TRIED & TESTED: I've struggled with adult acne for the last 10 years. Here's what actually worked.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your no BS review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice.This week, You Beauty Collective writer Maggie Ye road-tested products from Freddy, Bangn Body, Codi Skin and Paula's Choice skincare range. 

Thanks to my acne-prone skin, my skincare journey over the years has been a long and windy one. I managed to cruise through my teen years without too many breakouts, but that quickly changed when I hit my late teens and early 20s. 

Enter: Adult acne.

Although I managed to reduce the number of breakouts I was getting by changing my makeup and skincare products, nothing really truly kept them at bay, or helped with the scars that were left behind. 


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However, after this little skincare experiment, I can proudly say that on the year that I'm set to turn 30, I have finally cracked the acne code.


But before we dive into what products I used over the last couple of months, it's probably worth telling you a little bit about my usual skincare routine, and how I usually approach my acne concerns.

Here's the thing - I've always been the kind of person who only uses products from one brand's range and hated change.

As for mixing and matching my skincare, that was not an option. In my mind, if a brand releases a range that is specifically for acne-prone skin, I had no reason to believe that if I used every single product from that range it wouldn’t just magically work. 

Oh, the naivety...

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After this trial, I've come to learn that it's all about finding what works with your individual skin type - not against it. Even if that means mixing and matching products from different brands (as much as it breaks my Virgo heart).

So, wanna know about the magic mix of skincare potions I've been trialling? 

Acne skincare I tried in the first month.

First up, I used the Freddy Skin range. I've seen this brand pop up everyone on social media, so I wanted to give it a go and see if it lived up to the hype on my acne-prone skin.


I tried the Freddy Skin Original Pack ($179), which consists of a milk cleanser, citrus glow serum, essential moisturiser and detoxing pink clay mask.

Image: Supplied  Over the first month, I used the cleanser, serum and moisturiser daily, and incorporated the pink clay mask once a week. 


The results? After a month of consistent use, I found my skin was smoother and clearer. I also found that it helped clear up some redness and inflammation on breakouts around my cheeks, which is a win.

Image: Supplied 

Image: Supplied 


In the before and after pictures, you can see how a few spots disappeared - which to me is a marker of a great product. (Note: my left cheek has a red birthmark so keep that in mind when looking at the before and after photos). 

This is a big deal for me because I find that my skin scars quite easily. Normally when my skin breaks out, it takes much longer than a month for spots to completely disappear.

Acne skincare I tried in the second month.

During the second month of my trial, I used a mix of products from three different brands which was a HUGE thing for me. 


I decided to try the buzz-worthy Bangn Body Firming Lotion ($48), as well as the Bangn Body Smooth Skin Scrub ($42). 

If you're anything like me, you've probably seen a lot of hype around the firming lotion for treating acne. While I've tried it briefly before (I'll get on to that later), I was excited to see what kind of results I would experience when I used it in addition to some other acne-fighting products.

Image: Supplied I also used Paula’s Choice’s 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($32.31), Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment ($45) and Paula's Choice 1% Retinol Boost ($60.36) daily. 


Image: Supplied Lastly, I incorporated Codi Detox & Purify Face Polish ($29.99) into my skincare routine once a week.


Image: Supplied As I mentioned before, I had previously used Bangn Body Firming Lotion twice daily during my pregnancy, which saw improvements in clearing my skin of old spots and reducing the number of new spots.

However, I knew that I needed something extra to really tackle the stubborn areas (aka my cheeks), which are littered with old acne scars.

That's where the Paula's Choice products come in.


The three products from Paula’s were chosen to help unclog pores, smooth wrinkles and help brighten and even my skin tone. 

Here's what my routine looked like:

After applying the Bangn Body Smooth Skin Scrub (which I used as a cleanser), I used Paula’s Choice's 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant twice daily (morning and evening). I then applied Bangn Body Firming Lotion, before going in with the Paula's Choice 1% Retinol Boost nightly (I had to build up the usage gradually, as recommended). 

As for the Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment, I used this a spot treatment - but only had the opportunity to use it twice (which is a great problem to have!). Both times I used this as a spot treatment, my pimple dried up within 24 hours. Win!

Here's what my skin looked like before and after trialling these products:

Image: Supplied 


Image: Supplied As you can see, this combination worked really well!  


I noticed my skin texture looked much smoother and clearer on both sides of my face, and old acne scars were way less visible. Overall, the signs of redness and inflammation had also decreased.

The verdict.

After trialling these products over the last couple of months, I can confidently say that the second combination of products came out on top.

Mixing a selection of products from Bangn Body, Paula's Choice and Codi worked so well in clearing up my skin and slowly working on the old scars I had accrued.

Because I'm always in pursuit of clearer skin, I've decided to merge some of the products from each month into my daily routine from now on - using Freddy in the morning and Bangn Body and Paula’s Choice in the evening.

See more from Maggie on Instagram.

Check out more stories from theYou Beauty Collective, where our beauty community talks all things skincare, makeup and more.

Do you have acne-prone skin? What's your go-to products for clearer skin? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied.