It is estimated that over 50 million people in the United States struggle with acne and I am one of them.

Acne can feel like a plague for anyone who battles it. Not only does it affect our physical appearance, but can also hinder us emotionally, putting stress on our mental state.

I’ve struggled with acne since I was 12 years old and not just the occasional breakout that most encounter while coming into our teen years. My breakouts were persistent and have followed me through my teens and all the way into my early adult years.

I have tried several over the counter creams, prescription topicals, oral medications. I’ve spent so much money on products and dermatologist visits that I’ve lost count.

I finally hit a point with my dermatologist where she recommended Accutane as nothing else had proven a permanent solution for my acne. I made a personal decision not to take this medication and was determined to find a better cure.

My journey with acne has now lasted well over a decade and while I have found a treatment that works well for me, it is a constant battle to keep away from products that may irritate my skin and encourage pesky breakouts.

Today I am going to share product recommendations and tips that have helped me deal with acne. All of these products and tips I have used and/or continue to use to this day to maintain clear skin.

Keep skin as clean as possible

Acne is created when pores get blocked by oils and bacteria. It is very important to keep your skin as clean as possible in order to reduce the amount of oil and bacteria on the skin.

Always wash your face in the morning and at night and make sure to remove all makeup before going to bed. If you are someone who easily forgets to wash your face at night, keep a pack of makeup removing wipes on your nightstand as a friendly reminder.

I recommend using an oil-free cleanser such as the Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash. This wash is perfect for sensitive acne-prone skin and is gentle enough to remove dirt and oils without irritating your skin.

Refrain from touching your face. Our fingers have oil and bacteria that can transfer to our face if we aren’t careful. It is also a bad idea to pick at your face. Try and keep your hands away from your face all together to prevent the spreading of bacteria.

Keep your hair out of your face

This is particularly important for anyone who tends to have oily roots. Allowing oily hair to rest on the sides of your face can create troublesome breakouts around the hairline and forehead area. For color treated hair or hair that is damaged and cannot be shampooed daily, use a dry shampoo to absorb oils in between washes and help keep your forehead clear.

Remember to wash your makeup brushes regularly

This step is a must! Makeup brushes are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and can carry bacteria from one part of your face to the other. This is especially true if you have aggressive breakouts. You don’t want to rub a brush over open breakouts and then continue to use that same brush day after day as this will spread bacteria.

Don’t forget daily skin care

Exfoliate regularly to deep-clean skin. I exfoliate daily with the The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash. This exfoliator is gentle enough to be used daily and does not feel harsh on the skin. It works great for removing dead skin cells and keeps your pores clear and free of microscopic debris.

Always keep your skin hydrated and moisturized to prevent your skin from producing excess oils. Use an oil-free moisturizer such as the Renewed Hope In A Jar to give your skin a clean, hydrated feel.

Avoid any skin care with heavy fragrance as strong scents can aggravate the skin.

I prefer to use products that are fragrance free or that are very lightly scented. Save the yummy scents for your body lotions and body washes.

For aggressive blemishes, apply a drop of Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion. This formula is very effective at drying blemishes quickly and reducing the size of larger acne spots. Do not shake the bottle before using. Just dip your cotton swab to the bottom of the bottle and dab the pink treatment to the affected areas. I leave this on overnight and can see a very visible difference when I wake the next morning.

Find a treatment that works best for you. This can be the most frustrating part because you will likely experience a lot of trial and error before you find something that works well for your skin.

Everyone’s skin is different, and not every treatment will work well for everyone. For this reason, it is impossible for me to recommend a “holy grail” solution for acne.

I can tell you that I have tried several medications and treatment options and the only one that cleared my skin completely is Curology.

Curology is a topical cream that is applied to the face/ neck area once a day to treat acne. Before Curology is ordered, you will be asked to submit photos of your skin through the website and you will correspond with a dermatologist to voice all of your concerns regarding your skin.

The dermatologist will then customize the cream to fit your needs and your prescription will be shipped to your house. It is very affordable and will be sent to you once every month or every three months depending on which subscription option you choose.

This cream has worked wonders for me. I never thought I would see the day where I was comfortable leaving my house with no makeup on, but Curology did this for me.

As I said before, treatments do work different for everyone, but if you’ve struggled with stubborn acne for some time now, I encourage you to give Curology a try.

The after affects:

Once your skin begins to clear up, you may notice uneven skin tone or spots that remain on your face. These spots are usually acne scars and the severity of the scarring will vary person to person.

I was left with uneven skin tone and reddish marks throughout my face where the blemishes used to reside. I know it’s frustrating having to deal with the after affects after putting so much effort into clearing your skin, but don’t worry. We have solutions.

I use this Mario Badescu Whitening Mask to reduce the appearance of the red spots and to help even the appearance of my skin. This mask can be applied in the shower and rinsed off after 5-10 minutes. I’ve never noticed any breakouts stem from using this product and it has worked really well at giving my skin a healthy and even glow.

Mario Badescu also makes this Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. This spray does have a strong rose scent but is non-irritating and can be used under makeup or over makeup. I love spritzing my skin with this spray after applying my moisturizer at night. I feel it gives me added hydration and the rosewater helps to calm redness.

Use a product or serum containing Vitamin C

Vitamin C encourages collagen production and helps the elasticity of the skin. Using a product containing Vitamin C will not only help the skin regenerate, but also helps control bacteria. Clinique has a wonderful line of products infused with Vitamin C that are great for post-acne spots.

I understand the impact acne can have on your life. I know what it feels like to have your makeup as your mask and not your accessory. I am also here to tell you there is a solution. I have personally tried all of the above and they have worked wonders for my skin. I truly hope they work for you as well.

If you’ve struggled or still struggle with acne and have any products that you swear by, drop a comment below and let us know!

This guest post was written by Bri, beauty blogger at Beauty With A Side Of Glitter.