Back when I was a teenager, I thought acne by itself was difficult and embarrassing enough to deal with. I also assumed once I grew into adulthood my acne would disappear.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
The acne proceeded to follow me for the next decade of my life and it even evolved into something worse. Severe acne all by itself is hard enough to deal with. But cystic acne? It’s painful and irritating and also leaves behind scarring I can never seem to get rid of and my adult life has seen far too much cystic acne than most.
All it takes is one bad day at work, one stressful day of deadlines, and I’m waking up the next day with a face full of painful pimples and a redness that ached and never went away. I tried every trick in the book I knew, every face-cleaning product, home remedies, scrubbing, and even prescribed antibiotics. Every few months, I would be trialing a new line of products on my skin. Whatever was the most popular, most expensive, anything and everything, I was willing to try. They always failed. My skin would crack and dry, develop further scarring, or become irritated and red. Often I resulted in caking layers and layers of makeup to hide these failed attempts. The makeup would only clog my pores more, irritating my sensitive skin further. It was a cycle that never seemed to end. Between make-up and skin care I was pouring hundreds of dollars trying to fix my skin. My poor acne prone skin needed a break and so did I.
I really thought things were dire. I had given up; either wearing a clown's face worth of makeup to hide my skin, or walking around with acne and scarring so bad I looked like I had seen battle.
There was no doubt in my mind that at this point in time I was doing more harm than good for my skin but I didn't know what else to do! Leaving my skin alone did nothing. Applying products seem to exacerbate the issue. But then I heard about the No B.S. skincare line for acne.
Acne often stems from excessive oil production on the skin, clogged hair follicles caused by dead skin cells, bacteria, and inflammation. Factors like stress, diet, medications and hormones can make your skin more prone to acne. Between these four, it feels like every aspect of our lives adds to the risk of developing acne.
Cystic acne in particular, is deep and painful. It's caused by bacteria getting into your pores, leading to infection, resulting in the redness and bumps that leaves scarring when it does eventually fade away. It makes treatment difficult. Acne medications are a possibility with cystic acne but not a long-term solution nor do they prevent the stubborn acne itself from forming. The best route to treat cystic acne is prevention. And prevention is all about healthy skin.
With severe acne, you're stressed, eating unwell because you're stressed, tired of taking medications for skin, and likely dealing with the ongoing hormonal changes. I didn't have much hope in science or the world of skincare by the time I decided to attempt to alleviate my oily skin irritation and bring back the healthy skin I dreamed I would one day have.
Clogged pores. Skin inflammation. Acne lesions and scarring. Taking antibiotics or other mysterious medications to deal with the latest bout of cystic acne. It's not a pretty picture.
But that's why you're here, reading this article. Because there is a solution and it's easier than we think. It's not about buying the $400 miracle bottle of mysterious serum. It's about going to the basics, buying products we can trust and ingredients we can recognize, and giving our skin what it needs.
Author's note: This article is a personal experience. Please seek medical care for ongoing painful acne, skin conditions, or infection.
I know my cystic acne. I know it doesn't go down without a fight, so I immediately went for the Acne Buster bundle. It was a bundle of five products all focused on breakouts, acne scars, and healthy skin.
It was affordable too. Over the years, I have spent so much money on my skin that I'll never publicly share that number. But these five products came only to $170. I had spent more on a single bottle, let alone 5! If a month went by and I didn't love the product, No B.S. would even allow me to return the product, money back guaranteed.
By now, I knew that adding in multiple products to my skin care routine was a big no. So I slowly added in each product to my routine before I was regularly using all five and honestly? I never enjoyed such a simple process more. Gone were the nights of 10-15 creams and products over a period of 2 hours. It was amazing the amount of things you can do when not spending all your time on your skin!
High quality items. Simple packaging. Recyclable containers once you remove the pump tops.
Individual items range from $15-$55; making this brand one of the more affordable skincare lines out there.
If you don't love the skincare product, you can return the product within 30 days and receive your money back!
Very easy site to navigate for information. Active with many organizations in order to give back to the community with programs like Feeding America.
BYOB - Build your own bundle. Starting at 15% off for 2 products, the more you buy, the more of a discount you get!
At this point, I had tried so many brands and tricks to treat my acne that I was reluctant to try another. After all, why would one brand work when so many others had failed me. Yet the name gave me pause.
