I guess I should be happy that my skin still thinks it’s a teenager. The overworked oil slick that I call my face seems to be keeping the wrinkles at bay, at least.
Unfortunately, that also means that I am constantly battling acne. And, sometimes, cystic acne, those deep-down bumps that typically take forever to rise to the surface. #thestruggles!
I have had a constant influx of questions about how to get rid of acne and how to prevent it, so it’s time for me to reveal some of my secrets for acne – free skin. I’ve been dealing with acne for over 20 years, so you know I’ve tried just about everything under the sun to try to prevent and treat acne.
Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid
Let’s start with the basics – the readily – found acne products that don’t seem to work (for me, at least). You have probably tried using the same products at the drug store or Walmart that I had tried for many years. Most will have an active ingredient of either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
They definitely don’t work for me. In fact, they dry out my face, and make it break out more.
I have even tried Proactive, the multi-product “system” that numerous celebrities have raved about. To no avail.
***I want to state, up front, that if you suffer from persistent acne, my advice is not to be replaced by a professional dermatologist’s advice.***
With that said, I have a variety of methods, tips, tricks, and products I’ve used to prevent and treat my face when acne attacks. Which also reduces the chance of developing acne – induced scarring.
Here’s my list of tips and tricks to keep your face acne-free:
1. Sheet Masks
If you are already inundated with acne, one of my best tricks to rid the pesky bumps is to apply a sheet mask every 4 hours. How many sheet masks typically depends on how bad your acne is, but I can usually get my face cleared up with 3 or 4 sheet masks. (Yes, that’s about 12 to 16 hours.)
I prefer the Epielle sheet masks, but if you can’t find my favorite kind, any sheet mask that comes thoroughly saturated with essence will work just fine. The idea is to saturate your pores with liquid goodness, which is essentially the equivalent of rinsing out your pores.
I have eradicated a bout of cystic acne within 4 days with sheet masks, believe it or not! You know, those deep-down bumps that are just as painful as they are annoying. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. You just have to be persistent with the sheet masks, wear them until your skin has absorbed all of the essence!
Four hours after the first one is applied, apply a second sheet mask, and wait until that one has been completely absorbed, as well. Continue with this regimen every 4 hours until your acne is gone.
2. Try Oil Cleansing
A lot of people who have oily skin are afraid of putting oil on their face. They’re worried that the oil will make their face oilier. It sounds like common sense: more oil = oilier, but it’s actually the exact opposite.
In fact, oil cleansing, which we have taken from the lengthy Korean skincare ritual, will help to regulate your oily skin. Have you ever heard that like repels like and opposites attract?
Additionally, oil cleansing your face helps to break down the dirt and oil buildup way better than your regular soaps and cleaners, because the oil can dissolve oil better. The reason is the oil is similar to your sebum – other cleansers and soaps can’t make their way into your pores, plus oil cleansers are often packed full of good minerals and nutrients that replace the dirt and nastiness in your pores.
3. Use Toner After Cleansing
Your skin works similarly to a sponge. Think about a dry amd hardened sponge. You have to run it under water and get it wet for a moment before it really starts absorbing a larger amount of water.
Our skin acts the same way, so when it’s dehydrated, it will take some work to get it rehydrate again. Toner works to help get your skin damp, and at the same time, balances the pH of your skin.
So, before you apply any serums or moisturizers, be sure to tone your skin.
4. Moisturizers & Serum
Another myth that acne-prone people have bought into is that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer. I apply about a dozen serums, and at least one of my favorite moisturizers on my face daily, and I’ve noticed that it makes my skin happy and keeps the oil at bay.
You see, when your skin thinks it’s dry, it will make more oil to compensate. That means you are probably going to be battling more acne. Therefore, you’re going to want to keep your face moisturized as much as possible to ensure that your skin doesn’t feel obligated to produce more oil than necessary.
5. Use Charcoal Products
I am currently reading a book about the countless ways to use activated charcoal. Traditionally, charcoal has been known for drawing out impurities, such as oil, bacteria, and toxins from the environment, that are trapped inside of your skin. We also know that it can remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
Because we know that acne is formed when dirt, bacteria, and excess oil clump together in our pores, why wouldn’t you be using charcoal products? It’s really that simple.
There are cleansers, sheet masks, clay masks, makeup removing wipes, and so many other products made with charcoal. Find what works best for you.
6. Stick to a Skincare Routine
Once you find a routine and products that work for your skin, stick to it! Changing your skincare routine can confuse your skin. Although, I do recommend adding in an exfoliating session of some sort twice to three times per week.
This could include glycolic acid or just using an exfoliating brush or glove. We all have our favorite method for exfoliating. Figure out which method you and your skin like the best.
When you are testing out new products on your acne-prone skin, be sure to only try out one new product at a time. You know that your skin is reactive, so don’t push it. If you start with too many new products at a time, and your face breaks out worse, you will not be able to figure out which product is not agreeing with your skin.
I wanted to keep these recommendations as general as possible, because I realize that not all products that work for me are going to work for everyone else. Additionally, not all the products I use can be found in other countries.
I recommend plenty of products on Bethany’s Pretties and my Instagram, so if you are looking for product recommendations, feel free to prowl around. These acne quick-fixes are meant to work for everyone, everywhere.
Let me know if you have any quick fixes for acne in the comments below. And, if you try any of these suggestions, don’t forget to leave a comment below! 👇