Whether it's the occasional spot or a full-on breakout, acne happens to the best of us. Even beauty YouTubers — i.e. the people who get paid to be professionally perfect.
No matter who you are, the pimple struggle is real. Here, 11 vloggers reveal how they won the fight against pimples... for good.
But remember: Acne can be a serious medical condition. Talk to a dermatologist before you start ANY pimple-busting routine. Trust me.
Manny MUA: LUXURIOUS tea tree oil.
Manny has sensitive skin that tends to break out, but found the cure for his acne woes lay in getting ~very luxurious~
Manny has a VERY elaborate, multi-step skincare routine, but there are two products in particular that he credits with keeping his skin pimple-free: Lush's tea tree water, and Sunday Riley's UFO oil. Both have tea tree oil, which Manny says "really keeps that acne at bay."
Tati Westbrook: Accutane.
"I used to have the crappiest skin in the world," Tati said, explaining that her cystic acne wasn't responding to ANY treatment. She was spending a lot of time, and a lot of money, trying to fix her skin... which was when her doctor put her on Accutane as "a last resort."
Accutane is a really hardcore medication, and Tati herself says "it really wasn't fun. You have to be closely monitored by your doctor, you need to have bloodwork. It's not an easy fix at all."
Chloe Morello: Antibiotics.
"I had acne for about a year," said Chloe. "I started my YouTube channel because I was too depressed to leave the house."
Chloe had hormonal acne, which can't be fixed with a face wash. She saw a doctor, who prescribed two types of antibiotics: tablets that she took by mouth, and a gel that she applied to her skin. "Within a week," she says. "Acne GONE."
Kayla Mochi: No more dairy.
"I had cystic acne, I had whiteheads, I had forehead bumps, I had blackheads," said Kayla. She says that after trying everything at the dermatologist, everything at Sephora, AND everything at the drugstore before stumbling onto a something that changed her skin: she stopped eating dairy.
Kayla says that after stopping eating dairy products, within a week, her skin stopped breaking out. Check with your doctor before trying this, of course.
Kathleen Lights: Epiduo Forte and antibacterial wipes.
After years of having really good skin, Kathleen says that she broke out all over her forehead and chest. "It got to the point where I looked better without makeup, because under foundation, my acne looked like lots and lots of little fungus balls," she said.
Kathleen went to a dermatologist, who prescribed her two topical treatments: Epiduo Forte and some antibacterial wipes. She found that the Epiduo Forte was something she had a "love/hate relationship" with, but the clindamycin wipes really helped.
Titan Tyra: better habits.
"I had acne when I was about 15. It was a dark time for me," said Titan. "I felt ugly, I wouldn't go to parties."
So she got serious about her skincare routine — no sleeping in makeup, no skipping face washes — and it worked. She washed her face twice a day with Avene Clearing Facial Wash, followed up with a botanical toner from Be The Skin (a K-beauty brand), then moisturized with Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. She stopped touching her face throughout the day, and made sure to change her pillow case every other week.
Ingrid Nilsen: Being gentle (and consistent).
"I used to have pretty bad acne," said Ingrid. "The train through Acneville was difficult!" Ingrid had cystic acne, and hers was really severe. "I spent every paycheck I got on skincare products, but nothing worked."
After a bad response to ProActiv — and some trial and error — Ingrid found what worked for her... and it wasn't scorching her face with super-strong, harsh products. "I discovered that my skin really responded well to benzoyl peroxide, not so much salicylic acid. My skin responds best to a simple, gentle routine, and that's cleared up my acne completely."
Ingrid ALWAYS removes her makeup now, washes her face with a creamy cleanser, then moisturizes — but the key is simple, gentle, and consistent.
Bianca Renee: Turmeric.
"It'll help acne while it brightens and tightens pores," she says — but check with your dermatologist before you try ANY DIY for your acne. Turmeric can also stain, and potentially irritate acne-prone skin.
Gigi Gorgeous: A different hairstyle.
Gigi says she often gets pimples on her forehead — so she just parts her hair on the other side, and covers the breakout with her bangs. #iconic
Cassandra Bankson: ???
Cassandra became a household name after this video — in which she showed the way she covers up her severe acne — went super mega viral. Since then, she's documented her skincare challenges — and after four years, her acne appears to have gone.
But it's not that simple. Cassandra hasn't yet told her followers how she's cleared up her skin, as she's not legally allowed to — she's under contract until a certain date, and that prohibits her from discussing what she's been doing, and the products she's been testing. I guess we'll wait and see!
Em Ford / My Pale Skin: Variation.
Em has suffered with cystic acne for several years — and as a YouTuber, she was subject to some seriously awful criticism because her skin wasn't "perfect."
She says that she can't take Accutane, doesn't eat meat, dairy or eggs, and doesn't drink alcohol. "For me, it's a combination of a lot of different products. There's not ONE product for me, or for most people, that will cure acne."
Em currently uses a variety of products — cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and face masks — from a variety of different brands. For Ford, not sticking to one single, product-specific routine has helped keep her skin acne-free.