OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Monday, November 17


QUESTION: I've been struggling with acne since high school and it's really affecting my self-esteem. I have a few questions for anyone who'd like to help me out.

What's your daily facial cleansing routine? What products do you use and for what type of skin? Do you have any tips/tricks or secrets you can share?

Also, for those who have gone and seen one, are there any dermatologists in Waterloo? Would you highly recommend to see one?

I'd gladly appreciate the advice!


  1. I used to have acne and tried pretty much everything. Two of the most effective things, I have oily/combination skin, I found were a facewash from clearasil containing 2% salicylic acid designed specially for acne and the other were oats. Basically you kind of just take some oats or oatmeal and use it as scrub on your face. Pretty effective.

  2. I struggled with acne in high school. I was on Acqutaine with contraception and it cleared out in less than a year.
    You can try antibiotics, contraception, or Aqcutaine.
    Talk to your doctor and discuss what's best for you, because each drug has side effects.

  3. I have oily skin and when I started to get acne I was brought to a doctor and tried all of the standard antibiotics and other things. I was then sent to a dermatologist and tried several other things. Everyone forgot the obvious stuff. I basically just started asking girls what they use and it works awesome for me.

    1. Use any face/body wash with triclosan in it (it's anti-bacterial). It isn't a strong soap and allows your skin to balance it's oils out on it's own. If you're like me you were using bar soap or other fancy soaps (salicylic acid) and it was striping the oils off your skin, this results in your skin having to over-produce the oils.

    2. Don't touch your acne prone areas ever.

    3. Sleep in a clean t-shirt each night, no shirtless sleeping unless you want to change sheets or sleep on a towel.

    4. Scrub well with a luffa, no abrasive soaps (those soaps tend to have other ingredients that exacerbate the problem.

    Good luck OP

  4. Definitely see a dermatologist. Everyone's skin is different and you might not have the same type of acne as the next person.

    Towards the end of highschool I started using Differin as prescribed by a dermatologist (a cream you put on your face every night). That really improved things after about a year. This is my routine now:

    In the morning: Shower and expose face to warm water and PAT dry. Do not rub your face with a towel, this will damage your skin and you'll have to use more moisturizer n shit. Most mornings I apply some oil-free moisturizer (I use Garnier Moisture Rescue) after the shower.

    At night, rinse face with cold water and pat dry.

    Some general tips:
    1) Drink a FUCK TON of water every day, more if you're having a break out.
    2) Cut back nearly all sugar
    3) Change your pillow case every week (when you do laundry).
    4) If you don't need a shower, don't shower. Your body produces natural oils and when you shower it removes them. The more you shower the more oils your body produces to make up for those lost oils. This makes it so after you shower you have dry skin, and then by the end of the day you're really greasy. If you're not sure if you need a shower then just don't use soap on your face/hair.
    If you shower only when necessary and use moisturizer regularly, your body will start to cut back on oil production. You'll notice a difference within a couple weeks.

  5. OP are you a male or female?

    1. These things can help with men (I had additional info if you were female).

      - Eat low GI foods - regulated blood sugar reduces the flux in hormones which can trigger breakouts
      - Cut out dairy
      - Eat Higher Estrogenic foods (like edamame).
      - Vitamin A drops accelerate healing in the skin
      - B Complex Vitamins

      ZO Skin Health TE Pads (I buy these from a skin clinic in Guelph - even when I do break out they minimize inflammation and reduce healing time).

  6. Tea tree oil, tea tree oil, tea tree oil!

  7. Male here.

    I never had really back acne, but a few things I did helped. Diet is a big part. Like others have said, lots of water, and eat healthy. I also stopped washing my face with strong soaps. I would just wash it in the shower with water and a bit of rubbing from my hands. My skin got more oily for a week, but it came back down a bit. It was more oily than it was when washing a lot, but no acne. I don't know why, maybe it was that the oil stopped dirt from going into the pores? Not really sure though, just stopped seriously washing it one day when washing with those specialty products wasn't doing anything. Of course I have had some acne since, but really not that bad. Also rinse your face before bed, and after sweating.

  8. If you are a female, stop wearing foundation or any skin make up.

    Drink lots of water.

    I wash my face 2x a day (usually- at least every morning)

    Don't buy 'acne' soap, I find it only makes it worse. Use a simply cleanser. I also use baking soda sometimes (add water and make it a paste), it really makes your face feel clean - just make sure you don't rub it in cuz it is coarse and could hurt your face (watch youtube videos about it).

    Try to avoid popping your pimples and don't touch your face.

  9. Acne and Skin Care Clinic
    Dr. T. A. Polevoy
    570 University Ave E
    He is a dermatologist that specializes in Acne and Skin care, give him a try !

  10. Honestly there's so many reasons for acne, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what your reason might be.

