Your Ultimate Acne Survival Kit – Actions and Items

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Do you have adult acne? Differin® Gel is the 1st and only prescription strength retinoid available over the counter for acne. #BeforeDifferinJourney #ad

Today I’m going to talk about something I rarely talk about, but it’s ALWAYS on my mind.

I’m going to talk about acne. I didn’t suffer from acne during my tween and teen years, except for the occasional pimple during stressful times. I definitely touch my face often, especially because I’m really good at staying in one place for a long period of time. These days I read, edit photos, and write for hours and hours. Back then, I read and studied constantly.

Still, I was pretty lucky for a long time.

Then things changed in my late 20s. As many of my readers know, I had a long distance relationship with a man in California, and I knew I had to move 3,000 miles to be with him. It was a life dream I’d always had, but I left behind everyone and everything I really knew. I had a great group of friends, a big and loving family, a steady paycheck, a clean townhouse, and a reliable car. I had everything! Still, there was a part of me that always yearned for something more – outside of New Jersey, outside of an office job, and beyond my wildest expectations. I planned my move for six months, and then it was time to fly.

After a few months of being in California, I had that beautiful sea air that I craved, and the crisp water we got from Lake Tahoe was feeling so good, but then the breakouts started. I’ll never know exactly what caused the first one – change, stress, etc. – but it became a series of breakouts. It was debilitating to me at that time. I was engaged to be married, and it was my birthday that July. I went to get my eyebrows threaded, and the salon attendant looked at my face, shook her head, and asked, “What happened here?” I paid her, talked to her husband for a bit about stress, and then went into my car to cry.

I never went back there again.

I used to hide my face when talking with friends and especially when meeting new people. I tried makeup, which is something I never used on my skin – only on my eyelashes and lips – but you could see the acne right through it. So I did what I do when I get stressed, scared, and inspired to make a change. I researched. I thought about what was going into my body and on my face every day. I thought about changes in my stress levels and what worked for other people. I talked to everyone who would listen! Finally, I made my own little Ultimate Acne Survival Kit, which grew to be comprised of products and actions, and can also be used for both home and travel. Are you ready to find out what I use for clear and radiant skin?

Your Ultimate Acne Survival Kit – Actions & Items:

1 – Differin® Gel. As the newest advancement and ingredient in the OTC acne category in over 30 years, Differin® Gel is the first and only prescription strength retinoid now available over the counter for clearing and preventing acne. Differin® Gel clears breakouts where they start, deep in the pores, and prevents future breakouts before they begin. This results in a restoration of your skin’s texture and tone. It’s what I was waiting for! NEW! Differin® Gel could clear acne with the power of Rx!

Perhaps you go to Target as much as I do? Find it in this special aisle of the pharmacy:

To get the best results with Differin® Gel, apply a thin layer all over your face, once a day, and every day. It’s important to continue using it as part of your skincare routine, even after your skin looks clear, to help prevent future breakouts. It contains the multi-benefit, dermatologist-recommended retinoid – Adapalene and is now available without prescription. Please use caution when using Differin® Gel with more than one acne treatment or glycolic acid product because this could lead to irritation.

For more Differin® inspiration, check out the social hub here.

2 – Cetaphil® Daily Facial Cleanser. I incorporate it into my skincare routine to gently cleanse skin.

3 – Limit sun exposure. This surprised me at first, because I thought the sun would make my acne hide better, but it made it worse! The sun can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – dark discoloration. Limit your time in the sun between 10:00am and 2:00pm, wear protective clothing, and use Cetaphil® Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15.

4 – Moisturize! See #3 for a wonderful product recommendation. With that in mind, limit touching your face!

5 – Rethink your products. That can be hard, but keep them in mind. Focus not only on cosmetics which go directly on your face, but be smart about gentle hair products! Fragrances, oils, and gels can get from your hair to your skin, and block your pores. Oil from your hair can get to your face too, so wash your hair often.

6 – Feed your body, feed your face. It’s true. A cleaner inside helps with a clearer outside. Personally, I love to put lemon in my water – dentist-allowing – but I also put lemon juice on my face as part of my skincare routine. I apply with cotton balls, and it acts as an astringent.


7 – Water, of course! Take your bottle everywhere you go.

8 – Exercise. This is good for you inside and out, but make sure to shower after – to avoid skin irritation.

9 – Think about all the things that touch your face and clean them regularly. This could be your phone and your pillow case. Wash your pillow cases weekly, and make sure to use a laundry detergent that is gentle on your skin!

10 – De-stress. Only you know the exact answer to this, but find the best who, what, where, when, why, and how.


Now I want to hear from you! What gets you most excited about NEW Differin® Gel.

*I’ll be back to share my personal results in eight weeks! I’m hopeful this can help my breakouts.

This product is dermatologist developed and tested. Please call 1-866-735-4137 for any questions you may have concerning the product. However, should you experience any problems while using the product, please discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Your Ultimate Acne Survival Kit – Actions and Items — 16 Comments

  1. This couldn’t have come at a better time as I have recently been dealing with some breakouts on my face here and there. Totally going to try these products and thank you for sharing them here with me!! 🙂

    • Aww, I hope they died down fast. I get them sometimes with the changing of seasons. I’m glad to have Differin, even if I don’t have to use it all the time.

  2. This is awesome! We already use Cetaphil and love it! I am going to tell Adam about the Differin Gel and I am going to try lemon juice!

  3. I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been breaking out myself as well and I need a way to get things under control. I may be trying this Differin Gel to see if will get better.

  4. I use Cetaphil daily here! It’s been one of the most consistent brands I’ve used for the past 10 years. I also love how big it is, so I don’t have to refill it very often.

  5. Great advice! Differin and Cetaphil or CeraVe are a great combination! I don’t know why I got bad acne all of a sudden either. Lemon directly on the face is a little worrisome though. Can cause burns and major irritation. That’s awesome that it works for you, but others should be careful in trying it—especially if you’re just starting differin.

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