Dealing with acne is an ongoing battle- not only is it physically aggravating but emotionally defeating and frustrating as well. I have combination skin (oily t-zone, dry cheeks) that’s also acne prone, and I’ve dealt with frequent breakouts since my early teens. In case this is helpful for anyone going through the same struggle, I’d like to share my experience with acne and what I did to finally manage breakouts.
Here’s my backstory with acne: I started with mild breakouts in my early teens, which I used over-the-counter solutions like Salicylic acid cleansers and spot treatments at the drugstore. When the breakouts started getting worse and these drugstore products just weren’t working anymore, I got a referral to see my dermatologist. She recommended everything from spot treatments to compounded lotions and finally, I was put on an antibiotic taken orally called Minocycline. This worked for around three years, until I found that if I missed one dosage, my breakouts would come back- worse than before. Long story short, I was recommended to go on Accutane (one of the strongest acne medications on the market) and left feeling more frustrated than ever. Hearing about all the scary side effects (depression, birth defects etc.), I declined. So here’s what worked for me:
BENZOYL PEROXIDE, 2.5 %!
Frustrated with my skin, I did some intense research online and came across a lot of “acne remedies” which I was hesitant to try, until I watched this video by Goss Makeup Artist (see here). At this point I was getting desperate and frustrated with my skin so I decided to give it a try. I also heard great product reviews about acne.org’s product line (which uses a higher quality grade of Benzoyl Peroxide in their products) so I gave it a shot. And after four years using this product alone (no antibiotics or any other oral medications) I can say that it’s something that worked for my skin (keep in mind that everyone’s skin in different, and it’s best to test out different remedies to see what works best for you). I would recommend this course of treatment for anyone with moderate to severe reoccurring acne and cystic acne types as well.
1. Acne. org Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Treatment- I used this daily to combat against acne and I still use it everyday (even to this day) all over my entire face to prevent future breakouts. I love the light consistency of the product (it feels like a light moisturizer), which dries rapidly and doesn’t leave behind a white residue like other BP formulas can.
2. Spectro Acne Care Benozoyl Peroxide 2.5%- If you want a quick fix for acne, a great drugstore alternative is this Spectro Acne (however, the tube is tiny so you’re going to keep having to purchase this product). The formula is a bit thicker than the Acne.org formulation.
3. ELF Spot Treatment (for mild breakouts)- Use this product as a spot treatment if you have mild acne. Effective and super-cheap (under $2) solution is E.L.F.’s Zit Zapper Spot Treatment, which is really helpful for me to quickly touch up a spot during the day or target individual blemishes. I bought multiples of this product and have it stashed in every handbag and makeup bag.
HOW TO USE BENZOYL PEROXIDE :
I apply a dime sized amount of this (make sure it is the 2.5% strength and not anything more) after cleansing and toning the skin, morning and night (when I first started the regimen, I used a lot more product- your skin needs time to get used to the Benzoyl Peroxide). Then, I apply a moisturizer over top (a richer moisturizer at night, and a lighter moisturizer during the day). When starting out, give yourself a few weeks for your skin to get accustomed to the product- sensitive, slightly irritated skin is normal in the beginning- the key is to stick with it for at least two months (I saw a complete turnaround in my skin after two months). Stick to moisturizers that are meant for SENSITIVE SKIN and ideally hypoallergenic to prevent further irritation. What’s great about this method is that BP absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin- so it’s great if you like wearing makeup for the day.
I hope this was helpful to anyone going through a similar experience with acne! If you’ve tried BP before, let me know if it helped you fight acne like it did for me!
*Disclaimer: please note that I am not affiliated or sponsored in any way by Acne.org, Spectro Acne Care, or E.L.F. These products were purchased by myself and the opinion on these products are solely my own.