How I Overcame My Acne

I'm not talking about consuming 8 glasses of water a day, eating healthy, exercising and all that good stuff. Of course all of those things are good for maintaining a glowing, healthy complexion - but how does one get rid of those icky bumps, the red spots and the stubborn whiteheads?

I have normal to dry skin and am not prone to acne, but I suffer from sensitive skin that reacts badly with allergens. I also have blackheads on my nose, but I keep those at bay with my egg white blackhead mask. As some of you may know, I bought a St. Ives moisturizer last January and it ended up breaking me out immensely. I suffered from whiteheads and red bumps all over my forehead.

So what did I do? I turned to my trusty Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion (although actually a toner). The 0.5% of salicylic acid it contains usually clears my spots within a few days. Not this time, however. I added a salicylic acid-based moisturizer. I practically immersed my face in acid - but as one spot left the next one grew.

When salicylic acid wasn't enough, I combined it with a benzoyl peroxide face wash. I know that the combination of these two acne-treating chemicals would be effective, but completely drying to the skin. I've read many warnings and instructions to moisturize. And I did. I tried to moisturize here and there - but mostly I concentrated on beating those acnes to death with my treatments.

After washing my face everyday with benzoyl peroxide and following up with a salicylic acid toner, my acne reduced for a while... until I noticed my skin becoming very, very oily. I have never had skin more oily. I felt like I aways had grease on my t-zone area. Then the acne came back, little by little - products of my oil. I even tried Clinique Acne Solutions Foundation - but that only made my oil worse. So I stopped with my acne treatments - but those little white bumps kept coming ---

And then I found the cure! I combined salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide with a copious amount of oil-free moisturizer. And I mean a lot of moisturizer! Whenever I was not slathering myself with acne treatments, I drowned my face in aloe moisturizer combined with a bit of glycerin. I even wore a moisturizing face mask once a day. My skin has since stopped producing oil and my skin became clear again. It is even a lot smoother than before!

Moral of the story: Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize! (I bought a bottle of pure glycerin for Halloween makeup and realized that it combined wonderfully with my moisturizer and helped my skin absorb the moisture.)

I also looked into the St. Ives moisturizer to see what was breaking me out and I have to conclude that it was probably the mineral oil. There is a huge controversy about mineral oil causing breakouts and being potentially harmful because it is practically petroleum waste. I'm not sure about all of that because many products contains mineral oil and I have used them before with no problem - but it is something to think about. For the time being, I'll avoid it.


  1. This was really helpful! Thank you so much!! ^^

  2. yes, mineral oil and products with any type of paraben (kind of hard to get away from, though!) always diagree with my skin; i stray from those two ingredients as much as possible!

    good review - glad it wasn't the whole "drink water, exercise" bit! :)

  3. thanks for the post! =) very interesting.

  4. Nothing worked on my acne besides the pill )=

  5. Very interesting..I'll have to keep all of this in mind. My acne comes and goes and its not usually I don't worry about it too much

  6. I love posts like these.. I like knowing what other people do so I can try different methods as well!

  7. Thanks everyone :)

    @Gaby I've heard the pill does wonders!

    @Eugenia Me too!

  8. thank you for the black head mask, i can't wait to try

  9. im scared to use clinique products because they ALWAYS break me out. i do use aloe vera gel as a moisturizer and i love it. i still get acne though but thats cause of all the greasy things i eat haha. so its my fault.. LOL

  10. Hi Katherine. Happy I found your blog and am looking forward to following future posts!

    If you get a chance, please check out my blog (I have a handmade accessories business) at


  11. Read the black head mask, i can't wait to try :D

    Just wonder, for oily skin, shall I still use moisturizer ?

    1. Yes, you should definitely use a moisturizer no matter the skin type. It is good for your skin and prevents signs of aging. Using moisturizers often can also encourage oily skin to produce less oil (since your skin no longer needs extra oils and moisture).