Sunday, May 17, 2015


Battling with acne? You might want to read this.
My favorite (and so far, best) weapon to fighting acne are exfoliants. I usually do a round of BHA - AHA – Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask to keep my skin clearer (though I am still having some minor acne, but it much much better) and in addition, using Benzoyl Peroxide in spot(s).

My favorite brand of course, Paula Choice, followed by Sulwhasoo and La Roche Posay. Their product mostly suit me, and by that means causing less trouble to my skin.

According to Paula Begoun (Paula Choice’s founder), use whatever cleanser that works for you. For me, it’s usually Himalaya Neem Facial Wash or Foaming Facial Wash. It’s supposed to help with acne, but not too necessary. I like how my skin feels after using them, but if I can’t have it then it’s okay. I currently have none of them (so no picture), and using Garnier Rice Facial Wash and Charchoal Soap Bar instead. Both works just fine.

Okay, first, EXFOLIANT.
It’s necessary to help your skin. I am not using scrub and physical exfoliant, they causing me break-out. I am not trusting gel exfoliant too, so yeah skip on it.

As seen on picture, I’m using Paula Choice 2% BHA Liquid and 8% AHA Gel. Paula Choice Clear Anti Redness Exfoliating Solution (Blue bottle, currently empty) is basically the same with 2% BHA Liquid, so I bought 2% BHA Liquid because it’s cheaper.

BHA (Salicylic Acid)  is most likely used by oily and acne prone skin because it’s ability to get through oils that clog pores, and normalizing the lining of misshapen pores that creates acne. BHA also has anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties that suit acne prone and sensitive skin well.
I usually applying BHA after toner (if I’m using one) or right after cleanser using cotton pad. Some might not agree with my method, but I think it works better to me that using with bare hand. Perhaps cotton pad provides some extra exfoliating properties?
However, sometimes, after applying BHA, my skin feels so dry and uncomfortable. If it’s happen, then I’ll take my Evian Facial Mist and spray all over my face. It solves. 

Function :
Creates radiant, even toned skin
Reduces redness and builds collagen
Unclog and diminished enlarged pores
Prevent breakouts
Assist skin healing
Treats acne

AHA (Glycolic Acid) usually works better on dry skin. Because while exfoliating, it doesn’t drying and added moisture content to your skin. BHA only might be enough for Acne, but I think AHA will help to improve my skin texture and acne scar. And sometimes, my skin doesn’t really feels oily.
I use AHA right after cleanser (or toner if I’m using one), without cotton pad, because mine is in gel form. It’s so much more convenient. I use it for my back acne too and it’s works great.
If I’m using AHA the night before, in morning my skin seems much more radiant and fresh. Perhaps its in collagen production or what. But as we know, it doesn’t help with acne at all.

Function :
Creates radiant, even toned skin
Reveals new, younger skin
Stimulates collagen production

Both cause me a little bit over IDR. 400,000 but a good thing, both just need a little amount each use. I think I’ve finished a 4 o.z BHA bottle in 6 month, used on daily basis.

How useful and amazing these stuff are!

Left to right :
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (5.5% Benzoyl Peroxide and 0.4% LHA), La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+], Paula Choice Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment (5% Benzoyl Peroxide), and from local brand, Benzolac – CL (Benzoyl Peroxide 5% and Clindamycin phosphate 1.2%).

What? Do you think they are too much? Oops. Yes, you don’t need that many. Just one or maybe two, is enough.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (5.5% Benzoyl Peroxide and 0.4% LHA) is the first treatment I bought to solve acne. It’s the one that open my eyes too the wonderfulness of Benzoyl Peroxide and exfoliant world. It supposed to use on spot only, but I’ve tried to use it all over my face and it’s okay. I love it so much, but not the price tag. This one is American version, and cost me a good IDR. 450,000 for 40ml of product. Ugh. Sooo I move to local brand :

Benzolac – CL (Benzoyl Peroxide 5% and Clindamycin phosphate 1.2%), which also available in 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide version. It’s waaaay much cheaper at IDR. 32,000 for 10g of product. Yes. Works just fine, but I don’t think using Clindamycin phosphate on daily basis is a good thing (causing another trouble) so I just use it while travelling. Much smaller and cheaper, right?

Paula Choice Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment (5% Benzoyl Peroxide) is a part of Paula Choice Clear skin range, and I first tried it together with their BHA exfoliant. Price wise, it’s about IDR. 330,000 for 67 ml of product. Not cheap but cheaper than La Roche Posay one.
The only problem is, sometimes it’s feel a bit harsh on my skin, and a bit feels drying. No patch skin to show though. Just a tad uncomfortable for me.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo [+] is Europen version, which use no Benzoyl Peroxide nor LHA. It’s supposed to correct imperfection and reduce redness. No Benzoyl Peroxide here, but it has my favorite Niacinamide. It can be use all over face (not just on spot), leaves matte finish and even skintone. Feels so good on skin, and cheaper that her American version, but it’s harder to get.
This one cost me less than IDR. 300,000 for 40 ml.

In addition, MASK

A thing that bother me more than acne is acne scar. Yes, acne is disturbing but it’s scar is disturbing more, and last longer on you. No joke, I still have some from my High School era. UGH.
Paula Begoun has said that old acne scar are unable to be solve with products, you need to see dermatologist and take serious care about them. But I hate seeing dermatologist, and won’t take skin implant or what. NO.
I heard Sulwhasoo has something to reduce pore size and clean skin, Clarifying Mask. Been in so many blog to check reviews about it and everyone think it’s amazing. Basically it’s an peel-off mask to help you took away dead skin cell, reduce pore size and brighten your skin. Works better while combined with Overnight Vitalizing Mask. Both loaded of Korean Herbal Ingredient, which serve many Korean Royal before.
True, my skin seems much clearer in different way from BHA and AHA. My pores seem smaller and cleaner. My black acne scar which a got several days before first Sulwhasoo mask trial, been much thinner and brown after first use. After second use, it’s being red. Third use, it’s just another soft red spot. Nice!
Overnight Vitalizing Mask help to moisture, which I rarely do in my complex acne treatment. Feels a tad heavy on skin and uncomfortable at first. Leaving my skin plump and healthy looking.

Clarifying Mask is IDR. 170,000 for 50ml and Overnight Vitalizing Mark is IDR. 150,000 for 30ml of product.

while using those steps, i also aware that :
  • Wearing BHA, AHA and Benzoyl Peroxide causing skin sensitivity to sun screen. I always use SPF product at daily basis, and reapply every mid day. SPF 30 up is better, but if you’re stay-at-home or indoor kind of type, than below 30 is okay. Do not ever expose your skin under sun.
  • At night, always do double cleansing. This is so important to cleansing from sunscreen and foundation residue.
  • Don't ever use BHA and AHA and exfoliating mask at the same time. You can use AHA in the morning and BHA at night, but not both at night.

I know I spent a lot (A LOT!) in acne treatment routine, but skin is investation right?
I am happy spent a good amount of money in product that works, than in trial. So far, I have no regret for any of them. All are wonderful and works better than products I’ve tried before. And I think I’ve spent more on dermatologist before, which result me a good 6 month away from acne, but they’re still back and back and back.

Besides, I just tried to take Apple Cider Vinegar on daily basis orally. Some research said it’s help from inside.

Have you try any of these? Hope you love them as much as I do :D

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