This €12 product helped me get rid of ALL my body acne in my thirties (really)
15th Apr 2021
Having tried every product under the sun to get rid of acne on her back, chest and shoulders, this writer was genuinely shocked when a gel costing less than €15 did the trick.
I read constantly about products that insist they will help rid you of acne and have spent a fortune on false promises. I’d almost given up. You name it, I’ve tried it: medication, prescription creams, expensive supplements, the pill (which I can’t stay on due to pelvic pain) and these all helped temporarily rid me of the worst spots, but not consistently. Once the hormones kicked in every month, that was it, back to square one again.
And I don’t mean my face. My facial acne I’ve kept largely under control with a refined skincare routine but body acne – almost everywhere bar the soles of my feet, which is the only place you can’t develop a spot – and body acne when you’re in your early thirties is something that few products are marketed at or made for. Body acne brings with it a particular amount of shame, and embarrassment. It’s wrongly confined in the minds of many to something that occurs in your awkward teen years, as something that magically disappears when you grow out of them. For the majority, this is not the case.
Body breakouts are mainly caused by the effect of hormones on the sebaceous glands – small oil-producing glands attached to hair follicles – and the highest concentration of these glands are, in fact, on the facial T-zone and the back. Also, bear in mind that even though acne is caused the same way, regardless of where it appears on the body, skin is much tougher on your back, so the pores are less flexible and might be more resilient treatments (particularly if you’re self-treating at home).
As a point of call, the basics always matter so showering often, right after every gym session and changing your bedsheets regularly is the start, but if you’re like me, you need something stronger, particularly if you suddenly get a flare. Or, as is often my case, the spots remain on the back, shoulders and chest no matter what you do.
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Enter CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser with Salicylic Acid (€12.50) and CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream with Salicylic Acid (€12.50 or €20 for a bigger tub). It was my sister who recommended it, after seeing it frequently recommended on a Caroline Hirons Facebook group. Having nothing to lose and expecting it not to work, I used the wash daily and the cream every second night for eight weeks solid (and counting). Both can be used on the face and body as often as needed.
The product actually contains two key acids when it comes to helping to clear the skin: Salicylic Acid helps to exfoliate the skin while Hyaluronic Acid helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture. It’s also free of physical exfoliants (which, if you have sensitive skin as I do, are simply too harsh to use), and it is fragrance-free and has three essential ceramides to help protect the skin’s natural barrier – so in short, while it’s there to help smooth the skin, it crucially doesn’t strip the skin completely which can actually cause more breakouts.
And I tell you what, reader, it has worked. My mother and sister have both said my skin has never, ever been as clear and I still can’t quite believe it.
Some important points to note:
A little goes a long way due to the acids in the product and you will break out more before the skin settles as all the oil will push out to the top layer of the skin – but it will clear so stick with it. The key is consistent use (daily if it’s bad, every second day as it clears) and if your skin starts to peel, that’s your sign to cut back – use the wash or the cream as opposed to both together.
I’ve stocked up and never been as happy with how my skin looks.
So if you’re like me and at your wit’s end when it comes to acne, this is a budget-friendly option that might just do the trick.
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