Hey guys! A few days ago I played a little "This or That" on my Instagram stories to get your feedback on what posts you'd prefer to see from me from different categories. Don't worry, for those who voted for the "losers," I AM going to make posts about them, too, but I wanted to see what the majority of you preferred to see first!

The first is my current skincare favorites. I think I need to explain my skin a little to all of you in order for you to understand why I use them and why they work for me: My skin is combination skin. I have a super oily face, but it's also SUPER dry at the same time most of the time. I had CLEAR (and I mean I look back and want to slap my early teen self for not appreciating my skin more) skin up until I was about 17. The rest of my siblings (for the majority of them) usually got acne in their early teens and it cleared up by the time they were 17-18, but for me that's when mine started to flare up. I stress out pretty much 24/7. I'm definitely a worry-wart and it causes my skin to break out so much! Perhaps I'll take up meditation or yoga or something to try to fix that issue. I'm blessed in that my periods (tmi) aren't bad at all, and that includes my acne during them. I don't really flare up too bad--if at all--on my period, so it's mainly when I'm stressed--which again, is pretty much ALL THE TIME.

Finally, about a year ago I was fed up and went to a dermatologist. Not only did I have acne, but I had hyperpigmentation and acne scars from my struggles with it. Luckily, I never had cystic acne, but it still wasn't the "best" kind of acne. My dermatologist is the coolest guy and I saw FAST results with both my acne, and the scarring and hyperpigmentation clearing up. However, after only about 3 months of visiting with my derm, I moved back to school. I didn't find a new one and I just kept using the products my derm had prescribed me. My skin was still pretty good up until this last summer, and it just started flaring up again. My derm did say that if I stopped using the products then my skin would flare up again, and I realized that I had become lazier with my skincare since I thought my skin would be fine. WRONG. I've been using the prescribed products along with some others I've bought myself that have once again helped save my skin. HOWEVER, it doesn't mean i'm exempt from acne. To be honest, I am seriously considering Accutane (or an off-brand of it) to get rid of my acne completely and help with the over-active oil glands situation. Kurtis used Accutane and it cleared his skin so beautifully. Also, for those that may comment on my consideration of it--I have seriously done research and consulted with others who have used it and talked with doctors and for me, it seems like the best thing to use to just rid this acne thing forever.

Recently though, my skin has been getting SO CLEAR on just the products I'm using alone! However, like my derm said, it isn't going to be something that gets rid of my acne for good.

Anyway, now that super long explanation is over, here are my skincare favorites and a breakdown on why I L O V E them! I've numbered them for you to make it easier. So just find the number for the pictured item you want to read about below and see what I have to say!

1. Alba Botanica Acnedote Face and Body Scrub. I was sent this product to try and I LOVE it! It has salicylic acid 2% in it and it works SO GREAT at scrubbing my face and softly exfoliating it (I'm not big on exfoliation, and my derm recommends NOT exfoliating, but something like this is okay). It also helps fight my acne so I love it for that, too! I use this in the morning because usually I sleep with my favorite zit cream (#5) and it helps scrub it off. Plus, I just like feeling uber fresh-faced in the morning! I use this about 3-4 mornings in the week and the other days I use product #3!

2. Adapalene Gel 0.1%. This is PRESCRIBED! I use this in the morning after I wash my face. I just dot it around my face and rub it in! So simple! Like I said, this is prescribed, but I've linked one called Differin that is actually that same thing that is now over-the-counter! I haven't tried this one since I still have mine from my derm, but if I run out maybe I'll try it out! It literally is the same dosage of adapalene, just approved to be over-the-counter! Adapalene works hard at drying out your acne (and your face if you don't moisturize!) and also actually helps clear up scars and hyperpigmentation! I seriously love this stuff!

3. Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash. This was what my dermatologist said to use to cleanse my face. I use this to wash my face in the morning when I don't use product #1 and also use it every night before using product #7. The reason my dermatologist told me to use this is because it does an amazing job at helping control your oil (and hello, oil causes acne) and it has no medication in it, which is the kind of face wash you're supposed to use when you use Adapalene or a Sulfa Cleanse Wash (#7). I find that even though this has pretty much no medicated acne fighter, it does a great job at controlling my oil and always helps me feel like my face is clean!

4. Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion. This is the moisturizer my dermatologist said to use. I've been to a few dermatologists, and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. has told me to use Cetaphil. It's just one of those brands that is gentle and is the perfect kind of product to not disturb your skin and yet still do the job that you and your derm want it to. I love this moisturizer because it really locks in moisture and doesn't make my face feel dry and keeps it from flaking! I use this after washing my face morning and night.

5. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. This product is one of my holy grail products. You just put it on a Q-tip and dot it on any pimples you have and it DRIES THEM OUT. It's basically a zit cream. But seriously, this has never failed me. I put this on at night over any pimples I have and by the next morning either the zit is gone or significantly smaller (it may take a couple nights for zits that are HUGE). This is a product that I've recommended to so many people! I LOVE it!

6. Personal Microdermabrasion (PMD). This is an at-home personal microdermabrasion thing that you can use to help clear any scarring and hyperpigmentation you have. Like the directions say, I only use this once a week because it basically intensely exfoliates your skin and micro-needles your scars. It also gets rid of any dead skin or anything weird you have on your face. DO NOT use it on any active pimples, though. Just swerve around them. It takes a few weeks for you to start noticing a difference, but after a little while it seriously works! My scarring has diminished so incredibly that I honestly don't know what I would do without this thing! Kurtis and I share ours (we have multiple discs for it and wash and disinfect it after each use). We love the difference we've noticed in our skin and especially with our scarring! It also makes your skin feel so fresh and smooth like buttah!

7. Sulfa Cleanse Wash. THIS IS PRESCRIBED! Basically, it dries out your skin (like pretty much anything that's supposed to get rid of acne) and it's just a wash I use once a day at night when I shower after using product #3. That's the directions my dermatologist gave me. It especially works when you have steam which is why you should use it when you shower. I shower at night which is why I use it then, but basically if you shower in the morning use it then. I love this product because it has become one of those things where it continuously works to clear my skin and when I don't use it, I can definitely tell a difference in my skin. If you have a dermatologist or want to look into using this, talk to them about this product!

8. WATER. WATER. WATER. I have a 32oz reusable water bottle that I fill up and drink completely 4 times a day. Not only is it important to take care and hydrate your outside when you're clearing up acne and especially when you're using products that dry out your skin, but it is SO IMPORTANT to hydrate your insides and clear out any gunk you have inside you. Obviously, water does that. I've noticed that since I've started diligently drinking my 32oz water bottle multiple times a day that my skin has significantly cleared up. I didn't realize just how deprived of hydration I was making myself and also didn't realize just how important it is to having clear and beautiful skin until only recently. This is my NUMBER ONE thing I suggest people start doing PRONTO to clear up your skin! Water is my fave.

There you have it! My current skincare favorites! Every single one of these items are "holy grail" items for me. If you try any out let me know how they work for you! I want to hear!

Thanks for reading and hope that this helps anyone who's wanting to improve their skincare routine!

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