I have been an acne sufferer since my teens. Many times in my youth I went to the doctor’s to get some super strong prescription of benzoil peroxide, Retin-A, Salicylic Acid, etc which heaviy irritated my sensitive skin. So it was a trade-off over time, pizza face or super irritated and dry skin (but pimple free!). Over the years of experimentation and clinical advice from my plastic surgeon friend who performs my peels and treatments, I’ve developed a favored list for skin routine and care.
If you have Moolah to Spend
Obagi Nu-Derm Kit. It’s expensive but a fantastic investment. After my chemical peels, I was instructed to use these products religiously. It doesn’t irritate my skin, it stays clear. I like the Normal/Dry version, even though I have oily skin, because the chemicals tend to make my skin dry anyways. My favorite is the #3, hydroquinone 4% cream, which evens out the skin tone.
Acne.org 2.5% Benzoil Peroxide tubes. This is my favorite find of all time. It comes industrial sized (you will never find a tube this size in stores) and at the low 2.5% non-irritating percentage. 10% is great for spot treatment but 2.5% is the preventive level which you can smear all over the acne prone areas.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) Peel from a Plastic Surgeon. Don’t ever buy a home kit of this chemical, it’s no joke and you can use ridiculous damage to yourself without expert application. It’s the standard medium peel, feels like a fireball landed on your face, scab and peel over seven days, and come out with minute pores and smooth baby skin. Absolutely remarkable.
The Budget Version
Acne.org Kit. Cleanser – Moisturizer – 2.5% Benzoil Peroxide. Nice and basic, I’ve used this too and I have no complaints.
Maxi-Peel #3 Advanced Exfoliant. This has tretonoin 0.025% and hydroquinone 4% all built into one product. Tretonoin is the generic version of Retin-A and rids the acne. Then the double whammy is the hydroquinone.
30% Glycolic Acid Peel home treatment. I use this in between my big TCA peels. It’s like the light version of the professional one and keeps the skin glowing as it forces the top layer to renew and peel itself faster than normal, revealing healthier youthful skin below.