3 Products to Combat Acne

I love sharing my latest beauty product favorites with you all, so today I am sharing one that has been the most requested – my favorite products to combat acne. I realize now how lucky I truly was with perfectly clear skin while I was on birth control, but since going off the pill back in November of last year, my skin has had a bit of a readjustment period with symptoms I expected but obviously hated.



Erborian Micellar Water, Belif Problem Solution Toner, Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Gel, Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm, Natori sleep shirt (also available here and here), Honeydew Intimates robe (last seen here)

 

Last weekend at a little gathering of friends, one of my girls got my attention from across the table and said, “Alyssa, your skin looks flawless! It looks really, really good.” That compliment meant a lot because over the last few months, I have battled some of the worst hormonal acne I’ve ever experienced since before I went on birth control over 10 years ago. There were many occasions over the last few months where I skipped out on girls night out because my chin looked like it was infested with something gnarly, and I could never seem to get the two massive pimples right smack in the middle of my forehead to ever go away.

While hormonal acne can certainly can be stubborn and have a mind of its own, over the past month I did some trial and error with a few new products to combat acne to see if they truly work or could at least help/relieve. I have to honestly admit that my skin has never been more clear for this long since weaning off birth control. Before, I’d be lucky if I had clear skin for 2 days. Now I am going on 2 weeks without a blemish, and I attribute it to the new products I have been using and my skin getting used to them. Also, this post is NOT sponsored. I am genuinely interested in sharing my acne-combating tricks with you all!

First things first, I stopped washing my face with face wash. I had begun to read up on micellar water. I’m sure you’ve been hearing more and more of it these days because it really is amazing. It began when French women starting using it because they refused to let the harsh tap water in France touch their face. Well, I don’t think Los Angeles’ water is all that great either, and I noticed a difference immediately upon switching. I first began using this micellar water from Erborian while in Cabo, and I have been using it every single day since – morning and night. I put several drops on a cotton pad and wipe all over my face to cleanse it, and that’s it! I still use my Farmacy make up removing balm to remove makeup before cleansing with micellar water, but since I rarely wear makeup these days I am mostly just using the water.

After cleansing my skin with the micellar water, I use a toner specifically for combating acne or troublesome skin. I’ve been a fan of Belif for a while now (see my last skin care post here where I talk about the moisturizing witch hazel toner), and this problem solution toner has really done the trick. It has tea tree oil in it, which is widely known for helping to minimize pores and get rid of acne (I usually take a Q-tip and dip it in organic tea tree oil and hold it down on top of a large, stubborn blemish when they are really bad). I apply it mostly in the spots I breakout the most – my forehead, my nose, and my chin.

After I use the toner, one of my last products to combat acne is Peter Thomas Roth’s AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel. This stuff is extremely potent and strong since it pretty much seeps in deep into your pores and skin. I have noticed less breakouts since I have started using this gel, but I only apply it at night because it is very strong and it’s also a bit drying.

Lastly, this product isn’t one that combats acne per se, but it definitely is my favorite nighttime moisturizer that I simply cannot live without. I am already a huge fan of Farmacy’s products, but this Sleep Tight firming balm is the reason why my clear skin has a moisturized, healthy glow. I have applied it on my face every single night for last few months, and I am completely obsessed and in love. It feels and looks like a jelly, and yes it’s VERY oily when you rub it all into your skin, but when you leave it on overnight you’ll wake up with the softest, most heavenly moisturized skin! But since it can feel a bit oily, I highly recommend sleeping with your hair in a pineapple bun to keep it out of your face while you sleep.

So those are my 3 – technically 4 – products to combat acne. I’m sure I will discover some more magical gems as time goes on, but for now these are the products that I have sworn by for a bit and can truly vouch for them. As I mentioned before, this post isn’t sponsored. Being true to you all is my number one priority for this site, and while I could have easily had this be a paid post, I really wanted to share these products that get the official A List stamp of approval!

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog shares her 3 products to combat acne

What are some of your favorite products to combat acne?

 

Photos by Torrance Coombs.

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22 Comments

  1. Victoria

    I have also been using organic tea tree oil and micellar water for years and I do think they work quite well! Four products that I think work well too are Avène’s TriAcnéal Expert, Caudalie’s purifying mask and Vichy’s Normaderm Correcting anti-blemish care and Night detox. I don’t think I will stop using them anytime soon!

    Posted 8.11.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Micellar water has definitely done wonders for my skin! I’m glad you use it, too! It’s gentler and better for your skin than tap water.

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  2. Alexia

    Whenever I get pimples (I’m not on BC) I always try and look internally. When I eat super well and exercise my skin usually looks pretty good. Recently I cut dairy to see if that would help with my skin too. I’m only a week into it so I can’t comment on how it’s helped yet. I want to try some of these products though, since a good balm can also be super helpful! Your skin looks amazing FYI:)

    Posted 8.11.17 Reply
    • The A List

      I cut out drinking cow’s milk back in January after our last Europe trip. I’m lactose intolerant, but I’d still enjoy heaping bowls of cereal with lactose-free cow’s milk every single morning. I still eat ice cream and cheese here and there, but for the most part I have cut out drinking cow’s milk for the last 7 months and switched to coconut milk for dairy needs (and no more cereal). Personally, it didn’t help my skin but it did make me feel better on the inside! Our stomachs naturally don’t possess the proper enzymes to digest any other milk except human milk while we are babies, which is why a lot of people (like me) are extremely lactose intolerant. But you’re right – good skin also happens when you take care of yourself inside!

