We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share any skin care secrets that really helped to improve their adult acne.
Everyone’s skin is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you and can even make your condition worse. But, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, “virtually every case of acne can be controlled” with the proper diagnosis.
Here are 27 products, prescriptions, and remedies you may want to ask your doctor about!
IMPORTANT: Before trying any of the methods, products, or prescriptions, first consult with your dermatologist to see if it is the right treatment for you.
“Cetaphil has saved my skin! I use the daily face cleanser and the moisturizer, and I can honestly say in just one week I saw a BIG difference in my face. I suggest it to everyone, and it’s fairly inexpensive.” —MeekMill
“I used every over-the-counter and prescription acne product known to man. Some helped for a little while (Proactiv), but at some point they all would stop working. That left me with no other choice but isotretinoin aka Accutane. It’s working. I am on month four, and haven’t seen a pimple since month two. And best of all [for me] it’s a cure that is permanent. The end.” —seemlis
“Oracea is a prescription medication that drastically changed the quality of my skin. It reduced my redness and inflammation so that my skin could heal properly. After about a year of that, all I use now is cleanser, a spot treatment, and plenty of SPF moisturizer.” —CatLady
“I know it probably sounds like a half-assed answer but water has worked wonders for me! I thought I used to drink quite a bit, but I was still plagued with 10 to 20 pimples and cysts of varying sizes at any given moment (ICK!). But I decided I wanted to go the extra mile as far as detox goes, so I ordered an 80-ounce water jug from Amazon. I drink 1 to 1.5 jugs a day, and, low and behold, my icky spots were disappearing within two days!! Hooray!
Also, try adding one to two drops of pure lavender essential oil to your facial moisturizer when you moisturize before bed. It smells yummy and helps clear up any pimple that dares to show up to the party without an invite.
Good luck, people!” —leahc4c6093774
“I suffer from horrible adult cystic acne. Surprisingly, this regimen has worked for me and I have not broken out in six months: 1) Cleanser: Avène Clean-AC Cleansing Cream, 2) clindamycin hydrochloride, 3) SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, 4) Aczone, 5) EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, and 6) Solodyn (55mg) 7) Tazorac gel.
I know that this sounds like a lot, but having gone to three different dermatologists and finally finding one that gave me this regimen and actually curing me… well it’s worth it!” —Milena Ordenes, Facebook
“Spironolactone changed my whole life! Two months after my dermatologist put me on it, my skin was clear and absolutely glowing. I had tried everything but Accutane up to that point. No side effects at all. (You can’t be on it if you’re pregnant, but that’s it.)” —Kathy Lewis, Facebook
“Aldactone changed my life, too! I had tried everything since the age of 13 (I’m 32 now), including several rounds of Accutane. The last round of Accutane gave me terrible side effects, which I’m still dealing with years later. I’ve been on aldactone for years with no side effects, but I get so many compliments on my skin (which still seems weird to me)! It’s an amazing medicine.” —Laura Sutton Brown, Facebook
“A vegan diet and exercise!!! ALL of these products, even birth control, are temporary solutions. I’m talking from experience as a woman who started getting acne AFTER my teens/early twenties, and tried all the over-the-counter/prescribed creams (would work for a few months and then not at all). Plus, constant exposure to all these chemicals made my skin extra sensitive in the long run.
“Then, I took BC for many years and thought I had finally gotten rid of it. I had a kid and stopped hormonal birth control cause of breastfeeding, so my current doctor recommended to give up dairy and most meats. I became vegan and my acne never came back!
“My doc explained that hormonal BC is recommended in short term to drastically get rid of adult acne, but should never be taken for prolonged periods, as it doesn’t directly address the underlying issues — only symptoms. Diet and excercise can truly get rid of your body’s imbalance, plus it doesn’t have long-term side effects (and it’s waaaaaay cheaper than creams or meds).” —Mandela Muñoz, Facebook
12. Coconut Oil
“I’ve had bad acne for over 10 years. Honestly, he best products are oils — coconut oil to be specific. Every time I use that at night, my face is much clearer in the morning. It takes off your makeup and is also a great moisturizer. I really recommend it for someone not wanting to use harsh chemicals.
