As much as I believe in natural skin products (less chemical elements), there are certain things that just can’t be all natural, for example preventing “breakouts” before they breakout.
I didn’t have a severe breakout problem when I was a teen, and I didn’t have any acne issues throughout my life, but I do have a few breakouts here and there. In particular, 7-10 days before my menstrual cycle begins. The breakouts that I refer are “white heads” or “black heads”, but from time to time I do have a bad breakout. And because I don’t like to feel bumps on my face, I would perform extractions on myself for those bumps but life would be much easier if the “breakout” could be prevent in the first place and/or get it under control using some methods.
However if you suffer from a severe acne problem, better consult with doctor to get treated and start a prevention and control process.
My experience in preventing “breakouts” combines glycolic acid, salicylic acid or mandelic acid for different skin phases during the AM/PM skin care process. I was introduced to 2% Glycolic Acid that is an exact from various plant sources about 10 years ago, and it was the purist and lowest % Glycolic Acid on the market at that time. It was like a magic portion. IT WORKED!!!! I used it for only a week or two for a month by using a facial pad to lightly tap on my T-zone, after a few weeks (can’t recall how long it took) my so-called breakout was well under control. I didn’t have black head or white head bumps or any serious breakouts.
When you apply the glycolic acid, you will feel a little stinging for a few quick seconds which means it’s working, and that’s the way it should be. However, it tends to dry up the skin. You then have a dehydrated skin problem like myself, so don’t use anything higher than 2% glycolic acid. Like everything else, the body will build some resistance, so after some time; your skin will signal to you to use different % of glycolic acid. For example, if you don’t get the stinging feeling when you apply that would be one signal to change the % of Glycolic Acid.
Salicylic Acid/Mandelic acid is another good way to get breakouts under control, and it’s gentler on the skin when compared with Glycolic Acid. However, it might take a longer time than glycolic acid to work. Therefore, I incorporate salicylic acid into my daily cleansing and toner products then go on with my regular routine of AM/PM skin care. It certainly will not dry out the skin as badly as glycol acid, and it will also feel stingy (but very gentle). You can also apply acne skin products to your regular skin moisture products on a daily basis; it works more effectively to both prevent and control.
Here are a few products that I currently use:
DDF Glycolic 10% Exfoliating Oil Control Gel
It contains high % glycolic acid, so skin feels tight and dry after being applied, and it smells of alcohol in my opinion (obviously a bit more chemicals than what I like). I don’t use on a daily basis but rather when I notice more heads popping up or a couple days before my menstrual starts.
Vivant Skin Care – Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser
I loved this cleanser although it doesn’t have salicylic acid but green tea, which is not only an excellent element to remove oil but also make-up residue to prevent clogged pores as well as helping with color pigmentation and a great antioxidant. Feel clean and refreshed after usage.
Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Wash
I purchased this one at the same time as the green tea cleanser, and since I already had experience using mandelic acid from a different brand, I figured that I would try the Vivant green tea cleanser first. But since I have been having a great experience with Vivant Skin Care products, I imagine this one will work just fine too.
Derma e – Very Clear Acne Cleanser
I’m currently using this cleanser AM and PM (if I remember to wash my face at night). It contains only 2% Salicylic Acid and is safe to use daily and not have to worry about drying out your skin — a good first step in prevention.
Alba Botanica – Deep Clean Astringent Toner
Even though it only contains 2% Salicylic acid but because of other elements such as sulfate 0, it’s actually quite stingy when you apply, kind of like applying an alcohol pad on your face, and it also makes your skein feel very dry. However, it’s very effective controlling breakouts. Highly recommended to use on daily basis if you have oily skin (my husband uses it on a daily basis), and if you have dehydrated skin like myself, using it only on the T-zone and not on a daily basis.
Face & Body Scrub
I also used this to remove any debris build up over time, but I only use it once or twice a week.
There you have it, my two cents regarding “Glycolic acid = Prevention” and “Salicylic acid or mendelic acid = Control Agent”.