I am 24 years old, and I'm haunted by acne. My acne used to be so bad--covering the whole surface of my face--places I didn't think acne could crawl into (like the soft skin under my eyes), would show its ugly mark. I thought my acne would go away after I got out of my teen years but lingered into my twenties. I would (unsuccessfully) hide my acne with make-up, and hated showing my face in public without any coverup. I tried Proactiv, Clearasil, Anti-Acne, Neutrogena, and numerous more (these products would work for some people I knew, but never solved my problems). I tried various prescription creams at the guidance of my dermatologist, and finally found my match. I've been using most of the above products for almost 2 years and while I still do have flare ups of acne, its usually less than 3 times a year.
- Face cleaning wipes- I use Costco brand, but I think any moistened facial cleansing wipes would do. I have friends that even use diaper wipes and works great for them.
- Daily SPF moisturizer- The Body Shop's Seaweed Face Mattifying Lotion works wonders for me. It comes with SPF 15, contains mattifying elements to control oily skin, and importantly, it provides the right amount of non-oily moisturizer our skin needs. (When I was younger, I robbed my skin of any moisture, refusing to put any lotion or anything close to that on my skin, because I believed it would cause oil, which then would cause acne; I was so wrong because my face ended up producing copious amounts of oil to make up for the absence and caused me to break out more.)
- Tea Tree Oil - I use Trader Joe's spa 100% tea tree oil from Australia. Tea tree oil has shown much positive benefits when applied topically to skin (antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial properties). Some studies show a small percent of the population may react negatively to tea tree oil, so make sure you test to ensure you are not allergic.
- Nightly Moisturizer - Carrot Moisture Cream from The Body Shop is a great moisturizer to put on before bed-time.
- Topical Acne Treatment (Morning) - I use Benzaclin (Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel, 1%/5%). Talk to your doctor for a prescription and to see if this is a good fit for you.
- Topical Acne Treatment (Evening) - Retin-A Micro® (tretinoin gel) microsphere, 0.04% works wonders for me. See your doctor for a prescription and to see if it's a good fit for you.
My regimen (morning to night):
- A) After washing my face in the morning with cleanser and warm water, I dry my face and put a thin layer of Benzaclin (5) on my face.
- B) I then put a thin layer of Face Mattifying Lotion (2) on top of the Benzaclin, and go about my normal make-up regimen of foundation, blush, etc.
- C) After the day is over, in the evening, I use the face wipes (1) to remove all my make-up and residue. I wash my face with cleanser and dry.
- D) Once a week, I put 1-2 drops of tea tree oil (3) on a cotton ball and apply it to my face.
- E) I wash my face with cleanser, dry, and squeeze a dab of Retin-A Micro® (6) (size of a pea) on my fingertips. I then dab forehead, chin and both cheeks and smooth it gently on my skin.
- F) Finally, I place a thin layer of Carrot Moisture Cream (4)over my face on top of the Retin-A Micro®
I know this is a tedious regimen, but I hope this works for you!