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  3. Carrisa

    This is more of in depth question, but do you apply the sleep tight over the Peter Roth? As someone who suffers from acne (and have for years) I’m always looking for new thoughts and products. Currently Kate Sommerville is my go to, but my skin seems to not be responding as well lately. Thanks for being so transparent!

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Yes I apply it over it! However, I wait for a bit before putting it on. I clean my face with micellar water, then the toner, then the PTR acne gel. I then go and brush my teeth for two minutes, letting all the acne products seep deep into my skin. Then I apply the sleep tight balm and head to sleep 🙂

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  4. Thank you so much for sharing this post! While it has definitely lessened since my hormonal teen years, I’ve often felt insecure about the fact that I’m nearly 23 years old and still have acne. Bloggers and YouTubers like you, Ingrid Nilsen, and Zoe Sugg being open about the fact that they still use acne products has helped me so much in getting rid of the idea that acne is only something that affects teens and should be completely gone by your twenties. Now I don’t feel ashamed anymore! (Also, I definitely think switching to micellar water has helped my skin as well.)

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Hi Nicole! Yeah, as much as we would like to think otherwise, humans can get acne at any point in their lives (including newborns!). Definitely do not feel ashamed because everybody gets them 😉

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  5. Chloë

    I loved this post! I had had so many problems with acne when I was younger and I tried so many products. I used bioderma water and cream this year and it works! But I wanted to change now so I’m “trying” samples, and the erborian cleansing water seems perfect for me! Even if it’s not available in sephora in France aha. I think I’ll try this one.
    Thanks for that and I didn’t know that you had acne problems your skin seem sooo perfect.
    Xoxo from France
    Chloé

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Hi Chloé! I am curious as to what you think about the micellar water! I hope it works for you too!

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  6. Dara Torres

    I’ll be trying the tea tree oil soap, natural and organic, very soon… For now the only thing that really works for me is drinking a lot of water and the acne is a bit more controlled since I stopped eating diary products (which has been a challenge even tho I’m a vegan, because I cheated a bit and eated some cheese because I love it). Apart from that, I use 1 a week Caudalie Purifying Mask after cleaning my face with a Mousse (also Caudalie). If I don’t use the mousse, my other option is the Yves Rocher Pure Camille Gel, which calms my skin. I clean my face 3 times a day (it’s very oily): morning, after eating and before going to bed.
    On the other hand, I am utterly curious about what you say of Micellar Water. I may try that in the next weeks 🙂

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Tea tree oil is AMAZING for combatting breakouts. It can sting/burn when you apply it, but that’s how you know it’s working. If I have a really nasty blemish, I sometimes also apply lavender oil to it because it calms down some of the redness.

      I stopped drinking cow’s milk back in January (although I still enjoy ice cream and cheese once in a while), and while I didn’t notice a difference in my skin when I stopped drinking cow’s milk, I did feel better inside which I am sure helps!

      You’re the second person to mention Caudalie’s Purifying Mask, so I may need to look into that one too!

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  7. This is awesome.

    Am going to try them out starting from hopefully monday.

    I’ve been having quite a lot of breakouts recently.

    Love your website also.

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Thank you, Kanyi! I hope some of these products can help you, too!

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  8. Kasey

    Your skin looks amazing, Alyssa! Thanks for sharing. What eye cream do you use? You have no dark circles and I’m super jealous.

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Thank you Kasey! Believe it or not, I haven’t used an eye cream in a few months, but I do drink a TON of water at the encouragement of my sister (she’s studying nutrition and anatomy) so I honestly think drinking a lot of water helps. I still have some dark circles but not as bad as before!

      Posted 8.12.17 Reply
  9. I noticed when I stopped using a lot of product on my face, my face started clearing up— or at least only getting zits, etc., when my period was coming. For me, I feel like I have the best skin when I’m eating right and drinking right. I’ve started to drink a lot more water and tea, and less coffee. Certain products work for certain people, and because I’m more sensitive, I like to keep the products as simple and natural as possible. Sometimes I’ll even use coconut oil for removing my makeup.

    I’ve also taken to trying not to wear makeup when I don’t have to go anywhere. Letting skin rest is another good thing to do!

    Posted 8.12.17 Reply
    • The A List

      I agree, eating and drinking right definitely helps. I drink a ton of water (my husband thinks I drink the entire Atlantic every day haha) which has always helped a bit as well as my dark circles under my eyes. I don’t drink coffee since I am allergic, so I am not really putting caffeine into my system. I also pretty much only wear makeup 1 day a week, so that’s also helpful for sure. Going off birth control last November is what threw my skin off completely, and so these products have been helping me tame my skin during that readjustment. The hormones were going crazy!

      Posted 8.13.17 Reply
      • I can only imagine! About two years ago, my skin was breaking out with almost every skincare product I put on it, so I had to switch to pretty much only natural products in order to calm it down. I wish I was comfortable enough to wear makeup only one day a week, haha! I’m trying to be better about not wearing it on the weekends, but even when I run to the grocery store I feel the need to put it on. I wish we didn’t have the need to look perfect whenever we step outside the house.

        Posted 8.13.17 Reply
  10. Shannon

    Do you have a preferred sunblock or moisturizer with SPF? I get frustrated with the cycle of acne products making the skin sun sensitive, but the best sun protection causes me to break out. I don’t want to swap blemishes for sun spots! Thanks.

    Posted 8.17.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Farmacy’s sunscreen is what I put on my face especially before going outside. It’s the best!

      Posted 8.29.17 Reply
  11. As a mid 50’s adult who still gets zits dermalmd acne serum is a godsend. I use it at night slathering over my breakouts and by morning they are significantly smaller, less inflamed. Would not necessarily use in the daytime since the color shows on my face

    Posted 9.8.17 Reply