Products I’ve Been Using to Clear up Acne.

The following post contains affiliate links, which sends me a small percentage of any sales at no cost to you.

I skipped a few days of writing… I got my COVID booster shot and it had me in bed for a bit, but I’m okay and I’m here! Plus, I’m finally ready to share ALL of the products I’ve been using to clear up the acne I developed during the lockdown. I even have Before & After pictures!

I have always had some issues with acne, and when I was working in the service industry (right after college), it was really bad. As a result, I do have some scarring from previous skin issues.

But, at the start of lockdown, I was determined to get my skin RIGHT. So, I started getting out all of my skincare tools and solutions… and long-story-short, I used a nasty Clarisonic brush and it just gave me all kinds of zits and problems, and my skin looked so awful.

However, I wasn’t even sure if it was acne because it was really deep underneath my skin and never would really come to the surface. So I just thought if I continued trying to care for my skin, then it would go away. Well, 8 months later, nope! Here’s what I did to change things up:

  • Tossed my Clarisonic brush
  • Stopped using makeup brushes and only used disposable sponges to apply
  • Used a clean washcloth for every face wash
  • Washed hands before applying any product
  • Bought reusable cotton rounds to apply toner
  • Purchased acne-specific skincare products

Some of these probably sound like no-brainers, but I was really not paying attention to the bacteria I was likely spreading on my face!

All of my efforts made such a HUGE difference in my skin. I’m sharing the Before & After pictures—all with no editing or filters—but I want to share a few things. 1. This is still something I’m working on because it’s not entirely cleared up. 2. I’m still not sure if some of what is left is scarring or may not even be acne. 3. I know the Before & After pics are a ways apart, but a majority of the change happened in the first two weeks of my new skincare routine!

Now, onto the products:

The Game Changers

These are the products that made a HUGE difference, right away:

First Aid Beauty White Clay Acne Treatment Pads – I loved these SO much I wrote an entire blog post about them! But, they started clearing things up right away. I started off using these only at night, but after about 3-4 weeks, I used them morning and night.

First Aid Beauty Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask – This is a really unique product (entire blog post here) but it’s still one in my rotation and it continually improves my skin. You put it on, let it sit for 15 minutes and then rub it in. My skin changes overnight when I use it.

LUSH Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap – This had mixed reviews, but I absolutely love it! It’s a bar soap (entire blog post here), but it is specifically made to calm stressed skin. This is one I plan to keep in my daily routine!

Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner – If I don’t use a pad of some kind in the morning, I go for a toner and I really like this one. It’s gentle, but leaves my skin feeling clean.

Vanity Planet Facial Steamer – I’ve had this for awhile (entire blog post + a referral code here), but I get bad about not using it regularly. I got back into the habit of doing it a few times a week and it helps get my skin really clean!

Kitsch Reusable Eco-Friendly Mini Face Rounds – I try not to use cotton balls because they’re bad for the environment, so I started just using my hands to apply most of my face products and well, maybe that wasn’t such a great idea. So, I bought these reusable rounds. I use one round for my toner in the morning and just toss it in the washer when I run my laundry. I love these!

Products I Liked

First Aid Beauty Pharma Calamine Pore Purging Mask – I will likely love this product, but at the time of this writing, I’ve only used it once. It’s a pretty new product, but the other FAB Pharma products were so good to me, I couldn’t pass it up.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask – I always trust PTR products and this one is a classic. It’s a cooling, gentle detox that I have always gone back to when I need it!

Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer – I had several samples of this in my stash and figured now was a great time to try them, and I loved it! This was a really light moisturizer and it’s made with totally clean ingredients.

Origins Clear Improvement Pore Clearing Moisturizer with Salicylic Acid – Another sample I found in my stash! I love that this is a moisturizer with salicylic acid in it. Plus, it’s got charcoal in it, so I really felt like it was just an added layer of detox.

Art Naturals 3-n-1 Vitamin C Facial Treatment – Not sure if this improved my acne situation, but my skin felt amazing after! It’s a 3-step kit that starts with a brown sugar face scrub, then a mask, and finally, a witch hazel toner.

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying 3-Step Acne Clearing Kit – Can you tell, I love a kit?! I have always loved Yes To products and this one has a face wash, mask, and treatment… all in one kit. Perfect for travel!

Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask – I always love Juice Beauty products and this is one of the FEW charcoal masks I’ve tried that doesn’t get dry and itchy while you’re using it.

Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser – I love a foaming cleanser, and I really liked this one. It has specific ingredients to calm and balance the skin.

Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment – I used this after any pad or toner, but before my moisturizer and it felt like a good treatment layer to fight what remains of my acne situation without drying out my skin.

Products I tried but wouldn’t buy again

I normally wouldn’t mention products that I wouldn’t buy again, but I figure if you’re suffering from acne, you may want to know what’s worked and what hasn’t.

LUSH Grease Lightning – I wanted to like this cleanser, but I just didn’t notice any difference in my skin. Plus, I prefer cream or foaming cleansers.

Hero Lightning Wand – This is supposed to help get rid of acne scars and I just didn’t see a difference. I do love the Hero Pimple Patches though — read about my top 4 brands of pimple patches here.

Thayer’s Blemish Stick with Witch Hazel + Lemon – I wanted to love this, but I just never saw a difference in my skin. I also don’t love that it’s a roller and probably just putting bacteria all over my face.

So, that’s the list! I am currently using the Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel and Proactiv Revitalizing Toner, but I haven’t used them enough to know how I feel just yet.

If my skin situation improves, I’ll do another post in a few months and share even MORE products I’ve tried!

This beauty review is not sponsored — nor are any of the reviews on this blog. I am a beauty and skincare junkie and enjoy sharing the products I love right here! For more reviews and similar posts, please subscribe to the blog by clicking subscribe on the right side of your screen. Cheers! 


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