    Here's my experience a few years ago when I had bad acne. I tried:
    -going to the doctor and he prescribed a cream to apply. Did not work.
    -Buying the whole proactive formula set. Did not work.
    -Tea tree oil and other types of disinfecting lotion. Nope.
    -Washing my face with anti-acne cleanser, develop a good habits like not touching my face and drinking more water. Still nope.

    What finally worked for me was doing a series of facials at a skincare salon. I had about 4 appointments in total, where they manually squeezed out all my pores and pimples. My face was extremely red after each appointment and I was afraid it would scar. But miraculously it healed within a week after and I almost never get acne anymore. So you really gotta try your luck at which method works for you. For some people you just need to get past the age where you get acne!

  11. I struggled with acne in highschool and still have the scars 5 years later. In grade 12 I was desperate, esp for grad photos, and tried Proactive. The results weren't immediate and it took about 2-3 weeks before I really felt the results, but my face stayed clear pretty much ever since then. I still get a random pimple now and then but they heal quickly. Both my mom and I were shocked as the other products I tried did nothing similar. The product worked for me but I know it doesn't for everyone.

  12. I've always had acne and used an antibiotic/peroxide cream for years. Recently I went to a doctor and asked to try whatever was newest and he prescribed me something called Tactuo, which I swear to God has completely solved the problem. It has something called adapalene in it and it seems to help the more inflammatory aspect of the acne. It's expensive and the school plan doesn't cover it, but you should see a doctor and ask if this product is likely to help you. I regret all the years I struggled with OTC cleansers, washes, creams, what have you.

    Go see a doctor. Doesn't need to be a dermatologist right away but they will direct you to one if you ask.

  13. Gentle cleanser and moisturizer. If your skin is too dry due to product use, it might overproduce oils to compensate. Avoid harsh scrubs as they can irritate the acne further. Do NOT use baking soda on your face, it is way too alkaline for the skin. Finally, as most others said, try to find a doctor. Looking for a dermatologist myself.

    1. Good luck! Let me know how that goes :)

  14. I've had bad acne problems for the past few years and now it's finally starting to clear up. Here's some stuff I've learned:

    - Try not to touch your face unless necessary
    - DO NOT use baking soda on your face!
    - Try to find a cleanser with a PH that's close to the PH of your skin (5.5).
    - Use gentle cleansers, skip the ones targeted towards acne, I find that they're usually too harsh.
    - DO NOT use St. Ives apricot scrub (or any other harsh scrubs)! It's just awful for your skin, it's way too harsh with those jagged pieces of walnuts. You might not notice it immediately after use, but it's going to cause damage in the long run.
    - Get a good moisturiser. Often times your skin over produces oil because it's dehydrated.
    - Wash your pillowcase often

    I've switched to Korean and Japanese brands, since I find them to be more gentle and effective than western brands. Try Hada Labo (a Japanese brand) foam cleanser and moisturiser. You can usually find it in Asian supermarkets.

    An alternative for a gentle cleanser is Cetaphil.

    My own routine is like this:
    1. Wash with foaming cleanser
    2. Toner
    3. Paula's choice 2% BHA gel (it's a chemical exfoliant, I find it to be much more effective and gentle than physical exfoliants)
    4. Benton high content snail bee essence (an essence with snail mucin, good for healing skin and reducing redness)
    5. Hada labo gokujyun milk (moisturiser)

  15. I found that my acne cleared up completely (except for a few pimples here and there) when I stopped washing my face with soap. I only wash it with hot water and then cold water, and it seems to be back into self-regulation.

  16. I have had acne since high school.. I have found that benzagel 5 (consisting of benzol peroxide 5%) along with proactive the repairing treatment (number 3 of their set) worked the best for me. Better than using all the proactive products together for some reason.. Which is good because it's damn expensive. Using that proactive for about a year costs me around $100, and the benzagel probably $50. I also use Aveeno Daily Calm Moisturizer which is hella expensive but works really well on my skin and doesn't cause it to break out again. That's probably another $100/year..

    Anyhow I still have intervals of breakouts. It definitely is becoming less frequent though, which I assume is to do with age (I'm 24 now).

    Fuck acne. Fuck it right in its face.

  17. People are gonna hate on me for days for this comment really evaluate your diet. If you eat completely clean with tons of GREEN shit like kale, have proper gut flora, your acne will go away. I promise you. Look into how to heal your health (even if you think you are healthy, you might not be) and all the other symptoms of poor health including acne will disappear.

    1. X1000 this!

      Try removing grains (wheat in particular) and keeping carbs under 150g. Try to keep mostly meat, leafy green and colourful veg, and fruit diet for a month and see if there's improvement!

    2. Sure if you want to lose all your fucking gains. 450g a day of carbs whatup

  18. I use benzoyl peroxide (prescribed cream) for pimples and retin-A (also prescribed) for blackheads and scars. They have done wonderful things for my skin!

  19. Simply slcik on the face every day - $20 at recall - haven't had a pimple in years