, I went on Accutane (I know this is a very controversial medication and it is definitely not for everyone, but for me, it changed my life).
Now, fast forward 20 years and I still struggle with acne but nowhere near as bad as it was when I was a kid. As I have gotten older, my acne is more cystic than anything; so it is painful and the flareups last forever! I will be the first to admit that I definitely side eye my girlfriends who have perfect skin, because you know I am jealous! They can wear any makeup or face creams, even sleep with their makeup on and still wake up with flawless skin (the thought alone would give me a blemish)! The only thing that makes me feel better when I get down on myself when I see people with effortlessly flawless skin, is the thought of how far I am come and how well educated I am on products, ingredients, and brands (because I just don’t have a choice). It has definitely forced me to be more diligent, and at times more adventurous, on either making my own products (find my acne fighting, matcha mask here) or trying new/less well known brands. SafeSkin has definitely helped me find new products that have helped me so much with keeping my acne at bay (more of that here).
So, here are my go to acne fighting products…
- Omorovicza Silver Skin Salicylic/Glycolic Acid Treatment
This company, in my opinion, is beyond expensive, yet beyond incredible! I stumbled upon this product right around the big Sephora sale last year and based on the reviews, I wanted to give it a try it. And HOLY MOLY is it amazing, but gosh, is it ever expensive. If you want to take the plunge and try it, I highly recommend it but I’ll apologize in advance as you will find yourself repurchasing it! Based off the ingredients, you would think this product would be strong on the skin, but it’s not! I don’t know what it is but it combats my acne at the same time as it hydrates and brightens my skin; what a gem! This mask does make my skin a bit red afterward, then again so does everything else, but within a few minutes it’s completely fine. I use this once a week, twice if I can feel some cystic flareups coming on. It has been helping keep my skin balanced, especially now, since I am unable to get my acne peels. She’s a gem…enjoy!
- Omorovicza Acid Fix Treatment
Another Omorovicza gem with a heart attack price tag but gosh she is great too (even if you don’t struggle with acne but are looking for a great products, I highly recommend checking out this brand). Considering how much I loved the face mask, I wanted to pick up another product during this year’s sale. Honestly, I don’t know what this brand does but everything they seem to make (at least from what I have tried so far) is pure gold and this trio-acid serum is no exception! I tend to pull this out when I have been wearing makeup a few days in a row, have gone to an event and have worn heavier than normal makeup, or my skin is feeling a bit clogged. A little definitely goes a long way (honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this lasts me until next Sephora sale). It fights my acne, as well as evenly out texture, makes my skin look so radiant, and best of all, helps reverse the damage done to your skin from sun and pollution (I told you…pure GOLD)! I truly have no idea why this brand doesn’t get the recondition it deserves in the beauty world.
- Next on my list is the one, the only, Clarisonic Mia Smart with the acne brush head. Now a little back story here, I sceptically bought this product last month at the ’20x the points’ event at Shoppers strictly because I needed a new sonic device (someone named Lauren, may or may not have, accidentally, thrown hers in the garbage after a day of cleaning out the bathroom). I know…heartbreak…moving on. Anyways, I have been a faithful user of the Clinique Sonic Acne System ever since it came out and never felt the need to make the switch. I did hear a lot of wonderful things about the Clarisonic system but because of the price, I never wanted to take the plunge. But now that I needed a new one, I thought I would take advantage of Shopper’s event, and boy let me tell you, it truly does live up to the hype! With Clinique system, I would still get the occasional breakout after wearing makeup, but with the Clarisonic, that hasn’t happened yet! I am obsessed with how clean my skin feels after removing my makeup and how radiant it has been. I have been known to get the occasional buildup/blackheads on the side of my nose and upper lip but with the Clarisonic, it has definitely kept things under control. The sonic vibrations truly sets this device apart from any other facial cleansing tool I have tried. With it, I am able to cut down my cleansing from 3 times a day to only 1, and for that alone, it is worth a try. My skin is finally healthy enough to build up its own oils without breaking me out, giving my skin an overall radiance that I have never had before. I am able to customize every cleanse to whatever my skin needs and I LOVE that. Pair this beauty with the Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Balm, and it is a match made in heaven!
- Obagi Clenziderm MD
Now, cleansing your skin is by far the most important for combating blemishes. This trio is a staple in my daily routine and honestly I will never try another cleanser in my life. After I tried this, I felt like no other cleanser ever came close to cleansing my skin as thoroughly as this does. I get that ‘your skin is breathing’ sensation every time I use it. (I will mention though, I recommended it to a friend and she felt that it was too strong for her, so definitely try a sample first before diving in). But for me, this has been extremely helpful in minimizing my blemishes and scars. I use the cleanser and toner every day while using the spot treatment whenever I feel a pimple coming on. The spot treatment can be drying, so I like to apply it with a cotton swab, but I find that if I apply it as soon as I feel a blemish coming, it is gone by the morning.
Another great thing that has helped me control my acne are vitamins. (I highly recommend doing your own research and talking with your doctor to try and find what is right and safe for you). My doctor recommended for me to try Jane Iredale’s Skin Accumax and I love it. For some reason, it claims to not work for cystic acne, but it works for me! These vitamins are gluten free and vegan which are great for anyone with allergies and sensitivities like me (more on that here)! (I’ve also wanted to try Halo Beauty’s Kiwi Skin Booster, the reviews look promising). Just remember that blemishes can come from within as well, so maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is just as important as combating blemishes topically.
These are definitely my tried and true go to’s for when I am having a breakout. I am hoping to add a few more favourite finds to my collection, as I picked up a few newbies at the Sephora sale last month (I will keep you posted)! If you have any favourites that you think I might like or your tried and true’s, let me know in the comments below!