Redditors Skincare Transformation Featured

Taking before-and-after photos doesn’t just tell you if your skincare routine is working, it also lets you have a clear reference of your skin struggles and a better tracking of your progress (and gives you a nice boost of confidence when the fruits of your labour are finally visible). And when it comes to documenting skin progress, nothing beats the Reddit community and their inspiring skin transformation posts.

From severe acne to red angry patches, there’s nothing that the r/SkincareAddiction, a Reddit sub, has not seen. For the uninitiated, r/SkincareAddiction labels itself as a positive newbie-friendly community for anything and everything related to skincare, where you can post about your favourite products, ask for advice about your routine, discuss the various things that affect your skincare.

With time frame varying from three days to 12 months, Redditors share photos of their skin before and after taking prescribed medication or switching up their skincare routine, with daily regimens detailed alongside. The aim is to potentially help others who may have similar skin concerns while bouncing off product or usage tips.

Ahead, we let you in on 20 of the most incredible before-and-after photos of Redditors and their skincare routines that they said helped with the transformation. These could hopefully potentially help you with your skin troubles. We also share four key takeaways about skin and skincare that we picked up after browsing through hundreds of before-and-after posts on Reddit.

1. Skin became better after three days of purging

The issue: Redditor u/LordessFarquhar faced acne flare-ups in her T-zone and cheeks, and had earlier incorporated retinol as an anti-ageing solution. Her skin purged shortly after she started using retinol, but she pressed on and her skin took a turn for the better just three days later. She later looked up on retinol and retinol purge, and discovered that anti-ageing ingredient comes with some serious acne-clearing benefits. Her tip: remember to keep your skin sufficiently moisturised when you’re using retinol.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser, S$13.35 from Amazon
Moisturise: Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer, S$34 from Amazon

NIGHT
Cleanse: Makeup remover (brand not specified) + Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
Treat: The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, S$8.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)
Moisturise: L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Night Cream, S$35.90 from Watsons

EXTRAS
Exfoliate twice weekly with washcloth only

2. A consistent morning & night routine is the key to better skin

The issue: Redditor u/ruinatedtubers never bothered washing her face and thought she was one of those who “just had bad skin.” After following a consistent skin care routine for three weeks, she noticed that her overall skin texture, radiance as well as undereye area visibly improved and realised that her bad skin was a result of not following a routine.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Micellar water (brand not specified)
Eyes: CVS Health Repairing Eye Cream (only available in the US; closest dupe is the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, retailing between S$15.14 and S$26.90 from Amazon and Shopee respectively)
Treat: Differin Gel
Moisturise: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream, S$96 from sephora.sg (she uses only a small amount in the morning as the texture’s rather thick)

NIGHT
Cleanse: Micellar water (brand not specified)
Eyes: CVS Health Repairing Eye Cream
Treat: Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream, S$40 for 10ml and S$105 for 30ml from sephora.sg
Moisturise: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream (for a cheaper substitute, consider the Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream, S$22.98 from Amazon)

3. A routine that calms down skin after six weeks

The issue: Redditor u/NubiHime had tiny red bumps on the left side of her face, which she managed to almost get rid of completely within a span of 1.5 months.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Doesn’t wash her face in the morning but on days that she does, she alternates between Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, S$27 from sephora.sg and Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser, retailing between S$12.64 and S$32.90 from Amazon and Lazada
Tone: Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner, S$32 from sephora.sg + Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Premium Hydrating Lotion, S$24.90 from Watsons
Moisturise (step 1): Avène Tolerance Extreme Emulsion, S$69.90 from Guardian
Moisturise (step 2): Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, S$43 for 12ml and S$106 for 30ml from sephora.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)
SPF: EltaMD UV Physical Water-Resistant Facial Sunscreen SPF 41, S$50 from Strawberrynet

NIGHT
Cleanse: Mineral oil (brand not specified) + Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser (she keeps her face wet and doesn’t towel dry for the next step)
Tone: Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner (she applies with hands and pats gently onto skin) + Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Premium Hydrating Lotion
Moisturise (step 1): CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, S$30.02 from iHerb (on certain days, she’d swap out the Hada Labo lotion and CeraVe moisturiser for a combination Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream for Extra-Dry Skin (Fragrance-free), S$30.21 from iHerb + Eucerin Replenishing Night Face Cream with 5% Urea, S$17.95 from Fruugo)
Moisturise (step 2): Timeless Squalane 100% Pure Oil, approx. S$16.25 (US$11.65) from Amazon

EXTRAS
Once a week, she uses The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane, S$24 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing) in place of Hada Labo, CeraVe and Eucerin.

