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Acne Solutions: How to Ban Breakouts for Good!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Apparently I’m a 16 year old girl going through puberty again—well that’s what my skin looks like at least. University seems to have gotten the best of my skin, and I’ve had this conversation with enough people to know I’m not alone. Here’s to those of you who are just like me, who have tried endless times to rid your skin of those unflattering bumps, white heads and frequent break outs, that are really taking a toll on your self-confidence. I wish I could create a bye bye zit bible that would provide an inexpensive one size fits all solution that liberates you of those pesky blemishes. But, I’m sorry to say, I myself am still looking for that holy grail – the first step to clearer skin is:

STEP 1: Identify your correct skin type

Everyone’s skin is unique and different. I have been living my life saying my skin can take it all and that the harsher the product the “better it works.” I just learned that’s not the case. The more you dry out your skin, contrary to belief, it won’t actually clear it up. In fact, trying to dry my skin out caused it to break out ten times more.

STEP 2: Pick your Poison

Now, I’ve tried the whole natural way, you know that phase where you say “ I don’t want to put anything on my face that I couldn’t ingest”. If that’s something you’re into, let me tell you that these two wondrous potent little au natural products have proved to be worth while.

  1. Lemon juice: squeeze lemon juice, apply it to your face with a cotton pad and feel the burn. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water. I immediately noticed the redness go down and my skin felt refreshed.
  2. Tea tree oil: I know its old news by now, but using tea tree oily on pesky zits can help clear them up overnight.

Now for the good stuff – the products! I have tried too many products to name, so rather then naming the ones that don’t work I’ll let you in on the ones I found helpful:

  1. The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil Collection: Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, I recommend this line. The foaming cleanser really takes off the dirt from the day, as well as make up and leaves a tingling sensation that seems like it’s doing something ($11.00-13.00)
  2. If your willing to drop big bucks, Kate Sommerville’s exfoliators will work magic.  Expensive products don’t always mean great results but most of the time they do.  In life there are very few things you can change, and if controlling your acne is within reach, JUST DO IT. Realistically can you put a price on self confidence? Didn’t think so.
  3. The Boscia line has been super helpful and it’s somewhat eco friendly (I say somewhat because it still contains chemicals), but the oil free daily moisturizer and clearing face treatment have been successful for me so far ($30-42.00)
  4. Fruits and Passion Pore Tightening Facial Mask – recently Fruits and Passion has been bought out by a Korean company (The Face Shop Company), skeptical I tried using this face mask and the secrets to that beautifully clear Asian skin have been cracked. This mask tightened my pores the next day. I could see reduced pimple visibility as well as fewer red spots. ($3)

Step 3: Be patient

If you’re going to spend money on facial products, I highly recommend sampling them first. I had the most amazing experience at Sephora the other day, I went through a full consultation with one of their skin care specialists who ended up giving me the samples to the above products and after three days I couldn’t help but to jump for joy when my skin immediately got better. So if you have the time, go and talk to them, ask for samples. If you’re dropping 100 bucks to wash your face, you want to make sure that it’s going to work.

Step 4: Continue to care for your face

Cleansers and treatments are great, but if you’re not caring for your skin in between washes your essentially fighting yourself. Here are a few tips that help reduce/ prevent breakouts:

  • Wash your bed sheets every 2-3 weeks. Dirty pillow cases build up grease and dirt from your face
  • Don’t touch your face. I struggle with this one. The more you feel it and touch those gross bumps, the bigger they get. As I’m sure your mother has told you, touching them is just making them worse.
  • Make sure you’re using clean brushes and sponges with your make up or at least washing them once a week.
  • Moisturize
  • Drink water- no tea doesn’t count, neither does vitamin water. I’m talking legit water. Which I’m still with, but I’ve noticed a significant change with my recent intake of water.
Graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor with Specialization in Communications Currently working as a Content Coordinator at an advertising agency in Toronto. For business opportunities or cocktail recommendations: paulinakvanschaik@gmail.com