What NOT to use for Acne!

Updated: Jan 19

Take it from someone WITH acne issues, I’ll walk you through everything I’ve tried and how it worked (or didn’t work) and then tell you what products you can try instead.


(these are the results of using the products listed below..... better that it was but still didn't work)


Now I’m practically “Acne free” let’s be honest, your never really acne free when your body is acne prone. The bacteria in your body has to change in order to completely get rid of acne.


(this is right after a facial, no makeup just skincare)


Propionibacterium acnes(P. acnes) is the name of the bacteria that live on the skin and contributes to the infection of pimples.

Sea Breeze Original Formula Astringent (Under $10)

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 or Micellar Water.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser (Under $10)

Just NO! That’s all I have to say about this. Try using a Cleansing polish instead that is gentle and contains less chemicals.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash (Under $10)

I used to think this wash was a great wash because it helped tame by breakouts but boy was I wrong. It caused bad black heads and extremely dry skin. Because of the 2% salicylic acid, If I accidentally skipped a morning or night my skin freaked out. Try a gentler version with only 0.5% salicylic acid. Deep Pore Ace Cleanser

Neutrogena body clear body wash – orange (Under $10)

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. Try using a more moisturizing body wash that will help balance out the oil on your chest and back. Shea Butter Body Wash

Proactive Solution 3-step system, comes with cleanser, toner and a repair treatment ($20- $30)

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. Try an acne set that uses salicylic acid, botanicals, and probiotics. Clear Future Set

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser ($12-$15)

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. Try using a gentle more hydration cleanser. Supercalm Vegan Cleansing Milk

Simple Replenishing rich moisturizer ($10-$12)

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. Try using a more hydrating yet lightweight moisturizer. Bio Hydra Gel Cream

Murad Acne Body Wash ($40-$50)

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-$40)

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!


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 someone 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 method. A great oil alternative to moisture with is the nourishing facial oil. Extremely lightweight.

T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel (Under $10)

It helps cleanse the skin quickly, remove excess oil and sebum. If you are properly cleansing your skin this isn't necessary. It's gentle, doesn’t smell bad and feels super refreshing! Only downside is the alcohol content is 14% which is a LOT! And can cause you to produce more oil if your over drying your skin. A great alternative is a Micellar Water.

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