On day when she feels that her skin needs some exfoliant, she reaches out for The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, S$12.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing), lets it sit on her skin for seven to eight minutes, then finishes with the CeraVe moisturiser.

4. Skincare products aren’t just limited to your face

The issue: Redditor u/Almondicedlatte wasn’t 100% sure what was happening with her thighs and she’s never had the red spots before, but suspected that they could be bad razor bumps and ingrowns that “never resolved on their own.” She used a combination of two skincare products nightly and managed to turn things around within seven days.

The routine:
NIGHT
Treat: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, S$14.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)
Moisturise: Hamilton Urederm High Potency 10% Urea Cream, approx. S$7.26 (AU$7.50) from Chemist Direct (currently out of stock at the time of writing)

5. It’s possible to clear acne scars with the right products and lifestyle changes

The issue: Redditor u/Ameliad98 had noticeable acne and acne scars on her left and right cheeks as well as near the jawline. After four months of using a skin care routine and making certain changes to her lifestyle habits, she started seeing progress.

The routine:
MORNING & NIGHT
Cleanse: Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser, S$30.90 from Watsons (she washes with a cleanser once a day only)
Tone (optional): La Roche-Posay Physiological Soothing Toner, S$29.90 from Watsons (she only tones if her skin is feeling particularly oily)
Treat: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, S$42.90 from Watsons (to spot treat any breakouts)
Treat: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane, S$24 from Hush.sg (she uses this to work on the scarring only on days when her skin is feeling good; currently out of stock at the time of writing)
Moisturise:
 The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
SPF (AM only): La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Lotion, S$45.90 from Guardian

EXTRAS
This Redditor made some lifestyle changes as well, including cutting off dairy as well as reducing her sugar intake and consumption of other processed foods. She also started taking zinc supplements.

6. Seeing a dermatologist helps clear cystic acne she has been suffering from for five months

The issue: Back in May, Redditor u/Muted-Aioli shared that she’s managed to clear the cystic acne that she had been suffering from for five months. The condition predominantly plagued her forehead, the right side of her face, her chin and a small area on the left side near her jawline.

At the time of writing, she’s still trying to put together her day and night routine as she hasn’t been able to try anything long enough to see if they work, but revealed that the Differin Gel prescribed by her dermatologist had only worked for her after she stopped applying moisturiser over the acne-clearing gel.

“Right in the beginning, I’d put it on every single night, but it did nothing. It wasn’t before a few months I actually stopped putting moisturiser on top of it and then after a week, my acne was pretty much gone! I was also prescribed 300g of Lymecyclin capsules (a tetracycline-type antibiotic that is most often prescribed to treat acne), which I also have been taking the whole time, but I honestly don’t think it has done anything for me.”

The routine:
NIGHT
Treat: Differin Gel, only available through doctor’s prescription

7. Overhauling her skincare routine and taking medication cleared her acne

The issue: Redditor u/MazzyEm had cystic acne on the lower right side of her face that trickled down to her neck and at her five-month mark, she shared her progress after taking birth control pills – she pointed out that her androstendione (male) hormone was too high – and overhauling her entire skin care routine.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, S$33.90 from leading pharmacies such as Watsons and Guardian
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
Treat: La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum, S$79.90 from Shopee
Moisturise: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, S$42.90 from Watsons
SPF: Sunscreen with SPF50+ (brand not specified)

NIGHT
Cleanse: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel + Bioderma Sebium H2O Purifying Cleansing Micellar Solution, S$41.90 from Watsons
Treat: Tea tree oil applied only on the marks (brand not specified)
Moisturise: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, S$17.50 from Hush.sg

EXTRAS
Once a week, the Redditor uses The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, S$12.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing). She was also on two different birth control pills for two months – Yaz and later Diane.

