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    23 Ways To Get Clear Skin And Keep It That Way

    πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€: Houston, we read you(r skin) loud and clear.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Pop on a hydrocolloid pimple patch that'll get all the gunk out of a zit so you can avoid popping (and the scarring that comes with it).

    Just stick one of these little guys on a zit before bed, and you'll be shocked by the gunk they suck out (and delighted by the flat, clear skin they should leave behind). If you want to know more about why we're obsessed with these lil' guys, check out a BuzzFeeder's full review of similar pimple patches.

    Promising review: β€œI don't know how these little guys work, but work they do. I had one blemish for so long that I assumed it and I would be cremated together when the time came. Two of these guys later, and not only was the blemish gone, but the portal through which it came from the underworld into my life was miraculously not only closed but healed. I'm now working on my new identity without the devil's own blemish, which is a refreshing change from my usual daily partnership with that soulless eruption.” β€”BMac

    Get a pack of 24 from Amazon for $5.98.

    2. Take a page out of the French skincare book and try cleansing with micellar water β€” it sounds fancy AF, but it's the perfect and easy solution for those days when you're too lazy to really wash your face.

    The Beauty Department / Via

    See even more from The Beauty Department about incorporating micellar water into your routine.

    All you need is a cotton pad to remove even the most stubborn makeup β€” no fussing around washing your face in the sink and ending up with water all over the floor (and all over you β€” that splash they do in the commercials is not a good idea in real life). It won't leave any residue or clog pores, and it dries quickly so you can move on with the rest of your routine in no time.

    Get it from Amazon for $6 (available in three formulas).

    We're obsessed with this stuff: See why a BuzzFeeder loves this makeup remover (#5 in this post) and why it won best choice for budget makeup remover on BuzzFeed Reviews.

    3. Get at least eight hours of rest a night. It's called beauty sleep for a reason, y'all β€” not getting enough zzz's may cause breakouts, irritate eczema, or decrease your natural ~glow~.


    I know, I know, we're all busy, but sleep is mega-important for your overall wellness, and your skin also needs rest to keep it healthy. Collagen production and blood flow to your skin are increased while you sleep, both of which help repair the damage that your skin incurs just from day-to-day life. Better sleep can also help de-puff under-eye bags and decrease skin sensitivity.

    If you need help getting to dreamland, try a sleep mask like this well-loved one with close to 2,000 glowing reviews ($12.89 on Amazon) or a lavender pillow spray ($12 on Amazon) that thousands of people swear knocks them out in seconds.

    4. Protect your face with sunscreen every damn day to avoid darkened acne scars. If you're prone to skipping, try this Sun Bum sunscreen stick that's a literal breeze to apply.

    Sunscreen is important for everyone, but it's an absolute must if you're using stronger products to combat acne β€” your skin will be much more sensitive to the sun, and too much damage can cause permanent discoloration, especially if you have darker skin. This sunscreen from Sun Bum is easy to apply, non-comedogenic (basically, it won't clog pores), and enriched with vitamin E to nourish your skin.

    Promising review: β€œThis is my absolute favorite face sunscreen. I have some occasional acne and rosacea-prone skin, but this doesn't make me break out or irritate my skin at all. It also doesn't cause an allergic reaction like some other sunscreens I've used. It feels comfortable and is not as slick as some other sunscreen sticks. It lasts a lot longer than a liquid sunscreen, even when I'm rowing, running, kayaking, or hiking. My dermatologist loves the Sun Bum brand and I can see why.” β€”Marietta Moore

    Get it from Amazon for $7.29.

    5. Soothe your skin with some Eucerin redness relief night cream that's enriched with licorice root extract to specifically target and reduce redness and irritation.

    Promising review: β€œI love this product! I've been struggling with acne for awhile now. I'm on medication for the actual pimples, but I've had a hard time getting rid of redness. Now I have my favorite product that I literally take everywhere. It gives overnight results, is perfect for sensitive skin, and reduces dry skin, as well. If I could buy a gallon of this I would. It really works!" β€”AndreaN

    Get it from Amazon for $13.79.

