Controlling acne (part 2)

16th July 2014

Controlling acne

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post on the various ways in which I had tried to control my acne problem. It turns out that it has become one of my most popular posts, with many visitors searching for information about the creams that I had on prescription as well as Cidal soap which I used for a while.

I have written this post as a follow-up to the original Controlling Acne post, which you can read here. I hope this will answer some of the questions I have been asked as well as providing more advice for those suffering with acne.


At the time of writing the previous post, I was using a solution called Zineryt that I had on prescription from my doctor. At the time it seemed to be working, but the effects wore off pretty quickly.

When I moved to Liverpool and registered with a new GP, I asked if there were any other creams/solutions that I could try. My GP gave me Epiduo and I have been using it for around 6 months now. It’s become a really important part of my skin care routine, and I find that when I don’t use it I have spot outbreaks. It really has been fantastic and I would highly recommend it.

The combined contraceptive pill (one for the ladies!)

As well as Epiduo, my new GP recommended that I switch my contraceptive pill. I was using Cerazette at the time, which only contains progestogen. Apparently taking the combined pill, which contains both oestrogen and progesterone, is known to help with controlling acne. So I gave it ago.

I found that changing my pill made little to no difference to my acne. In fact, it was making my life even more miserable as I went back to having heavy periods which I don’t suffer with on Cerazette. After two months I switched back to Cerazette.

For me changing my contraceptive pill made absolutely no difference. However, that’s not to say that it won’t work for everyone.

Cidal Soap

I saw a dermatologist a year ago who suggested I use Cidal Soap. Cidal soap can be purchased cheaply from any chemist or good health & beauty store (even on Amazon). It’s an antibacterial soap and should help to control the bacteria associated with acne. The soap was nice to use, with a pleasant smell, and left my skin feeling soft. It reduced the redness a little, but overall I felt that using it didn’t make any significant difference to my acne.

Oil-free moisturiser & skin care routine

I finally found an oil-free moisturiser that I feel has made a huge difference to my skin. It’s called Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefurit Oil-free Moisturiser. This, combined with a daily skin care routine involving cleansing, toning and using Epiduo, has helped to control my acne to the extent that I rarely have breakouts any more. I no longer have huge yellow heads or clusters of huge spots. I have a few little spots on my face but most marks on my face are scars, resulting from picking at my spots (which I obviously regret now!). Also, there is almost no redness what so ever.

For more information about my skin care routine, please refer to this post.


If I’m being totally honest, I don’t know why my acne has cleared up. It might be the skin care routine, or it might be the Epiduo. It might even be a combination of both. But, on a totally different spectrum, it might be because I’m getting older and they might just be going on their own. However, I think the latter reason is unlikely. I don’t think that my acne would have cleared up so quickly on its own.

If you do have acne, keep trying everything until you find a solution that works for you, and that you are happy with. At times it may seem like there is no answer to the problem, but keep your chin up and don’t give up. 🙂

Enjoyed this post? Why not share it...

  1. A couple of my friends swear by tea tree oil – but I think the number one thing is using oil-free products. I’m just going by what my mum says because she’s worked in skincare for years, but her simple tips are to avoid touching your face when your hands aren’t completely clean, and to wash your face after a day out, and of course put moisturiser on your face before heading out, to protect dirt from irritating your skin.

    I remember she once said to someone, “Just think of that day out, commuting on the train, and you hold onto the pole for support, then you text on your phone, and then without you realising, you touch your face just to scratch your nose or rub your eye, and you haven’t washed your hands from all the germs.” The person was quite surprised, I think it gave them a reality check. Everyone’s skin is different… I can only tell you these things and you can make of it what you will. 🙂 I am really glad to hear your acne has cleared up.

    To be honest, I don’t think it really goes away on its own, sadly some people are prone to acne even after puberty. 🙁 Also, I would recommend Clean & Clear moisturiser, it is SOOOO nice on the skin, really light, and doesn’t have much oil. 😀

    • Holly

      It really is quite disgusting to think about all the gems we collect on our hands throughout the day. And then I’m rubbing that on my face. Eww!

      I occasionally use a Clean and Clear facial scrub which is quite nice. 🙂

  2. Great advice on keep at it. Although you must be able to pay attention to what your using to determine what is working. Many times acne will flare up again and you want to know what worked. @ holly you are so right about touching the face.