8. She un-did a reaction from unfit skincare products

The issue: Redditor u/JennNJuicee had a mild case of cystic acne on her cheek that had just been there for a really long time. She sought help with a popular acne-treating brand, but it only made her acne worse and she had to stopped using the products by the 10th week as she had developed a rash on her jawline because of the routine. She replaced all her skincare from that particular brand and saw improvement in five months.

The routine:
MORNING & NIGHT
Cleanse: Dove White Beauty Soap Bar, S$3.95 (for a pack of three bars) from Watsons + Foreo Luna 3, S$299 from sephora.sg
Tone: Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Toner, S$16.99 from Shopee   
Treat:
Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide Topical Gel, only available through doctor’s prescription
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
Moisturise (AM): Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture with Sunscreen – Broad Spectrum SPF 35, S$19.90 from Shopee
Moisturise (PM): Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture – Combination Skin, S$19.90 from Watsons

9. Regaining her clear skin after a sudden but persistent breakout

The issue: On her post dated June 2018, Redditor u/mangowan said that she started breaking out in January 2017 after having clear skin all her life. Thinking it would go away on its own, she continued her routine of washing twice daily with a gentle cleanser and using her regular products for dry skin. Spoiler alert: The acne did not go away, six months later; in fact, it only got worse.

Deciding that it was time to take action, she made a dermatologist appointment the day she took the ‘before’ photo. “My dermatologist prescribed me a retinoid called Tretinoin (also known as Retin-A), and told me to start using a benzoyl peroxide face wash. I was getting a little discouraged because my acne had started to clear after a few weeks, and then at about 6 weeks (the ‘during’ photo), my skin purged. I honestly wanted to cry when I looked in the mirror. But I continued to use it and after 10 weeks, my skin was finally clearing up!”

She used Tretinoin every other day for three to four months before slowing down to just once a month for a week now (at the same frequency of alternate days). She shared that she still have scarring and experiences the occasional breakout, but it is so much better after one year compared to day one.

Her #1 advice? Listen to what your skin tells you. “My skin had changed from dry to combination, very oily in my T-zone and dry everywhere else. Sometimes your skin changes, and I made the mistake of not acknowledging this change and listening to my skin.”

Her second advice: Barring exceptions, always give your new regimen at least a month before trying something new – your skin almost always purges before clearing. If you’re using a chemical exfoliant, give it at least two months to see visible results.

The routine:
MORNING & NIGHT
Cleanse: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser, S$30.90 from Lazada
Moisturise (AM): Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, S$51 from sephora.sg
Moisturise (PM): Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial, approx. S$64.17 (US$46) from Amazon
SPF (AM only): Not specified

EXTRAS
The Redditor uses Retin-A cream every other day for just one week in a month.

10. Finally found a skincare routine that works after years of trial and error

The issue: Prior to her post on April 2019, Redditor u/whatdididon0w has had acne for more than six years that was a lot worse than pictured, but shared that she tried out a skincare routine for about eight months and may have finally found one that suits her skin.

She wrote, “To start, I have a very red undertone to my skin and it gets irritated very fast. I’m super dry in the winter and very oily in the summer. I used to only get acne in my T-zone, especially my forehead, but it eventually spread to my cheeks. I had a good mix of whiteheads, blackheads, and small red dots. At one point, I was even getting cystic acne before I started my treatments.”

The Redditor went on to share that she has tried all types of facial cleansers, including ones with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which completely ruined her skin. Finally, she caved and saw a dermatologist who recommended Differin, which helped for a few weeks and then stopped working for her. Now, she follows this routine which she had designed after countless trial and error.

The routine:
MORNING & NIGHT
Cleanse: Cetaphil Foaming Face Wash for Redness-Prone Skin, S$21 and S$22 from Lazada and Shopee respectively
Treat: Clindamycin Phosphate Gel USP, 1%, only available through doctor’s prescription
Moisturise: Either jojoba oil (brand not specified) or Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Moisturizer, S$19.90 from Shopee
SPF (AM only): BB cream with SPF (brand not specified)

EXTRAS
The Redditor also started taking birth control pills one month into her routine, and shared that it could be either the pills, the prescribed topical gel or both that’s helping her skin. She added her recommendation to consider birth control pills before resorting to Accutane or giving up entirely.

11. Skin got better after she stopped taking birth control pills

The issue: Redditor u/RedQueen91 detailed that her skin type is combination-dry, and extra dry during winter. Her concerns included persistent cystic acne, texture, blackheads and large pores, adding that it was the “worst acne of my life.”

