Acne is the enemy of progress. Although it is the most common skin condition, it can completely ruin the confidence of those affected, especially when nothing you try works.
My struggle with acne began at age nine. I remember rocking out on my triangle in Ms Costello’s music class and being interrupted by ‘friends’ who were curious as to why my face bore such a striking resemblance to a slice of pepperoni pizza. Nothing I tried made the infernal spots leave. Not even washing my face with my dad’s cure–all remedy- Jamaican Wray and Nephew Rum.
11 years and a lot more of my dad’s awful home remedies later, and honestly, I’m still battling the demon that is acne. But the difference between myself now and that pepperoni faced child is that I am now able to manage my acne prone combination skin with my skincare routine.
A good skincare routine will improve your skins completion and contain these 3 key steps:
Here is my daily skincare routine:
First things first the key to healthy skin is water. Eight glasses of water a day helps to remove toxins from the body and no skincare routine really works without it… we are 65% water after all.
Every morning I begin my battle with acne by cleansing my face with African black soap. If you’ve never heard of this miracle product well hang on to your wigs and weaves because I’m about to blow you away.
African black soap is a West African soap made with local herbs and plant ash. It contains anti-microbial and anti-bacterial plantain bark extract which makes it perfect for acne–prone skin. It also fades discolouration and stretch marks and can help with hyperpigmentation. Black soap contains shea butter as well which moisturises skin without clogging pores. It‘s also a great makeup remover and makes a fabulous shampoo. You’re welcome!
(Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser £14 on Beauty Bay)
Two days a week I use Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. Glycolic Acid is a chemical exfoliator and is a holy grail for those of us with acne–prone skin. It removes dead skin cells and helps to brighten skin, remove dark marks and unclog pores.
This is followed up by exfoliating with the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub (two mornings a week) which removes dead skin and leaves my face extremely smooth.
I then softly pat dry my face with a paper towel. Cotton towels contain dirt, dust and dead skin cells. So, when you are rubbing your bathroom towel into your face you’re essentially just rubbing in dirt and bacteria which may clog pores and cause further breakouts. Use a paper towel, your face will thank you.
(Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads £9.60 at Boots)
My next weapon of choice is Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads – can you tell I’m a huge fan of Glycolic Acid yet? These pads help retexture skin and also contain hyaluronic acid which helps hydrate skin.
(Naturally Radiant Glycolic Toner £2.95 at Superdrug)
The next step is toning. Many people leave this out of their routine, but it’s probably the most important step. Toning helps balance your skins pH level, hydrates your skin and removes any dirt and oils your cleanser left behind. I use a DIY mix of Rosewater, Aloe Vera water, Tea Tree oil and Witch Hazel. This mixture also makes an amazing hair spritz! Rosewater helps balance the skin’s pH and hydrates while the other ingredients are anti-bacterial and anti-ageing. Tea Tree and Witch Hazel are also great spot treatments for when you get breakouts.
Not a fan of DIY? Don’t worry sis, I got you. Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Glycolic Toner brightens hydrates and retexturizes skin.
(Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Fix Serum £7.74 at Boots)
Next, I use a serum. Serums are light-weight moisturisers which contain higher concentrations of their active ingredient. Right now I’m using Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Fix Serum which hydrates and slowly helps to reduce the appearance of pores. You can also layer serums but its best not to have more than 3 serums in a routine.
(My well-loved bottle of Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Cleansing Fix £7.95 at Superdrug)
At night the fight continues. I cleanse my face with Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Cleansing Fix. It a gentle exfoliating cleanser perfect for night time use.
(Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads by Nip+Fab £7.47 at Boots)
Then I dry my skin with my trusty paper towel. Two nights a week I’ll use Nip+Fab’s Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads. They have a higher concentration of Glycolic Acid and helps fade my dark marks. This is then followed by my DIY toner.
(The Ordinary’s Retinol Serum 1% in Squalane £5.80 on Beauty Bay)
Next is, of course, serum time. The Ordinary’s Retinol Serum helps to soften my skin and aids in regulating oil production. Retinol is an amazing product with lots of anti-ageing benefits. The main thing to remember with retinol is to start incorporating it slowly and at low percentages into your routine. Also make sure to only use your retinol products at night because sunlight causes retinol breakdown and it’s a waste of product and therefore money, and we can’t have that.
(Olay’s Double Action Sensitive Night Cream £5.29 at Boots)
My last step of the day is moisturising. Olay’s Double Action Sensitive Night Cream is lightweight, hydrating and perfect for sensitive skin. Then its silk scarf/bonnet time which not only prevents hair breakage and dryness, but it stops oils from your hair clogging your pores during the night. Changing your pillowcase often also helps prevent this.
And there ends my daily battle with acne. A daily skincare routine is essential for all skin types especially for those of us attempting beat acne. Skincare isn’t a one size fits all kinda deal. The best way to build an effective routine is to understand your skin and this will help you treat acne and achieve clearer healthy skin.
Remember skincare is self-care!
*This is a guest post written by Lois from The New Weird.*
About the author
Lois is currently studying History but is also a keen blogger on a variety of topics from skincare to strange histories. You can check out more of her work at The New Weird. You can keep up to date with Lois’s most recent posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.