Back in high school, my girlfriends dubbed me the lucky one. Why? While everyone was tackling fluctuating body weight and acne, I was living on pizza and Popeyes without any consequences. Of course I had the occasional zit or two during shark week, but acne was never a problem. I never even bothered covering it up with concealer!
But now the tables have turned and I’m dealing with adult acne. Now I’m the one cancelling dinner plans because I can’t stand going out with my flared-up acne. I was totally wrong to underestimate the mood-changing powers of acne, and now that it has finally caught up to me, I haven’t been feeling quite like myself (not taking selfies at all). Being a 23-year-old braceface with acne was never how I pictured myself during my first year as a college graduate, and I freaked out when I noticed my first cystic acne (those red and painful breakouts) around my chin and forehead.
I feel like I’ve tried every acne-fighting, pore-minimizing, oil-controlling product on the market. A lot of the products dried out my skin and didn’t live up to their acne-fighting promises. I was about to give up and move on to search for heavy-duty concealers until I found these products, which keep my acne under control.
Vichy Pore Purifying Clay Mask
Claims: Eliminates dirt particles and minimizes pores.
Verdict: I’ve been using this clay mask twice (and sometimes three times) a week for three weeks. I immediately feel refreshed after using it, not only because of its minty scent, but because it leaves my skin feeling super soft and smooth. Infused with mineralizing thermal water, aloe vera and bentonite clay, it helps tighten pores for healthy, hydrated skin. Talk about purified.
Vichy Normaderm Cleansing Mattifying Foam
Claims: Leaves skin feeling clean and comfortable.
Verdict: Because I’ve been dealing with painful breakouts, I need a gentle yet powerful cleanser. This foaming cleanser truly does purify my skin, without irritation. It is now my go-to product for oil control. A major ingredient is salicylic acid, which eliminates impurities and dead skin to help manage and prevent future breakouts. I like to use this before applying makeup and before going to bed.
Clarisea SeaSalt Solutions Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant
Claims: Deep-cleans pores with natural ingredients.
Verdict: When I’m feeling greasy, I bring out this charcoal exfoliator. The directions say to mix it with my favourite cleanser, but with or without it, I immediately see and feel the results. My face feels so much cleaner and the redness around my acne settles. The almond flour helps to brighten my skin, while the bamboo charcoal powder vacuums up all the dirt and oil to eliminate blackheads.
After just a couple of weeks of using these products and with the help of a proper sleep schedule, I’ve noticed a dramatic difference in my skin.