We’ve all experienced breakouts at some point in our lives. If you’re lucky, then your breakouts were only at their worst during your teenage years, but if not so much, then your breakouts continued into adulthood. That’s me! I have oily, prone-to-breakouts skin and I’ve battled with acne and blemishes since a teen. I’ve had good years and bad years, but 2017 I’m claiming victory over terrible breakouts and finally sticking to a regimen and lifestyle that will produce clear healthy skin. When I went vegan in November of 2015, one of the reasons was to help clear up my skin and I did see vast improvements within a few short months. I wasn’t getting breakouts as often. Around that time was when I switched up the acne treatment product I was using (I was a big Proactiv user for years – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t). My MIL put me on her new favorite brand Paula’s Choice. This brand is committed to educating their customers on skin care and products. They also promote the use of non-irritating ingredients in their products which means no added fragrance, dyes or ingredients that can harm the health and function of your skin. This brand is all about helping their customers find the right product for their skin, they provide full details on ingredients, what ingredients can help certain conditions and they also provide reliable, evidence-based skincare information and makeup reviews on products in-store and let you know whether they are harmful or helpful and why. As my MIL would say, “Paula is the truth!” 🙂
This is the acne kit I use from Paula’s Choice and this is info from the site:
Why is it different?
Gentle yet effective go hand in hand with this simple-to-use, 3-step skincare routine that quickly gets stubborn acne under control—without causing dryness, flaking, redness, or discomfort. The products in our CLEAR Extra Strength Kit work together to provide skin-perfecting, pore-clearing, and hydrating benefits. Use daily to successfully maintain your results.
All Paula’s Choice products are 100% fragrance free, clinically proven to be non-irritating, and never tested on animals.
What does it do?
The products in this extra strength anti-acne kit work to lessen excess oil, unclog pores, shrink enlarged pores, and help you control stubborn acne breakouts. Unlike most anti-acne products, the CLEAR collection works without causing dryness or redness and without exposing skin to harsh ingredients like alcohol, menthol, and eucalyptus.
Products in the CLEAR Extra Strength Kit Include:
- Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser
- Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution
- Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment
When I first used this product it was in the trial size and upon the first use I noticed a change within 24 hours. This product works fast! I started off using it twice a day and noticed after about 5 days of using it twice a day my acne breakouts were gone, but I was experiencing extremely dry skin to the point of peeling. So, I would cut down and use it once a day or every other day. But when I cut back I would notice more frequency in breakouts. I literally could not win! Skin was clearing up but it was so dry that it began to peel. At that point I should have probably switched to the regular strength, but I never did. Instead I looked into another product to use with this.
I heard a lot of great things about African black soap and saw that Shea Moisture has a line specifically for acne prone and blemished skin. I found the kit at Target and the info is straight from their site:
African black soap has been renowned as a wonder ingredient for centuries. African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Mask, Facial Wash & Scrub and Problem Skin Moisturizer Trio alleviates irritation, gently exfoliates and softens skin while reducing breakouts and blemishes.
Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Facial Regimen gently exfoliates, cleanses and moisturizes while helping to control breakouts. Helps absorb excess oil and detoxify skin. Leaves skin refreshed and clearer looking. Made with natural and organic ingredients. Formulations include African Black Soap, a natural remedy for blemishes, troubled skin and Tamarind Extract, a natural astringent which helps exfoliate and brighten skin. Tea Tree Oil promotes healing with naturally anti-septic properties.
- Face & Body Bar
- Problem Skin Facial Wash & Scrub
- Problem Skin Moisturizer
- Problem Skin Facial Mask
So I really like the Shea Moisture black soap acne line because of the scrub, mask and moisturizer. I now use this along with the Paula’s choice and have experienced great results. I use the Shea Moisture in the morning because of the moisturizer. It helps keep my face moisturized during the day, not too oily and not dry. I then use Paula’s Choice before bed because it’s pore reducing and can dry out my skin.
In addition to a vegan lifestyle, these products have helped improve my skin tremendously. Whenever I have random breakouts, I can now pinpoint the reason, it’s either something I ate, I haven’t been washing my face regularly, my makeup brushes are dirty or a combination of all of that. It’s best to identify the causes of your breakouts so you can better deal with them. Sometimes it’s food related, sometimes it’s products used, sometimes it’s not enough cleaning or just a combination of it all, you will never know unless you go through some trial and error.
Here’s a before and after of my skin before going vegan and before changing my skin regimen vs. now
Now I basically have just dark spots from the acne and I’m working this year for an even skin tone and overall clear skin. Paula’s Choice has a color spot corrector for dark spots and blemishes. I started using that a few months ago, but haven’t really noticed a change – mainly because I haven’t been using it correctly. You’re supposed to use an SPF moisturizer after putting on the dark spot corrector so that the sun doesn’t interfere (duh). Well, I haven’t which is probably why I haven’t seen any noticeable results. So, I recently bought one of her SPF moisturizers that I will use during the day. If I see any improvement, I will be sure to provide updates.
Please let me know what types of products you have found helpful with stubborn breakouts and blemishes. I’d love to hear your daily routine!
Until next time…