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Emily Nelissen

How I Got The Best Skin of My Life

Like many people, I’ve struggled with acne. I’m not talking about the occasional hormonal pimples; I’m talking about cystic acne in high school that led to 6-months of Accutane.  While I haven’t had cystic acne breakouts all over my face again, this past year I found myself struggling with more frequent breakouts, along with dark spots on my face, patches of dry on my otherwise oily skin, and more noticeable fine lines around my mouth.  My skin was telling me I had to start a new skincare regimen that didn’t include a Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit acne scrub and a Clean and Clear alcohol based toner.  It was time to advance, and here’s how I got the best skin of my life.  

  1. Curology.  I ordered my first bottle at the beginning of September 2019, and there’s a reason Curology is hyped in the way it is.  I never had the “skin purge” that some people get (when your acne gets worse before it gets better), and I noticed results within a week of consistent use.  My formula was a mix of Niacinamide, Azelaic Acid, and Clindamycin-- a skin-loving cocktail that completely took my skin to a new level.  At the beginning of September 2020, I decided I wanted to try something new...not because Curology wasn’t working for me anymore, but because I decided I wanted something more long-term and affordable. Curology is $70 per month, and while I think it’s worth the price tag, that’s still $840 per year on skincare alone.  That’s when I discovered...    
  2. The Ordinary.  We’ve all seen this brand completely take over social media in the recent months, and let me tell you, there’s a reason why.  ‘The Ordinary’ is an affordable, science-based skincare line with limited ingredients and potent formulas.  I started doing a ton of research on their different skincare products, watching YouTube videos and reviews (thank you, Hyram), and recognizing that my skin needs a complex and detailed routine if I want to see the difference that I’m going for.  After days of researching, I constructed the perfect routine for my oily-to-combination, acne-prone, tired skin, full of heavenly products that have made a noticeable difference in my appearance and skin texture in just a few weeks.  Here’s what I got!
    1. Squalane cleanser “A gentle cleansing product formulated to target makeup removal whilst leaving the skin feeling smooth and moisturized...”
    2. Hyaluronic Acid 2%+ B5 Serum “This formulation combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration...”
    3. Niacinamide 10%+ Zinc 1% Serum “Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion...”
    4. “Buffet” Peptide Serum “This formula combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once...”
    5. Glycolic Acid 7% Toner “This 7% toning solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture with continued use...”
    6. Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension “It brightens the skin tone while visibly improving the evenness of skin texture and reducing the look of blemishes...”
    7. Vitamin C Suspension 23%+ HA Spheres 2% “An effective antioxidant that brightens the skin tone and reduces the appearance of signs of aging...”
    8. AHA 30%+ BHA 2% Peeling Solution “Offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use...”

These 8 products will last me likely two or three months, all for $85.  Each of these products work with each other when applied in the right order to correct, nourish, and truly transform your skin.  If you’re thinking about amplifying your skincare routine, I would highly recommend ‘The Ordinary’.  Do your research to craft your own routine that will give your skin everything it needs to feel and look its best.



*Edited by Annie Stibora

Hey, I'm Cati (cah-tee, not Katie)! I'm entering my senior year at the University of Vermont studying Public Communications with a concentration in Community Media and Journalism. I've always enjoyed writing, especially when it's about topics relevant to a college-aged demographic. I love giving advice, finding new music, and practicing wellness within mind and body. When I have a moment to relax, I'm usually cuddling with my kitten, Maui, reading my horoscope (I'm a Sagittarius), meditating, or taking a bath- of course, with a favorite Lush Bath Bomb. Over the years I've found a few passions that I can't wait to share with you!
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