How I Handle Breakouts

October 30, 2018

Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy I Favorite NYC Coffee Shops

I had problem skin for years and years. I would get awful pimples across my chin, on my nose and on my forehead. It wasn’t until I found a dermatologist in New York who finally found topical Rxs that healed my acne after several months (and then years) of commitment using them that my skin cleared up. In the last few years I was getting breakouts so, so rarely (File under: small blessings) but recently, thanks to a change in birth control, I’ve had hormonal breakouts creep uping and man, do they make themselves known. It actually started right before my brother’s wedding in August and ever since then I’ve been forced to wage war so I thought I’d share today what I do to handle breakouts.

How to handle breakouts I wit & whimsyI tend to suffer from pimples that start deep and take a while to come to the surface. These are often harder to treat but I start by doing the following when I feel them coming on:

  • Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner. I’ve used this toner off and on as needed for a few years but never regularly like I have the past month. Like the serum, this toner also harnesses 100 percent natural salicylic acid to control oil and diminish the appearance of future blackheads and breakouts. I love the refreshing feel of this toner and the soothing smell and properties (it has grape water and rosewater so it even works for sensitive skin.) Skin feels super clean after but not dry. I love this for maskne because it helps to un-trap the oil caught in pores while wearing  mask. My skin is calm and soothed and better prepared to fight maskne with this toner.
  • Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Serum. This serum features the beloved acne fighting ingredient salicylic acid. This gel serum is super light and goes to work to purify pores, fight blemishes and the formula purges excess oil and blackheads. This was a new-to-me product by Caudalie and therefore I knew I could attribute the diminishing of breakouts to it.
  • I use the Mario Badescu Drying Mask stat.  It soaks up extra oil and works to dry pimples. (This mask is also great on your chest/back if you suffer from breakouts there from time to time, too!)
  • I believe in the right exfoliators helping to banish breakouts and the one I always reach for when my chin erupts is Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate. It really helps to clear my skin up and it gets rid of dead skin cells hanging out on my top layer so that the other products I put on can actually get to work.
  • At night I’ll apply some Mario Badescu Silver Powder to try and unclog the stubborn pimples and bring them to the surface. You leave it on for 10 minutes but frankly I’ve left it on overnight before when things are dire!
  • If a pimple is inflamed or starting to scab, I reach for a combo of this Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder (which also can be used during daytime to help conceal really red pimples) and good ol’ Bacitracin. I leave the combo on overnight and have found it really goes to work to speed up the healing process after I’ve angered a zit.
  • In the morning I will use this Darphin serum to combat redness and then wear my favorite light moisturizer from Olay.

And when it comes to camouflaging the breakouts…

And a few other moves that are helpful…

  • A good rule of thumb is to avoid over exfoliating your skin when you have breakouts (I steer clear of all acid exfoliants during breakouts and only ever use Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate as previously mentioned) and be super gentle. Don’t add in new products your skin isn’t used to at this time and keep your skin hydrated. It’s a myth that you need a pimple to really “dry out” to heal. I rely heavily on face oils during breakouts to ensure my skin isn’t getting dry or patchy while I work to combat the invaders.
  • Finally I also was recently sent BareMinerals new launches for battling breakouts and thought this bacteria-repelling charcoal brush was so smart. It would be perfect to sub in for applying powder foundation when your skin is breaking out. I recommend using it with this powder foundation that has salicylic acid that’ll fight your acne while you are out in public.
. . .

There you have it! Do you guys have any tried and true ways for battling breakouts or any favorite products? I’d love to hear about them!

p.s. my favorite face masks and my favorite products for sensitive skin.

comments +

  1. MarciaMarciaMarcia says:

    Thanks for sharing all of these products Meghan! I tried the Mario Badescu healing powder earlier this year after reading so many recommendations, and now I swear by it. It really is as good as everyone says. I also second using a good quality tea tree oil. It has the added benefits of being anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving! My skin is dry and sensitive, so I have to be really careful about what I use to treat breakouts … thankfully, I don’t have many, butI am currently using some of these same solutions on my raging case of poison ivy. 🙁

  2. Carolyn says:

    This post was SO timely – I’m going to a wedding this weekend and my face decided to completely freak out. I tried out some tea tree oil and a Mario Badesco mask and it really calmed things down. Thanks for the sharing your recs, Meghan!

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