“Never before had I ever experienced cystic acne and it tanked my self esteem. I felt horrible. It left pitted scarring on my cheek.” She treated it with a combination of Drunk Elephant and Paula’s Choice skincare products and after 18 months, she’s successfully managed to get her skin out of the rut. Her skin type remains the same, but currently she’s dealing with hormonal acne, scarring correction and fine lines.

And contrary to most people, birth control pills didn’t help her skin at all. “I was able to stop taking my birth control pills. After I stopped taking the pill, my acne began clearing in a month or two instead of getting worse. The pill was causing the cystic acne. It took a lot of work and tears to get my skin where it is now and I finally have a routine that works for me.”

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Rinse with water only or La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, S$33.90 from Watsons
Tone: Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Toner – Rose Petal, S$16.99 from Shopee
Treat: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular anti-aging booster, S$109.68 from iHerb but it’s currently on sale for S$76.78 (at the time of writing)
Moisturise + SPF: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer UV – Broad Spectrum SPF 30, S$48.99 from Amazon

NIGHT
Cleanse: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser
Tone: Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Toner – Rose Petal
Treat: Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum, S$85 from sephora.sg
Moisturise: Either Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, S$15 for 25ml and S$42 for 70ml from sephora.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing) and Shopee or Ahava Hydration Cream Mask, S$68 from Ahava and selected Guardian stores

EXTRAS
A few times each week, the Redditor will use a moisturizing sheet mask of any brand or Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores, S$22 for 30ml and S$39 for 75ml from sephora.sg.

Aside from quitting birth control pills as mentioned earlier, she has also pushed herself to drink at least half a gallon of water a day. She has switched to a silk pillowcase as well – skin creases less with this gentle material and it also helps keep hair healthy.

12. Turning cystic acne around for the better in just one month

The issue: Redditor u/EclipseOfMoths dealt with cystic acne and documented her ‘before’ skin (left) in mid-October 2019. She shared her skin’s progress one month later together with her routine.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Rinse with water only
Tone: Kiku-Masamune Sake High Moisture Skin Lotion, S$16.81 from Shopee
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
Treat: The Ordinary “Buffet”, S$25 from Hush.sg
Treat: CosRX Advanced Snail Mucin 96 Power Essence, S$28.90 from Watsons (Redditor remarked that she’s been using this product for a couple of years, and considers it a staple in her routine)
Moisturise: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, S$11.50 from Hush.sg + Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream for Sensitive Skin, S$29.90 from Shopee (if skin feels dry)
SPF: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 50, S$29.90 from Shopee

NIGHT
Cleanse: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil + Differin Daily Deep Wash
Tone: Kiku-Masamune Sake High Moisture Skin Lotion
Treat: Differin Gel, only available through doctor’s prescription (she’d apply and leave it to sit on the skin for 15 to 30 minutes before moving on to the next step)
Treat: Derma-E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, S$24.79 from iHerb
Treat: CosRX Advanced Snail Mucin 96 Power Essence
Moisturise: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane + Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream for Sensitive Skin
Treat: Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 – Maximum Strength, S$10.10 from iHerb (applied all over chin and cheeks)

EXTRAS
Once a week, the Redditor uses The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, S$14.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing) in her night routine – she’d apply it after double cleansing and before toner. On nights that she uses the glycolic acid formula, she’d skip anything that contains benzoyl peroxide (that’s the Differin Gel and Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10). She also uses the Origins Out Of Trouble 10 Minute Mask To Rescue Problem Skin, S$39 from sephora.sg, once on a weekly basis.

