Acne Journey

Updated: Apr 9

Get some popcorn and prepare yourself for this blog post! It’s a long one… or just skip to the end to see how my skin has transformed over the years and what I’m currently using to tame my acne.

This story is a few years in the making! I have suffered from terrible acne since high school and I’ve finally found something that's working for me. First I’ll walk you through everything I’ve tried and how it worked (or didn’t work) and then talk briefly about my current skincare routine. I’m just gonna list them in order from least favorite/effective to most favorite/effective! So just skip the first few because they are complete shit!

So here’s the skinny

1st bought ALL the drugstore products made for “acne” the realized my skin needed healing, not chemicals, so I leaned towards more natural drugstore products (broke army wife ballin on a budget)

2nd started buying higher end more professional grade products, when those didn’t work I turned to ALL NATURAL (OCM)

4th started working at a salon and tried facials and med spa treatments

5th became a licensed cosmetologist and learned all about skin

6th stumbled across Arbonne and it changed my life!

Now I’m practically “Acne free” let’s be honest, your never really acne free when you’re a woman…Damn Hormones!

Sea Breeze Original Formula Astringent ($5.49)

NO! NO! NO! Just NO! I used to use this stuff ALL the time until I gained a little knowledge about skincare. When it says Flammable and the second ingredient in the bottle is alcohol denat you shouldn’t be putting it on your face. All it is going to do is dry your skin out and cause it to go into hyper hydration mode causing you to become EXTREMELY oily. If you like blackheads and want to look like a glazed donut at the end of the day, go ahead and use this. Astringent and Toner are two completely different things. Replace your Astringent with a toner if you feel you need one.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser ($6.79)

Just NO! That’s all I have to say about this.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash – orange bottle ($8.49)

I used to think this wash was a great wash because it helped tame by breakouts but boy was I wrong. It caused more issues than I wanted. I got really bad black heads and extremely dry skin from it. And If I accidentally skipped a morning or night my skin freaked out.

Neutrogena body clear body wash – orange ($7.99)

I used to have acne on my back and chest REALLY BAD Soooo……I never really wore tank tops because I was insecure about it. This didn’t help at all. I was extremely dry because of it, it smelled and actually made things worse.

Proactive Solution 3-step system, comes with cleanser, toner and a repair treatment ($25.94)

Used this religiously for 3 months. ( I really really wanted it to work because all the commercials said it did **insert massive eye roll here**) It really irritated my skin, made me red and the benzoyl peroxide in the products bleached my pillowcase so I had to sleep with a towel on my pillow every night. Talk about uncomfortable! My skin didn’t look much better either. I still had constant breakouts but they would just clear up faster compared to other cleansers.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($12.99)

Used this for about 6 months. It didn’t irritate my skin or make me red like most cleansers. But it did dry my skin out. My skin would get extremely oily to overcompensate for how dry it was and caused lots of blackheads and my acne didn’t fully clear up.

Simple Replenishing rich moisturizer ($9.99)

Went through 4 bottles of this! It was a cheap moisturizer that got me by without breaking the bank and didn’t irritate my skin. It felt refreshing and overall it was a decent “moisturizer”. I put “” around moisturizer because It didn’t really moisturize my face that well. I had to use quite a bit and had to layer it twice to feel hydrated. But it worked when you used too much…so I guess you could say it worked.

Murad Acne Body Wash ($40.00)

This stuff was great and worked fabulously! But it also dried my skin out. And If I accidentally didn’t use it one time in the shower my acne came back with a vengeance. It was also a pain in the ass to use, because I didn’t need it for my whole body. I had to use this wash for my chest and back, another body wash for the rest of my body on top of all my facial products and hair products. Showers took WAY longer and I wasn’t about it. So I didn’t buy another one. But if you have the patience and want to take longer showers I recommend it.

Murad Clarifying Cleanser ($30.00)

Don’t remember how long I used this but I went through 2 bottles of it. I really liked this cleanser but it did dry my skin out a little. Causing me to get oily and have black heads. It did help clear up my cystic acne but didn’t clear my skin up completely so I searched for different & cheaper products. Which proves to be a big mistake LOL because the cheaper ones REALLY didn’t work!

Murad Ace Relief Acne Spot Treatment ($22.00)

Laser treatments ($300-1900)

I received a Glacier peel and a laser treatment in the same day. I don’t remember which laser treatment we did, but it pretty much burns the top few layers of your skin off to get deep enough to kill the bacteria and lighten the pigmentation. I’m by no means a medical esthetician so I could be explaining this wrong. All I know is that it’s VERY expensive and you have to go back for at least 3-6 treatments for everything to work properly. That’s a minimum of $900! I don’t have that kind of money. Nor do most people with bad acne issues or they would be paying something to take care of their skin for them. I was extremely sore, red and inflamed for about a week afterwards and couldn’t wear makeup. I also had to watch my sun exposure for my skin to heal properly. It cleared my skin up and a little of my pigmentation for about a month but then everything came right back.

Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) ($20-45)

This was years ago so I honestly don’t remember how long I did this for. If you haven’t head of OCM before, It’s pretty simple. You basically mix oils for your skin type then apply to dry skin and rinse off with a warm wash cloth. My ratio was about 40% olive oil and 60% Castor Oil. This actually worked to clear my skin up and was relatively inexpensive. There were a few downsides though. 1) It took me about 2 weeks to find the right ratio for my skin, and once that started working I had to change it again because my skin completely changed. 2) It was pretty time consuming, especially when I wore makeup. I had to do it twice to make sure I got everything off my face. 3) It was super hard to make sure I got the right ratio when I went to make another batch. 4) l went through tons and tons of washcloths (more laundry yay…NOT) So all in all I would recommend this method if you patient and like spending a lot of time in the bathroom. My husband didn’t really appreciate this LOL

T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel ($5.79)

I still use this today for prepping my clients skin for a wax. It helps cleanse the skin quickly, remove excess oil and sebum, and helps soothe the skin after a wax or threading! Super gentle, doesn’t smell bad and feels super refreshing! I have been using this for years and its my go to witch hazel. And its SUPER affordable. You would use something like this after you wash your face and before you put on serum or moisturizers.

Facials with a licensed esthetician ($60-100)

My skin started clearing up when I started receiving regular facials Every 1-3 months. My in home skincare routine wasn’t the best but my skin was at it’s best when I was consistently getting facials. I quit going because life got in the way and I left the salon I was at, making it harder to get in.

I originally tried one product from Arbonne to prove my aunt that It wouldn’t work. You know when people hype up a product when they shouldn’t. Well that’s how I felt about this. I was 100% sure that nothing was going to fix my acne because I “had tried everything” which considering all the money I spent and all the products I’ve tried I felt like I was right.

I was using Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel and Simple Replenishing rich moisturizer at the time and added the Arbonne Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads to my skincare routine morning and night and this is what happened in 30 days. I documented everything to track the progress.

I then quit using the resurfacing pads for 30 days and switched to just the Clear Advantage Acne Line (discontinued) to see if it worked as good as they were claiming. It was a Cleanser, treatment and a moisturizer. Here's my 30 day results with that.

I then switched to using the products below and that’s how I further cleared up my acne. Now I don’t even use “acne” skincare. I use an anti aging line to maintain my skin.

Step 1: Cleanse with Deep Pore Acne Cleanser

Step 2: Tone with RE9 Toner

Step 3: Treat & Repair with Resurfacing Pads

Step 4: Moisturize with Rejuvenating Cream

Arbonne Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads ($98)

It comes with a bottle of solution that you pore on these pads when your ready to use them. It contains retnoids along with other ingredients to reduce dark spots and discolorations. Mandelic acid helps cell turnover giving you a more even skin tone and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. These are little work horses for acne. If your consistent with this for 30 days you will not be disappointed! If you click on the link listed above they have this cool thing called a “Meet the Product Sheet” that explains the ingredients and benefits for your skin.

Arbonne Deep Pore Acne Cleanser ($34)

All time favorite acne cleanser. It’s strong enough to kill black heads and remove excess oils and dirt but gentle because it has prebiotics in it that help keep the skin moisturized and ingredients that protect the skins moisture barrier. These are super important and most acne cleansers over dry the skin causing your to over produce oil resulting in black heads and large pores. It’s a gel like consistency that leaves you clean but still refreshed. Hard to explain you will just have to try it.

Arbonne RE9 Advanced Regenerating Toner ($39)

Toner helps remove excess oils and dead skin cells and also helps prep the skin for moisturizers and serums. It contains witch hazel mixed with all kinds of awesome ingredients to nourish the skin. Check out the meet the product sheet for more info.

Arbonne Intelligence Rejuvenating Cream ($42)

I’m slightly obsessed with the cream because It’s multi purpose and works for all kinds of stuff. But the main reason I love it, it has some of the same ingredients that the resurfacing pads have in it, helping to even out your skin tone and lighten scaring.

If you want to know about my current skincare routine stay tuned for that blog post coming soon!

I hope you made it to the end of this post to find out all the good info! If you have questions or need help with a custom skincare routine, please reach out to me. I am a licensed professional and chose to use Arbonne in my spa because it worked for me and I’m confident it will work for you as well.