I've Dealt With Acne For Over A Decade And These Are The Products I Use To Keep My Skin Under Control

I’ve Dealt With Acne For Over A Decade And These Are The Products I Use To Keep My Skin Under Control

Hello, friends.

My name is Kendra and I have problem skin! Since I was around the age of 11 or 12, I’ve been getting breakouts. Since sharing my ~skincare journey~ one of the best things I’ve found is how normal it is for even those of us in our late twenties to feel insecure about something that feels so unbelievably high school.

Because it does! It feels like such a youth problem. It also is one of those things where you know it’s silly, you know it’s a very human, very relatable “issue”, but knowing that doesn’t stop the waves of insecurity from hitting you whenever your skin is being a dick.

“Oh man I’ve got a massive zit on my chin, how will anyone stand the sight of me!!!!”

Yep. That’s how I feel when I’m breaking out.

So this year, I decided to do something about it. After literal years of struggling with a seemingly never-ending battle between myself and my acne prone skin, I made a commitment to actually take care of it this year.

I documented (linked above) the first 4 to 6 weeks of REALLY tackling my skin, and I have found a daily routine that I actually really love. BUT there are some products that I’ve added into the mix to specifically target my acne related problems.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

A brief background about my skin: It is combination (oilier on my t-zone and chin, drier on my cheeks), my pores are magnets for anything (every esthetician I’ve ever gone to has commented on how much junk my pores hold), I wear makeup pretty much daily, I deal with dermatillomania (v v fun), and am very fair skinned so any mark clings itself to my face resulting in hyper-pigmentation and scarring.

So what do I use to fight acne? Let me tell you!!!

Clarisonic Mia FIT


Full disclosure, I got my Clarisonic while at a benefit for a school here in Seattle. It was part of a silent auction that I happened to win so I got it for about half of what it normally retails for.

Clarisonic brushes aren’t cheap – that’s a pretty well known fact. I got one for my best friend for his graduation present and when we lived together I used to steal it ALL the time because of how well my skin responded to it. Two and a half years later, I decided to take the plunge and get my own. My skin is pretty sensitive so I don’t use it every day, rather opt for every other morning and on occasions when my skin is feeling really congested. It leaves my skin feeling ridiculously clean. This is one of the few things outside of professional facials that I truly believe is actually cleaning my pores completely out. I love my Clarisonic. Love.

U.F.O. by Sunday Riley

Sunday Riley

When you have acne prone skin, the idea of putting MORE oil on your face is terrrrrifying. This face oil from Sunday Riley (one of my absolute favorite brands for skincare) though has salicylic acid in it to combat bacteria and fight acne. The oil is actually really gentle, and doesn’t leave your skin with that itchy feeling that retinol can leave behind. It’s a very soothing oil. I use about half the dropper full each night before bed, and since working this into my routine I’ve noticed my skin is not only clearer, but the zits that do pop up shrink way faster than they used to.

Tea Tree Water by Lush


Tea Tree Oil is one of the things that SO many people swear by for keeping their skin clear, and I’m no exception. When my skin is being particularly moody, I keep this on hand to spray all over in the mornings, before bed, and during the middle of the day for a freshen up moment. If/when my skin is calmer I don’t use this as much because I find it to be a little too drying and intense. But when my skin is giving me the metaphorical finger? This is a god-send.

Out of Trouble 10-Minute Mask by Origins


I’ve talked about this mask before, but I love it so much I’ll keep talking about it. Think of this as a gentler, more grown up version of the spot treatment from Proactiv. Before putting on my full (as Kim K would call it) ~*glam*~ for a night out, I like to do this to set myself up right. And when my face is freaking out right before I get my period? This helps keep it in check. This is a MUST have imo. There’s always a tube in my bathroom.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu

This stuff is a cult favorite for a reason. I’ve never used a drying lotion AS effective as this. Using a q-tip you just dip it all the way to the bottom, and the apply the pink mixture to whatever spot you want to knock out. This week for instance I had a MASSIVE, painful zit right behind my ear. I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t get it to pop, and it just suuuucked. But after just two nights with this stuff on it? It’s completely gone. I’m so bummed I haven’t tried to sooner, because it’s honestly amazing.

GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment


GlamGlow is pretty hyped and one of those “Instagram” products because of all the buzz around it. But truly, this mask really clears out your pores. Once it’s completely dried down you can see all the gunk it’s pulled from your skin which is equal parts disgusting and so, so satisfying. I compare it to a reverse pore strip. GlamGlow products are pricey, but especially with this one it’s also pretty intense and using it too often could actually result in your skin OVER producing oil, meaning more breakouts. So it’s not an EVERY night thing.

Martian Mattifying Melting Water by Sunday Riley

Sunday Riley

Martian is not gonna lie, one of the weirdest products I’ve ever used. It starts as a loose gel, and then turns into a liquid toner that basically INSTANTLY mattes your complexion and tightens your skin. And I love the way my skin looks after using it. It makes a really nice, smooth base for my makeup, and has drastically helped me from feeling oily throughout the day. A little goes a long way with Martian, and it’s definitely become a daily staple in my routine.

Water Intake


Water? For Health? Groundbreaking. (Said in a Meryl voice.) But honestly staying (at least attempting to) hydrated does WONDERS for my skin. I feel like it’s more glowy, not as congested, and just in general keeps up better. But I’m a terrible adult and will ALWAYS reach for a Diet Coke or Kombucha instead of water. Keeping sparkling water (shoutout to my main b La Croix) on hand, helps me stay hydrated. Keeping a 32 oz reusable bottle next to my bed at night, helps me stay hydrated. Figure out how to get yourself to drink more water. Your skin and the rest of your health will thank you.

Note: This post is in no way sponsored. Aside from products by Sunday Riley, which were graciously sent to me to try with no promise to write about them, everything in this post I purchased myself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


Keep up with Kendra on Instagram, Twitter and kendrasyrdal.com