Lately, I've been getting pimples more often. It's quite confusing and disturbing how my skin's getting oilier now that I'm in my mid-twenties. Pimples and blackheads weren't my problem back in my adolescent days. Now they're popping every so often, I've began to change my entire skincare routine to combat them!

I've been having this problem for about two months now and I turned to my dermatologist brother for help. Unlike most dermatologists, he's a minimalist -- he won't prescribe dozens of medication after consultation. For my problem, he prescribed just one potent product, Avene Diacneal.

Avene Diacneal

This emulsion contains 0.1% retinaldehyde (retinol) which is both antibacterial and improves the texture of your skin (the outer layer of acne-prone skin promotes the growth of acne bacteria). This also contains a healthy dose of 6% glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and take care of acne scars. I didn't think twice of switching my night cream to this because aside of being effective on fighting acne, the combination is also meant for anti-ageing due to the combination of retinol and glycolic acid. These two powerful ingredients combat fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, loss of skin firmness and photodamage, leaving your complexion with a radiant glow. 

After a week of using this every night, I noticed my skin was gradually clearing up and there's almost no sign of blackheads or clogged pores. But also, my skin started to get dry, tight and sensitive. I can hardly put any makeup on as my skin was flaking and any product applied stings my face. My brother said it's because my skin wasn't used to the medication and I should probably use it once every two nights and gradually build up to every other night before using it nightly. I did this adjustment and I didn't flake anymore while still maintaining clear skin. It also helped that I use a moisturizing sunscreen in the morning to help alleviate any dryness that this product might cause.   After two months of use, the number of spots and scars is reduced and my face is visibly smoother than ever. My skin tone also improved, getting more even each day. I hardly get any pimples and blackheads now and if I do, they disappear in less than five days while using this product.  
It’s a pretty potent formula so I would recommend you use this every couple of days as a night treatment. While on Diacnéal, I also skip exfoliation, scrubs and deep-cleansing masks. I'd highly recommend this to anyone, who like me, have acne prone skin and isn't as young anymore to ignore skin aging. This is for you if you want to fight blemishes and have an anti-ageing treatment in one.

I just learned recently that it's already been replaced by Triacneal, an improved formula of the old Diacneal.

Now, to further help my skin be acne-free, I got myself some products made for oily skin.

Avene Diacneal is available at Dermhealth Clinic, located at the 2nd floor of Jupiter Place Bldg, Jupiter St., Bel-Air Makati. You can make an appointment by calling 895-3283 or contacting Dr. Dave Co at 09175260077.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

I discovered this facial cleanser in 2009 when it first won it's Allure's best of beauty awards. I
deal for oily skin, it typically banishes zits in two or three days, and makes pores appear smaller by thoroughly dissolving sebum and gunk. I used to just use this during PMS days when my hormonal breakouts are at its worst. But now I use this twice a day as I seem to be breaking out regularly. The 2 % salicylic acid is of course, the active ingredient in the formula but it also contains vitamin C that helps clear and lighten old acne scars. I love the uplifting scent of grapefruit. If you want to eliminates oil and dirt without over-drying, this is your best bet. I have my cousin in the US get this for me at $6 to $8 for a 175ml pump bottle. When I run out of supply, there's always Duty Free Philippines.
Pond's Acne Expert Toner

Toning is the only skincare step I usually skip. But now that I'm desperate for anything that would clear my skin, I'm giving toners another try. Basically, toners prepare the skin to receive nourishment from your moisturizer and makes the skin absorb ingredients more.  

I gave this a try not only because it promises to combat acne but also because this has a pore conditioning ability to help make my pores even less visible. On my first application, I immediately noticed that it made my skin feel clean and fresh. Something that I want especially after a stressful day. The best thing about this is that, this really finishes out the dirt on my face that my facial foam was not able to clean out. Even though it made my pores quite finer and controls oil production, it doesn't heal acne. Most toners don't really do much but help skincare be absorbed better and remove any dirt that your cleanser wasn't able to pull out. This toner didn't really do much for me, but the fact that it further cleans my face makes me feel safe enough for me to apply this before any skincare product. It costs for about P100 and is available in all leading supermarkets and department stores nationwide.

Almost clear skin after just 3 weeks on the new regimen
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