'I'm a model who's prone to acne. These are the 5 products I use to treat my irritated skin.'

This article originally appeared on Adore Beauty.

Greetings loved ones, let's quickly recap my erratic skincare journey.

If you’ve been following my recent Beauty IQ articles, you'll know my acne-prone skin is currently experiencing a lot of irritation, not a win.

The height of this was six months ago during the most stressful time of my life.

Since then, I've subdued the stress and breakouts only to naively realise it's an ebb-and-flow kind of situation that can rear its ugly whiteheads at any given moment, just like *that* person that breadcrumbed you all summer long.

Enough about me.

While you're here, learn the several ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Here are five products I've tested on my irritated and weepy skin, so you know what to sub in and what to bin.

Just like Taylor, I've picked a winner (or five) for you to swiftly add to cart, including a fine French serum you'll want to pop a friendship bracelet on.

Bioderma Sensibio Soothing Defensive Serum 30ml, $54.99.

Bioderma Sensibio Soothing Defensive Serum 30ml. Image: Adore Beauty.


With words such as ‘soothing’ and ‘defensive’ in the name, this one may seem like a no-brainer and I can absolutely attest to this.

Fast facts:

  • Instantly soothes the skin and moisturises for 24 hours, for long-lasting hydration.

  • Decreases discomfort of irritated skin by 82 per cent in three minutes.

  • Protects against free radical damage with carnosine and vitamin E.

  • Strengthens skin barrier and enhances its function using tetrapeptide-10.

  • Fragrance-free opaque serum.

Why my skin loves this:

When my skin needs a calming touch, I apply Bioderma's Sensibio Soothing Defensive Serum to clean or 'lived-in' skin for that instantaneous exhale and sigh of relief.

Let me assure you the results speak for themselves and this baby is as soothing on my skin as my mum's voice is to my soul at the end of a frantic phone call.


Its durable packaging holds its own at the bottom of my boxing bag so that post-workout, after I've de-stressed my mind and inadvertently stressed out my skin, I can splash off the sweat and soothe my skin with Bioderma's version of a defensive block — with clean hands of course!

It's taken an independent young woman like myself 27 years to realise that softening as opposed to being active is key when dealing with stubborn, irritating situations such as sensitivities and acne.

Sensitive skin sufferers rejoice, this serum is a soothing, skin saviour you can depend on.

Who says supportive things don’t come in small packages?

CeraVe Blemish Control Cleanser 236ml, $24.99.

CeraVe Blemish Control Cleanser. Image: Adore Beauty.


Fast facts:

  • Oil-absorbing technology; regulates excess sebum production which improves the appearance of pores and reduces that of blackheads.

  • Developed by Dermatologists with blemish-prone, oily and combination skin types in mind.

  • Fragrance-free, gel-foaming formula.

  • Three essential ceramides; hectorite clay, niacinamide, 2 percent salicylic acid.

Why my skin loves this:

The proof is in the pudding. After just one nighttime cleanse, I woke up with smoother, well-balanced skin; without any irritation in sight!

Even after a double-cleanse (using this back-to-back), my skin felt clean, not stripped and my barrier appeared to be intact. My skin felt instantly more supple, soothed and silky smooth, despite feeling the polar opposite before application.

I have CeraVe's three essential ceramides — hectorite clay, niacinamide and salicylic acid — to thank for this.

Cleansing is an essential step in any skincare routine and yet it is one that I confess to not giving adequate time, pressure and as a result proper application to.

Since reaping the benefits of CeraVe's Blemish Control Cleanser, it's a complete turnaround and I will continue to use this feathery light, fragrance-free, clear gel foaming formula for the foreseeable future.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence 100ml, $38.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. Image: Adore Beauty.


Whilst the French are known for eating snails, in Korea they prefer to use mucin in their skincare and for good reason.

Snails secrete mucus as a protective barrier and science has allowed us to support this hypothesis by using the mucin protein from this to defend and enhance our skin's barrier.

Fast facts:

  • Improves the appearance of scarring.

  • Encourages collagen production.

  • Safe for all skin types.

  • Hydrates, repairs and protects the skin barrier.

