Ah, breakouts—the most democratic of human conditions. Get them in puberty, then just when you think you’re done—they return. Adult-onset acne, pregnancy breakouts, post-retirement zits—there’s no escaping them.
I surveyed a few creatives on their solutions to breakouts. The results ranged from old school (tricks learned in high school) to homeopathic (a.k.a. natural solutions). Some, I learned, don’t suffer from breakouts at all.
“Are you and your readers going to hate me more if I say I’ve never had a breakout?” Kris Aquino says, in response to my survey. Yes, Kris, the actor (although currently on hiatus), content creator and social media raconteur, is blessed with unblemished skin. “Because, Bea, God is fair. I get hives from my face all the way to my feet. If He’ll also give me acne, don’t you think that’s supreme cruelty already?”
For a lot of people, post-|adolescent breakouts seem like unnecessary punishment. But there are, thankfully, plenty of solutions.
Read on to know more.
“I’ve struggled with hormonal acne pretty much all my life and can confidently say that I’ve tried literally everything. As in everything. I’ve also probably read an encyclopedia’s worth of acne articles. But what finally worked for me was learning that there are different types of acne—mine in particular are closed comedones, which look like small bumps under the skin. If this is what you have, BHAs, not AHAs, are your savior. Cosrx Whitehead power liquid is amazing and inexpensive and totally does the job for me.”—Alex Suarez, Bumble lead
“I place my acne creams in the refrigerator so it’s cold when applied! I feel it helps bring down the swelling. This is not a doctor-approved remedy, though, but I love how it feels. If it’s really bad, I head to the derma and have it injected.”—Vania Romoff,
“I normally apply tea tree oil or acne-drying cream from
Belo. I also make sure I don’t eat any dairy, gluten, sugar or anything that can further cause inflammation in my body.”—Iza Calzado Wintle, actress
“I put toothpaste on my pimple. That trick has worked for me ever since I was in high school.”—JM Rodriguez, actor/ club owner
“My mom gave very good, simple advice about skincare. For tropical climates, as far as the face was concerned: remember Ivory soap? The body was okay with scented body soaps, but for the face, she said, ‘pure’ soaps would be best. And, if I’d be in school the whole day, wash my face during lunch break, then in college, if school was until 7 p.m., wash again before the 5 p.m. class.” —Kris Aquino, content creator
“I do a lifestyle check—if I got it from recreation or food. If it’s from food, I ask for professional help from Dr. Aivee Teo. If it’s due to dehydration or too much sun exposure, I drink a lot of water, natural fruit/veggie juices, especially cucumber and lemon. I also use a skin conditioner made of rice juice from Japan and do a seven-day salad and grilled food diet.” —Patrick Rosas, makeup artist
“I avoid breakouts by going to my dermatologist every four months. But when I do get pimples, I apply a warm compress regularly.” —Vito Selma, furniture designer
“Tea tree oil and then I have it extracted by a derma. It’s the only way.” —Hindy Weber, fashion designer
“I become more mindful of what I eat, and sleep earlier. I also remind myself not to stress so much.”—Maureen Disini, fashion designer
“One word: Eskinol. I still live by this until now.” —Gian Romano, fashion designer
“I drink as much water as I can, lemon water to be exact. I also notice my skin gets insanely better when I drink water with a few drops of apple cider vinegar throughout the day.”—LA Aguinaldo, model/ video creator
“I have oily skin so I spot-treat breakouts with Kiehl’s Calendula Facial Wash. I keep it on for 20-30 minutes. Then Eskinol. Then a thick, thick layer of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream on top. Depending on the breakout, sometimes I layer on thick Planet Noah’s Oasis Soothing VoCo Cream. It’s for babies with ultra sensitive skin.” —Garovs Garovillo, creative director of Everywhere We Shoot
“My breakouts usually happen before that time of the month. I try to just keep my face as clean as possible and ride it out and try not to use make up unless totally necessary so it won’t get aggravated. Monthly facial cleanings (at Belo) to keep pores clear and unclogged do help.” —Xandra Rocha, content creator