September 9, 2014

How I Deal with Acne - Mario Badescu Drying Lotion & La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo

      Throughout high school and even college, I had clear skin that rarely ever broke out. If I did have a breakout it wasn't more than two at a time and several months in between. I considered myself extremely lucky. Unfortunately, my luck ran out a couple years ago when I started to suffer from adult acne - and it was the nasty cystic type that left horrible acne scars afterwards to boot. I was miserable and it brought down my self-esteem a lot. I never considered my skin to be acne prone, but in the last few years, I definitely have acne-prone skin. Fortunately right now due to two products I've been using, I feel like I finally have a handle on my skin. If you too suffer from acne, click through the jump to read about the two skin-saviors that are keeping my acne at bay!

      My philosophy on acne-prone skin is that you shouldn't use a lot of acne fighting products. Most of your skincare products should be formulated for sensitive skin. I firmly believe using too many acne-fighting products just leads to more breakouts, excessive dryness, peeling, and redness. While it's key for any acne fighting skincare regime to focus on prevention rather than treatment, you need products that do both - one used for prevention and another specifically for spots when visible breakouts form. Lastly as a disclaimer, everyone's skin is different so you shouldn't expect the exact same results. Still, I write these posts because there is a possibility that another reader will have substantially similar results by using the products below.

Prevention - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (US Version with 5.5% benzoyl peroxide): This is a miracle product for me and is the reason why I currently suffer from less breakouts. When I started using it, it only took one week to make a difference. Essentially, Effaclar Duo prevents breakouts from happening or at least mitigates the breakouts that would otherwise form. I usually only breakout on my lower cheeks, so I put a thin layer of the product over both cheeks nightly. I also suffer from inflammation and red patches even when my skin is in the healing phase. This stuff even calms down the redness in my skin which I really appreciate. Be forewarned however, if you have ever used Retin-A, Effaclar Duo is very similar because it also makes you peel. I started to peel on the third day - being a former Retin-A user though, it was less harsh so my skin tolerated it well. Although I experience peeling, the product never burned my skin. I even put it directly over healing blemishes and it didn't sting. Overall, it's the main product I rely on to keep my acne to a minimum.

Spot Treatment - Mario Badescu Drying Lotion I've used so many spot treatments and this is the only one I've found that really does work. And when I say it really works, I mean it substantially shrinks and dries up pimples overnight like it says it would. Before using MB's Drying Lotion, the cystic acne I had never came to a head. Subsequently the bacteria would just fester underneath my skin only to lead to future breakouts in the same spot (for those of you who suffer from this problem, you know exactly how frustrating and horrible this is). I use the drying lotion on any cystic acne blemishes and after 2-3 days my cystic breakouts actually come to a head and I can extract the blemish - it's the best thing any cystic acne sufferer could ever hope for. Extraction is not the end of it however, it's after extraction that's the most important part. After extracting the breakout I actually put this spot treatment on the freshly extracted pore. Yes, it does sting quite badly and my skin does peel a bit, but it kills everything inside the pore that could give birth to another breakout. The next morning, the area is completely flat and dried up. Using this method, I haven't had a breakout in the same place since!

Good luck!!
And feel free to leave a comment about your own acne successes/triumphs or product recommendations!

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