I have been there, I have tried that. I struggled with occasional breakouts and sometimes more since I was in high school, even dealt with adult acne. But you know what is worse than that break out? The marks they leave behind. You know exactly what I’m talking about, dark spots that never seem to go away. White folks get a pimple, when the blemishes are gone, they are not constantly reminded of that painful zit for years to come.

To be clear (pun not intended), I will not push you to try this and that product, simply highlight what worked for me and some tips for finding the right product for you!

1. Microneedling 
You ever heard of the vampire facial? Well that is what is called a PRP, something about using your own “plasma” to heal your skin after a million needle pricks bruising your face. Sounds like a lot of hullabaloo, but I happened to come across this after getting a facial and went for it. The process itself was not too painful, but I was bruised (as expected) all over my face (recovery took a couple days) then I started to peel. A new layer of skin revealed itself, continuing to improve weeks after the treatment. I had 3 treatments and it has changed my life. It got rid of ALL of my dark spots! ALL OF THEM! I cannot emphasize this enough, it has worked wonders for me. Keep in mind, this is a treatment for once your acne is no longer active but you still have all those dark spots and hyper pigmentation/scars. This is not always an accessible option as it’s a bit pricey but I got a good “first timer package” deal. Also, I have heard of friends that got their insurance to cover the cost for their treatment!

2. Curology
Years and years of using anti-acne products and washes, so much money thrown at the problem and yet I still suffered with blemishes. Then I got an ad for a free trial for Curology. I was desperate and figured I had nothing to lose. All it took was some photos and detailed questionnaire responses (including birth control questions!) and I quickly received a personalized formula for my skin! My formula includes Azelaic Acid (which fights dark spots and is antibacterial/antifungal with pore-unclogging properties), Clindamycin (antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, fights acne-causing bacteria) and Niacinamide (an antioxidant, reduces inflammation and hyperpigmentation). So, all this fancy jargon, but to answer your looming question, I have not had a breakout since then! I started using this before my first micro-needle treatment to clear up my skin.

3. Keep routine simple
Now Curology provides lots of resources and scientific explanations for why certain products work and others do not (including their recommended products). However, the main thing I learned was to simplify my routine. I was using too many harsh products. With their recommendations, I have found Cerave products to work wonders for me. I use Cerave face wash, Cerave AM moisturizer w SPF, and Cerave Micellar water make up remover. All these products are hyaluronic acid-based, an excellent hydrator for your skin!

4. CosDNA
As I mentioned these are just products that worked for me! BUT, it could be you are using products that are actually hurting you. CosDNA is the most amazing tool out there to see if you can pinpoint the problem. You just input the name of the product (makeup, facewash, etc) or the ingredients found in the product and you get a detailed readout of how harmful the ingredients are from a scale of 0-5. You essentially just want products with a numerical value of 2 or below for each ingredient. You want to avoid 3, 4, & 5 in the “Acne” and “Irritant” column as this indicates ingredients that may be clogging your pores. The more you know! I actually use this for more than skincare products such as laundry detergents as well.

5. Don’t lose hope
I lost a lot of it. I focused on staying hydrated, avoiding dairy (lactose intolerance), exercising, meditating, birth control, all of it! I was tired of hearing from white girls how it is simple so long as you stay hydrated, as if they could even understand the concept of “hyperpigmentation”.  For me, micro-needling helped fix all the years of damage and dark spots, but a combination of a simplified routine and the right non-irritating products has kept my skin blemish free. I hope that I have shed light on how a morenita got through it and I hope I have provided the tools for you to find what works for YOU.

Like This? Tell Us If You Found Something That Has Worked For Your Skin Type.


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brown troubled skin

Jessica Galvez
I didn’t come here to make friends | Published & bringing back the funk | Linguist sometimes (MA) Vaquera Galáctica, Sor Juana disciple
muxerista en Los Ángeles and on IG