I’ve battled with acne since elementary school when I was teased by kids who called me “pimple face.” Even now, at 37, I continue to struggle with acne here and there. However, over the years, I’ve learned and tried numerous methods, leading to significant improvements in my acne skin.
The reason I am writing this is to share my personal experience with people who struggle, as I have, in the hopes of helping them erase their pimple skin for good. I’ll share my tried-and-tested acne treatments, ranking them from best to worst, and provide my opinion on the most effective long-term solution to finally put an end to your acne. Read on, and I assure you that my personal experience might be helpful to you.
I am not a doctor, so before you try any of these methods, please do your own research and consult with a specialized doctor in this field to avoid any negative reactions. I have Southeast Asian skin, which tends to be tanned and thicker. Additionally, I have oily skin, especially in the T-zone. Everything written in this blog is purely based on my own research and personal experience, also keep in mind everyone’s skin and body work differently so what works for me can have a negative side effect on others.
Changing my diet turned out to be the best solution for my pimple face. I used to hear people say that food can cause acne, but I didn’t understand why until I delved deeper. Your skin, being the largest organ in your body, reflects what toxin you consume. When you eat unhealthy or toxic food, it can manifest on your skin through your pores causing acne. For instance, cows injected with growth hormones can disrupt your hormones when you consume their milk.
This, in turn, increases sebum production, making your skin oilier and more prone to pore-clogging bacteria and dirt that cause pimples. I also found that cutting down on sugar is important because it spikes insulin levels and disrupts hormones, resulting in increased sebum production and more acne. To combat this, I recommend sticking to a clean diet rich in vegetables, meat, and grains. Diet in my opinion is the most important and natural way to erase acne.
Sticking to natural methods is always better than using unnatural methods because the latter can have side effects that may lead to regret later on. Moreover, maintaining a clean diet is not only cheaper than buying numerous skincare products and medicines for acne, but it also promotes overall health, benefiting both your skin and your well-being.
2. Adapalene – Differin Gel
This particular gel is a fantastic option for acne treatment as it offers exfoliating properties that help remove dead skin cells and clear pore blockages. It also accelerates the skin’s turnover rate, aiding in the prevention of clogged pores and pimple breakouts. The reason I ranked this gel as number two on my list is not only because of its effectiveness in treating acne but also because it is less abrasive on the skin compared to other products I will mention later on.
While it is essential to note that this gel can increase sensitivity to sunlight, it is still significantly gentler on the skin than other options. In my personal experience, this product has proven to be just as effective as Benzoyl Peroxide in combating acne, but without harsh side effects like dry skin redness. You will have dry skin and some redness but it is a lot more mild compared to Benzoyl Peroxide.
If you haven’t come across this product before, I highly recommend giving it a try. Its ability to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells adds to its overall effectiveness in achieving clearer skin, and let’s not forget it helps also with wrinkle lines.
In humid weather, this product may not work as well, and you might want to consider using Benzoyl Peroxide instead. However, be aware that in humid countries, the sun tends to be more intense, so it’s crucial to take extra precautions to avoid getting sunburned when using these products.
Benzoyl Peroxide is highly effective in treating acne, and I have personally relied on this product for many years. However, I was worried that it could contribute to skin aging due to its drying effects. As a result, I recommend switching to a milder alternative, such as a Benzoyl Peroxide cleanser that only remains on the skin for a short period.
Opting for the lowest percentage available is recommended since its primary function is to eliminate acne-causing bacteria, and you can simply rinse it off afterward. It is best to avoid higher percentages, like 10%, and instead find a 2.5% formulation. By applying it to your face for a brief duration, such as the two minutes it takes to brush your teeth, you can reap the benefits of acne-fighting properties while minimizing negative side effects like dryness, redness, and increased sun sensitivity.
If you start feeling a burning sensation on your face and find it unbearable, it’s a sign that you should wash it off even sooner. Let your body tell you how long you should leave it on. This cleanser also works great on the body to remove body acne but you might not feel any burning sensation as the body has a thicker layer of skin compared to the face.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I used to play basketball and inadvertently left it on my face, resulting in severe sunburn. It took approximately a year of sun avoidance for my skin to fully recover. This is why I have ranked this product as number three, as I am confident in its acne-fighting abilities, but the new approach of leaving it on and rinsing it off significantly reduces the potential side effects of prolonged usage.