“I wash my face with water, put on coconut oil, rub it in and wash most of it off. Then sometimes I use the Pixi Glow Tonic, which you can get at Target. Sometimes I moisturize, but that’s usually it.” —Jenna Redfield, Facebook
“Purity by Philosophy! It’s just a foaming facial cleanser great for oily skin. Its not really an acne product, but it cleans my face without drying it. The moisturizer is great, too. It’s light and hydrates the face. The fewer products I use, the better my face does. Its great for sensitive skin. I can’t use scented products.” —serenity667
“Drinking apple cider vinegar. I use Bragg’s brand and I dilute two tablespoons in a glass of water and just chug it because it’s incredibly vile tasting (like dirty, sweaty, gym-sock water), but it’s so worth it! It also helps with digestion, heartburn, and has a ton of other health benefits. My skin clearing up has been the most significant, though.” —dduran850
“I’ve always struggled with acne, but the older I got, the worse my pizza face became. I was crying my eyes out at night because I was so embarrassed of my face at the age of 26! I had used every drugstore brand and tried using essential oils, but nothing helped for longer than a few weeks. Finally, I started to think back on the last time I remember not being mortified to be seen without makeup.
“I used Clinique in high school, and my acne was way more controlled then. I went back to that and bought EVERY product in their acne line, and let me tell you, best decision of my life! My skin started clearing within days and had stayed daily clear for six months. I still get an occasional pimple, but nothing huge that a little concealer can’t take care of. I highly recommend Clinique’s whole acne line. Only draw back is it’s pretty drying, so I’ve had to use a heavier moisturizer. I would easily pick to do that over having pizza face the rest of my life!” —abigaile498f81048
“I’ve had cystic acne since I was in high school. I’ve tried everything from harsh prescription creams to Proactiv to completely changing my diet. Nothing worked until I switched from the birth control pill to the NuvaRing. Within a few weeks my skin was completely clear. Amazing! I even went back on the Pill only to have my acne return, so I switched back to the ring and no acne.” —marquitamarieh
“As an extremely active teenage girl, I struggle with acne on a regular basis. Although it sounds cliché, the product that has dramatically improved my skin is Proactiv. It works like a charm and honestly isn’t that expensive considering the quantity and quality of the product.” —emmal470ebe455
“I’m 36 with horrible cystic acne that never seems to end. After prescription medications and different birth control pills failed to solve the problem, I tried Oxy (10% benzoyl peroxide) Face Wash and salicylic acid pads together. Cleared it right up. The only problem is that the Oxy bleaches your towels and pillow cases. It’s a small price to pay for good skin though.” —stellamerteuil
“I’ve suffered with acne since I was 11, with it being most severe from the age of 13 to my twenties. I tried most things as a teenager. Antibiotics worked, but I would become immune to them after six months. Benzoyl peroxide just dried out my skin, meaning I had to use a lot of moisturizer, which just made my acne worse. Dianette caused me to suffer the worse kind of cystic acne, which resulted in permanent scarring.
“Throughout my adulthood I’ve avoided medication and have stuck to trying other things. I have found that contrary to popular belief, my acne improves with a healthy, low-sugar diet and proper cleansing, and not picking at my spots makes a huge difference. The best product at the moment that I have found is Garnier Micellar Water. It’s amazing even once I’ve removed my makeup with facial wipes how much is still left on my face. The micellar water cleanses throughly, and more importantly without drying my skin.
“It’s difficult at 31 to find an appropriate product, but I have learned that acne doesn’t improve by using extra strong chemicals, and it’s important to know when you’re older with adult acne that you shouldn’t be afraid of moisturizers. Dry skin only blocks pores and creates a bigger problem.” —feliciteninac
“I started using this product call Ahava Deadsea Purifying Mud Soap. That cleared up all my acne really quickly. I discovered none of the cleansers or soaps that were actually meant for acne treatment work on me; they actually made it worse. So if the acne treatments don’t work for you, try Ahava.” —bridgetd5
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