13. Acids and moisturisers helped clear her skin blemishes

The issue: Redditor u/saltysatans has normal to dry skin, and is prone to hormonal breakouts, small whiteheads and milia – pretty much like most of us. She decided to take care of her blemishes by reinforcing her routine with high-performance acids and moisturisers, and saw results after doing so.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, S$35 from sephora.sg
Treat (eyes): Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, S$53 from Kiehl’s
Moisturise: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, S$20 for 56.7g, S$52 for 170g, and S$64 for 226g from sephora.sg
SPF: Coola Classic Face Sunscreen with White Tea – Broad Spectrum SPF 50, S$44.79 from REVOLVE

NIGHT
Cleanse: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, S$67 from Sephora.sg + Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser with Clarisonic cleansing device with Sensitive Face brush head
Exfoliate: St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub, S$9.90 from Watsons (if she’s washing her face in the shower)
Treat (eyes):
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado + Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-MD Lash Enhancing Serum, approx. S$90.05 (US$65 for a 3-month supply) from Grande Cosmetics
Treat: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, S$83 for 15ml and S$153 for 35ml from sephora.sg
Treat: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment, S$130 for 30ml and S$186 for 50ml from sephora.sg
Moisturise: Tatcha The Water Cream, S$101 from sephora.sg or First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (if her skin feels very dry)

EXTRAS
Once a week, the Redditor uses the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, S$128 from Shopee, but she doesn’t foresee continuous usage as her rough skin texture doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore for the most part.

14. You don’t need a ton of products to turn around your skin

The issue: Redditor u/Princessjennyy has sensitive, dry skin that’s also prone to acne breakouts and her skin flared up so bad for such a long time that she didn’t want any photos of her skin at all. She tried countless products that were designed to treat breakouts but nothing worked, until she tested the following routine and stuck to it for three months.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, S$35 from sephora.sg (which she rinses off with cold water)
Moisturise: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, S$20 for 56.7g, S$52 for 170g, and S$64 for 226g from sephora.sg
SPF: Not specified

NIGHT
Cleanse: Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (which she rinses off with cold water)
Treat: Pearlessence Argan + Vitamin E Facial Oil, S$16.80 from Amazon + Pearlessence Rosehip Balancing Facial Oil, S$70.49 from Amazon(she massages the oils into her skin for one minute before applying moisturiser)
Moisturise: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream + Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream, S$23 from Lazada

EXTRAS
For three nights a week, the Redditor makes her own DIY mask with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, priced upwards of S$4.20 from Shopee, mixed with apple cider vinegar. She leaves this on her skin for 15 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.

15. Picking herself up and sticking to a routine healed her skin

The issue: Redditor u/chuoya has combination skin, which she suspects is probably dehydrated as well. The left side of her cheek was plagued with cystic acne. She managed to tone down the angry breakouts after six months. She shared that it was tough for her to keep to her skincare routine while dealing with depression, and on some days, she’d just use makeup wipes to remove makeup and then go straight to bed. But generally, she tries her best to stick to her actual routine to help her skin heal.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Wash Gel, S$9.90 from Lazada
Treat: The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, S$13.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)
Moisturise: Some By Mi H7 Hydro Max Cream, S$22.47 from YesStyle
SPF: Doesn’t use

NIGHT
Cleanse: Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water, S$20.90 from Watsons + Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Wash Gel
Treat: The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, S$9.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)
Moisturise: Some By Mi H7 Hydro Max Cream
Treat: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, S$15 for 25ml and S$42 for 70ml from sephora.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)

EXTRAS
Every Sunday, the Redditor uses The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, S$12.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing), to exfoliate her skin. When she uses this formula, she’d take a break from both The Ordinary treatments in her usual day and night routine.

16. She didn’t give up on her skin despite her chronic skin-picking disorder

The issue: Redditor u/Cookiemonster816 battled with hyperpigmentation and dermatillomania (chronic skin-picking disorder) since she was a teenager, and her acne scars would never leave her skin. For the past 10 years, she’s tried everything you can think of to help her skin but nothing worked. Eventually, she decided to keep her routine extremely simple coupled with some acids and saw positive changes two months after.

After seeing her before-and-after photo, a lot of Redditors commented that it would’ve probably taken others one year to achieve the same results – how amazing is that! The Redditor said that while there’s still a lot more on her skin to work on, it’s the first time in a long time that she’s actually felt good enough to show her skin without any makeup.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, S$10.61 from iHerb
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
Moisturise + SPF: Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen – Broad Spectrum SPF 70, S$14.72 from iHerb

NIGHT
Cleanse: Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
Treat: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA, S$12 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing)
Moisturise: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, S$30.02 from iHerb

17. A good skincare routine can help prescribed medication work better

The issue: Redditor u/majesticshegoat has oily-combination skin with acne on isolated parts of her face. She was prescribed topical Tretinoin cream and antiobiotic Doxycycline to deal with the breakouts, which she credited 60% of her skin’s progress to.

