Let There Be Light (and Clear Skin)

Let There Be Light (and Clear Skin)

You know what is super awesome about getting older? Me neither!

In fact, I’m at an age where my skin is starting to show the first signs of aging. But no worries, because adult-onset acne makes me feel just like a teen again. Sigh. The problem is that fighting acne and wrinkles is kind of like trying to fight a flood and a fire at the same time. Many products that help one- hurt the other. This can create a vicious cycle of clogged and dehydrated skin.

Over the last year it has been my mission to find products that work. Now, obviously everyone’s skin is different and this is what has helped my skin. But the products I’m recommending are my results after talking to dermatologists, reading way too many blogs and trying approximately every product there is. I’m not a medical professional- just a skincare junkie sharing my finds.

Step 1– Go back to basics. My first step was switching all products to those least likely to cause a breakout. I wanted to start at the beginning so I switched my cleanser and moisturizer to Cerave products (Cetaphil is a similarly good place to start). These products come highly recommended for sensitive or break-out prone skin. They are very unlikely to cause breakouts so it’s a good first step.

Step 2– Retinol. This is a game changer. This product is scientifically proven to increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen production and fade dark spots. This means it fights acne before it can start, helps marks from previous breakouts clear faster, and helps fight fine lines. It does all the things. You can find Retinol mixed in with lots of ‘anti-aging’ lotions and potions (it will be on the label) but sometimes the other ingredients can cause breakouts. I liked ROC pretty well though as a first step.

Now, if you have already tried those types of Retinol and are ready for the next step- I have great news. Differin is a product with a much higher concentration of Retinol that until January was only available by Rx. But now the 1% version of Differin is over the counter (3% is still Rx) and it works great! And it’s a lot less expensive the the 3% Rx version.

2-3 times a week I use a pea sized amount of the Differin all over my face and neck (you can even use it under your eyes which surprised me) and then top it with a moisturizer.

Now, retinol can and probably will dry your skin out. Wait 30 minutes after cleansing and use plenty of moisturizer. But it works. And your skin should adjust and react less as it acclimates to it. I saw some results in a couple weeks and major results in a month. I don’t see ever not using Retinol.

Step 3– Cool Light- Up Mask-

The Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask is actually really fun for the first few uses because it glows bright pink and it’s great for scaring your friends and family- you look kind of like a pink storm trooper. You just wear the mask every day for 10 minutes and the blue and red light do their magic. The red light reduces inflammation and the blue light kills acne causing bacteria. This is not UV light so no worries about that. I use it at night after cleansing my skin. And I think think this works just as well as the Differin for breakouts and fading marks, with the added bonus of NO irritation, dryness or redness.

After 2 weeks of use I had no new breakouts. None. It’s been 2.5 months now and I have only had very minor skin congestion but not a single new large bump. I’ve experimented with using it every other night but find it really does work best when used every night. Worth it though.

And, no skincare post would be complete without the before and after, right? About 2 months between these photos with no makeup. This is for you my readers…be kind.


All these products can be purchased at Target, Amazon or most drug stores. Click the links for more info about them.

So- I hope that helps any fellow sufferers! What are some of your skincare secrets?





2 thoughts on “Let There Be Light (and Clear Skin)

  1. I haven’t seen the mask yet! Great that it kills the acne bacteria! So glad it’s working for you! How do you think it would work on more”mature” skin?? 😆

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