    6. Make sure you're keeping track of the expiration dates on your makeup. Using expired products can clog pores and cause unnecessary breakouts β€” especially face makeup, because that has the most contact with your skin, aka the most potential to cause acne.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    Visualize ~everything~ in your makeup routine with the rest of these makeup charts.

    This can play a role in what kind of makeup you choose to buy. For example, if you're a daily foundation wearer, a cult-favorite liquid foundation like the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless ($4+ on Amazon, available in 40 shades) is a great bet, because by the time six months rolls around and it's time to replace, you'll be just about finished with the bottle.

    But if you're a more infrequent makeup wearer, the powder version of the same foundation ($6 on Amazon, available in 16 shades) will last closer to two years so you won't have to be constantly replacing half-used bottles of the liquid stuff.

    7. Vacuum out your pores with an amazingly strong bentonite clay mask that people swear gives intense results, especially on deep, painful cystic acne. Seriously, this baby has 13,719 five-star reviews on Amazon!

    You can check out our full review of this mask, but here are the basics: mix up this natural clay mask with apple cider vinegar ($7 on Amazon) and leave it on for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on your skin type.

    Promising review: β€œWow. Just wow. I had no expectations for this product, because I've been dealing with cystic acne since I was a teenager (I'm 24 now). I went into this purchase not expecting much. As many others have said, I previously tried absolutely everything on the market to cure my acne. I have very sensitive, reactive skin and have never seen any real improvement. After reading all the crazy reviews about this product I figured I would give it a try, again, not expecting much. However, I have been blown away by the longterm results of using this mask. I mix it with apple cider vinegar and apply it several times a week when my skin is really bad. It has never done anything negative to my skin – no irritation, no dryness, nothing. My acne hasn't been bad in a while though, and I only use it about once a week now. It always destroys every single pimple that emerges.” β€”Heather E.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.95 (available in two sizes).

    8. Avoid sleeping in makeup even on your laziest and latest nights by leaving a pack of cleansing wipes right on your pillow to wait for you.

    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

    These Clean & Clear wipes are a great choice, because they're gentle enough to use on your eyes, but strong enough to remove all your makeup with just one wipe. They also won't leave an oily residue, which is extra important for acne-prone skin.

    Promising review: β€œIf I was ever stuck on a island with only one beauty product, it would be these wipes. Since purchasing, I've used one every night instead of going through my normal routine. Besides saving time (it's nice to be lazy at night) my skin is looking 10-times better. I have acne-prone, combination-type skin so it's normally a hassle to remove my makeup, wash, treat, and moisturize every single night, but with these babies that's all behind me. I use one side to thoroughly clean my face and then the other to get rid of my stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner. My face is left feeling super clean and refreshed!” β€”phil

    Get a pack of 25 from Amazon for $4.97.

    Try the rest of the steps in the BuzzFeed Clear Skin Challenge to totally change up your skin habits in just a week.

    9. Drink water! We can all stand to be better hydrated, and drinking more water can improve the tone and texture of your skin and reduce pimples.


    We've all heard that old "eight glasses a day" advice, and it can be especially beneficial for your skin, but it can be hard to follow. If drinking that much water sounds like a chore, try a fruit-infuser bottle ($13 Amazon) that thousands of people swear by to make your daily intake a little more delicious.

    10. Start evening out your skin with basically everyone's holy grail toner, Thayer's witch hazel. Along with the witch hazel, rose water and aloe vera make this toner super gentle and super cleansing at the same time.

    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    Witch hazel cleanses and tones the skin, while its alcohol-free formula ensures that it won't dry out your skin. It has over 3,142 five-star reviews and an average 4.5 star rating so you know this stuff is the real deal β€” I often use it in place of washing my face in the morning and I'm always amazed by how much gunk it removes. Check out a BuzzFeeder's glowing review of this toner.