To help her skin further, she cut down her sugar intake for three months. Together with a skin care routine which she said “helps keep my skin moisturised and protected enough for the heavy lifters to do their work”, she’s managed to resolve most of her acne concerns in 10.5 months.

She particularly mentioned that glycolic acid helped her noticeably improve the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on her skin as well as reduced Tretinoin-induced flakiness.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Tend not to wash her face at all, or just splash with water if needed
Treat: Pixi Glow Tonic, S$9 for 15ml, S$24 for 100ml, and S$48 for 250ml from sephora.sg (she applies directly with fingers, not cotton pads)
SPF: Dear, Klair’s Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++, S$30.90 from Guardian

NIGHT
Cleanse: Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil, S$55 from sephora.sg + Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, S$21.90 from Watsons
Treat: Stratia Rewind, approx. S$24.92 (US$18) from stratiaskin.com
Moisturise: Stratia Liquid Gold, approx. S$37.37 (US$27) from stratiaskin.com or S$41 from Shopee
Moisturise: Eucerin Replenishing Night Face Cream with 5% Urea, S$17.95 from Fruugo (she applies on dry areas around the nose and mouth only, as well as on the lips)
Treat: Retin-A Micro Gel 0.1% (Tretinoin)

EXTRAS
The Redditor also applies Aquaphor Healing Ointment, S$61.69 from Amazon, on lips and particularly dry areas when necessary. She also prefers to extract zits as soon as possible (when they come to head), as she finds that she gets less scarring this way compared to leaving the inflamed zits alone for weeks. When extracting zit herself, she’d drain as much fluid as possible then use a hydrocolloid patch overnight. “Next morning, they’re usually flat and healing well.”

18. Her patience paid off and her skin eventually cleared

The issue: Redditor u/coffee_for_president first took a picture of her skin in the worst possible condition back in July 2017. She struggled with moderate hormonal acne around her chin then, but had gone into full panic mode and tried to get rid of acne with shortcuts, including prescription azelaic acid, AHA, BHA, and adapalene, without first laying down the proper hydrating, moisturising and sun-protecting base.

“This went on for probably a year when I decided to go cold turkey with all of my actives. I started using Aquaphor [Healing Ointment] religiously, an oil and a good moisturiser,” she shared. While the breakouts have generally subsided, she still has post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on her lower face so she relies on hydration and the restoration of her skin’s moisture barrier.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Rinse with water only
Tone: Purito Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence, S$17.85 from Shopee
Treat: Meishoku Ceracolla Lotion, S$17 from Shopee
Moisturise: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, S$10 for 30ml and S$15.50 for 100ml from Hush.sg
SPF: Uriage Bariésun Lotion for Kids SPF 50+, S$22.24 from Cosmetis

NIGHT
Cleanse: Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micellar Solution, S$41.90 from Watsons + La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, S$70.56 from Amazon
Tone: Purito Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence
Treat: Meishoku Ceracolla Lotion
Moisturise: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil, S$9 from Hush.sg + The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Moisturise: Aquaphor Healing Ointment, S$60.34 from Amazon (applied on dry areas only)

19. Changing her pillowcase every night helped improve her skin

The issue: Redditor u/MDSG0222 has combination skin but her skin tends to be more oily or dry depending on the weather. She shared that she’s been dealing with hormonal acne since puberty and a skin care routine plus some other lifestyle habits helped her skin be the clearest it’s ever been.

Her advice when it comes to skincare products? Introduce one product at a time and use it for an entire week to ensure you don’t have any negative reactions, and also to see if it makes any difference with your skin. “I only started slowly introducing the Ole Henriksen night cream and all The Ordinary products into my routine at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020. I have sensitive skin so using multiple new products at once isn’t an option for me, and I always recommend doing patch tests!”

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, S$68.18 from Fishpond.com
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
Moisturise: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, S$32 for 50ml and S$60 for 125ml from sephora.sg
SPF: CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen – Broad Spectrum SPF 30, S$28.43 from iHerb

NIGHT
Cleanse: Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Moisturise: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel + Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème, approx. S$104.61 (US$74.99) from Amazon

EXTRAS
Once a week, the Redditor alternates between The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane, S$11 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing) or The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, S$12.50 from Hush.sg (currently out of stock at the time of writing). She remarked that the latter has dramatically helped her skin texture and pore size, and reduced acne scarring. In January, she also started changing her pillowcase every night to prevent acne flares and noticed a difference.

