I've suffered from acne for as long as I can remember. In high school I had small bumps covering my cheeks and would get random zits constantly. Starting in my 20s, my skin got worse and my acne turned cystic. To top it off, I'd still get whiteheads and had large pores with super dull skin . . . I had just about every skin problem you could imagine.
The only time my skin was ever clear was when I took oral medication, which I hated because of the negative side effects and lack of long-term safety testing. I'd go on the medicine, my skin would be flawless, I'd go off, and my skin would erupt again. This endless cycle continued until I decided to completely give up, and at 28 I had come to terms with the fact that beautiful skin just wasn't in the cards for me.
Then, a few months ago, I saw my friend Sam who I hadn't seen since high school. Sam never had terrible skin, but it definitely wasn't as luminous as it is now. She was literally glowing. I knew that whatever routine she was following was the reason that her skin was so perfect — and that's when Sam became my skincare guru. She taught me about ingredients, her favorite products, and most importantly, when to use the products and in what order. I'm forever indebted to Sam for my (almost) flawless skin, and wanted to share her secrets for all of you acne sufferers out there.