So, this is as spontaneous as it gets.  Sleepover = true skincare stories.  Ever so randomly last night, a teenage cousin of mine with acne-prone, reactive skin spilled the details on her current skincare swat team.  The line-up is to say frankly, not edited but as real as can be, because they were all on her bathroom counter in sincere disarray from daily use.  We gathered them ’round to compress for this family photo (I really have a good laugh inside when people yell out “compress” because it’s just everyone’s thing).  I’ve seen my cousin’s face months before all this, it was shiny, sensitive, and eruptive.  This time though, her face was clear and not shiny with no sign of acne on the horizon.


Please note that this selection is not used simultaneously and was formed gradually with the added supervision of her dermatologist.  The products may or may not work for you in the same way or may not be recommended for you.   Read on for the full regimen post and what she told me about each product.

CLEANSERS (on rotation):

At the moment, this might look like a lot but she doesn’t use all this together every time.


POND’s Acne Clear White Facial Foam + Scrub  – “she (other cousin) just gave it to me and said ‘Dude, this works’. It’s super foamy, just this much.  Yea, like that, oh…great, I might as well wash my face.” 

Aivee Institute SA Facial Cleanser “My derma recommended this good for sensitive acne-prone skin like mine that just easily reacts to certain products.  Yea, this foams coz of the bottle.  It’s a really clean cleanser, leaves a fresh feeling, nice before makeup.”

Proactiv Step 1 Renewing Cleanser“This one’s got beads, but no they’re not really beads, there see that you can scrub…I use it when I feel like I might have a breakout soon, but not all the time.”


Proactiv Step 2 Revitalizing Toner – 5% AHA liquid exfoliant “I use this and the repairing toner sometimes overnight, after cleansing when I do my complete routine.”

Proactiv Step 3 Repairing Toner – contains 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide “If I’m really feeling like I’m having some acne trouble this has Benzoyl Peroxide in it…” sort of like if La Roche Posay Effaclar US was a toner.

Proactiv Refining Mask – actively contains sulfur, kaolin, glycerin, tea tree oil, lemongrass, zinc oxide, Vitamin E (not full list) “This mask I’ll use like once or twice a month but you should know I also use it for spot treatment, directly on zits, it works.”


Aivee Institute 0.05% R.A. Cream (if I’m not mistaken, retinoic acid cream) “Got this from my derma and she says I should continue to use this cream even when I’m not having bad skin, so just continue she said.”  

Lancome UV Expert BB Complete XL Shield SPF50“My mom and dad gave me this so that at least I have facial sun protection everyday.”


CETAPHIL Moisturizing Lotion (suitable for face and body) – “I just use this when I have dry patches and for the face.”

Benefit Cosmetics Specialist Ultra Radiance Facial Hydrating Mist“I use this, I take it with me so I get to use it throughout the day.  I liked it because it’s rare to find skincare sprays like this that don’t break me out, it smells like cucumber.”

Proactive products are available at SM Watsons Beauty, Aivee skincare from Aivee Skincare Institute, Pond’s and Cetaphil from participating groceries/department stores, and Lancome and Benefit cosmetics at their respective boutiques in Rustan’s and select Ayala Malls.

My cousin’s anti-acne skincare arsenal contains no recommendations from me whatsoever but evidently, they work for her at the moment.  They may or may not be all C. Hirons’ praiseworthy but judging from skin improvement they seem to be working really well.  The additional Pond’s cleanser was passed on to her by another cousin of ours who simply said with all feminine love and affection “Dude, it works.” in reference to keeping zits and oil at bay.  Please note though, that my brother, in contrast, didn’t feel the same way about the Pond’s cleanser and gave his back to me.  She is fifteen years old and does not use ALL of these products together in one routine.  She sweetly said to me that maybe her sharing about what works for her will help some of you out there.  Please consult a dermatologist before experimenting with any of the above skincare mentioned if you have troubled skin.

  • That’s one of the things that annoy me most about acne. Unlike some other skin disorders (like fungal infections or eczema, for instance), products that work on one person may not work on another. You really have to experiment, and sometimes experimentation leads to even more zits.

  • Which is why it’s important to see a dermatologist first who can examine your skin 🙂 You’re not supposed to try products without proper guidance by a derma first.