Teen Clears Up Her Severe Acne Using Cheap Products

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If you’ve ever had to deal with acne, you know what a frustrating problem it can be. As a teen, I suffered from cystic acne and turned to everything from drugstore products to products I bought from infomercials to prescription treatments to clear my skin.

A lot of people assume you have to turn to expensive or complicated treatments to get clear skin, but one teen says she used a combination of inexpensive, mostly natural products—all of which can be purchased from your local drugstore—to cure her severe acne. Karina Bañuelos, 17, posted before and after photos of her skin to Twitter, showing the effectiveness of her routine:

4 ‘Secret Products’ To Acne-Free Skin?

The stunning photos have since been re-tweeted more than 30,000 times. So what’s her secret? It comes down to four simple products. Since August 2017, she has retained clear skin with the following regimen, detailed in this YouTube video:

Product 1: Witch Hazel

First, Bañuelos uses Thayer’s Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera. She simply pours the witch hazel onto a cotton ball and gently wipes it all over her face.


Product 2: Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap in Peppermint

Next, she cleanses her face with Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap in Peppermint, using a spin brush. She recommends diluting the cleanser before using it. She also notes that she only uses the cleanser every other day as, otherwise, it dries out her skin too much. On the off days, she uses Dove bar soap instead.


Product 3: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture For Combination Skin

After thoroughly washing her face, she rinses it off with cold water. Then, after patting her face dry with a clean towel, she applies the witch hazel again. After it dries, she then applies Neutrogena Oil-free Moisture for Sensitive Skin.


Product 4: Alternating Aloe Vera And Retin-A.

Once the moisturizer sets, she applies aloe vera gel directly from a plant, which she says helps acne, as well as associated redness and scarring.

When not using aloe vera gel, she opts for Retin-A, which is available by prescription only.  If you don’t have access to an aloe vera plant, Bañuelos notes that both the gel and the plant are available for purchase at many stores. At night, the aloe vera is the final step in her routine, and she sleeps with it on.

aloe vera photo
Flickr | rabiem22

In the morning, she washes it off with Dove soap and a washcloth, followed by moisturizer and Banana Boat Kids’ Sunscreen.

Other Hygiene Hints For Great Skin

Besides the use of these products, Bañuelos recommends changing your sheets at least once a week to prevent the bacteria present there from aggravating acne. She also believes that cutting down on junk food, fast food and dairy and drinking more water also contributed to the improvements in her skin.

So should you give Bañuelos’ routine a try for super-clear skin? According to dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, acne is caused by a number of factors, including diet, stress, hormones and genetics, so a one-solution-fits-all fix is probably not realistic.

“It’s about taking a personalized, customized approach to that particular person,” Bowe told Good Morning America.

Bowe did, however, confirm that expensive products are not necessary for clear skin, reiterating that the three pillars of skincare are cleansing, moisturizing and retinoids.

What are your go-to skincare products?