But if you've tried everything, at least you know you tried. I'm going to tell you a couple different methods I've tried that actually worked. (T've tried EVERY product on the market that you can buy in stores or order online, including ProActive and every single acne face wash and lotion you can imagine.)
First off, the very first doctor prescribed acne treatment I ever used was called Benzaclin.
I was 19 years old with severe/moderate acne and it took my acne from severe to mild in about 6 months. The side effects were really bad, making my skin peel and flake from dryness.
Nevertheless it did it's job, and I didn't cry anymore from the pain of the acne and redness all over my face. My skin made a total turn around and looked noticeably clearer. My breakouts weren't so bad and my skin eventually needed less and less product.
Eventually I stopped using that product, and only used it during bad breakouts. Then I stopped using it all together. For a year or so my skin regained it's natural moisture, stopped peeling, and my breakouts didn't come back.
And then around the age of 21, my acne came back and started to get bad again. I couldn't afford Benzaclin since I lost my insurance, and so I decided to just try to get through it with drug store products.
Nothing worked until I found Dickinsons 100% Pure Witch Hazel.
Now, I have used witch hazel before. But never pure witch hazel, and never for this amount of time. I used it for a week or so before I noticed a difference. It is the absolutely best acne treatment with the least amount of side effects. There are NO side effects that I have noticed and works BETTER than my expensive and drying Benzaclin. I bought it on a whim at CVS and use it twice a day with a cotton ball and it has improved my skin so much.
But one thing to keep in mind: Witch hazel works best as a preventative acne treatment. That means you mostly use it to prevent acne from happening. Existing acne disappears with time, but the most important thing is keeping your skin from getting new acne.
My current skin care routine is gentle face wash, witch hazel, and lotion. Surprisingly, since I have started using witch hazel as a toner, it doesn't matter what lotion I use because the witch hazel protects my skin from breaking out.
But I have used the exact same face wash since I was 19. It's called Purpose gentle cleansing wash and it has never failed me.
No matter what those retarded face wash commercials tell you, you DON'T NEED acne face wash. Every item in your skin care routine should NOT have a harsh acne product in it. Your face wash should take off your makeup, oil and dirt. That's it. Spot treatment and preventative toner is key.
Your entire skin care routine can be free of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide and you can have clear skin. Because benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid don't PREVENT acne and that is what my years of acne struggles have proven. You have to find a product that works before acne forms. And 100% Pure Witch hazel is the only one that has worked for me. I sound like an advertisement but I was truly amazed. It's a little stinky, but you'll get used to it.
Have you ever had acne? Had severe was it? What products worked for you?