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What finally worked for my adult hormonal acne and scarring

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I've been on this forum a number of times over the years and gotten some really good info, so I wanted to come back and give some info myself. (I lost the password to my old account, hence why this is being posted from a new account.) 

I'm 33, and have struggled with acne since my teens. At 26, I had a really severe outbreak of cystic acne as a result of being in a new environment - I was seriously told to go see a doctor who specialises in leprosy, as he might be able to help me!! This left me with red scarring that looked like active pimples, which always really bothered me. I tried SO many different products, so many natural alternatives, so many prescriptions. 

I now finally have my acne AND scarring under control, so I wanted to share what I use in case it helps someone else. 

First, I discovered La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo moisturiser. Comes in tinted and non tinted. I use it every day, it's brilliant. It's salicylic acid based, and I've often thought salicylic acid products were too harsh for my skin and made things worse rather than better, but the Effaclar Duo seems to work AMAZING for me. Really good, but not 100%. 

The thing that brought me to completely clear skin was adding The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc. One big drop, morning and night. That stuff is amazing. If I miss a few days, I get one or two pimples creeping in, but if I keep it up, my skin stays clear. It's amazing. 

During this time, I also switched to a different contraceptive pill, Zoley. I actually switched to it for mood regulation (omg it's AMAZING for that) but my skin has been really good on it too. I mention this cos my skin's behaviour on different pills has been pretty wild, but I wasn't taking a pill when I first started with the Effaclar and niacinamide, and they still worked for me at that time, too. 

With this combo, which I started about 18 months ago, I finally had clear skin. After 15+ years of struggle!!! I just used any old cleanser and applied these products morning and night. But I still has scars bad enough to look like active pimples, so I needed to deal with that. 

Someone put me onto The Ordinary Mandelic Acid. Like everything from The Ordinary, it's cheap and highly concentrated. Something about a big molecular size making it gentler but still effective? I added this to my night routine - after cleansing, two tiny drops on each cheek, and gently rubbed in across my face. No redness, peeling or soreness, and I follow it with my niacinamide and Efflaclar, and sometimes a heavier moisturiser in winter or cold environments. 

After about 6 months of consistent use (about half a bottle), my scars are FADED, so much so that my family have noticed how good my skin looks. I finally, for the first time in my adult life, look like a person without acne. I'm so happy with these products. They're not very expensive, and they WORK. 

I just wanted to share this in case it helps someone. I know everyone's skin is different, but this is what works for me, and maybe it'll work for someone else too. 

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+1 for The Ordinary Niacinamide.

Mid 30s here and I'm one of those who has tried "everything".  Battled acne since teens.  Wish I used this stuff sooner!

And a bottle of this is only about $5 USD.

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