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Skincare

“Why yes, I was born with it. Here, have a blemish-free charity smirk.”

EVERYONE is in pursuit of clear skin. EVERYONE. If you’re not, you are blessed with fantastic genes and people hate you, sorry gurl. Girls like me make voodoo dolls out of you and we do nothing but touch your voodoo faces hoping that our germy hands will give you zits.

Anyway, I was reading Allure’s 10 Commandments of Clear Skin. Most of it is nothing revolutionary; pretty much your standard zit-free spiel (be stress-free! wear sunscreen!).

But I thought this particular tip is worth its weight repeating:

4. STICK WITH THE BASICS

There are certain ingredients that have proven themselves in clinical trials (benzoyl peroxide or glycolic or salicylic acid for acne)—use them. And give them a chance: They need at least six weeks to work. “If nothing has changed by week six, the product will never work for you,” says David Bank, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Then, it’s time to see a dermatologist—prescription products or in-office treatments may offer some relief.

When it comes to acne, stick with things proven in clinical trials. DUH.

After like, I don’t know, 4? 5? years of experimenting, I’ve always gone back to benzoyl peroxide to kill zits. In between, whatever else new ‘fantastic’ product I’ve used has never worked quite as well, or worse, made my skin look even more like shit. I’m talking to you, products with green tea, pearl, lemon, honey, whathaveyous; you all suck ass.

So yes, I am sticking to my trusty benzoyl peroxide that has saved my skin one too many times. It dries the hell out of my skin and makes it flaky, but it’s not something I can’t bear.

I’ve also found that if salicylic works on you benzoyl won’t, and vice versa. Tested this theory with a couple of my girlfriends. I’m a benzoyl girl, salicylic does nothing for me.

Glycolic acid is alright, but very slow. It’s also not… potent enough for me, so I don’t bother. If you have mild congestion, then go for glycolic. I think products with glycolic tend to be a little bit more expensive too? I think.

SO. If you have zits to get rid off, look for stuff with benzoyl peroxide.

If it doesn’t work on you, hunt for products with salicylic acid. Don’t waste time.

If neither works for you, do as the article suggests, and see a dermatologist.

I use Benzac by Galderma, which I discovered when I was studying in Australia. Hada Labo Arbutin really broke me out bad and gave me craptastic skin for the better part of my stint there :( Don’t ask me why in the world I would even think of experimenting with a new product right before I flew over because… my mind was clouded by, uhhh, koalas and wallabies.

They have 10% and 5% concentrations, but I’m content with 2.5%. I started off with 10% though, because guuurrlll, this face used to need a whole lot of work.

Before I discovered Benzac I was using the Neutrogena On-the-spot treatment, which has 2.5% concentration. It works awesomely too, but once I discovered Benzac I never went back to it because compared to Benzac, Neutrogena is expensive for very little product. I love you Benzac. Benzac 2.5% is SGD$15, I think.

Another tip they extolled was to use retinoids, which I recently got really into but I’ll leave that for the next couple of posts.