Was it a new laundry detergent? Cutting out chocolate from your diet? Drinking more water? Wearing less makeup? Trimming your bangs? Going to bed earlier? Finding a new product? A procedure? A new dermatologist whose knowledge parted the clouds and let the sun shine through?
There are a few things that really helped me, but one immediately springs to mind: Kate Somerville Anti-Bac Clearing Lotion, which I’ve been using and loving for years. Finding it straight-up drastically changed my skin for the better. Without it, I will break out, no question.
For a little bac story (get it? haha, bad pun), I started struggling with acne at around 11 or 12 and dealt with it off and on (mostly on) for most of my life.
For years, I (thought I) tried everything — every OTC paste, pad and cream; antibiotics (which many dermatologists prescribed for acne back in the day), facials — seriously, everything. Then in college I ended up doing a round of prescription Accutane.
I don’t remember the potency, but I remember my skin (even my lips) being painfully dry while I was using it, and every pimple going crazy and coming to a head at once. It was very uncomfortable, but it worked. My skin stayed clear for several years afterward, but then in my 30s I started getting hormonal breakouts along my chin and around my mouth, and that was rough.
Again, I tried everything I could get my hands on — every new ingredient and product I could find. Good old salicylic acid products helped a little, like Clinique’s Mild Clarifying Lotion, but they didn’t clear up my skin completely.