    Promising review: β€œI have excessively oily skin with hormonal and spontaneous acne, with most of it being painful cystic acne. For anyone who struggles with acne, or is starting a proper skincare regimen, a toner is a must in your routine! Cleaning your skin with just a cleanser or wipes will not always remove the dirt debris and oil clogged in your pores. Most toners contain alcohol, which can irritate and dry out one's delicate skin. This toner is very gentle! It is hydrating, cool on the skin, does not sting or burn, and smells lovely. After wiping my face with this toner, my skin feels refreshed, healthy, and not even dried out. I generally don't take pictures of myself due to my acne, but after using this product, I don't find the need to cover my face in pounds of makeup and prefer going outside bare-faced to embrace my new-found confidence.” β€”Vivi Tran

    Get it from Amazon for $8.54 (available in three formulas).

    11. Treat your face with needles (gently and non-painfully!) from a derma roller to promote cell growth β€” this can reduce current breakouts and help fade acne scars.

    As/Is / YouTube

    Check out two BuzzFeeders' video that documents their experience with microneedling for acne scars.

    You might have seen a Kardashian or two getting a professional microneedling treatment, but those are expensive and it's actually super easy to do at home. All you need is a derma roller ($20 on Amazon), which is a product that uses super tiny needles to penetrate only the top layer of your skin. The teeny needles promote collagen production, which can help with skin texture, reduce blemishes, and heal acne scars β€” even the deep indents that cystic acne can leave.

    The derma roller works well on its own, but if you want to really maximize its effectiveness it can be combined with a hydrating serum ($11 on Amazon) that contains Manuka honey and hyaluronic acid to penetrate deeper into the skin with the help of the microneedles.

    12. Consider a foundation like L'OrΓ©al True Match that's formulated to never clog your pores so you can cover up blemishes without any worries about causing more of them.

    This formula is oil-free and contains vitamin A, grapefruit extract, vitamin C, and wheat germ, all of which nourish your skin. Plus, its wide shade range takes undertones into account so you've got a great chance at finding a shade that blends in seamlessly.

    Promising review: β€œThis is the only product I've found that matches my skin tone and doesn't make me break out a ton, while also being pretty low-maintenance. It offers a decent amount of coverage while managing to look natural, and is especially nice when topped with the True Match powder ($6.64) in the same shade. My skin actually feels greasier when I *don't* wear this foundation and the powder certainly also helps extend the life of that. I love that it doesn't feel like there's a ton of makeup on my face when I'm wearing it and that it doesn't take a long time to apply. It's by no means a miracle product for curing acne, but after using this product for a couple years, it never seems to exacerbate acne for me.” β€”Ejcalibur

    Get it from Amazon for $5.79+ (available in 33 shades).

    13. Start a personalized daily vitamin regimen from Care/of that you can tailor to address skin concerns with supplements like evening primrose (to maintain healthy skin), astaxanthin (to protect skin against UV light), or their Glow Trio.


    Care/of is a vitamin subscription service that sends you a monthly package of personalized vitamins. When you sign up, you take a quiz so they can determine what you need, from basic nutrients to more specific concerns.

    Specifically about your skin: Care/of offers several supplements you can add to your monthly subscription to target skincare concerns. For example, the Glow Trio contains biotin, astaxanthin, and sea buckthorn which provide nutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids, amino acids, and flavanoids β€” all of which support healthy hair, nails, and skin.

    For more on the whole process, you can check out a BuzzFeed editor's full review of Care/of's services.

    14. Clean your brushes thoroughly and regularly so you won't end up redistributing dirt and oil all over your fresh, clean face. You can go old school and do it with baby shampoo or upgrade your routine to a professional brush cleaner.

    The Beauty Department / Via

    Check out The Beauty Department for more on proper brush cleaning.

    Promising review (for the brush cleaner): β€œI LOVE THIS! So many beauty influencers that I follow rave about this stuff and now I know why. I used to dedicate an entire night to washing my brushes and then had to leave them overnight to dry, but not anymore! It gets EVERY trace of makeup out of your brushes without over-drying them or leaving them oily. The dry time is barely a minute, which is a major plus β€” no need to wait hours and hours to use them again. If you are a makeup junkie with a lot of brushes and need something that is much less strenuous but still gets the job done, look no further!” β€”Vicka Caguindagan

    Get them from Amazon: the brush cleaner for $8.40+ and the baby shampoo for $4.99.

