At that time, I started using the routine I describe in the entry. It worked extremely well. I had zero whiteheads and my blackheads were disappearing as well. Not long after that though, I decided I wanted to try to start using more natural products. As I experimented with different brands, my face started getting bad again. Finally, I found a second routine using more natural products that had, at least for me anyway, even better results. I discussed that routine briefly in my last entry, "Holistic Approach to Acne".
I would like to post both of those here so you can see them side by side (well, one on top of the other).
Routine #1: Benzoyl Peroxide and Friends
(These are drugstore products, not what I would consider "safer" products in regards to their ingredients.)
- Oxy Acne Treatment (Maximum Strength, 10% Benzoyl Peroxide)
- Olay Refreshing Toner (A non-intense toner that doesn't irritate my skin after using such a strong cleanser)
- Olay Complete UV Moisturizer (SPF 15)*
- Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Cleanser
- Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner
- Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream (I'm technically using Walmart's Equate version of this right now, but same dif.)
- I used various drugstore spot treatments with salicylic acid and they all worked the same.
- Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser (once or twice a week I add a little brown sugar so it exfoliates)
- Moisturize as needed (I don't need to after using this cleanser) with either Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion (for any skin type), Aubrey Organics Vegecol with Aloe Moisturizing Cream (for sensitive skin), or Aubrey Organics Blue Green Algae with Grape Seed Extract Moisturizer (for combo/oily skin)... OR find one you prefer. I've tried all three and prefer the last two by far and change out as needed
- You can also use straight 100% Jojoba oil, but you'll have to wait quite awhile for it to soak in before you can apply your makeup... which is why I don't just use it in the morning. No time.
- Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Original Face Wash
- Burt's Bees Rosewater & Glycerin Toner or straight witch hazel (stuff is amazing!)
- Moisturize with 100% Jojoba oil or other skin-safe oil, such as hemp seed oil or carrot seed oil (a couple drops will probably do your whole face; avoid coconut oil as this has been known to make breakouts worse in a lot of people)
- Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick
- There are many safety issues associated with sunscreens, so I try not to use anything with SPF in it anymore unless I'm going hiking or something where I'll be out in the sun for prolonged periods of time. Check the EWG's Sunscreen Guide for the safest sunscreens.
Hands down, I would pick the more natural routine #2. Not only does it have less harsh and harmful ingredients, but it works better out of the two routines and it did not create sensitivity over time. I had some issues with that when I was using routine #1, especially if I was out in the sun.