I have struggled with acne and hyperpigmentation for the past 10 years. Luckily, I was one of those lucky people who didn’t have serious acne in high school, but by the time I got to college, my face began to inexplicably erupt with pimples. Ok, not inexplicably, because I didn’t get enough sleep, drink enough water, was super stressed, and didn’t even wash my makeup off at night. So yes, I was a hot mess and deserved every whitehead during that time. But in the past few years I have gotten serious about my skincare, and tried different products to prevent and address my hormonal and stress induced acne. I went into overdrive at the start of 2017, making every effort to conquer my skin by the time I got married, and I finally settled on an arsenal of mostly sulfate and paraben free skincare products that are best for my acne-prone, combination skin.
Daily Cleansing Bar
Kojic and azelaic acids in this solid bar cleanser gently exfoliates and brightens my skin every morning. It comes with a konjac like sponge for easy application, and has also helped clear my bikini line!
Clarifying Gel Cleanser
At night, this pH balanced gel cleanser gets all the makeup off my face and gunk out of my pores. Seriously clarifying, so I wouldn’t use it more than once a day. Plus it’s owned by two Nigerian sisters!
Every couple of days, I exfoliate my face in the morning with this green (literally) scrub that gently sloughs off dead skin. Bonus points for being a drugstore buy AND it keeps bikini ingrowns at bay!
Stubborn eye makeup is no match for this luxurious cleansing balm that warms up in your palms and is wiped off with a warm, soft cloth, leaving behind soft skin that feels like it’s straight from the spa.
Deep Cleansing Tool
On heavy makeup days, this + my gel cleanser work magic to deep clean my skin. Different speed settings means I can control the pressure, and different sized nodes makes cleaning hard to reach areas like right around my nose ring way easier.
Vitamin C Serum
A must-have for skin renewal and gradual fading of scars, this Vitamic C serum also has salicylic acid to fight acne and hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.
Moisturizer + SPF
Not using SPF daily was probably my 2nd biggest skincare mistake (after not washing my face 2x a day)! This one is slightly mattifying, making it the perfect primer for makeup application.
At night or when I’m staying indoors, I feel great applying a few drops of this oil on my skin because it’s totally organic and effortlessly locks in moisture without making me feel greasy.
Hydrating Night Cream
For max hydration on super dry days, I like to layer on this cream that is the most moisturizing thing I have ever put on my face. Or body. Or anywhere.
Acne Fighting Pads
I spread these thin pads over my problem areas (cheeks and forehead) daily to prevent and treat breakouts. It contains just enough salicylic acid to do the job, but not so much that it dries out my skin.
Tea Tree Oil
For a super effective and totally natural spot treatment, I dab a bit of tea tree oil on any developing bumps. It’s antibacterial and antifungal properties help treat acne, plus it supposedly helps scars heal as well.
During breakouts, this blue medicated mask has 10% sulfur to treat acne as well as glycerin to restore hydration. Also works well as an overnight spot treatment.
While these are my current staples, skincare products alone haven’t been enough to radically improve my skin. I’ll do another post including some lifestyle changes and dermatological procedures that have helped manage my skin soon!