I have had problematic skin since I was a teen, I didn't have acne but I did get a lot of hormonal spots that would go away but then come back. I have spent years trying to find the right mix of skincare products that work for my skin and that has helped clear my skin. In today's post, I'll be sharing with you my new set of products that I'm using to hopefully help me clear my skin!

The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser 

This cleanser is a simple yet effective cleanser containing Salicylic Acid which is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) which helps to fully cleanse the skin removing all traces of makeup and dirt, this cleanser also helps to unclog the pores to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and minimises excess oil. I wanted to try out this product because I had heard a lot of good things about The Inkey List and wanted to give something from them a try. Another reason why I wanted to try this product is that its an affordable brand, with products starting from £4.99, I think a reason they can make their products more affordable is that they have pretty simplistic packaging which I actually quite like. The cleanser that I got was £10.99 and you get 150ml of product which I think is pretty reasonable. I choose to add this cleanser into my routine because I was on the lookout for the Cerave Foaming cleanser but it was always out of stock and this product had the same amount of good reviews as the Cerave one so I thought id give it a go. 

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant 

For years I always thought the best way to get rid of dehydrated and flaky skin was to use an abrasive exfoliant but from my research and watching a few too many Skincare With Hyram videos I realised that they aren't always the best for your skin. With knowing this I decided to try a liquid exfoliant to see how my skin would react and if it would be any better. Looking online I discovered that the Paula's Choice Lotion Exfoliant seems to be one of the best, I had read a lot of good reviews about it and a lot of people swear by it and it seems to be suited to my skin concerns. This Lotion Exfoliant is suitable for all skin types but it also unclogs & shrinks enlarged pores and smoothes & evens out uneven skin tone which sounds like everything I want. I decided to go for the smaller 30ml version to give the product a go before I go onto the full-size product because this product isn't cheap, with the full-size version being £28. 

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% 

When I first heard about The Ordinary I was sceptical, I never really understood how they were able to make quality skincare products for so cheap but after reading so many reviews and watching so many youtube videos about the products I decided I wanted to try out something from the brand and I decided to go for this serum. The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% serum is a product that is designed for blemished skin, with having 10% of Niacinamide which is a high concentration that helps to reduce the appearance of congested and blemished skin. The high concentration of niacinamide is supported by the 2% of Zinc included which helps to reduce the amount of sebum production making this serum perfect for anyone with blemish-prone and oily skin. When researching how to use this serum it says that you can use morning and evening on the skin before any heavier creams but if any irritation applies to stop using! This serum is £5 which I think is absolutely amazing and super affordable and I love now that there are more brands out there that are great skincare products for affordable prices! 

La Roche Posay Effacleur Duo + Anti Imperfections Moisturiser 

Many years ago when I was going through another phase of crazy bad skin I started using a lot of La Roche Posay products which really did help but being teenage me I didn't stick with them and moved on to other products and forgot about how much I actually liked them! I started to research products that are supposed to help with problematic skin and this moisturizer was one of the ones that were suggested and I knew I had to give it another go. This moisturiser is specifically designed for blemish and oily skin, its a dual-action product that helps to minimise the appearance of spots and blackheads, controls shine and helps to protect the skin from scarring leftover from spots. Some of the ingredients in this moisturiser are Niacinamide which we know is good for clearing the skin, Salicylic acid which helps to unclog the pores, Zinc which helps to control sebum and mattify the skin and Glycerin which keeps the skin hydrated. 

Clean & Clear Advantage Rapid Gel 

This product is a bit of a wild card for me, I used to use it when I was around 14 and now I thought id give it another go because I remember it actually working. I like to use this product as a spot treatment, I apply it to spots that are under the skin at night and usually leave it on and it seems to just dry the spots out and stop them from becoming angry. This gel helps to quickly rebalance the level of oil, helps fights problems causing bacteria and effectively purifies the skin without irritating or drying. This isn't a product that I would use all over my face but only on targetted areas like spots to help clear them up. Some of the main ingredients in this gel are glycerin which helps keep the skin hydrated and salicylic acid which lightly exfoliates the skin and keeps the pores clear. I don't use this product too often but when I do it helps to keep spots at bay and it's really affordable and lasts ages!

First Impressions

I have now been doing this routine for about 3 weeks now morning and evening and I am now starting to see some good results. After the first week, I was still getting spots all around my chin which I also think was maskne but I did start to get discouraged because I wanted the skincare to work straight away. I also realised that most of the products in my new collection are to draw out the skin and bring things to the surface which is why my skin was still appearing quite spotty. In the first week, I started to use all the products but only used The Ordinary serum in the evenings to ease my way into it in case it caused any irritation. After the first week, my skin was reacting to the serum really well so I started using it mornings as well. 

After the second week, I did start to notice more of a difference I was getting fewer spots and my skin was appearing a lot less oily which I was super happy with! Using the Paulas Choice liquid exfoliator also helped to make the pores on and around my nose appear less visible which was one of my main concerns so I'm super happy about this. On to the third week now and I'm still loving doing this routine, my skin seems to be improving and still looking a lot clearer than it has been. 

Pin For Later... 

Seeing that I'm getting results with my skin makes me even more excited to carry on with this routine and see if it can finally give me clear skin. Have you tried any of these products before? 

If you aren't already don't forget to follow my Socials! 

Aaliyah xo 


  1. I love this post! I also use the clean and clear spot gel and the effaclar duo which I love and swear by, I’d love to try the cleanser though. thank you for sharing x

  2. I haven't used any of these product except clean and clear so this was really interesting to read! X

  3. La Roche Posay is such a great brand, I use their serum and I absolutely love it! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

  4. I love this post - I have heard a lot of great things about this brand!

  5. I’ve had the reverse as a teen - acne prone central! It’s always been a journey finding what’s right for my skin, even more so because mask-acne is very much real!

    I haven’t heard of most of these brands, but one thing I know for sure is that skincare routine is one that takes a lot of research to see what works for different types of skin and what doesn’t. One thing I really liked was that The Inkey List is super affordable - so something for everyone!

    I’ve heard of The Ordinary before - all great things on them! And it’s always great to hear about affordability being a prime focus for them!

    I haven’t tried any of the products you mentioned, but I am curious to research a bit on them for my own skincare routine!


  6. I have always had really dry skin so I've never been acne prone unless it's been hormonal or a new product that's broken me out. But I always struggle when my skin is acting up because it's too sensitive for a lot of stronger exfoliants, I love Effalcar Duo for that reason, it's so gentle but it manages to do the job. I really want to try that cleanser x