This summer I have had more issues with clogged pores and acne than I can remember having in the past five years combined. While stress is almost always guaranteed to break me out, masks and an extra hot summer of sweat haven’t helped anything. So I have been adding a few products here and there to try and help out my skin where I can.
To be honest the Peace Out Skincare acne patches have been a lifesaver. On a day when I know I am going to be at the computer for most of the day, I can apply them and let them work to pull some of the more stubborn, deeply buried clogs to the surface for me.
However finding the right cleaner has been important as well. My top three cleansers at the moment are The Elemis Cica Superfood Foaming Cleanser, the Osea Ocean Cleanser and the Fresh Soy Face cleanser. However as much as I adore those products and will continue to keep them around, I needed to look into a product that is a little more targeted towards breakouts.
And so my darlings, I put my favorites away for the turn of the seasons when my skin will hopefully return to its normal self and when I stop sweating buckets. While I’m sure my quest is far from over, I decided to start with Dr. Brandt. The Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser to be specific. While it was a choice item for the August Boxycharm box, I didn’t choose it and instead picked it up as an add on. Despite shipping concerns it actually arrived on my doorstep less than two weeks after I ordered it so I have been testing this out for a few weeks now. In fact I probably have only a couple of week’s worth of product left in the tube.
But before I discuss my opinions, let’s see what the product is designed to do. According to the Dr. Brandt website this cleanser is…
A non-drying, pore-refining cleanser that removes makeup, residue, and dead skin while helping to banish sebum and decongest pores. Skin feels fresh and mattified, without any drying sensation.
For oily/combination skin.
It is ophthalmologist tested, dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic and safe for contact lens wearers. It is formaldehyde free, paraben free, phthalate free, synthetic fragrance free, and mineral oil free.
Results To Expect: Dissolve impurities, oil, residues, and debris to purify skin, Maintain a clear-looking complexion, Exfoliate dead skin cells, Wash away excess sebum for less shine, without any drying sensation, Clean and purify skin to feel fresh, Help minimize the appearance of pores and refine skin texture over time.
Wow that is kind of a lot. First of all, I can vouch that it is contact lens safe as I didn’t have a single problem with my contacts in this cleanser at all. Which I appreciate. Not every cleanser can boast that. There have been a few that have left a film on my contacts when I wash my face. Usually it isn’t a problem but some of the oil based cleansers have been problematic.
I also appreciate that it is free of a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t really want to put on my skin. Let me pause here for a moment and add a little detail about my skin.
My skin tends to fall into the normal slash combination arena. Now I know some of you think ‘wow I have to fight with oily or dry skin all year long so that sounds great’. In a way yes, but in a way no.
What it means is that I end up with seasonal skin care. In the summer I lean towards combination to oily skin and in the winter I skew more towards the dry end of the spectrum. Spring and fall I have straight up normal skin (and fewer issues) so since I can use the same products in the spring and fall I have three seasons of skin care in my world.
I also should point out that some of it is location based. I currently live in Tennessee where summer is hot and humid. When I lived in Texas the heat tended to be a dry heat so I was always trying to get moisture into my skin regardless of season. In New York environmental issues were a big factor and in Wyoming wind was the biggest factor of all. It beat hot, cold dry and humid. Because of a lot of wind burn I avoided almost all exfoliants when living there.
Anyway that was just more or less to pin point where my skin sort of resides on the spectrum to help you orient yourself as you read this. At the moment, I tend to be a little more oily than the rest of the year even if I am not truly oily. I think if I were, I might have liked this product more.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good cleaner and I liked using it. It washed well and rinsed off clean which I appreciate. The scent is a bit on the medicinal side, which I think is due to the tea tree oil.
I tried this cleanser, using it as I would any other cleanser, once in the morning when I first wake and then again after I used a cleansing balm to remove my makeup. The first couple of days it worked really well. I could see red spots where breakouts were imminent face and my skin in those areas become smoother. Used in conjunction with my toner and the Peace Out Skincare Acne Patches, I started seeing some results in my skin. Things started to clear up a bit. I still had clogged pores along my lower orbital bone and chin, but everything else started clearing up. It did very little for the existing break outs though.
Then, my skin started getting a bit dry. I switched to only using this once a day, in the morning, and using my Elemis cleanser at night. The drying stopped and my skin looked pretty good. I still have some issues in my two problem areas but the random stress break outs have eased a lot.
I have had this issue before. Because I am kind of on the balance between skin issues, things sometimes work for me and sometimes don’t. It’s one of the reasons I’m a big believer in getting sample sizes to test out and why I adore subscription boxes. This Dr. Brandt Cleanser is geared towards oily/combination skin. I have normal/combination leaning towards oily skin at the moment so I could use this once a day to help me with oil control, but no more or it was too drying.
It is the curse of being in the middle. There are products for oily/combination and dry/combination, and I have to figure out which works best for me in the moment. If you have oily and problematic skin I can see this might be something to look into. It is an excellent cleanser, it was just a little too drying for me to use as an everyday cleanser. I will use up the rest of this product with my once a day wash however.
By the time it is gone, the summer might hopefully be starting to edge into fall and my skin will once again start transitioning with the seasons. As masks are a part of our reality that will be staying for a while, I will look for other products to help me with my trouble spots. (I really do think the masks are in cahoots with the stress to add to my usual problem areas.)
I do know that once the seasons change this will be too drying for me to use. I might put it on my list to repurchase at the beginning of next summer though as I think that if this product was used at the onset of my oily season, it might be a more successful deterrent to clogged pores than a removal of them. The breakouts it had the most success combatting were the ones just beginning to form. It was the already existing breakouts that it didn’t really help with, at least with my skin. So perhaps this would be used at the first sign of trouble rather than a continuing combatant. At least for me.
While I will keep this in mind for later use next summer, for now, the search will continue for acne and maskne controlling products.