    15. Gently resurface your skin with a Vasanti enzymatic exfoliator that eliminates the need for harsh scrubbing, which could irritate your skin.

    The formula includes papaya and aloe, which gently remove dead cells, revealing glowing, soft skin. It's vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and doesn't contain microplastics that can harm the ocean.

    Promising review: β€œI love this product. I first used it when I received it in my Birchbox subscription. The granules are very fine and not overly abrasive for my sensitive skin. The all-natural ingredients don't irritate my skin or negatively interact with my acne wash or medications. I love the mild smell and my face feels super fresh and smooth after using it. It never feels red or chafed like you do with some other harsher exfoliating scrubs. I don't care to use any other scrub after using this. I have used a lot of products on my face, and this is the best exfoliating scrubs I have used so far.” β€”Leslie St. Clair

    Get it from Amazon for $34.

    16. Eliminate spots as they come with a drying lotion that promises to zap them away overnight.

    Just dab a little of this sulfur-based treatment onto an un-popped pimple before bed. It dries quickly and by the morning the zit should be greatly reduced β€” if it's not gone altogether.

    Promising review: β€œThis is literally my favorite product. I know so many people who pay triple the price for 'higher quality' brands that have this exact same drying lotion. My roommate has a brand from Sephora that I compared it to this brand, and I found that they both did the exact same thing. It does dry skin out so I wouldn't recommend using it every single night, but it is great to use during flareups and also before acne breaks the surface. I see significant results every morning when I wake up.” β€”Olivia

    Get it from Amazon for $7.75.

    17. Deep-cleanse your face in just 60 seconds with the Foreo Luna Mini 2. It's a splurge, but is beloved for its gentle exfoliation powers β€” and you never have to go through the annoying process of replacing brush heads.

    Amazon, Maitland Quiltmeyer / BuzzFeed

    The brush has three cleansing zones with differently sized silicone bristles and eight intensities, so it's great for any skin types, including sensitive. The silicone bristles are designed to resist bacteria, which means they don't need to be replaced like the heads of other face brushes. Use it with your favorite acne wash to see softer, clearer skin ASAP. See why a BuzzFeed editor loves the Foreo Luna Mini 2 so much.

    Promising review: β€œI bought this about a month ago after seeing all the hype it got on BuzzFeed. Honestly, this brush has been worth every penny! I use it in the evenings (my mornings are a little rushed). Generally, I use the 'oily skin' side (the thicker bristles) followed my my usual toner and serum. I'll normally use a lower speed five evenings a week for a gentle cleansing of oil buildup and try a higher speed twice weekly for a gentle exfoliation. After the first use, my skin felt the smoothest it has ever felt! Now after nearly a month of use, my skin is more radiant, softer and smoother, breaking out less, and I'm even starting to see a reduction in the size of my pores (which no product has ever given me before). I also have a better oil balance in my skin. Even better, it's done all of this with no irritation to my skin. Needless to say, I'm very pleased with this product and have been recommending it to all of my friends.” β€”Knonymously

    Get it from Amazon for $139 (available in five colors).

    18. Fade acne scars and reduce fine lines with the help of a retinol serum. It harnesses the power of vitamin A to improve tone and skin texture, and it's especially great for reducing hyper-pigmentation and old acne scars.

    Promising review: β€œI was pleasantly surprised to see this has the benefit of clearing up my skin. I'd been having recurring breakouts on my chin, jaw, and right under my nose. I've only been using this stuff for three-ish days and my skin has totally cleared up. I apply the serum, gently massage it into my skin, then use St. Ives Timeless Skin moisturizer ($5.44).” β€”Olivia

    Get it from Amazon for $10.95.

    19. Branch out and try a cleansing oil. Even if you have oily skin, oil cleansing may be the answer. Your regular cleanser might be drying out your skin too much, causing it to compensate by overproducing oil. An oil cleanser will stop that cycle in its tracks and replace acne-causing sebum with something nourishing, like jojoba oil.

