I have been suffering from acne for the last 10 years and boy, have I tried a ton of products that completely dried out my skin and made my acne angry. That is why I decided to educate myself and found the skincare world on YouTube. Of course, I stumbled across The Ordinary. A new revolutionary skincare brand that was so affordable.
Now, I am not saying that you following my routine will cure your acne. However, it could expose you to some gems that you’ve not heard of or overlooked.
Before I go into the products. I will say this, the diet was also a huge factor in clearing up my acne. Eating less cheese, milk, ice-cream, peanuts and frequent fatty take-aways has helped too.
If you follow me on my YouTube channel, then you know that I have been using Benzoyl Peroxide from Acnecide for a few years. This was one of the first topical medications I used when I decided enough was enough and that I was going to clear my cystic acne.
BP worked well at the beginning at drying out my acne. However, I found it less effective on my skin in the long term which is unusual for this active. But it did work for me in the short term. Benzoyl peroxide works by unclogging your pores and removing those dead skin cells that can cause acne. It does this by attacking bacteria on your skin which can prevent you getting new spots.
How to use
The key is to only apply a SMALL amount on your actual acne. I cannot emphasise that enough! This stuff is drying and could result in more acne. Also, do not mix it with any other active and use it solo. I do not recommend using it twice a day as I did. Instead, opt for up to 3 times per week.
After some time of eating clean and using Benzoyl Peroxide from Acnecide. My acne flared up again. So, I switched my benzoyl peroxide with DUAC. Which I received from my GP and I found it to be so much more effective and gentler on my skin. DUAC contains benzoyl peroxide and an antibiotic. I preferred the lower concentration of 2% instead of the 5% I was using with the over the counter Acnecide 5% Gel.
The key lesson here is to play around with the concentrations. For me, a higher 5% was too drying for my skin and 2% was perfect from another brand which of course includes the antibiotic which helped too. Please note that I no longer use DUAC but have a repeat prescription in case my skin significantly flares up again.
I added The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid to add to my DUAC routine about 2 years ago. Salicylic Acid also works by unclogging your pores and exfoliating your skin which removes dead skin cells. It is different from Benzoyl Peroxide because it soothes your skin due to being derived from Willow Bark.
Although, I had no clue how to properly use it in the beginning and it ended up working against me with some purging too. Nonetheless, the stuff is amazing for those small bumps on your face. I also find it somewhat effective on my cystic acne too.
How to use
I simply apply the smallest amount all over my face when I can feel inflammation; when you know a spot is coming. Like with Benzoyl peroxide. I do not recommend that you use this every day. It is recommended as a spot treatment or to be applied all over the face at small amounts.
It is important to note, that The Ordinary, does not recommend this as an ‘acne treatment’. It works so well for me because I rotate it with my other actives that aid in my overall bump-free face.
Niacinamide is one of my favourite actives. It is non-irritating to my skin and always feels good. I love it for my small acne bumps and to help with my hyperpigmentation. It works by reducing the appearance of your congestion and blemishes’. It is amazing for oily skin as it can reduce sebum activity. Once again, this is not an acne treatment by a great accomplice to your acne regime.
If you have blemishes’ and acne but are also trying to fight hyperpigmentation. Then this is a true gem!
Keep a diary when you start using a new product to monitor irritation, inflammation and any purges. Try to only use one active at a time to ascertain what worked and didn’t.
Seeking Professional help
If you have access to health care, try to also visit your GP who can investigate the cause of your acne and prescribe you things like Isotretinoin and DUAC
I hope you found this blog helpful for other acne suffers out there. It is really hard to find a routine that will work for you. But keep doing your research and experiment safely.