In my teens and early twenties, I was one of the fortunate ones. I really never had to deal with very many breakouts at all, which led me to take my clear skin for granted. I took care of it, mind you....I was faithful, although not zealous, to clean my face morning and night, and then later, to make sure that I moisturized appropriately. In my mid-twenties, a friend and I went to a hair show and were picked out of the audience to be makeup application models. One of the tidbits that I remember most from that session was that anytime one sleeps in makeup, the face ages thirteen days just in that one night's sleep. That was enough to encourage me, even in the most sleepy moments, to make sure my face was clean before bed.
In the past couple of years, however, I started to notice that my skin was beginning to look dull and started to be congested, for lack of a better word. Earlier this year, it even began to break out...it was like going through a very belated puberty! I even researched Proactive, but some of the reviews seemed to indicate that it can be very harsh and drying, and my skin is already very dry to begin with. Eventually I read that the primary ingredient in any good skin-clearing wash is salicylic acid. I went to good ol' WalMart and scanned the shelves for a product containing salicylic acid, eventually settling on one of the brands that primarily targets teenagers. Within three days, I noticed a huge difference; as a bonus, my pores even seemed smaller.
Then I ran out. And kept forgetting to buy more. Once again, I started getting huge breakouts...they were painful, deep and lasted for weeks. Literally.
Once again, I went back to WalMart. This time, I purchased a creamy acne wash, and I have noticed that it is considerably less drying that the one intended for teenagers.
I'm keeping it on the list.