Since most of you still have acne in your 20s because you never grew up (or if you're still young then good for you!), here is some skincare advice that will convert the volcanic zone that is your face into a frozen plain of ice (aka smoothskin).
Note: The following advice is from personal experience and hours of internetting.
First you have to assess your skin's oiliness.
- Dry skin flakes. Especially if the weather is dry and/or you wash your face with a very strong cleanser. Girls have drier skin and are more likely to have this skin type. Since there are no girls on the internet I'm only typing this for completion sake.
- Oily skin. Do you shine like a diamond after 2 hours in room temperature? If you wiped your face with your hand and your hand feels slick like there's actually a layer on your fingers, you have oily skin.
- Normal/combination skin. If you have none of the above. No peeling skin, and no oil slick. If you wipe the T section(forehead/nose) of your face, your hand may feel a little sticky but that's it.
These are the absolute minimum to solve acne problems and maintain healthy skin (may not work if you're a freak). Disclaimer: You are recommended to patch test each product on a small area of your skin to check for negative reactions before applying it all over your face. Wait for at least 3h (up to 24h) to be sure you don't have any reactions. I personally don't patch test. Just saiyan.
1. Cleanser (Day & Night)
Like, before I started skincare, I used to use random cleansers my mom bought and my skin got worse because they were too strong. If your skin feels even slighty tight after washing, get a milder cleanser. You don't want to strip off your skin's natural oil completely; your skin will try to compensate for the lost oil. Change to a milder cleanser if needed. At first you'll feel that it doesn't clean enough. Continue until your skin adjusts to its new environment.
Foam Cleanser: Hada Labo Cleansing Foam
2. Exfoliator (Night only)
There are 2 types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. Do not use physical exfoliation. If rub your face with a rough towel, or if you use those exfoliators with little "cleansing beads" in them, stop. Instead, use chemical exfoliants like AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid). [Minimum once every 3rd night, maximum every night.]
On top of removing dead skin, AHA is very effective for keeping your skin clean to prevent new acne from forming. BHA removes blackheads. Just remember the letters: AHA => Acne, BHA => Blackheads.
Note: AHA will make your skin more photosensitive. This makes you more susceptible to burning from the sun. Please use sunscreen if you use this step.
AHA & BHA: Mizon AHA & BHA Clean Toner
3. Moisturizer (Day & Night)
After cleaning your skin, you gots to give it some good moisture so it doesn't overcompensate by producing more oil. If you have oily skin or live in a humid climate, a gel moisturizer is enough. For dry skin or dry weather, cream moisturizer is recommended.
4. Sunscreen (When you need to leave home during the day which is never I guess)
This isn't even skincare. Every human needs to put on sunscreen. Anyway, this go on after everything else. Also get a sunscreen that has UVA and UVB protection. UVB gives you sunburn. UVA gives you wrinkles and skin cancer.
For UVB protection, look out for SPF labels with at least SPF50 (more is better). For UVA protection, a PA+ label (more + is better).
Sunscreen: Biore Sunscreen SPF50+ PA++++
Darkening - PIH (Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation), Dark spots
Disclaimer: Please be responsible for your routine. If I say you need sunscreen but you don't get it, then go get burnt, don't blame me.
I can't really tell which of the ingredients I used helped to fade the darkening left behind by acne. That's because I didn't wait long enough to observe enough difference before adding more products. Nevertheless they've all faded. As with the effectiveness of all skincare products, YMMV (your mileage may vary). Darkening on the surface will be easier to remove than deeper skin.
Ingredients are sorted by strength (least to most "effective", by anecdotes).
1. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Many people have reported PIH fading with this ingredient. It didn't do anything for me though. It's said to brighten your overall complexion, protect your skin, and get rid of PIH.
Niacinamide: Innisfree White Tone Up Skin
This is supposedly a safer form of Hydroquinone(ingredient #5), which, well, lightens the skin. Also helps with preventing wrinkles. Not sure if that's true. Not until you actually get wrinkles amirite? (Just like sunscreen is a prevention.)
3. AHA (See previous section)
You must use sunscreen from this ingredient onwards.
4. Vitamin C
This is not the same as eating oranges. And they are absolutely not to be confused with putting lemon slices on the skin. Never put acidic fruits on your skin, you'll ruin it.
This ingredient not only lightens spots, it also repairs your skin and makes it healthier. You'd think I'm BSing you, until you have your own success with it.
Note: Keep this in your fridge (not the freezer) to increase product lifespan. It loses its effectiveness when it oxidizes; you can see it turn orange. Keep it colorless for best effect.
Vitamin C: OST C20 Vitamin C Serum
Highly controversial ingredient. Stay away if you have close to brown, or darker skin. Just google search "hydroquinone risks" and you'll see. However some people have also reported effectiveness at low concentrations.
2% Hydroquinone: Paula's Choice Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA Gel
1. Don't pick your face.
2. Sleep on your back. Just don't let anything touch your face 24/7 except when you're taking care of it ofc.
3. Change your pillowcase once per week.
4. Drink adequate water (piss clear).
5. Don't rub your face with a rough towel. Use a separate microfibre towel for your face. Why would you use the same cloth you just rubbed your dick with to rub your face? It just doesn't make sense.
[More stuff will be added if you're interested, including how to make your skin glow like glowing ghouls.]