Great but probably not for severe acne
My acne is pretty particular... I occasionally have hormonal cystic acne on the cheeks and chin but most of the time, my acne is purely comedone acne from excess sebum production. So exfoliating products like this one, which are also gentle and not full of a lot of physical or chemical exfoliants, are for me. I like using this every day. For my skin, which is fairly sensitive but not prone to aggressive acne, this works really wonderfully. It's gentle but still a bit exfoliating and calming.<br/>Although LUSH really sells this as a charcoal product, it's actually a LICORICE root ("liquorice" in the UK and Canada, btw) product, which is why you should be interesting: the Acne.Org regime pushes a licorice root biproduct (licochalcone) hard because it's a gentle, natural anti-inflammatory. But licorice hasn't yet become a popular trendy ingredient so it's hard to find. This is actually the first ingredient, above water itself, and waaaaaaay about anything related to coal, in the Coalface product.<br/>So when I use this, I occasionally use it as a mask and leave it on my skin for a few minute before washing it off.<br/>It's not a miracle worker, but I always find that my skin behaves a lot better when I'm washing with this versus any other face wash.
Super Aspirin Mask recipe
I tried an aspirin mask for the first time several months ago and loved the effect: reduces redness, deflates existing acne, preventative. I've incorporated it into a mask I already use that I find to be good for acne, and I wanted to share the recipe:<br/>1) Combine an egg white (tightening) and a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oil in a bowl. If you'd like, whip it for a few minutes to thicken the egg white.<br/>2) Crush a clove of garlic (I use a mortar and pestle) with powdered aspirin (I use Goody's powder aspirin with caffeine)<br/>3) Combine the two in a container you can refrigerate. Add a tsp of honey (anti-bacterial)<br/>4) If you'd like to thicken it for a nicer mask consistency, add up to 2 tsp of pectin (the kind of you don't need to heat) and let sit for 30 minutes.<br/>Advisory: Make sure to refrigerate this, because of the egg. I'm not sure how long it lasts but certainly don't go past 2 weeks with it in the fridge, and try to use it in a week. The crushed garlic lets off some fiesty fumes, and on the whole, the combo of egg, garlic and tea tree oil makes this a rather stinky mask. The smell washes off, but I have to keep my eye closed for a few minutes while this is on until the garlic fumes air off. I use this time to do some stretches :)<br/>I leave this on for about 15 minutes. I like using this mask all over the face because it both spot treats and helps to stave off any latent breakouts. This is a lifesaver for me when I'm ovulating or am pre-menstrual.
Great for certain kinds of acne but KEEP IT CLEAN
I splurged on a Clarisonic brush a while ago and am happy I did. I suffer from comedone acne at all times, and it can certainly flare up when I'm ovulating or premenstrual, when I'm stressed out, or when my skincare lapses. My comedone acne has also had an impact on the smoothness and softness of my skin more generally, even if I can keep it under control.<br/>Because the Clarisonic brush consistently exfoliates, it had a dramatic effect on the texture of my skin, making it smoother and softer to the touch and to the eye. It has definitely had an impact on my confidence, and made my acne more manageable.<br/>However, it's a dangerous little thing for a few reasons:<br/>1) Choose your brush wisely:<br/>I was using the blue pore brush and switched to the new green acne brush. I e-mailed Clarisonic to try to find out the difference between the two: both have dense bristles, but the acne brush bristles are longer, thus making it an ultimately gentler brush. This is good for my needs. Just play around a bit.<br/>2) Don't press it into your face:<br/>We probably shouldn't exfoliate daily, so if you are, don't go overboard and do it too rigorously.<br/>3) Clean it whenever, all the time, and thoroughly:<br/>The Clarisonic brush has many things that can trap all sorts of bacteria and they need to be cleaned. I do this whenever I'm re-charging the brush, so every week or week and a half. I let the brush itself sit face down in rubbing alcohol while the handle is recharging. I also disengage the white plastic thing below where the brush was and clean that and the base of the brush with soap and water and dry it completely before putting the brush back in. I've found that if I don't do this, the Clarisonic brush itself will break me out!<br/>ADDITION:<br/>I recently stopped using my Clarisonic entirely. I might go back to it, but I went through a bout of really sensitive skin and I could tell this was aggravating and over-exfoliating my skin. So I guess my next piece of advice would be: pay close attention to your skin, and perhaps pause or stop your usage of this if you suspect your acne pattern has something to do with irritation, because this is irritating.
Not a miracle product, but good upkeep
Lush fresh face masks are meant to be used very regularly, and you have to because if you've bought this at its freshest, you have about a month to finish it. So I've been using this product every second day. I'm a graduate student - I have the time to do a face mask every second day - and I like the experience.<br/>I mostly suffer from comedone acne which, if I somehow aggravate, can become more severe in spots. I suffer from this pretty consistently, have naturally oily skin, and need to be extremely rigorous with my day and night skincare to keep it from flaring up noticeably.<br/>I found that using this face mask regularly, before the rest of my skincare routine, had a noticeable impact on my skin's manageability. I was using this during key moments in my menstrual cycle where my skin decides it just hates me, and that simply didn't happen this time.<br/>I think I could do without it, but it made this last month significantly easier. I credit this primarily to the kaolin, which likely sapped out oils, the eggs in it, which are great for tightening pores, the garlic which is sulfur rich, and the tea tree oil. It's basically an oil sapping antibiotic face mask that's pretty cheap too - a hell of a lot cheaper than most clay or sulfur based face masks.