20. Winning the fight against stress-induced acne after 10 years

The issue: Redditor u/scrungy_boi has longed suffered from cystic acne, mainly brought on by stress. Her ‘before’ picture documented her skin in its worst state a decade ago, and on top of the acne, her stress had also manifested into irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic insomnia and extreme hive breakouts which she had to deal with for most of the decade.

What helped her skin was a combination of painful weekly extractions for two months and birth control, which she started around the same time as well. While she did use benzoyl peroxide in her night routine, it didn’t work on her skin until all the cysts were extracted. “I would have never thought BP (benzoyl peroxide), almost everyone’s first line of defence for acne next to salicylic acid, would help so much! Turns out, my skin just wasn’t in a condition to use it properly.”

Her skin had been given a new lease of life and major breakouts aren’t a problem anymore but her skin was still congested. So, the Redditor slowly worked her way up her Retin-A concentration to 0.05% to help clear the congestion, and now uses the following routine – as well as keeping stress at arm’s length – to help maintain her new skin.

The routine:
MORNING
Cleanse: Rinse with water only
Treat: CosRX Advanced Snail Mucin 96 Power Essence, S$28.90 from Watsons
Treat: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, S$18.20 from Hush.sg
Moisturise: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, S$38.50 from Watsons
SPF: Nivea Sun Super Water Gel Sunscreen SPF50 PA+++, S$21 from Shopee but it’s currently on sale for S$16.40

NIGHT
Makeup removal: Nooni Deep-Cleanse Snowflake Cleansing Balm, from Amazon (for eye makeup; currently out of stock at the time of writing) + Kose Cosmeport Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil, S$16.90 from Watsons
Cleanse: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, S$6.70 from iHerb
Treat: CosRX Advanced Snail Mucin 96 Power Essence
Treat: Retin-A 0.05% Cream, only available through doctor’s prescription
Moisturise: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, S$30.02 from iHerb

EXTRAS
The Redditor uses Aquaphor Healing Ointment, S$60.34 from Amazon, around her nostrils to prevent irritation and on her microbladed brows to prevent fading.

4 key takeaways about skin and skincare that we learned from the Reddit community

Woman with Beautiful Skin

1. Use a carefully selected skin care routine. For some, a basic skin care routine works perfectly fine but for others, it just won’t be enough to produce the best results. Depending on your skin type, concerns, and preferences, your skin may benefit from a more advanced skin care routine or perhaps, medication prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist.

The complex needs of the skin to keep it replenished with essential ingredients, protected from sun damage, enriched with hydration, and nourished with skin-restoring ingredients to remain youthful and healthy require an assortment of appropriate products. Unfortunately, this can only be achieved through trial and error.

2. Be consistent. For best results, you must follow a skincare routine regularly and diligently. Some products will need to be used twice daily (cleanser, toner, serum), others once a day (sunscreen during the day and moisturiser at night and, for some, once-daily exfoliation), and some every other day (1% retinol products or targeted solutions), or once weekly (advanced exfoliants).

Also, don’t overlook the important of using products in the right order; your serum isn’t going to have much effect if you apply it on top of your moisturiser because its molecule is much smaller than that of a moisturiser.

3. Don’t skip exfoliation or sunscreen. Chemical exfoliants provide impressive results in the shortest amount of time possible, so we see the appeal in using it regularly to continue seeing the positive difference on our complexion. But it’s also equally as important to use a sunscreen with at least SPF30 daily – it is the only way your skin can stay youthful and protected.

4. Don’t expect instant results. We don’t just suddenly wake up with sun damage and wrinkles, so it’s ridiculous to expect our skincare products to be able to radically diminish them overnight. Sure, there are products that can deliver dramatic overnight results (chemical exfoliants are one such example) but for the most part, you really need to invest time in order for a product to produce visible difference. Like we mentioned in point #2, consistency is key.

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About the Author
Lynnett YipLynnett is a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady who loves a good skincare and a red lip as much as her two rescue cats. When she's not writing, you'll fin...Read More

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