Dealing with Acne..

Acne can be quite a problem.  I had it when I was a teenager, but thankfully, not anymore.  And the frustrating thing about it, is that there’s no one reason that causes acne.  It could be dirt, oil, hormones, allergies, maybe even your moisturizer!  (You may be using a moisturizer that’s oily & clogging your pores)  I can tell you about the products I’ve used & that have worked for me, & products recommended by Glamour Magazine.  Check below for the links to buy the products.

For Light acne: 

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing cream cleanser: This one has a nice light tingling feeling when washing your face.  And it won’t strip your skin of oil & it’s great for dry skin.  I used to have some slight acne & I would use it on my body too.  Usually $6-7 for a tube.


Boots Anti-Blemish Fighting Foam: This is a gentle foam cleanser great for skin with acne.  It’s actually the soap that I’m using now.  It’s part of the Boots line that’s available at Target; a brand that’s based in London.  It’s gentle & won’t parch the skin, and won’t hurt your wallet either at $6 a bottle.


Other effective facial cleansers:

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Murad’s Acne Complex Clarifying Cleanser, $26

A line started by Dr. Murad, who has been making skincare products for over 30 years now!  He has won awards for his achievements in skincare!

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Biore’s Acne Clearing scrub, $8

If you can choose between an acne face wash & one that is a scrub; choose the one that’s a scrub.  The exfoliating will help unclog pores.  Now Biore has gone beyond just their nose strips, you will find that they have branched out into masks, & pore minimizers, & more.


Yes to Tomatoes Acne Pore Scrub, $8

A relatively new line on the market, an organic scrub that’s meant to exfoliate.  You will find a mask & acne treatment system from them below as well.

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Mario Badescu Acne Cleanser, 2oz, $8

Mario Badescu is a New York based original, founded in 1967.  I’ve listed here the travel size, if you would like to try it.  Sold on their website, Nordstrom’s, & at Ulta, this acne cleanser is getting rave reviews.  And not expensive either!  You can buy the 6 oz bottle for only $15!  Below, you will find a acne treatment system as well!


Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All in one Cleanser with Toner, $30

An amazing 3 in 1 product, a cleanser, toner, & makeup remover, it keeps pores clean & unclogged.  What’s great about it, is that it self adjusts for your skin type, even throughout the year!  Great for all types of skin, as well as acne.  The link I’ve provided is from his website, but you can also buy it from Sephora.

A new item on the market:


Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Facial Scrub, $15

The Tea Tree line, which is new at The Body Shop, all are suitable for acne prone skin.  The great thing about this facial wash is that it exfoliates as well as clears your skin.  Below you will also find a mask from the same line.  Click here for all of their Tea Tree products, to fight acne.

For Acne with oily skin:

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Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser from LaRoche Posay, $20.

Made by this company based in France, This would be more for acne with oily skin.  LaRoche Posay is well known in Europe for their skin products; mostly creams, lotions, & soaps.  Now they have begun selling more in the US, and you can find them at your local Duane Reade.  However, if you don’t have a Duane Reade near you, you can always order it online on their US based website.  They also have a 3 step acne treatment system, which you will see further below.

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Ahava’s Purifying Mud soap, $7.50

What a steal!  I mentioned this brand in another post, but their products are actually made with Dead Sea minerals, & they are based in Israel.  It’s meant for oily acne prone skin, but won’t over dry it, either.

Acne treatment gel: 


Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel: This is a gel you would use after washing your face.  It is a little pricey, at 0.5 oz it’s $17.  BUT it’s getting rave reviews on Sephora.

If you just want to treat some blemishes: 


Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Spot Stick: It comes on a rollerball & it’s meant to treat your trouble areas directly.  Organic & only $10!


-Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick, $9

A combination of Chamomile, Lavender, Palmarosa, Wintergreen, and Tea tree oil works together as a great blemish stick!  Just put some on if you happen to have a break out or 2.

For severe acne: 


Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System: This is getting rave reviews on Amazon, even better than Proactiv, at $20 for their set of a cleanser and 2 lotions.


Yes To Tomatoes 3 step Acne Regimen Kit: This is meant to cleanse, repair, & treat.  And yes it includes the rollerball that I mentioned above.  Organic and it only costs $20.  Who could ask for more?


Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Control Kit: This one comes with cleanser, moisturizer, & medicine treatment, for only $16 online.


