Finding what works for my skin while battling acne took time and patience. I have struggled with acne since high school. It was at its worst the summer before my sophomore year of high school. Not only did I have pimples on my cheeks and forehead, but I also began to get back acne. The texture of my skin was always bumpy and rough.
I do not wear makeup because it makes my skin feel even worse. I've gone through antibiotics such as minocycline to reduce my acne as well as various topical treatments. None of them really worked. I continued my own research on how to clear up my acne and finally resorted to using only natural ingredients, not only using them topically but also consuming internally such as turmeric, ginger, lemon, watercress, and avocado.
I began buying organic fruits and vegetables as well as switching from whole milk to almond milk. I also began drinking lots of green tea! I never run out of green tea. EVER. Of course, I took into account stress, sleep, and exercise in the health of my skin, making sure I get the proper amount of each daily.
Many years later, I have finally settled on a skin routine. It currently works for me, maybe some of these products will for you, too!
1. Facial cleanser
I thought my skin was oily, but it turns out I have been overdrying my skin throughout high school. I switched to a cleanser that hydrated my skin, leaving it smooth and supple. I use it morning and night. I use my handy dandy facial brush that acts as a gentle exfoliator, vibrating against my skin.
I use this scrub every other day. Not only does it exfoliate my skin with small grains of sugar, but it also moisturizes my skin. Not to mention, it smells delightful.
3. Cleansing pad
I love everything tea tree. These cleansing pads clean up any remaining dirt I may have on my face. When I remove makeup with a makeup wipe and cleanser, this tea tree pad picks up the rest! I use this morning and night.
Toning my skin is essential due to the fact that I do have larger pores and need to keep them cleaned and minimize them over time. Using witch hazel also helped remove previous acne scars. I use this after I wash my face, morning and night.
I never used to moisturize my skin because I did not like the feeling of anything on my face, plus I thought my skin was oily as is. But of course, I was wrong. Drying out my skin, I needed a moisturizer that did not cause me to break out. I use two types from Cerave. Typically when my skin is oily during the summer, I use the lightweight lotion and when my skin is drier, I use the cream.
I never wore sunscreen until this past summer. I used to play tennis for school and from those hours in the sun, my skin became the worst it's ever been. Protect your skin from the UV rays and prevent wrinkles by wearing sunscreen. End of discussion.
7. Nose strips
I have lots of blackheads due to my enlarged pores. Nose strips twice a month is a must.
8. Clay masks
Who doesn't love a clay mask? I use a tea tree clay mask which gives my face a nice tingling, warming effect. It is perfect for sensitive skin and goes on very smoothly. I usually apply two to three times a week with my roommates.
9. Sheet masks
Sheet masks are all the craze in the beauty world. The essence soaked into these sheets offer direct nutrition to your skin and can be felt immediately. I use them with my roommates and siblings two to three times a week right before going to bed. Not only is it cooling and smells amazing, but each mask also is different and has benefits directed to certain targets such as firming, brightening, moisturizing, etc.
10. Sleep masks
I recently purchased this tea tree sleep mask for my blemishes. It's basically a gel that I apply all over my face before going to sleep. I wake up to a moisturized and smooth face every morning. It's too soon to say, but I love it thus far.