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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

So you’re struggling with acne or can’t seem to shake those pesky breakouts. Believe me I’ve been there and the struggle is real. I started getting acne around seventh grade and from there it has been an uphill battle. I was never really good at makeup and was overall just terrified I was going to make it more noticeable and of course worse the next day, so I usually went to school bare-faced. This meant my pimples were on full display and this caused me a great amount of insecurity and self-consciousness as I would always be worried about flare-ups during school pictures, prom, or honestly anywhere in public. After senior year my acne was still rearing its ugly head and I was not a happy camper. Here are some overall tips and products I recommend and are absolute musts for anyone who struggles with acne. 

Dermatologists are your best friend, it’s literally their job to help fix your skin concerns. Not all dermatologists are the same though so you may have to do some shopping around to find one that you not only connect with but also listens to you. I went to three different derms till I found the right one and she’s honestly the best! They can recommend more specific topicals and oral treatments that you wouldn’t be able to get over the counter. If your acne is more persistent, seeing a dermatologist should be your first step in helping to heal your skin. A derm is a great person to educate you on the science behind all things skin. 

A good sunscreen and moisturizer are the keys to keeping your skin youthful and glowing. As an acne sufferer, I never used sunscreen or moisturizer because I thought they would be too greasy or clog my pores and lead to more acne. But, these two items are essential to preventing those unwanted zits. Many treatments and washes that target acne include ingredients that strip the skin of its moisture to dry out the zit. Oftentimes when we want to make them go away faster we can tend to overdo these treatments and damage our skin barrier in the process. That’s why products like moisturizer and sunscreen are essential to both prevent more irritation and protect from sun damage. I recommend the Elta MD AM Therapy Face Moisturizer and their UV Daily Face Sunscreen. Both are dermatologist approved so you can trust that they have an excellent ingredient list. 

Pimple Patches are going to be your best friends. These patches use hydrocolloid to absorb liquid or dry out your acne. Brands like Starface and Mighty Patch are super popular and provide a bunch of different patches for different concerns. Not to mention the little colorful  stars are so adorable. However, there are also more affordable options that you can find at your local Walmart or even CVS. Regular hydrocolloid patches will work the exact same way but you will need to cut them to fit the size of your zit. 

A good face wash is also going to help keep your face clean and bacteria free. I personally recommend the brand CeraVe or its twin Cetaphil. If your skin is more oily try the foaming facial cleanser for normal to oily skin. If you find yourself on the drier side use the hydrating facial cleanser for normal to dry skin. Another option is the very popular PanOxyl, which contains 10% benzoyl peroxide to help remove dirt and oil build up. The beauty of this face wash is that it also can be used on the body for back and chest acne. 

 The beauty standard projects perfect poreless skin as the societal norm but that’s just not realistic. Pores exist, texture exists, and bottom line, nobody’s skin is flawless. If something is too good to be true, it probably is. We tend to forget that a lot of celebrities both smooth over their imperfections and have access to some of the best makeup artists, so we’re not getting the reality of the situation. It’s only further perpetuating this idea that only clear skin is beautiful and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You can still embrace acne while working towards your skin goals. 

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Kristin Nastasi

Holy Cross '24

Kristin Nastasi is a New Jersey-based nineteen year old. She is a Classics major, sagittarius, and self proclaimed Trader Joes connoisseur.