Why my skin loves this:

My skin drank this lightweight, water-based essence up in a flash and it seamlessly slid into my routine without any sign of irritation in sight.

Contrary to my preconceptions, this fragrance-free hydrator was anything but sticky and within seconds I was able to apply moisturiser on top, day and night with no pilling in sight.

Until a month ago snail mucin was just the product my father purchased off the TV for a disturbingly exorbitant amount of money over a decade ago, that came delivered in outdated fancy jars.


Fast-forward 10 years and it's the last thing I thought I'd be using daily in my skincare routine, especially one that is sensitive-skin safe, but COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence didn’t become a viral TikTok sensation for nothing.

It's too soon to see how it will aid in reducing the appearance of my post-acne pigmentation and scarring, but if its fulfilled claims of providing hydration and glow are anything to go by, I am keen to experience the long-term benefits.

Maaemo Fruit Enzyme Refiner 60ml, $54.95.

Maaemo Fruit Enzyme Refiner. Image: Adore Beauty.


Fast facts:

  • Combination of chemical and physical exfoliants.

  • Suitable for all skin types.

  • Organically certified, vegan, cruelty-free and Australian-made.

  • Boosts cell-renewal and disintegrates dead skin cells.

Why my skin loves this:

You may associate physical exfoliants with that infamous peachy scrub most of us have inflicted on our skin at some stage, toss that, ain't nobody got time for microtears!

This "facial in a bottle" smells like a "Goop-worthy" day spa and is now the most ethical product in my skincare routine; did I mention it contains 75.85 percent certified organic ingredients?

I love that I haven't had to compromise on performance with MAAEMO's skin-perfecting exfoliant, which left my skin feeling and looking more refined.

Unlike its colour, this exfoliant is anything but beige and the chemical AHAs work in unison with the physical granular flecks to buff away dead skin cells.

I love that depending on how thick the dull, dim and ashy layer of dead dermal cells is, I'm able to apply Maaemo's Fruit Enzyme Refiner as an exfoliant or treat myself to a face mask and let it marinate for 10 minutes or so, before massaging it in and rinsing off to reveal the plumper, more polished version of my skin.

I call this one my 'good-cop bad-cop', as it goes hard with a soft approach — the perfect dead skin cell slayer.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum 30ml, $43.99.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum. Image: Adore Beauty.


Fast facts:

  • Brightens skin's tone and texture.

  • Sensitive skin suitable.

  • Restores skin barrier.

  • Lightweight, gentle solution.

  • 10 percent pure vitamin C, protects against free radical damage.

Why my skin loves this:

CeraVe’s first ever vitamin C is a fragrance-free, antioxidant-rich serum that gave my AM skincare routine the necessary kick-into-gear approach it needed.

Contrary to what I used to believe about applying vitamin C, CeraVe's Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum doesn’t aggravate my temperamental skin.

I'm happily on the journey to tackling the inevitable pigmentation aftermath of my abundant blemishes, without the harsh effects that actives can sometimes impart on sensitised and irritated skin.

I feel confident in applying this subtly scented, gentle, feather-like serum without the stress of wondering if the punchy, potent formula will disturb the peace of my soothed skin.


I've been hesitant to use vitamin C products in my blemish- and sensitive skin-prone era, as I've witnessed many skinfluencers experience flare-ups.

But luckily, I'm now experiencing the brightening and restorative benefits of the zesty CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum without any irritation.

I've got my golden hour glow back!

Final thoughts...

The infinite possibilities of products that can be added to our routines can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Even with sensitive, easily irritated and acne-prone skin, there's a lot of great options readily available across a vast skew of price points, courtesy of the skincare host with the most — Adore Beauty.

So if you're in need of something to help address your acne-causing stressors, I can confidently recommend all five of these sensitive skin-friendly products after personally road-testing them.

Until next time, try adding some of these to your skincare roster if you fancy a more refined, glowy and smooth complexion.

And another suggestion: Pair all of these with a physical zinc SPF 50+, to ensure that the pigmentation from any irritated blemishes doesn’t stick around any longer than it needs to.

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Feature image: Adore Beauty.

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