I would like to start off with saying I am a licensed esthetician and have tested many different products and methods to cure acne/balance my skin. I had chronic acne for ten years. I tried absolutely everything from products, to facials, to even seeing an allergist to find out what the cause of my acne was! Personally, I find staying away from salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, etc. helps in curing acne. Acne is caused by bacteria and irritation; therefore, it often helps to stay away from the stronger products that claim to cure it. You would also be surprised at the fact that essential oils don't always help as effectively as they should. Sometimes less truly does produce more.

The key word in this article is FRAGRANCE FREE!

Fragrance free products can do wonders for your skin! Not only does it keep your pH levels balanced, but it focuses on infusing your skin with benefits versus an unhealthy amount of scents and perfumes. The following list, while minimal, is both affordable and effective.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($10)

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Even though this may be a common brand for skincare, this fragrance free cleanser provides the right amount of balance to ensure your face is thoroughly cleansed, but still retains the right amount of oil.

Dickinson's Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner ($5)

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Don't let the strong smell of the witch hazel steer you away from using this! Not only is this toner fragrance free, it actually balances, refreshes, and refines your pores. It cleans out bacteria and keeps it out! When I started implementing this new routine to cure my acne, I would use this toner in the morning and evening after cleansing. It is also amazing for makeup removal!

Unscented St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub/Mask ($5)

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True to it's name, this exfoliating scrub is unscented and luxurious. I personally exfoliate my skin only once a week. Many people recommend 2-3 times, but this can get excessive. Especially if you're combating acne, your skin doesn't need to get aggravated more than necessary. Once a week is effective enough to smooth your skin without unnecessarily aggravating it. Over exfoliation will lead to more irritation and possibly breakage of skin if your acne is more severe.

Freeman Deep Clearing Clay Mask ($5)

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I highly recommend the mask with manuka honey and tea tree oil for face masks! Being that masks should only be used once a week, stronger ingredients aren't necessarily harmful and can be beneficial in being more aggressive to combat acne. The tea tree oil is perfect because it is antibacterial and the manuka honey follows up with nourishing and healing. This mask was a gem and I highly recommend it.

Bonus Product: Clarins Pore Control Serum ($56)

Serums are definitely the priciest product in any skincare routine, but this genuinely works! It is infused with vine flower which visibly tightens enlarged pores; strawberry tree which helps regulate oil production; and tamarind, a natural exfoliant that refines skin texture. If you have been looking for a really good serum, I highly recommend this one and Clarins offers 10% off first time orders! It's definitely a good investment.

In conclusion, you don't need to buy into the gimmicks that celebrities or ridiculously expensive skincare brands upsell. The most expensive does not always equate to more results.

Keep it simple:
in life,
in love,
and in skincare.

Stay Mermazing,
Star

This article was written by @staraiah on the Gazette Writers Team