There are so many products on the market that claim to be the one thing that will make your acne go away for good. Generally this is just advertising nonsense (trust me I’ve tried them all), and I’ve found that discovering products that actually work is a bit of a trial and error process that can take weeks, months, or in my case years to discover. It’s difficult to narrow down certain products and because everyone’s skin reacts differently, the products that work for one person might not be the products that work for others. Perhaps your skin can take as much abuse as you throw at it and it will do just fine, while for others the slightest bit of irritation can lead to a massive blow up that never seems to go away.
In this post I hope to narrow down some products for you to try if you too suffer from breakouts, and hopefully this will cut down your search time immensely. Unfortunately most of the products I am mentioning are not budget friendly, and this has to do with my belief that you get what you pay for. I don’t often try the cheap anti-acne products anymore because for years very few of them actually worked for me. This has caused me to set my sights on the prestige level products, while the ones you can typically find at the drugstore have lost my attention. However if you happen to live in France, why would you go anywhere else? Below I have listed my all time favorite anti-acne products, and I hope that this helps you in your search for perfect skin.
Kate Somerville’s Detox Cleanser ($34) (review here) is one of the few products I find to be true in advertising, because it really does detox your skin. I find it detox’s so much that even those with the oiliest of skin will need to invest in a heavy duty moisturizer in order to avoid dehydration. After I figured this out my skin cleared up immensely and if it weren’t for the price this would be the only cleanser I would ever use.
Benzac Acne Solutions Skin Balancing Foaming Cleanser ($10.59) is an excellent product to try, especially if you don’t want to break the bank every few months. This is my current cleanser and I find it to be very effective and I like that it has a good bang for your buck. Do keep in mind that this can also be drying, although not as intense as the one by Kate Somerville, so have a good moisturizer on hand especially for those of you with sensitive skin.
There are so many great toners on the market, but in my opinion the absolute best is Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50 ($27-$95) (review here). This is a product that I am determined to never live without and is one that you don’t hesitate to shell out the money for because it is life changing. Of all the products that claim to be the one thing that will change your life, this one isn’t kidding. Buy it now, you’ll thank me later.
La Roche-Posay is one of the most popular French skincare companies for good reason, that is because all of their products are designed to treat various types of problem skin without causing irritation. If you haven’t tried out their products before, get ready to fall in love. My favorite is La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo (+ if you can get it) ($36.95) and I am convinced that it is one of the best acne treatment products on the market. If you buy it in France the price is quite reasonable, but unfortunately in the States it is significantly more expensive.
Kate Somerville’s AntiBac Clearing lotion ($42) is another great product to look into if you have acne prone skin. What is great about this product is that you can apply it all over the face to treat current breakouts and prevent future breakouts. This is fairly gentle on the skin but is very effective, so if you don’t have easy access to La Roche Posay products this is a great one to try out. I used this for more than 3 years, and only recently switched to La Roche Posay.
Sunscreen is the best step you can take to take care of your skin. It isn’t something that shows results in a few weeks but it is something that you will be thankful for in the coming decades. Using sunscreen now not only prevents you from getting burned in the short run, it also decreases the amount of sun damage (dark spots), premature aging (wrinkles), and prevents skin cancer in the long run. There are a lot of benefits of taking care of your skin now so that you can have beautiful skin for many decades to come.
I have quite a few sunscreen favorites including La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 ($19.99). This is an excellent product to try if your skin breaks out when you apply sunscreen. This sunscreen is also an excellent base before makeup because it uses La Roche-Posay’s Dry Touch technology, which will prevent your makeup from fading prematurely.
The sunscreen I am using right now is La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Cooling Water Lotion SPF 60 ($35.99). What I like about this product is that it has a water-like texture that feels very light on the skin, which is something I look for in the summer months. This does have a glowier finish than the Clear Skin, but I find my makeup lasts just as well.
I also recently purchased Coola’s Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 ($36) and I’m very impressed. I use this as a setting spray and as an additional layer of sunscreen that I can also use to retouch during the day. It helps my makeup last longer and makes me feel better about my sun protection. The only complaint I have with this product is that the spray feels a little grainy for the first few minutes, but after it settles it doesn’t bother me in the least.
When you use a lot of anti-acne products a good moisturizer becomes an absolute must for beautiful skin. Anti-acne products have a tendency to be drying and because most people who suffer from acne also have oily skin, it becomes difficult to remind yourself to use a moisturizer that is designed for dryer skin types. The common sense being “I have oily skin so if I use an intense moisturizer my skin will break out”, this logic often becomes detrimental to your skin because excessive dryness will cause the skin to break out even more. So I beg you to remind yourself, use a good moisturizer!
One of my favorite moisturizers is Philosophy’s Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker ($60-96). This is designed to help prevent wrinkles but the wonderful thing about preventative products is that they often help to fight acne while also being moisturizing and fighting off wrinkles. This product really is a win win.
Another great moisturizer to try is Vichy’s Aquaria Thermal ($31). What I love about this product is that it is very good for sensitive skin while also being incredibly moisturizing. Like all Vichy products this moisturizer contains Vichy Mineral Spring Water which contains 15 essential minerals that help rebalance, strengthen, and regenerate the skin.
The lightest moisturizer of the bunch is Belif’s Aqua Bomb ($22-$38), which I find to be a great morning moisturizer because it feels light under makeup. If you are a bit concerned about using rich moisturizers I suggest trying this one out first.
One of my favorite masks is Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish Moore Mud Mask ($58) because it detoxifies and moisturizes the skin. This works for all skin types and will help minimize the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles, while also leaving the skin looking pure, fresh, hydrated, and radiant. Another plus is that unlike most mud masks this has no scent.
Another favorite of mine is Aesop’s Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Mask ($50). This product works to purify and calm troubled skin, and I like to use it whenever my skin is looking worse for wear. For times that I have a big blemish popping up I will use this as a spot treatment that I sometimes leave on overnight, I find this helps keep blemishes from getting too inflamed.
Thank you for reading about all of my anti-blemish holy grail products, and I hope that this list helps in your pursuit of perfect skin. Good Luck!