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1. A pack of Avarelle Acne Cover Patches because they would've been way more effective at reducing inflammation than just dabbing toothpaste on my zits.
2. The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask I would've stocked up on because as a now-adult who's tried this, it's the only non-prescription product I've used that's really helped banish post-acne marks without months and months and months of use.
3. A jar of Nip + Fab Daily Cleansing Pads containing 2.8% glycolic acid for gentle chemical exfoliation. Between you and me, I didn't really know that good exfoliation habits could help me obtain brighter and clearer skin.
4. This bottle of Glossier Solution that would've doubled down on my dark spots while promoting a smoother skin texture all thanks to good acids like AHA, BHA, and PHA.
5. A bottle of Eva Naturals Skin-Clearing Serum combining the ~incredible~ powers of 20% vitamin C with 2% salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, retinol, and niacinamide to reduce inflammation and soothe irritation, which probably would've made my flare-ups look a lot less angry and painful.
6. This Bye Bye Blemish Acne Treatment Drying Lotion since its combo of salicylic acid, sulfur, and other all-natural ingredients makes a strong concoction for drying out small spots without sucking moisture from surrounding skin. Probably the spot treatment I would've hoarded, TBH.
7. A bottle of Radha Rosehip Oil because reviewers say it not only hydrates their skin but also reduces redness and breakouts, thanks to the rich blend of fatty acids and antioxidants. Aka, it's perfect if you're like me and always worried about treatments that might help clear my skin but would leave me with dry, peeling patches.
8. A tube of Differin gel formulated with a prescription-strength retinoid to help banish any breakouts that would dare to sneak up on me — I would have woken up happier!
9. This Mario Badescu healing powder that'll both conceal and treat your acne at the same time. It doubles as a setting powder to absorb excess oil — so if like me you thought it was impossible to use makeup and reduce redness at the same time, you might wanna do a double-take with this product.
10. A La Roche-Posay medicated gel cleanser to help reduce the amount of surface oil on my face that added to the birth of many, many whiteheads and blackheads. The 2% salicylic acid is here to help zap those zits while the lipo-hydroxy acid ~gently~ promotes skin cell turnover to get rid of the icky dirt and debris trapped in our pores.
11. Some Rael Microneedling Acne Patches because 1) I hadn't yet heard of this sorcery, and 2) if I had, its combo of tea tree oil, hyaluronic acid, and itty, bitty needles probably would've helped improve the look of those deep-rooted cysts.
12. This bottle of Thayers Witch Hazel formula that contains rose petal water to soothe and moisturize skin. It can tighten your pores, help curb oil production, and reduce any redness — all without any alcohol or parabens.
13. A Humane 10% benzoyl peroxide acne wash that's actually safe to use on your face and body so you can tackle face zits and acne on your chest and back with one product that packs a punch. It certainly would've saved me from shelling out more $$$ for two separate products.
14. This TonyMoly scrub stick that'll eliminate blackheads from your nose faster than pore strips thanks to its blend of marine plant extracts, black mud, and charcoal.
15. A Michael Todd daily cleanser with honey and oat extracts to naturally reduce inflammation. Plus, it helps balance the pH of your skin, which at the time, I didn't know was important for keeping breakouts at bay.
16. Or this vegan Acure brightening scrub made with argan extract and chlorella. Now that I've actually tried this scrub, I totally regret rubbing extra aggressive ones across my skin in an attempt to banish acne marks.
17. And this TreeActiv acne spot treatment you can actually wear under makeup since it goes on ~crystal clear~. Just let the peppermint and tea tree oil formula work its magic on your breakouts while you go about your day.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.