5 Items That Have Saved My Acne During Quarantine

This post will most definitely jinx my clear skin, but it's worth it to share some amazing products I've been using to keep my acne-prone skin at bay! 

I'm finding I'm pretty low maintenance throughout this quarantine. However, there is one thing I truly miss: my monthly facials.

When I turned 25 my skin changed and I started breaking out badly. So much so that I started getting help and maintained it with a monthly facial routine. It was an expensive hobby, but one that was needed. Since then, I've been able to maintain my skin pretty well, with the exception of a few breakouts here and there. But this is the first time in three years I've gone this long without a facial.

There would be times when I missed a month and my skin freaked out. The simple process of extracting made a difference in my skin, and while it sucked for the week after, my skin was always better for it.

So when quarantine started I have to admit I was pretty nervous. I knew the basics of how to topically handle my acne, but how would I keep away the cystic acne in my t-zone or my super clogged pores around my nose? I'm not one to break away from a dedicated skincare routine, but I felt like I needed the big guns to step in and help my skin during this time.

And while it was a bit of a bumpy road, I feel like I've gotten there. My skin (currently, knock on wood) looks and feels amazing. About a month ago I could really feel and see a ton of congestion around my nose and chin and I was prepared for the worst. I think I've found some skincare items that have been able to make a difference in my routine.

For anyone who is feeling the same, I hope this helps you as much as it has for me! For reference, my skin is sensitive, acne-prone, and combination!!

1. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clearing Gel
Available here and here

I've been using this stuff pretty much every day for the past month and a half. It has 100% changed my skin and I don’t know how I ever lived without it. It's not as good for surface pimples but more for pimples underneath and prevention of new pimples. For a while, I could tell there was a lot of congestion around my nose and a lot of it was under the surface. There is not much to do when it's like that!

But after staying consistent, I can see a big difference. It took a bit of time, but as there are fewer and fewer blemishes coming to the surface (or staying under) I can tell it's doing its job. What's also great is that it doesn't dry you out. I put it on twice a day and it hasn't dried my skin once. That's pretty special for effective acne medicine! 

I use this like a serum in my skincare routine: apply after toner and before my serum and vitamin C. I let it dry for about a minute, and only apply where I need it: between my eyebrows, on my cheeks around my nose, and on my chin.

PTR also just came out with a travel size, so if you're interested in trying before you buy, this is a good option. It's $15 (vs the full $54 -- which is totally worth every penny BTW) and will be great for whenever we get to travel again lol.

2. The Ordinary Peeling Solution
Available here and here

I need to start out by saying I've only used this twice, but each time I have seen noticeable differences. I have VERY sensitive skin so I try to use this cautiously. It is not for the faint of heart and should be treated as a chemical peel. Be sure to follow the instructions! It says to leave it on for no more than 10 minutes and I try to use it every other week.

I'll apply this after washing my face but before doing my full skincare routine, and have mainly done it at night, but you can do it whenever! I apply the droppers directly to my face and move it around with my fingers (avoiding my eye area). The peel itches, but doesn't sting at all. If it does for you, I would wash it off earlier (like five minutes) because your skincare shouldn't hurt. When I first used this product I only left it on for five minutes and then the next time for 10. You want to make sure your skin works with the peel and doesn't cause a bad reaction.

In terms of results, my skin is a lot brighter, smoother, and clear of acne and bumps. It's kind of a miracle worker. BUT I've only used it twice, so I'm interested to see how it holds up over long-term use.

3. Face Reality Sulfer Mask
Similar options here

This is from my esthetician but Peter Thomas Roth makes something similar. Sulfur masks help remove excess oil, reduce the size of pores, and treat and prevent breakouts. I've been using this mask for the past two years and it always does wonders for my acne. The only issue is that it's strong and I can't leave it on for more than five minutes twice a week. This will dry your skin and cause irritation if used too much. But it has been a lifesaver many, many times!

4. Dermaflash Pore Extractor
Available here

I purchased this during the Sephora sale after a favorite YouTuber of mine was raving about it. I was never one to really fall for gimmicky things, but I trust her recommendations so I went for it. I have a lot of small black and whiteheads around my nose and chin. The monthly facial usually helps de-clog and extract a lot of them, but since I'm home I have to find a safe (and clean) way to do it myself.

Enter this pore extractor. Does it get out every single one? No, but it does a pretty good job of getting out the ones that are ready to come out/at the surface of my skin. I've used it three times since getting it, and each time I have a remarkably good amount of gunk coming out each time. Whenever I notice clogged pores/blackheads this is my go-to.

I use it right after I wash my face and re-wet with warm water while using it. Then I'll apply my toner as normal and go back in with this to apply my serum. I don't know if it really does that much with applying your serum but it feels nice!

5. Ice Roller
Available here

This has been a skincare staple of mine for many years. It's so simple, but effective, and super cheap! Acne is just an inflamed pore and what do you do to help with inflammation and swelling? Ice. Same with redness. You just pop off the roller part and leave it in the freezer until you're ready to use it. It's cold at first but then feels sooo good over your skin. Whenever you feel something coming up, this is one of the best things you can do for it! Five seconds on, five off for about 30 minutes, never pressing down. Gently roll it. 
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