Let’s be real, acne is the DEVIL! It appears out of nowhere and at the most inopportune times. For instance, I was flying out of town to visit a boyfriend, and of course I get on the plane slaying anything with a pulse; new fit, hair done, nails did, and clear skin. Everything was love until I got off the plane 5 hrs later to discover a boulder smack in the middle of my eyebrows. Naturally, I panicked, causing stress to my body, which resulted in even more breakouts. My confidence immediately went into sleep mode. At the time I wasn’t an esthetician so I was clueless on what to do, especially since that was my first bout with acne {insert eye roll and large sigh here}.

From my personal experience, battling acne took patience, discipline (not to pick & pop), trial and error, and persistence.  It also took acceptance. Having acne prone skin- breakouts are inevitable (especially when your hormones are out of whack). However, the goal is to find the right products to prevent them from happening as frequently and to be able to fight it on sight when it decides to show up, because it will … like an annoying neighbor that thinks you’re friends, but you’re not.

The trick to choosing the right products comes down to understanding the key ingredients, what they do and how they work. Below are the top six ingredients to look for:

1. benzoyl peroxide (bpo)

How it works: It penetrates the pore, flooding the follicle with oxygen and killing bacteria below the skin’s surface. It helps to remove excess oil from the skin and removes dead skin cells, which can clog pores. It is effective against all kinds of acne lesions, blackheads, and whiteheads. It is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria on sight, rather than simply slowing down their growth.

Possible side effects: Dry skin, scaling, redness, and irritation, which are normal unless the side effects persist. If your skin is sensitive, you might want to tread LIGHTLY with this ingredient, especially if the dosage is high.

2. bentonite clay

How it works:Bentonite clay has a 'static cling'  - which means it has the ability to draw out certain impurities, due to its electrical charge. When mixed with water or apple cider vinegar, bentonite rids your face of excess oils. Makes for a great detoxifier both internally and externally.


3. niacinamide

How it works: This ingredient aids in the reduction of breakouts by easing inflammation and preventing water loss. Most acne products contain drying ingredients to heal breakouts. Unfortunately, this can worsen the acne and cause excess oil production. By including niacinamide in your products/routine, the moisture content of the skin will be normalized, which helps prevent further breakouts by reducing excess oil production. Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hydrating benefits promote a more even skin tone.

4. salicylic acid (sa)

How it works: Is a naturally exfoliating ingredient and its considered lipophilic or oil loving. Salicylic acid works by correcting the abnormal shedding of skin cells, helping the skin to shed dead cells more effectively. SA works by dissolving oil, dead skin cells and debris from inside the pore while exfoliating dead surface skin cells. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, which adds to its anti-acne benefits.

Inflammation is one of the four main contributing factors to acne breakouts; therefore, adding in anti-inflammatory ingredients can decrease the occurrence of breakouts. SA can be found in cleansers, lotions, and treatment pads. The usual strength is .5 to 2%.


5. sulfur

How it works: Absorbs excess oil while its anti-bacterial properties deep clean to remove dirt trapped beneath the pores. Sulfur has a bit of grittiness to it that generates a peeling effect, and also tends to calm redness. Sulfur is found in a wide array of skin care products, including soaps and cleansers, lotions, masks, and spot treatments.

Sulfur is a great option for sensitive skin types.

6. tea tree oil

How it worksThis natural antiseptic disinfects pores, drying out whiteheads, blackheads, cystic acne, and prevents further outbreaks. It deeply penetrates the skin to unblock the oil glands. It also balances skin by controlling oil production. Makes for an excellent alternative to harsh synthetic chemicals.

if you want more and or have questions you can hit me at or find me on instagram on @aboutfac3.

Until next time,

-the glow whisperer