No B.S. Skincare. No Bad Stuff.
In the States, the F.D.A has banned 11 toxic ingredients in skincare. Upfront about all their ingredients, No B.S. they went out of their way to BAN an additional 1,500 ingredients from their products. Scrolling this list brought me the realization that a LOT of my skincare routine involved these harmful ingredients and I didn't even know!
I knew then I could trust No B.S. My answer was right there all along. Slathering my face in various products to fix my acne wasn't working. It was causing a build up of chemicals and imbalances, making my acne situation even worse. And No B.S. Skincare took all that away.
"We started No B.S. because we were tired of toxic beauty industry behavior: the B.S. marketing claims, the nasty ingredients, the unattainable beauty standards.
Founded by Diana Briceno, the No B.S. Company set forth a goal to become the alternative for bad marketing and stuff. Combining science and nature, No B.S. uses the best of both worlds to create healthy skin. They sacrifice the unnecessary in order to have simple products that work.
According to their site, these are some of the main ingredients used in the B.S. skin care line; in particular the products used to treat acne.
Every day for a month I followed this routine. I was determined to get my money back if I didn't see the results I wanted.
Well - it didn't take long.
Within a week I noticed my skin was less irritated. Though I still had the acne scarring, I certainly wasn't developing new pimples. Within two weeks, my skin was less oily but not dry. My face felt clean and even though I still wore makeup, I no longer had to pile on layers just to hide the new pimples.
By the end of a month, when I took that last look in the mirror and compared it to myself from day 1, I couldn't believe it. The scarring was less vivid on my face. I had minimal outbreaks during the month and the cystic acne that was always so painful, hadn't made an appearance in over a week! It is a huge change in over a month and I'm excited to see what another 2 months on this product will do.
The Acne Buster can be found currently on sale for $135 for TWG readers.
"Great stuff. This set has a great combination of prevention (cleanser, toner and retinol) and action when a breakout gets bad. It makes me feel cleaner and more confident, and I know salicylic acid is the only exfoliator that penetrates the skin even through oil."
"Great choice for acne prone skin. These are great! After some research I finally purchased this set. After breaking out due to a vitamin, my face was never filled with so much acne. I only use organic and sensitive skin products and I've been running out of options by trying very expensive solutions. My routine now is simple, mask a few times a week, then wash and toner 2x a day and retinol night lotion every night. My acne is going away and the patches have made a huge difference. My texture, tone and overall glow is slowly coming back to my skin . This is really amazing, a must try for someone with sensitive, oily, combination acne prone skin!"
"For being a pretty low maintenance guy, I still look for quality. When I was introduced to No BS, I found this set and did not hesitate to try it out. I had heard great things from this brand and wanted to know for sure what their products were like. After using these two products for a few days, my skin just feels clean. That's it, and that's all I want. No crazy, overpowering smell, no harsh ingredients stripping sh** away, just good clean fun. Love the simplicity and the look of the products is just as clean. Gotta love this brand and their products!"
If No B.S. bans so many ingredients, what ingredients DO they use?
A full list of ingredients used in ALL their products can be found on their website here!
Is No B.S. a sustainable company?
On top of being a donor and supporter to multiple charity organizations, No B.S. also has recyclable packaging! All you have to do remove any spray or pump tops and throw in your recycling bin!
Where are these products made?
All of the No B.S. products are made in the USA with the exception of the Acne Patches which are made in Korea thanks to their innovative beauty manufacturing technology.
Healthy skin and acne-free skin is an attainable goal for all of us. While cystic acne certainly makes healthy skin difficult, there are products that are out there. Products like No B.S., remove the mystery behind ingredients, giving honest answers and solutions to our skin care needs.
Don't just take my word for it. In a closed study, over 90% of participants saw a major difference after trying No B.S.:
The Retinol Night Cream and Foaming Cleanser tackled my acne and was effective. It did what other products could not, removing dead skin cells and decreasing the irritation of my skin, preventing further outbreaks and smoothing out the scarring I have accumulated over the years from cystic acne. All within a price-point I found affordable and sustainable.
Don't let years of frustrating adult acne preventing you trying No B.S. skin care products. There is no guesswork with No B.S. Skincare.