i SPEND on SKIN: my battle with acne & hyperpigmentation

when it comes to clothing i do love a great fashion STEELE and try to limit my investment pieces (expensive stuff) to a minimum but i like, every other woman on the planet, will SPEND on SKIN.
my blog is mostly about Fashion but i get tons of emails about my skin routine. lets not kid ourselves i have FAR from PERFECT skin. it is still something i struggle with on a daily basis. but i have compiled products over the years that have really helped with my adult acne, blemishes and hyperprigmentation and just the overall quality of my skin.
i did a post about this last year HERE that you can check out.
to control my acne i use a combination of DDF and Murad treatments that utilize Benzoyl and Sulfur instead of Salicylic Acid. I’ve come to realize that Salicylic Acid acne treatments just make my face worse. Thus my change to Benzoyl and sulfur based products. These products dry the hell out of a pimple. But it will also dry the skin around it thus moisturizing afterward is key.Lately, I have been doing research on Ole Henriksen products since there are geared more towards establishing a healthy complexion. After Cleansing my skin and my pores are open I place a dab of either DDF Benzoyl Perozide Gel or Murad Acne Spot Treatment right on a pimple and i go to sleep. I wash it off in the morning. I’ve tried this on cystic, nodule like as well as small white heads and its worked for all to decrease the size of the pimple and redness. I also use Women’s One a Day with Healthy Skin Support daily and take Ortho Tri Cyclen.
i use a combination of masks as well to keep my blemishes and acne under control. DDF Sulfur masks has really been a life saver. When I have a problem area (a group of pimples in one place) i will put a small amount of the mask on that area and leave for 15 minutes and then wash it off. If I do this 3-4 days in a row it significantly helps to dry up those pimples and return that break out area to almost normal. I’ve also have large pores on my cheeks and to help minimize those as well as brighten my overall complexion I use Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. Check out photos of me using the mask HERE.
to remove my makeup i use OLAY Cleansing Clothes. I love that they have no smell and no added perfumes that can irritate my already very sensitive skin. After cleaning my skin I usually exfoliate with either Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Scrub (very gentle on skin) or
Arcona Cranberry Gommage (which has won the Allure Editors Choice several times). The Arcona is by far the best for exfoliating, it is fresh and really gets my pores open and ready for the Acne Treatments. I usually use Aveeno is the morning and Arcona at night before my acne treatments.
Hyperpigmentation Control
as a woman of color i struggle with the dark marks a pimple can leave behind. it can really scar sometimes and then i try to mask it with concealer which usually works but when the make up comes off its still there. so to battle those dark marks I use a combination of two products: Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum and Korres Wild Rose 24-hour moisturizing & brightening cream. They both work like a charm. *Note do NOT use these two products at the same time, it will brighten then hell out of a spot. Also dont put it on just the hyperpigmented area, cover the entire face! (i once only put the treatment where the dark marks were and it also lightened the skin around it…thus put over the entire face and let the marks gradually decrease). I only use the Murad 2-3x a week, i put on a thin film on my face and go to sleep (these are nights when i use no acne treatments). The Korres I usually use 1-2x a week during the day when I cleanse my face and just put some of this on while around the house.
if you are using any acne medications or hyperpigmentation treatments it is essential for those reasons alone to use SPF. if not to prevent sun damage! even those with darker skin need to use SPF. I love Aveeno because my skin is very sensitive and sometimes dry from acne treatments.Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturizer lotion is fragrance free, evens tone and has SPF 30 (UVA/UVB). Its light and non greasy and can be used under makeup.
i discovered this serum in a gift bag back in February during fashion week and have been addicted ever since. this serum has really helped to change my skin from dull and rough to smooth and plump and vibrant. the AMBE line was developed by a plastic surgeon in California. It is the best toner/serum ive ever used and ive used them all. within a week i noticed a difference in the way my skin looked and felt. too bad it isn’t sold in stores…its that exclusive. I usually use it 1-2x daily. In the a.m. after i wash off my acne treatment, before i moisturize or after I exfoliate at night and i dont plan on using any acne or hyperpigmentation treatment. GET IT HERE. its also great during those cold winter months!
Let your face rest. Some nights its better to just let your face breath without all the acne or hyperpigmentation treatments. it gives your face time to heal. this is the best time to use a serum such as AMBE Vitamin Veil to help nourish the skin.Note these are products that have worked for me and may not work for you. Please consult your primary care physician before beginning any oral medications.
check out my previous post about my skincare regime here and my workout routine here.

what i want to know is…what are your skincare secret weapons?



  1. October 29, 2012 / 6:07 pm

    I find that when I do less, my skin does better. I use raw African Black Soap to cleanse and it helps to clear up breakouts and heal scarring fairly quickly. I use Grapeseed oil to moisturize and to remove my eye makeup and any heavily stained lipsticks. And occasionally I do a Bentonite Clay mask with ACV. That’s it.

  2. October 29, 2012 / 8:50 pm

    I bounce from products to products sometime but as of now I’m using a face wash and moisturizer from Trader Joes. It’s pretty good.


  3. October 29, 2012 / 11:10 pm

    Skin care is so tricky. Especially for adults. Finding a routine that works can often take month, even years, for many women. I tend to switch up my routine based on the weather, but I am a stickler for thorough cleansing, regular exfoliating (3 times per week), and moisturizing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. October 29, 2012 / 11:11 pm

    I use a combination of products from Proactiv and Origins to keep my adult acne in check. Those cystic breakouts are the worst!

  5. October 30, 2012 / 5:16 pm

    great review! totally need to try something from these products!
    i like your blog so much 🙂

    kisses from Russia,

  6. November 1, 2012 / 5:05 pm

    This is super helpful! I also realize my skin needs just the right balance…finding it is always the challenge. Following you via Bloglovin’ now!


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