-The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Care Kit, $22.  The whole Tea Tree line is meant to combat acne.  This set comes with skin clearing toner, facial wash, lotion, tree oil, & a makeup bag!  And the great thing is that almost all of their products have been rated 5 out of 5 stars by customers!  If you would like to buy the larger set click here: The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Blemish Kit

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LaRoche Posay’s Dermatological Acne System: This comes with a medicated gel cleanser, clarifying solution, and an acne treatment lotion.  Like I mentioned before, LaRoche Posay is renowned in Europe and now sold at most Duane Reades across the US.  And not bad for only $30 for the whole set.

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Murad’s Acne Starter Kit: Comes with the above clarifying cleanser, acne clearing solution, oil control mattifier, & acne spot fast fix, all for $30

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-University Medical Severe Acne Treatment, $30

A line that specializes in acne, this is their kit for the severe kind.  They do have a smaller kit, for $20, if you’d like to try it out here.  This one comes with an acne cleansing wash, corrective toner, repair lotion, & retinol renewal complex.

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Mario Badescu’s Acne Starter Kit, $30

This acne kit comes with his facial cleanser, cucumber lotion, oil free moisturizer, drying mask & comes with a sample of drying cream.


Clinique Acne Solutions Skin Clear Skin System Starter Kit: The more high end treatment, with cleansing foam, clarifying lotion & all over clearing treatment.  It is the pricier item on this list, for the whole set for $37.

And always: Moisturize.  (Unless you bought an acne care system & it comes with a treatment lotion) You should always moisturize after washing your face.  There are some acne soaps that are very drying.  In general, if you keep washing your face & not moisturize; this will age your skin much faster.  Best moisturizer for acne skin is an oil free one.  Stick to oil free moisturizers, for oily ones can clog your pores or cause you to break out more.


Neutrogena oil free moisturizer, $9.

Consider trying: 

-A Mask: Clay, mud and salt masks are said to clear pores of blackheads & of acne.  If you have either problem you should probably put on a mask at least once a week.  If you’ve never used a mask before, put it on after you’ve washed your face, and then afterward put on your facial cream / lotion.  Leave the mask on as the directions instruct, usually 15-20 min, and then wash off.


There are so many acne masks on the market, but I will list a few options for you here:


Murad clarifying mask, $26 on


The Body Shop’s Tea tree face mask.  It’s cheaper at Ulta, for about $15, but check to see if they have a sale at The Body Shop!  I have this mask at home & it’s amazing!!  You use it once & you can already start to see your skin clear up right away!


Yes to Tomatoes, skin clearing facial mask, $10


Formula 10.0.6, Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud mask, $6

-Try Exfoliating: It does help with acne.  I used to have slight acne on the back of my arms; ever since I bought exfoliating gloves for the shower I don’t have them anymore.  It helps unclog your pores & get rid of dead skin that’s clogging it.  And I don’t mean you should get a pair and scrub your face like mad; use 1 or 2 gloves when washing your face, squeeze some of your acne soap in your hand and gently rub your face with the soap, & then rinse off.  Rinse off the gloves & then hang them to dry.  Check my post on Exfoliating!


Other tips: Avoid greasy / oily food: Eating anything fatty, fried will most likely cause you to break out more.  If you do have issues with acne it’s best to avoid those kinds of food.  They’re not good for your health, either.

Getting enough sleep: Stress as well as lack of sleep can cause you to break out.  If you have trouble unwinding you can read my post For Women Who Are Stressed or Have Trouble Sleeping.

If you find the acne soap you picked is not working for you: If I just used it a few times, I would give it away to a friend/family/coworker.  Just say, ‘I have this soap & it’s not really working for me.  Would anyone like it?’  And usually someone will grab it.

If you’ve almost finished the soap & it’s not working: Just recycle it, or do as I do: I use it as a makeup remover.  Chances are it’s too weak to tackle the problem, & I would use it i.e. to wash my face if I’m testing out makeup, or just want to wash off some eyeshadow, etc.

The last resort: Going to the dermatologist.  A dermatologist could get to the root of your acne, and prescribe you something that you wouldn’t be able to buy over the counter.  Also they can refer to an allergist, which may also determine the cause of your acne.  (You might be eating certain foods that’s causing you to break out.) There!  I’ve given you lots of options for treating acne.  Don’t buy them all & waste your money.  AND don’t try one only to be disappointed that you tried one, & it didn’t work out.  Like I said, people get acne for all different kinds of reasons.  The key to treating it is finding the root of your problem & what works best for you.


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