Over the years I have spent hundreds of pounds on skincare to help with my acne, here are the products that actually work and will not break the bank.
Acne is something 85% of us have, or will experience at some point in our lives, however it is clear that the beauty industry has worked out the perfect formula to capitalise off of our insecurities caused by acne as society shuns you for something so out of your control.
Acne can be caused by hormones, diet, medications or even stress, however individuals are led to believe by the beauty industry that it is your fault for not using the correct skincare, so you should give them all your money to cure it. I have always been a firm believer in changing societies perception of the condition rather than feeling the need to cure your acne as we should not place this narrative upon individuals that their acne needs sorting upon the first signs.
Before I begin discussing the products, I want to give an insight into my own acne journey. I had never had skin issues before moving to University, but at age 18 it hit me. I developed cystic acne on my jawline and cheeks and it ruined my confidence, ultimately effecting my social life. I remember vividly waking up at least an hour and a half before my lectures to make sure I had covered my acne sufficiently and spent time at night picking apart my own face. Eventually I gave in to seeking medical advice and was put on antibiotics, specifically doxicycline. These took around six months to see any changes but they did help. The main problem I now face with my skin is the scarring, my scars continue to be stubborn in their ability to fade.
Although I still struggle with the condition, I seem to have it under control by this routine I will share with you. I have spent years trying every single product marketed towards acne, so know that what I say is from a tried and tested approach!
- Balm to oil cleanser, Primark, £3.50
This product is a dupe of the Bodyshop chamomile balm cleanser which retails at £11.00. one of the common misconceptions for acne prone skin is to not apply oils or excessive moisture… wrong! This product leaves my skin feeling super hydrated when removing my makeup as well as being so quick and environmentally friendly as opposed to a micellar water and cotton pad combination. The balm contains a mixture of oils and emollients which break down makeup, skincare products and impurities which leave your skin clean and able to breathe.
2) Revolution salicylic acid blemish cleanser £9.99
I use this after using my oil cleanser to further clean my skin and ensure all makeup or dirt is off my face. Salicylic acid is great due to its ability to deeply penetrate the skin and clear clogged pores. I find this product makes my scar texture feel lessened and also the appearance of my scars has been dramatically reduced since using it. You can use this product morning and night, make sure to cleanse for sixty seconds to ensure the product has had a chance to work.
3) The Inky list retinol £9.99
Retinol is something a lot of my friends have used and recommended, however I have also heard stories of it breaking people out so at first I was sceptical. For me the main benefit of this product is how it has helped to reduce the appearance of my acne scars, this is due to its ability to increase cell turnover and causes the skin to produce more collagen. It is also good for anti ageing!
4) La roche pose effaclar duo £17.00
This moisturiser is my holy grail and is designed for oily skin prone to breakouts. It has clarifying benefits as well as being super hydrating to even out your complex. It contains a mix of niacinamide, glycerin and salicylic acid which helps prevent spots and post breakout scarring. I found my acne scars reduced visibly whilst using this.
5) Gua sha (available from multiple brands)
This is something I recently discovered but have been loving the feeling of taking that extra bit of time to elevate my skincare routine. Gua sha is a traditional Chinese healing method which relieves tension in the face muscles and encourages lymphatic drainage. This appealed to me as I have seen multiple reviews where people have sharpened their jawline using this technique. I am yet to see changes but I still enjoy the process of using it!
6) Micro needling (available from multiple brands)
Micro needling is something I have always done to try and reduce the appearance of my acne scars. I personally use a small needle size over my whole face and then larger length for my scar target areas. Not only does micro needling help serums and moisturisers to penetrate your skin at a deeper level, but it increases the skins production of collagen leading to faster healing of scars, sun damage and even reducing the appearance of wrinkles!