And get on the road to clearer skin
The rules of good skin are simple (on paper). Drink your water, eat enough fruits and veggies, get eight hours of sleep, cut back on dairy, cleanse, tone and moisturize. But in reality, this all may be a tall order. Throw in genetics, stress and, for women, hormonal fluctuations during the time of the month and days of clear skin can be harder to come by.
For those dealing with breakouts in particular, there is hope—and another good skin rule to follow: always check in with a licensed dermatologist. A proper consult should shed light on your main skin issues, point you to the right active ingredients and let you know the proper treatments for your concerns.
With that and your derma’s guidance, you can take on an acne-fighting routine to help you ride through the bad skin days, lighten those acne scars and even prevent future breakouts. Here are just seven products you can check out to get you started:
The beauty of this soothing gel lies in the fact that it’s a multitasking item. It can be used daily to address skin concerns like dryness but, on breakout days, it’s great for keeping skin inflammation in check.
Top Review: “I have been using this tub after tub because it’s sooooo good, it’s like [a] miracle. I used to have many small 'dots' on my forehead but after going through 1 tub, almost all of these small dots have disappeared. Even my mum & friend said so. I did stop using this product for about a year because I was lazy as you need to give this gel some time to dry before applying makeup & I’m always in a [rush] + I wanted to give other products a go. But recently, due to my period, I had a pimple popping out so I went back to using this. After a week of using, all my pimples are almost gone, dark spots have almost faded & I believe they will be gone in no time.”
This cleanser contains one of the better-known acne-fighting active ingredients: salicylic acid. Best for mild cases, this product gently buffs away dead skin cells, which is something that causes clogging of the pores, sebum and dirt buildup, and blackheads and whiteheads if not addressed.
Top Review: “My holy grail!!! I have combination skin (oily and dry skin). I’m also acne-prone. I have been using this every night for more than a year already and it really does work for my skin type. It has this lemon smell which is alright for me because it’s not too strong. Whenever I use this, I feel like it really removes the excess sebum or oil on my face. I also use the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser every morning.”
Incorporating a natural supplement into your routine is one way to tackle acne concerns from the inside-out. One contender up for the task is Zinc. Overall, this mineral is known to reduce inflammation and protect the body from bacterial infections. With skin concerns in mind, meanwhile, it works to reduce the skin’s oil production and lessen the severity of breakouts.
Top Review: “Been using this for almost a week now and I’m surprised with the results! It helps me lessen my acne, especially cystic ones. It also comes with vitamins A, C and E for healthier immunity. It is [a] more affordable anti-acne supplement compared to other brands like AcneCare but it is also [of] the same efficiency. I might restock soon because it is always out of stock.”
For pimples that come to a head, this product is a skin-saver. A hydrocolloid dressing that works as a spot treatment, the pimple patch draws out excess fluid, oil and dirt within a pimple in order to fast-track its healing process.
Top Review: “Whenever pimples start to show up [on] my face, I will immediately put this on and voila! Within a night, it shrinks down my pimples as well as able to take out the whiteheads. Very affordable price! And hygienic packaging as it has a zip-up opening. [It's] a miracle overnight fix and essential to daily living.”
Tea tree is one of nature’s best pimple-fighting ingredients. As a topical solution for breakouts, the antimicrobial properties found here kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin without causing irritation or inflammation.
Top Review: “Been using this since January 3, 2020, for 3 weeks now, and wow it has worked wonders on my acne-prone skin. I have bouts of breakouts, clusters of small pimples, especially since after using The Body Shop's Tea Tree Toner, and this cleared out my breakout within 10 days (lol counted because jeeez I was so anxious). This ended my bad skin days along with the Some By Mi Yuja Niacin Sleeping Pack and the I White Recovery Sleeping Pack. I would only put the toner at night and would let it sit there with a flat cotton pad on my troubled areas, and I would notice the clusters [that have] accumulated from [a] day of Angkas riding or commuting would tone down and eventually be gone. Not sure if this was responsible for fading some dark spots, but those have faded significantly as well. Seriously, this is now my holy grail.”
Pimples come and go—and leave scars. Which is why acne-fighting skincare routines should come equipped with a chemical exfoliator that sloughs off dead skin cells and addresses hyperpigmentation caused by scars. Glycolic acid works this way but must be incorporated into your routine with a watchful eye. With a chemical such as this, it’s best to start slow and steady.
Top Review: “I’m a big fan of the Ordinary products and this is one of the bestsellers so I tried it out! For someone like me with big pores, I think chemical exfoliation works better than physical exfoliation! Chemical peels smoothen and decongest the pores effectively. I gave this a try and I woke up to smooth skin the next day! I use this every other night and it also lightens my pimple marks and dries my acne. My only concern is when I use this every night with the rest of my skincare regimen, it dries out my skin a bit and makes it bumpy so now I only use it every other night with just my moisturizer.”
Like the pimple patch, the end-goal of spot treatments like the AcnePro Pimple Gel is to move the life cycle of a pimple along. This dressing focuses on drying the pimple out and promoting skin healing since breakouts cause microscopic lesions on skin.
Top Review: “It’s my first time trying this out and it’s super effective! It flattens pimple overnight, literally. My friends recommended this to me. I was hesitant at first because I’ve tried ineffective pimple gels before. It’s worth it. Give it a try. You can also find this in stores if it’s not available in BeautyMNL.”
Now that you know about these great acne-addressing alternatives for nearly every step in the skincare routine, keep in mind that this is nothing without sun protection. Recap the basics ahead: UVA vs. UVB: How Do You Choose the Right Sunscreen?