    The Beauty Department / Via

    Check out more from The Beauty Department for more on oil cleansing.

    If you struggle with acne, you might have learned to avoid excess oils like the plague. But actually, you might be stripping so many of the natural oils from your face that it overproduces oil to compensate, and guess what β€” that can cause acne. Use a gentle, non-pore-clogging oil to stop your skin from overproducing oil and actually calm breakouts. A muslin cloth, like the one used above ($7 for a pack of 10 on Amazon), will easily take off makeup and gently exfoliate to remove dead skin.

    This The Face Shop oil cleanser ($8 on Amazon) is beloved by more than 1,500 reviewers. They swear by its light texture and non-greasy feel, but if you're still unsure about leaving oil on your face, many recommend a foaming cleanser ($7 on Amazon) as a second step after oil cleansing.

    20. Use vitamin C to fight off breakouts and discoloration β€” over 7,000 Amazon reviewers swear by this TruSkin Naturals vitamin C serum because of its dramatic results.


    For more about why we love this, see a BuzzFeeder's full breakdown of this serum.

    Promising review: β€œI was recommended vitamin C serum by a friend, because I had consistent breakouts on my forehead in the same spot for months and deep red scarring. I was becoming so frustrated and feeling hopeless. I was also suffering from severely dry skin, because of the winter weather. Over the course of two weeks of consistently using this vitamin C serum in combination with a toner and moisturizer, my skin has cleared drastically. My red marks have softened and the spot on my forehead has stopped breaking out. I can say with 100% certainty that this product works. I’ve used about half of the bottle already and plan on using it consistently. So far, I am immensely impressed and would recommend to anyone.” β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

    21. Eat your way to clearer skin with easy-to-prepare, plant-based meals from a meal kit delivery service like Hungry Root.

    Hungry Root

    Getting fast food or takeout every night after work can lead to breakouts thanks to that delicious grease, but shopping for groceries and cooking takes up a lot of time and energy. Enter Hungry Root, a meal kit service that delivers a weekly box of plant-based meals that take ten minutes or less to prepare. It's all delicious, too β€” reviewers rave about their almond chickpea cookie dough in particular, which you can eat raw or cooked. Just imagine what all that veggie goodness will do for your skin.

    Get a subscription from Hungry Root for $69+/week (three plan sizes available).

    22. Combat acne on both your face and body with an ultra-strength benzoyl peroxide wash that kills bacteria and prevents breakouts. More than 1,600 five-star Amazon reviewers swear that this totally saved their skin.


    Promising review: β€œThis is a life-saver for those with adult acne who have refused to yield to any other treatment. I started having adult acne about six months ago (hormone-related). I have used everything including doxycycline antibiotics. My acne bumps are red, swollen, and very painful. Anyway, to cut the long story short, I stumbled on this product while researching products with a high benzoyl peroxide concentration. The difference is clear. I will continue to use it. My face finally saw a break from breakouts since January!” β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $21.95.

    23. Stick to a skincare routine for at least a month before you start changing things up. Not only is consistency great for your skin, but you'll be able to tell exactly what causes breakouts in the future.


    There are tons of new things to try and they can be sooooooo tempting, but introducing a new product always requires an adjustment period. If you introduce a bunch of new things all at once and then suddenly end up with a face full of zits, you won't know what caused it and you'll be back to Skin Square One.

    Start with a routine that's quick, cheap, gentle, and easy to maintain, like this:

    * Garnier Micellar Water ($6 on Amazon) to cleanse

    * Thayer's Witch Hazel ($9 on Amazon) to tone

    * Eucerin Redness Relief Cream ($9 on Amazon) to moisturize

    Then let your skin get used to it! You might experience a few breakouts initially, but stick with it for at least a month. After this adjustment period, you should have calmer skin so you can then target specific concerns with ~more advanced~ products like a drying lotion ($8 on Amazon) or a derma roller ($20 on Amazon).

    This is about to be you:


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed