Since I've started blogging, one of the most frequent questions I'm asked is what skincare products I use and the routine that I follow. The truth is, I've waited until now to write a post on this subject because after a year and a half of having skin issues, I wanted to make sure that this routine was something worth sharing and that my skin was where I wanted it to be. Here's the skinny on the issues I was having.
I never really struggled with acne during my teenage years, or even through college. It wasn't until we moved to Lexington when I started to have cystic acne breakouts along my chin and jawline. It wasn't just an occasional "one"- it was three, four, or sometimes five on each side of my chin and they were painful and embarrassing. That may not sound like a lot, but they were big (did I mention painful??) and it truly caused me stress. I would love to show some before and after photos, but in all honesty, I wouldn't even take pictures when I had these severe breakouts.
Over the course of a year, I tried just about everything I could over-the-counter, changing my makeup products, the oil-cleansing method; I tried everything I could think of until I finally caved and went to the dermatologist. After a few months of trying a few different products, we finally came up with a routine and products that were helping.
1. Microfiber Cloth (Prepping): I wet the cloth in warm water and remove all of the makeup off my face with it. The microfiber does a great job of taking as much makeup off of my face as possible and really pulls it out of my pores. It's great for prepping my skin for the actual cleansing part! I've used a regular wash cloth to try and remove my makeup, just to compare, and it's just not the same. I use these cloths from Crude (the company I went with when I tried the oil cleansing method). I bought 7 of them at the time, so I always have one ready each day. Any microfiber cloth should work, though!
2. Joesoef Sulfer Soap (Cleansing): This bar soap was recommended to me by my dermatologist. It's not a prescription; I can just walk into their office and purchase it for $10 whenever I run out. I use this to wash my face every morning and again at night after I take my makeup off. One bar usually lasts me about a month.
3. Aczone Gel (Treating): My dermatologist prescribed me Aczone to treat the cystic acne on my chin/jawline. This DOES require a prescription and unfortunately it is not cheap! Luckily, my insurance covers all of the cost, but if you or someone you know ever tries this and it's not completely covered, there are manufacturer coupons available. I just put a pea-sized amount around my chin area after I wash my face (A.M. and P.M. and I wait for it to dry before I put my makeup on). Sometimes acne medications can cause severe dry skin in the area of application, but I haven't experienced any!
4. Facial Oil / Lotion (Moisturize): This should be obvious, but it's so important to moisturize your skin, especially for someone like me who's constantly applying products. I use oil-free lotion on my face, and occasionally when my skin is feeling extra needy, I'll use the smallest amount of facial oil! Note: I don't apply it over the Aczone- just the rest of my face and neck. I've linked some of my favorite products to use here & below! (facial oil, facial oil, moisturizer, moisturizer, moisturizer)
It took a couple of months for this routine and these products to fully start working and my skin to start healing, but I'm very happy with how my skin looks and feels today. I had some red pigmentation in a few places around my chin from the acne marks, but even that has almost fully diminished. I've been pimple/acne free for at least 5 months now (knock on wood) :)
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to leave a comment below!