One of the most important things I’ve learned about skincare is that consistency is key. It took me years—and a few trips to a dermatologist—before I understood this. Now, when I’m not dealing with a breakout, I’m in maintenance mode, trying to prevent the next disaster. Acne is a lot like Santa— just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not [going to be] there.
The above products make up my dermatologist-recommended routine.
I use them in the following order:
CVS Acne Foaming Face Wash, $9 — Few things make me happier than discovering similar ingredient labels and testing to find similar performance between store and name brands. Love me some savings. I wash with this morning and night at least 4-5 days a week.
Clindamyacin Pads — These are prescription. Without getting too scientific, they’re round pads soaked in a lincosamide antibiotic used to stop the growth of certain bacteria that cause acne. Sexy, right?
Adapelene Cream — Another prescription. This is a topical retinoid cream that works to unclog pores. One of the side effects is sun sensitivity, redness, and peeling in the beginning. Make sure you use sunscreen if you’re using retinoids!
Neutrogena Oil-free Moisture, SPF 15, $10 — No matter what, but especially crucial because of the retinoids I use, my AM routine always contains some form of SPF. I like this moisturizer on work days because it’s oil-free. But if I’m going to be outside for longer than an hour, I always use a straight broad spectrum sunscreen and a higher SPF for more protection. But when I’m just commuting to/from work and plan for minimal time outside, I think an SPF in my moisturizer and makeup covers enough bases.