I have always struggled with acne-prone skin since my pre-teen years. Growing up, I didn’t really care much about washing my face regularly, since I’ve become an adult, I have realized the importance of having a skincare regimen!

When it comes to the products I use, I have switched it up many times since I was about 20 years old. You name it and I have probably tried it. I’ve tried ProActive, which burned my skin; LUSH natural products, which made my skin oily and did not help clearing anything up; Murad products, which were expensive; and Herbalife Skin which we are pretty sure was the reason I ended up with periorial dermatitis.

After getting treatment for the dermatitis, I finally asked my dermatologist what he thought I should do for my skin. I was tired of spending a ton of money on Murad and I was also tired of having a complex skincare routine.

He responded by telling me to use the KISS method. KISS stands for keep it simple, stupid. After listening to his recommendations and doing my own research, I have been able to figure out my own skincare routine using products that won’t break the bank.

Cleanser: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

This was one of the two products that my dermatologist recommended by name. Due to my sensitive skin, I need something that is gentle but also specifically for acne.

I really like this cleanser so far! It has not dried out my skin and it makes my face feel super clean! I use this cleanser every night.

This cleanser is at WalMart.

Cleanser: Differin Cleanser

I use this every morning instead of the Neutrogena cleanser. This is a benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, which does something totally different than salicylic acid so it is beneficial to use both cleansers. With benzoyl peroxide, I have to moisturize more often because it dries out my skin.

This cleanser is also at WalMart.

Differin Gel

This gel is the one that once was only available by prescription and now it is not. It is a retinoid that you use like a spot treatment and it has worked better for me than past spot treatments I used! Per the directions, I use it once per day and sometimes I go a couple of days without using it.

The Differin Gel is also WalMart!

Moisturizer: CLINIQUE Dramatically Different Lotion

I use this moisturizer both day and night. I switched to this one after I was told that the oil control moisturizer I had been using was doing more bad than good to my skin. I once thought that moisturizer made my skin oily, but in reality it was because I was trying to restrict the oil on my skin. Ever since switching my moisturizer to one that didn’t specifically say “oil control” on it, I have had perfectly balanced skin.

I get my moisturizer from Sephora or the BX on base (ahem, military spouses). I know it can also be found at Ulta and other “high-end” beauty stores, but I have found the price to be very reasonable, especially for how long it lasts!

Moisture Boost: CLINIQUE Moisture Surge Face Spray

Full disclosure: this is the sample size. I was able to get a sample using my Sephora points. This moisture surge spray has been a life saver during the winter season and as my skin has been getting adjusted to using benzoyl peroxide in addition to the salicylic acid. Whenever I feel like my skin is a bit drier than usual, I just spray a few pumps of this onto my face and rub in it. It is refreshing!

This can also be found at Sephora and Ulta.

Makeup Remover: CLINIQUE Eye Makeup Solvent

Truthfully, I just got this on a whim. I was previously using makeup remover wipes but they were starting to irritate my eyes – and I don’t even wear makeup that much!

I found this at Sephora and decided to give it a go, especially when I read that it leaves no oily residue. It was tough for me to figure out at first since it is a little different. You have to completely saturate the cotton ball and then kind of press it against your eye, sweeping the makeup off after a few seconds. Don’t go all crazy with rubbing the cotton ball everywhere. Then I take a dry cotton round to wipe off the excess and carry on with my normal skincare routine!

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