Growing up as a redhead with cystic acne, I was put on tons of different medications and over-the-counter treatments. For those unfamiliar with the term cystic acne, this type of acne involves deep, painful lumps or boils under the skin called nodules or cysts. It’s unlike regular acne that consists of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples that disappear fairly quickly.
I finally went on Accutane* treatment to help clear my skin. While Accutane made my skin unbelievably dry and even more sensitive than normal (especially for a redhead), it left me with clear skin and a wealth of knowledge on acne products. Accutane is not a medicine for everyone, mainly because it causes the skin to dry rapidly and you must be very cautious about sun exposure — even more so than normal for redheads.
As a redhead with cystic acne, trying to find products that work and are gentle on the skin can be difficult.
Here are seven products that have helped with my cystic acne:
My everyday face wash, Clean & Clear Acne Cleanser, works like magic. Whenever I have a breakout, I feel like my redhead skin is clearer in a matter of a week. Made with 10% benzoyl peroxide, this kills bacteria lying on the skin long after using the face wash. For redheads using any products containing this chemical, be careful because it does cause the skin to dry. Still, this face wash is sure to help clear your skin of any unwanted bacteria lying around.
This dermatologist-recommended face wash is the number one acne wash in the U.S. PanOxyl helps cleanse one’s back, face, and chest from acne-causing bacteria. Plus, it helps prevent new acne from forming. While as a redhead, one has to be cautious with products containing benzoyl peroxide; they have been my skin savior in fighting off stubborn acne.
From Sunday Riley, All About Acne is your go-to acne kit. This kit targets acne, enlarged pores, and surface redness. Complete with a ceramic slip cleaner, lactic acid cleanser, ultra-clarifying face oil, high-dose retinoid serum, and a sulfur spot treatment is everything for your skincare needs. These products are sustainable and cruelty-free, ideal for the redhead looking to live a greener lifestyle.
4. JossLyn Witch Hazel Deep Cleansing Peel-Off Mask
Featured in the March H2BAR Box, this peel-off face mask is for all your skin needs. Made with natural ingredients, this mask helps removes extra oil from the skin to help protect against acne formation. This redhead-approved product is paraben, phthalate, and sulfate-free, perfect for sensitive skin.
While acne-fighting products with benzoyl peroxide are powerful in getting rid of stubborn acne, products like Neutrogena’s Acne-Fighting Face Wash made with salicylic acid are ideal for a redhead’s sensitive skin type. This face wash uses skin-soothing technology to protect against irritation and over-drying perfect for the redhead who is always rushing out the door in the morning and can’t worry about moisturizing. This face wash is ideal for redheads who want a benzoyl peroxide strength but is gentle on the skin. Being a redhead, have always been careful about benzoyl peroxide, but it has been the only product to keep my acne away. For any redhead who is limited to benzoyl peroxide products, make sure to have a strict moisturizing regime.
Those who have acne may skip the moisturizer step because they are afraid to clog their pores. This is a great moisturizer for the morning and night, even though it is marketed for morning use. It is a fragrance free, oil free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free moisturizer. It doesn’t clog pores and keeps the skin soft — especially if you’re using a product with benzoyl peroxide. This product is also amazing because it has SPF 30 in it. Those with acne need to prevent sunburns because it can aggravate the skin; this CeraVe face moisturizer has SPF 30 in it too!
Formula is oil-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores as it hydrates skin. The tone-evening moisturizer is also non-greasy and wearable under makeup. It also contains SPF 15 to give you some sun protection.
Cheers from one redhead with cystic acne to another! Here’s to finding products that work on our unique skin type. Rock it like a Redhead!
*We have not tested or approved Accutane as redhead-approved. This is simply a story about the author’s road to acne-free skin. Please consult your doctor and/or dermatologist before using any medications.
Subscribe to the H2BAR Box: A monthly and quarterly beauty subscription box for redheads! Use code: REDHAIR for 10% off. Subscribe now!