How I Treated My Acne

I’m not a beauty blogger and I don’t think I will ever be so please do not expect before and after photos since I don’t really take photos of myself when I have serious skin problems. In fact, I detest looking at photos that clearly capture my flaws. Instead, know few products that I’ve used and some thoughts that came with it.

Just a backgrounder, I never had skin problems before— at least not until I stopped using birth control pills 2 years ago. The month after quitting, my hormones were raging (I know because I was feeling hot flushes- well I had it checked, see here.) and I started to break out. My skin was sooo bad that I couldn’t take a decent photo of myself. Prior to breaking out, I was using Olay Total Effects facial wash



I realized Olay Total Effects is for skin regeneration & maintenance, not for skin treatment such as when you have acne or blemishes.

I then tried several others:

Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Collection : Facial Wash, Lotion & Oil



It helped for a time but then my skin must have developed immunity against it, I needed to change.

On top of my regimen, I was always taking Vitamin E capsule and Stress tab but those too I felt were not helping. When we went to the States, my skin cleared up a bit (I was still using the Body Shop products) but I am giving the credits to its good weather which was the perfect Springtime. The problem with the Body shop products is that my skin got so dry because of the weather and it was flaky and stingy when I apply the lotion and oil. I had to use Cetaphil in replacement of all these.

Finally, on one of my escapades in Walgreens I saw Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash and I thought I should give it a try since that’s what I need, something oil-free and alcohol free. I then started using Alcohol-Free Toner from Neutrogena with the Oil-Free Acne Wash.





After a week of using it, my skin healed, cleared and on it’s road to recovery! I love this product!

The downfall is that, this specific Neutrogena facial wash isn’t available in the Philippines yet (Boo!). I tried Watson’s and Beauty sections of department stores…NOTHING.

I bought this for about $6 so P252.00 and it lasts 2 months per bottle ( I use it more than once everyday!)

Also, I stopped taking Vitamin E and Stresstabs altogether and I think that helped make my skin better again.

My advise is to continue trying out products that best suit your skin’s needs AND present condition. I learned that my skin reacts differently on the environment and weather too. Like when it’s cold (winter), moisturizer is a must or else you’ll look like you have a map in your face!

Like now that my skin has zero pimple (yay!) now, I alternate Cetaphil and Neutrogena oil-free acne wash but maintains the toner every time.  I also do facial mask once a week. I use the ones from Etude & The Face Shop.

So there, I hope this post has helped you in some ways 🙂


  1. Mia says:

    I went through the same situation when I stopped taking birth control pills. Early this year, my skin started to break out and been having acne not just in the face but sometimes on my neck and chest as well. Been trying different products from kojic soaps to St. Ives green tea and even Ponds. Right now I'm using Royale Gluta anti aging soap. It's a bit expensive considering it's a small soap (costs 210 per bar) but I was quite desperate already. So far it's my 4th day of using the soap and my skin is starting to clear up. You're right, I guess it's a matter of trying all possible products that will actually work. Thanks for posting this blog. Maybe I can also try out Neutrogena in the future.

    • Renz Alcantara says:

      Hi Mia,

      So glad that you found a regimen that works for you. What’s your skin type? Mine’s oily! So I have to be careful not to use alcohol based or oil based products. Salicylic acid components work best for me.

    • Renz says:

      Hi Rosebud,

      Yep for me it did PLUS Vitamin E. See, my skin type is oily and Vit. E definitely made it oilier which attracted and absorbed more bacteria causing break outs.

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