Acne

The Products I Use To Help Treat and Fight Breakouts

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The best products to help treat and prevent breakouts.
As someone that has normal to oily and acne prone skin, battling breakouts is the bane of my existence. Thankfully as I get older they tend to happen less frequently and only around my chin area (typically due to hormonal changes). But there are those rogue ones that pop up unannounced on the rest of my face from time to time – and always on a day that I need to look put together. Ugh! While I’ve tried a ton of products over the years, there are a few that I go back to over and over again to help me treat breakouts and also prevent them.
1. Ren Bio-Retinoid Cream – I cannot believe I forgot to photograph this one! I brought the bag of products with me outside to take pictures and left this one in the bag. GRRR! This cream is probably my single most effective tool at fighting breakouts so I had to mention it first. Now I should preface this by saying, it is not an acne treatment or product designed to help with pimples. However, I have found that it does wonders for me in treating and preventing them! It is a standard anti-aging cream, but when I first began testing it out I noticed my skin stayed clear for as long as I used it. Not a single bump. And after I had switched to another moisturizer, I began using it as a spot treatment for any blemishes that popped up. It helps heal them incredibly fast and now I never travel anywhere without it. I am already on my second bottle and will never be without this product!
2. iS Clinical Cleansing Complex – Most acne face washes are foamy, strip my skin and make it feel tight and ultimately more oily. This was not the case with this cleansing complex. It is gentle yet effective at helping keep my skin clear, and does a great job at helping heal my skin if I am having a breakout. That was the major difference for me when using this cleanser versus other acne fighting cleansers – the ability to heal the skin when having a flare-up.
3. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid 2% BHA Liquid – I love a good acid toner, but not all are designed to help treat or prevent breakouts. When I first tried this Skin Perfecting Liquid, I wasn’t sure what to expect but knew the reviews were stellar. After only one week, I began to see a difference. My pores appeared much smaller, any forehead bumps I had were completely gone and it helped reduce a cystic blemish on my chin quickly. I don’t feel the need to use it all the time, so I rotate it in and out of my routine when I am feeling particularly oily or suffering from ongoing breakouts. I use it after I have cleansed but before I apply my serums and moisturizers.
4. Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel – Though I have a few products that help to treat the entire face, I still find it helpful to have spot treatments in my skincare collection. This Clinique gel is quite strong (it will sting just know that), but when I need a blemish to come to the surface (gross I know, but true) I will apply this and it draws it out much faster.
5. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – This was my first ever acne spot treatment I tried because before blogging I was using proactiv for many years. I had heard this lotion was magic in a bottle and I couldn’t agree more. Quick tip – do NOT shake the bottle – simply dip a q-tip all the way down into the pink sediment and then apply to the skin. I find that it works best on whiteheads or blemishes that have already made it to the surface. Anything more cystic or underneath needs the next product.
6. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – This is what I reach for when suffering from a cystic blemish under the surface that just won’t come to a head (again, gross) or won’t shrink. It will take a few days for it to go away, but it definitely helps my painful cystic bumps heal much faster.
7. First Aid Beauty Blemish Patrol Pads – After using these pads from First Aid Beauty and falling in love with them, I was intrigued to try the ones for blemishes. Thankfully I was having a breakout when I went to test these so I could get a true reading on their effectiveness. I tried using these alone without any other acne treatments to see if they would work on their own and I was shocked at how many blemishes cleared up after only a few days. There were some pimples that still needed a spot treatment, but these pads help to keep my skin clearer for longer without drying it out. I can use these twice a day, every day and my skin never feels tight, dry or sensitive. I have been through 4 tubs of these already and always have a backup.

Hope this post was helpful and one that you can refer back to you if needed. Let me know what acne fighting products are your favorite and most effective! 

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Beauty Bits: Acne Fighting Products

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 photo Acneproducts.jpgAcne and breakouts are something that I have struggled with since I was a teenager.  On the spectrum, I know my case is rather mild, but my skin can really act up when it wants to.  Over the years, my breakouts have now limited themselves to my chin and jaw area which I know primarily hormonal, but it doesn’t make it any more fun to deal with. Taking better care of my skin over the past few years has dramatically helped reduce my breakouts, however I have isolated a few certain products I have come across along the way that stand out from the rest in helping me keep my skin in check.  Mario Badescu products have been some of the best I have ever used in maintaining my clear skin, but there have been a few others that I have come across recently that were quite exceptional and needed to be added to this list.  Here is a look at some of my favorite acne fighting products: 
1. Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion – This toner can be quite strong so I recommend using sparingly, but it is great at disinfecting the skin and helping to reduce bacteria.  I apply after I have cleansed and before I begin applying any serums or moisturizers.  I made the mistake of letting this run out without a back up, and my skin freaked out.  Lesson learned.
2. Dermalogica Precleanse Wipes – I am quite the facial wipe connoisseur, and while most seem to do a suitable job, these stood out immediately to me.  Much like their Precleanse product, these wipes help to break out oil, makeup, dirt and grime so easily allowing for a more thorough cleanse after.  I find that half the battle in fighting acne is to properly cleanse the skin and remove all the yucky stuff (technical term) that contributes to clogging pores and irritating the skin.
3. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – Yes, it pained me just to turn this bottle on its side for the picture since they give you strict instructions NOT to ever shake the bottle.  Leave the contents upright and simply dab a q-tip into the sediment at the bottom and dab on the blemish.  I typically use this only on whiteheads (ugh, I know – it’s even gross to say) to help shrink and reduce the inflammation.  It’s pretty powerful stuff so just a dab will do ya.
4. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – Included in my 2013 Beauty Favorites, I am never without this product.  If I travel, this is the first thing I throw in my bag.  Technically designed to treat cystic acne (which I often suffer from), this is best applied at night to help soothe the skin and reduce the breakout.  Now I will stress that often (any of) these products take time to heal a blemish (or blemishes – plural, ugh) so patience is a must but the process moves a lot faster with these in my arsenal.  But a little tip from me to you when using this gem, I often apply it under my makeup to help the blemish heal during the day and find that it works wonders. 
5. Mario Badescu Drying Cream – This product is new to me, but I instantly fell in love.  And while I go rogue and use the Buffering Lotion under my makeup occasionally, this is actually designed to help conceal, treat blemishes and be worn under makeup.  Great at drying up small under the surface bumps and blemishes, I am not sure how I ever lived without it before.  Seriously, the more you know…..
6. Mario Badescu Silver Powder – What the heck is this stuff? – my thoughts the first time I used it.  I read the instructions and it said to dab a wet cotton ball into the dry powder mixture and apply to any areas with blackheads.  But all skepticism went away when I removed the powder after 10 minutes (use a cotton pad soaked in toner), and my pores looked squeaky clean!  The powder is designed to help unclog (again, gross I know, but the truth) congested pores and absorb any excess oil.  But a slight word of caution, if you walk by an open window or fan with this stuff on your face, be prepared for a dust storm. 
7. REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask – While most of these products help to address the blemishes themselves, this mask is great because it treats my entire face.  It helps to purify the skin, remove dirt and impurities and I love the way my skin feels after.  Some pore-cleansing masks can leave my skin dry, tight and uncomfortable, but this is just the opposite.  Once I remove, my skin looks smoother, softer and most importantly still feels hydrated. 

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