Lucy, 22, UK/Spain, acne sufferer for ten years
What I have tried and tested: Products that worked for me in green, products that didn't in red and 'meh' products in orange.
Benzoyl Peroxide in Quinoderm (before it was discontinued) and Acnecide: too drying, made my sensitive skin worse, worked in the beginning (5 years) but it stopped working on my now worse acne.
Salicylic Acid in various topical forms: too drying, face overcompensated for dryness inducing more spots, worked in the beginning for a few weeks, stopped working recently.
Sulfur Soap: didn't work for me at all, left strange feeling on skin.
Clean and Clear, multiple products: the cleansing pads worked for a few days but also too drying, all too weak for my acne type.
Clearasil, multiple products: face wash was drying, facial wipes fine for removing makeup in emergency
Witch Hazel in topical gel and face masks: Superdrug (UK) witch hazel face mask is great, shrunk deep spots and draws dirt out of pores, saw results over night, Witch's witch hazel gel did nothing for me.
Good old plain H2O: worked for a few weeks during Spanish summer but I think the sun is the real healer
Apple cider vinegar: used after face steams, didn't work for me
Sudocrem: use it every night, my skin loves zinc and it keeps my spots at bay although it can be quite heavy/greasy
Lush's Ultrabland: great as a makeup remover, very cleansing but didn't make any difference to my acne
Lush's tea tree water toner: incredible, antibacterial, has helped to stop new spots appearing
Lush's fresh farmacy cleanser/soap: great in conjunction with tea tree water, main ingredient is calamine (zinc) which works well for my skin, not had a major break out since using this
Lymecycline: Absolute life changer, on my third month and my skin has never been this good, despite scarring.
Retin-A/Tretinoin: Amazing stuff, my hyper-pigmentation has gone and now dealing with scarring which is disappearing more every week.
Cetaphil gentle cleanser: I use this every night as a cleanser/makeup remover. Very soft and does what it says on the packet.
Birth Control (Co-Cyprindiol/Dianette): been on and off it for over five years, my skin fluctuated although since coming off it recently I have seen it worsen, I had a terrible (and scary) reaction to Co-Cyprindiol (Dianette) after only four days and was advised to come off it.
My current and ever changing skin routine:
Products are underlined
After waking up I wash my face with plain old h2O and moisturise (sometimes, depending on the dryness of my skin) with Lush's Cosmetic Lad.
I do use moderate/heavy makeup ( Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Camouflagewhich is a god send) to cover my scars/spots during the day, it doesn't irritate my acne at all. If I have spent the day at home I don't wear makeup and try and avoid putting products on my face if possible.
Before bed I cleanse my face (also works as a makeup remover) with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, it's non-comodogenic and contains no fragrances or soaps.
After cleansing I splash my face with cool water and dab dry with a soft towel, even though I know my skin is clean I feel a lot fresher after a splash of water. Once my face is dry I apply Retin-A/Tretinoin 0.25% creamwhich has worked miracles on my skin, it does make you a little flaky but I have little to no hyper-pigmentation after just a month of use and now I can get to tackling large pores and dark scars.
I leave my skin to soak the cream up for about an hour and just before going to sleep apply a thin layer of Sudocremto my whole face, zinc works great for me.
I am on my third month of Lymecyclineand I haven't had a single spot for about a week now (first time in ten years!). It does make me feel nauseous for a few hours after consumption so I take them before bed allowing me to sleep through it.
On top of my routine I am vegetarian (five years) so eating fresh fruits/veggies is a large part of my diet and I exercise regularly.
On the road to recovery after ten years!