it’s about to get real on this here blog.
i have been struggling with an ugly bout of hormonal cystic acne since going off the pill a year ago. we’re talking 8-12 painful pink bumps rearing their ugly heads in a cyclical fashion on the left and right sides of my chin, monthly. thankfully all is clear elsewhere, but still. i’ll be 30 in april, this was ridiculous.
i have tried upwards of 50 products at all price points in an attempt to get things under control. (note: this is not recommended. i should have gotten myself to a dermatologist months ago, but i was determined to cure myself.) i finally found the elusive clearing combination and let me tell you, when you find it, things clear up QUICKLY. i was swayed by many a well-touted system that said “you will need 30 days” or worse “you will need 8-10 weeks” to see results. no, you don’t. when you find the right stuff, you will see results very fast.
i finally cleared things up this past week. here’s what’s been working for me:
cleanse and tone: i use the murad 1.5% salicylic acid clarifying cleanser every night, and every other morning. it removes all of my makeup and is not overly drying, plus it kills bacteria. i let it sit for about a minute while i brush my teeth, then rinse and pat my face dry.
mask: on alternating mornings, i spread the murad 4.0% sulfur acne treatment clarifying mask over my face right before hopping in the shower and let it sit until the very end. this mask sucks all the bacteria out of my pores and leaves me feeling cleaner than an exfoliant. it’s also gentler on sensitive acne-prone skin than a scrub would be.
moisturize: i use philosophy’s hope in a jar oil-free spf 30 in the morning which provides tons of rich moisture to soothe my skin (acne treatments can be drying) but does not clog pores. at night, i use murad’s skin perfecting lotion because it’s light, oil-free, and also contains retinol, an acne fighter among other things.
treat: should any of the dreaded pink spots crop up, i use eradikate overnight to treat them. this stuff is a dream for several reasons. it’s 10% sulfur and you just dot it on with a q-tip, no rubbing, no blending, just dot and let it dry. it’s brilliant because most other acne treatments out there need to be rubbed into the skin and all you’re really doing is moving it around, oftentimes picking up more product than you’re laying down. this dot method is the most concentrated and fierce way to fight acne. it makes a noticeable difference overnight and i even put some on while i’m getting ready in the mornings for extra fighting power.
the results of this fivesome have been more effective than anything i’ve ever used. when i tell you i went from raging teenager acne to the flawless skin of a 30-year old, i am not joking. this little system may not work for everyone and i know there are cheaper options out there, but if you’re battling cystic acne that seems to be moving in rhythm with your cycle, give some combination of salicylic acid and sulfur treatments a try.