How I Got Rid of Stubborn Acne for $5

Skin type: Dry/Combo (Dry patches, acne prone, otherwise normal)

Warning: Acne before and after pics ahead!

I never really had any issues with acne as a teenager. When I would get a pimple here or there, it disappeared itself in a day or two. But now that I’m in my twenties, it’s a whole other story.

I get really annoying pimples and blackheads all over the place. Last year I got one of the worst breakouts I’ve ever had on my right cheek and along my jawline. I couldn’t seem to wait it out, so I tried this:

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution ($5.30 CAD)

This salicylic acid treatment from The Ordinary is a steal and has helped clear my acne over the course of roughly 2.5 months without drying my skin. I have been using it as a spot treatment and am very satisfied with the results. For $5, I really can’t complain.

I incorporated it into my routine which you can read about here, but the core components it is pretty much composed of are:

  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Vitamin C serum in the AM: The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
  • The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane

Results so far

Excuse the lil hairs and of course, be warned…acne pics.

These pictures show the difference between ~1.5 months of use; however, do keep in mind I was using it more casually as a spot treatment in March as well, so some spots were already diminished or gone (I wasn’t really thinking of talking about it at the time, so no photos!). I was using it about every night for about 4-5 times a week. I have to lessen my use if my skin is particularly dry or I have eczema flare-ups, as it exacerbates these issues and actually causes me redness.

Although my acne looks relatively minor, it was stubborn as hell and would not go away for months before I started using the salicylic acid treatment.

How to use

After I’ve completed the whole routine and applied moisturizer, I wait for a few minutes and then apply the salicylic acid as a spot treatment.

I wouldn’t recommend this product and/or would be really cautious if you have

  • sensitive skin
    • it might do you more harm than good
  • serious and consistent acne issues i.e. cystic acne, pustules
  • dry skin
    • when my skin was in a really dry state, this made it worse (drier, red). Thus, I avoid using it or use it only a few times a week during really dry spells.

Keep in mind that salicylic acid usually takes quite a bit of time and consistent use to demonstrate results. I find that with older pimples and some more minor breakouts, the treatment tends to dry them out fast (within a few days), which leads to them gtfo-ing sooner.

What do you use to deal with breakouts? Tried this yet? Let me know if you have any suggestions or recommendations!

Thanks for reading ❤

My referral links: 10% off at Glossier | 15% off at Socialite Beauty

4 thoughts on “How I Got Rid of Stubborn Acne for $5

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