I started getting acne when I was like ten years old. It was, to say the least, the worst. Even when I stopped actively breaking out, my face was covered in acne scars. It wasn’t until junior year that I saw a dermatologist who prescribed a topical medication that worked wonders and got rid of everything. Since then, I have taken every precaution possible to make sure I don’t have to deal with all of that again. I’ve tried a lot of products, and these are the ones I swear by.
- Epiduo Forte
This is the famed, magical, incredible prescription. Of course, it’s prescription only, but if you already see a dermatologist or are considering seeing one I would suggest asking about Epiduo. It contains benzoyl peroxide, which basically works to destroy bacteria and kind of bleach all the marks off of your skin. It’s a serious medication, but it was worth the extra moisturizing, because it erased almost everything, made me so much more confident about my skin, and gave my self-esteem a giant boost.
- Differin Daily Deep Cleanser
If you have Hulu, you’ve probably seen plenty of commercials for Differin Gel. I hadn’t heard of their cleanser until I ran out of the face wash I was using and had to trek to CVS to look for something else. I noticed the deep cleanser because it had the same active ingredient as Epiduo, and I thought that might help to get rid of some of the smaller scars that were starting to come back. This stuff is strong, so use it sparingly and with a good moisturizer, but it’s absolutely worth it because I love how my skin has been looking.
- St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Face Scrub
I like to use exfoliating scrubs when my skin is feeling rough and to prevent blackheads. St Ives is one of my favorite brands for scrubs, and I prefer the green tea one because it’s a little more gentle than others that I’ve tried, which is important in order to avoid micro abrasions. It’s also specifically formulated to get rid of blackheads, which I struggle a lot with. I honestly haven’t seen much of a difference in my skin in that regard, but I also don’t use it very often. All I know is that I really like the way my skin looks and feels after I use it.
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
The holy grail of drugstore moisturizers. I use this twice a day after washing my face and after I swim to keep the chlorine from drying out my skin. I’m using a really strong face cleanser, but I have not noticed a single patch of dry skin just because of this moisturizer. It’s like dipping your face into the fountain of youth.
- Origins Out of Trouble Mask
The first time I used this mask I was genuinely shocked. The day after, my breakouts were gone. Like, literally gone. Origins is a great brand that uses a lot of natural ingredients, and taking care of the Earth is part of their mission statement. You can feel good while doing good! All of their products work really well, but this one is out-of-this-world.
- Elizavecca Milky Piggy Hell Pore Clean Up Mask
Everyone says that peeling this mask off is incredibly painful, but it’s really not that bad. Of course, it hurts a little bit because it rips all the gunk out of your skin, but not enough to make you cry or anything. I really like peel-off masks because there’s so little cleanup and you don’t have to scrub at your skin to get little bits of it off like with mud masks. Charcoal peel-off masks have become so popular, and it’s mostly because of how much coverage this one got, which should show you that it works pretty well. It’s also not super expensive for a good skincare product.
- Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint
I don’t like using full-coverage foundations because I don’t want to clog my pores and I prefer more natural-looking makeup on myself. Sunshine Skin Tint is lightweight but it still covers pretty well and makes my skin look really even. The best part is that it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and SPF 30. I personally burn really easily on my face, especially from the hardcore sunlight in California. Normal sunscreens, even oil-free, leave kind of a gross residue and shine. It’s fine for the beach, but on a regular day I like having sun protection in my foundation so I can look good and not worry about sun damage.
- Almay Clear Complexion Concealer
Because I’m afraid of clogging my pores, I prefer lightweight concealer with salicylic acid, one of the most popular and effective ingredients for getting rid of acne. This concealer covers well (I usually blend it with my finger), but is sheer enough that I can wear it without foundation when I just have a few spots. I have really oily skin, so this doesn’t apply much to me, but I’ve read that it doesn’t work as well on dry skin. Nothing a little moisturizer can’t fix!