4. Benzoyl Peroxide – Micronized BPO Version
Benzoyl Peroxide has gained widespread recognition for its effectiveness in treating acne by eliminating the bacteria responsible for breakouts and increasing skin cell turnover. However, while this ingredient is highly regarded for its acne-fighting properties, many have expressed concerns about its potential side effects. One common issue is the drying effect it can have on the skin, coupled with increased sensitivity to sunlight even when used only at nighttime.
Fortunately, a newer and improved version of Benzoyl Peroxide, known as Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide, offers a gentler approach. If you’re currently using the older version, it may be worthwhile to consider upgrading to this milder alternative that is more accommodating to your skin.
It is worth mentioning that one drawback I experienced with this newer version is the tendency for it to leave a noticeable white residue as it dries. This may be attributed to my tendency to over-apply the product to ensure comprehensive coverage. Nonetheless, I found that lightly wiping off the residue after it dries still allowed the product to effectively combat acne while minimizing the marks. Alternatively, exploring different versions or formulations of Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide may lead to the discovery of a product that does not leave a white residue upon drying.
5. Benzoyl Peroxide – Original Version
After trying various acne treatment products, I discovered one that stood out due to its efficacy and remarkable results. However, it’s important to note that the original version of this product is harsher on the skin compared to the newer Micronized version. While the original version effectively prevents acne, it presented a significant drawback for me when exposed to sunlight—I experienced sun sensitivity. Recognizing the potential side effects on my skin, I began exploring alternative options that were less abrasive.
For people yet to discover this newer version and still using the original version please switch now. This upgraded Micronized version maintains the product’s effectiveness while minimizing the adverse effects on the skin. One positive that the original version has over the newer version is that it slides on smoother with no white mark after it dries even if I applied a lot. The newer version might have a new ingredient added which makes it thicker causing it to be not as smooth.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has gained popularity as a beneficial internal remedy and an external solution for the skin. It can be used for acne treatment as a spray; however, it is important to dilute it due to its strong concentration. Online resources can guide you in finding the appropriate dilution ratio based on your skin needs.
I found it to be effective for body acne, and the convenience of using it as a spray made the application quick. However, the significant downside is the strong and unpleasant odor associated with apple cider vinegar, but you can explore alternatives such as mixing it with essential oils to help mask the smell. In my case, I discontinued using this method due to the overpowering smell and the potential for skin redness if the spray was overused.
Apple cider vinegar isn’t limited to skincare; it extends its benefits to hair care and internal consumption, fostering beneficial bacteria for improving the gut. With a myriad of advantages, this superfood should be kept at home for various home remedies.
I started using an LED light therapy device for my acne treatment, which initially resulted in a reduction in acne, even in persistently problematic areas. For two months, I experienced notable improvements in my skin texture, with a smoother complexion. However, I have recently noticed a diminishing effectiveness compared to the initial stages of usage.
Nevertheless, I remain content with the LED light therapy, as I have perceived a mild, yet indicative, burning sensation during treatments, implying its functionality. Furthermore, there has been a discernible reduction in acne when comparing usage to non-usage, without any negative effects. Scientific studies support the efficacy of LED light therapy for skin rejuvenation, indicating potential anti-aging benefits with little to negligible side effects.
Another convenience of this therapy is its suitability for use during brief periods such as a nap. It is important to note that LED light therapy devices can be relatively expensive, particularly if you opt for mainstream, popular, and well-known brands, with some exceeding $500. However, there are less expensive options available. For example, I purchased a less well-known and more affordable device in the $250 range.
You must be cautious when purchasing online, as counterfeit products with inadequate light intensity may be prevalent. Overall, while I found LED light therapy to be beneficial, its effects may be subtle and not easily quantifiable. Hence, I have decided not to rank this product too high. Also, I never went to a skin care clinic to try the LED light either because I felt the price you paid to get an hour session was not worth it and it is better just to buy your LED light for home use.
8. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is known to be effective in treating acne and seems to work similarly to benzoyl peroxide with fewer side effects. However, I have personally faced a common issue with salicylic acid products is that they are always too sticky. This stickiness and slimy texture make it uncomfortable for me to continue using it.
Consequently, I often end up discarding the product before ever finishing it. Due to this inconvenience, I rank this product low on my list. However, if you have less oily skin that can tolerate the stickiness, salicylic acid can still be a beneficial product to help erase your pimple. The product I used was a droplet that you put on your face and keep on throughout the day. Maybe you will have better luck trying some alternative products like toners or cleansers made with Salicylic Acid.
The impact of this particular pill on acne is undeniably potent, effectively halting its progression. For a long time, Accutane was the go-to acne treatment but as time went by its side effects started to catch up with people. Its simplicity of use is another attractive feature, as it offers a convenient solution for those struggling with acne.
While higher doses were traditionally prescribed, individuals with mild acne can explore the option of a lower dose, such as 10 mg, and even adopt an alternate-day usage regimen. Some people were even trying extreme methods to lower the side effects by trying to freeze the pills and cut them in half to only take 5 mg as the 5 mg wasn’t for sale anywhere.
However, I am compelled to offer a strong word of caution against using this medication due to its potential risks. I recall hearing about a recent class-action lawsuit filed against the manufacturer as a result of the numerous harmful sides. The gravity of the situation became apparent to me when a law firm contacted me inquiring about my use of the medication, suggesting that I could be a part of the lawsuit. Regrettably, I was purchasing the medication from Canada without a prescription, as obtaining one from a doctor proved challenging due to the well-known side effects.
It is important to recognize that many individuals, like myself, have resorted to desperate measures in their pursuit of clear, acne-free skin, as acne can significantly destroy one’s self-confidence. One of the most concerning issues is its extreme drying effect on the skin, which can cause significant discomfort. Additionally, the constant cracking of lips is a common and bothersome side effect experienced by many. It is crucial to carefully consider the potential drawbacks and evaluate the cost-benefit ratio before incorporating this medication into your acne treatment.
Moreover, it is worth noting that in the past, legal action in the form of a class-action lawsuit was initiated against the manufacturer of this pill. This legal action emerged as a result of the unpleasant and sometimes harmful side effects experienced by individuals who had used the medication. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of thoroughly researching and understanding the potential risks associated with any medication before deciding to include it in your skincare regimen.
Based on my personal experience, I found this medication to be completely ineffective in treating my acne. I would strongly advise against using this medication specifically for acne. It is important to note that everyone’s experience may vary, and what didn’t work for me might have different results for many others.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic, it is worth noting that using antibiotics for acne treatment might not be too effective and comes with many negatives. Using antibiotics long-term can lead to antibiotic resistance. Additionally, using antibiotics for an extended period can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body.
How Do I Get Rid of 100% Acne?
Acne is a condition that may persist throughout a person’s life, and it may not 100% disappear entirely. Although it is often said that acne tends to improve with age due to hormonal changes, it is also possible for individuals in their fifties or even older to still experience acne. This can occur if the body continues to produce excess oil or if other factors, such as genetics or environmental influences, contribute to acne.
Considering these factors, it is safe to say that pimples may never completely go away for some individuals. However, it doesn’t mean that you have no control over acne. By maintaining a consistent skincare routine, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and seeking professional advice if needed, you can effectively manage and reduce acne flare-ups.
What Age Is Acne The Worst?
Acne tends to be the worst during the teenage years, particularly when going through puberty. This period is characterized by rapid growth and hormonal fluctuations, which can disrupt oil production in the skin. During puberty, the body undergoes significant changes, these hormonal changes can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, creating an environment conducive to acne formation.
If you have been struggling with acne for as long as I have, or even longer, I hope reading this today has provided some help in your battle. I sincerely hope that you find a solution to effectively erase your acne problem. I understand that it is not an easy journey, but I wish you the best of luck. If you enjoy reading this please feel free to read more related articles about Self-Help here.
By AL Tran