I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Since I was in middle school, I've been aware of my skin's sensitivity and proneness to breaking out. Middle school, in particular, was a brutal time for me. I mean, it is for everyone, but the whole feeling awkward and uncomfortable in your own body thing--topped with bad skin--isn't exactly ideal.
In those early days dealing with blemishes, I tried an assortment of products. Some worked, of course, and some didn't do a thing. I tried all the popular systems, I cleansed regularly, I had good hygiene. I just remember feeling sort of defeated and told myself it was just part of being a teenager and that I'd grow out of it.
And I did. At least through late high school and then most of college. Then, around my 25th birthday, I noticed an increase in breakouts again. Initially I thought it was a reaction to a product, and slowly tried to find the culprit. The breakouts kept coming, though, and I was forced to accept the truth. I even adjusted my diet after an aesthetician told me she thought I could be affected by dairy and sugar. Again, no luck.
Eventually, I consulted with a dermatologist who prescribed spironolactone and within weeks my skin became less angry and less sensitive. I was overjoyed, but not yet in the clear (quite literally).
The fact is that my skin is still prone to breaking out. It always has been, it always will be. The spiro helps, yes, but it's also important for me to also use the right skincare products to further keep sebum production at bay, minimize pores and prevent the blemishes that are particularly spirited from popping up.
Even though a clinical study done in the UK has proven its efficiency, as with any product making bold proclamations, I was skeptical of the "visible results in 24 hours" claim made by La Roche-Posay's new Effaclar Anti-Blemish System. Not only did I see a difference in skin clarity within a day, though, I saw and felt the effects immediately. Seriously! And I've even received comments on my skin since I began using the 3-part system, which is always reassuring.
Step one: wash!
Consider this dermatologist-developed set to be the finessed, adult version of another 3-part system I won't name here. The first step is to cleanse. This is a gel cleanser that lathers lightly and has a pH of 5.5. It's soap-free, very gentle and leaves your skin feeling clean and not dry or tight.
Step two: tone!
This clarifying toner contains witch hazel extract and salicylic acid, which helps to control sebum. It leaves your skin looking matte and feeling soft and smooth. It also noticeably reduces the size of pores.
And step three!
Of course, any good skin regimen requires following up with a hydrating product. The Effaclar Duo[+] Anti-Blemish Cream is silky and applies nicely. In addition to zapping imperfections before they even pop up, it addresses any existing blemishes and reducing red and brown marks on the skin. Unlike some creams, this one can be used all over the skin and doesn't leave you feeling dry. Instead, skin feels hydrated and clean.
Also important: I've found that makeup applies nicely over the cream. That's always a big issue for me when it comes to moisturizers, as you don't want to apply makeup on top of dry skin or oily skin.
The fact that this system is so affordable kind of blows me away. I'll be honest: I received this product to sample and used it before I knew the cost. After using it, though, I thought it would for sure be in the approaching big-money range, and was genuinely surprised. If you're at all struggling with breakout-prone skin, this is 100%, hands down, money well spent.
Available at Boots.com