In a world saturated with products, treatments, and information for people with acne, nailing down the right skin-care routine can feel overwhelming — and expensive. That's why we talked to real women about the real cost of keeping their skin clear. Ahead, Yana Marks, a 28-year-old makeup artist in New York City, breaks down exactly how much she spends on treating her acne.
"I've been frustrated with my acne since I was in middle school, and it was a source of a lot of stress for me as a young woman. Giant red eruptions on my skin have always made it hard to feel confident. I have a very fair skin tone, making every dark spot, clogged pore, and inflamed bump super visible.
"When I was 14, I discovered foundation and used it to regularly cover up all of the unsightly marks on my face, which eventually led me to my career as a makeup artist. As a licensed cosmetologist and professional in the beauty industry, I do have a lot more general skin-care knowledge than most, but the acne landscape is still very overwhelming. However, after years of trial and error, I've finally found a regimen that keeps my skin clear and healthy.
"I'm now used to compliments on my complexion vs. constantly worrying that somebody is judging me for my acne. I still get plenty of breakouts under my jawline due to a medication switch, but my morning and nighttime regimens have kept my breakouts at bay, and I've finally come out on the brighter side of my acne journey."
Ahead, find a complete breakdown of Marks' morning and night skin-care routine.
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1 of 10
Goldfaden MD Pure Start Detoxifying Facial Cleanser
"Every morning I cleanse with this formula. It gives my skin a super fresh feeling without leaving it stripped. It also balances pH levels and leaves my pores super clean. I massage it into my face for one minute, and then I rinse it off."
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Joey Healy Brow Renovation Serum
"Surprise! I get breakouts in my eyebrows. The area is often overlooked, but I use this serum for growth, and it helps calm breakouts along the brow area too. It has soothing ingredients like rose, white tea, and licorice."
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Biologique Recherche Lotion P50
"This is my all-time favorite for exfoliating, treating, and hydrating all at once. My pores look significantly smaller, and I've seen a great improvement in my acne since I started using this product regularly. I splash some into the palms of my hands and press it right into my face."
4 of 10
Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence
"I use this after toning with Biologique Lotion P50 to soothe any redness that I experience. My skin is always noticeably softer and bouncier after I use this."
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Image Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50
"SPF is a must to prevent acne scars from getting worse; this one is super hydrating and smells like a tropical vacation. I switch to the mattifying SPF 30 version during the hottest summer months."
Total Cost of Morning Routine: $249
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Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
"I always double cleanse in the evening; after I remove my makeup with an oil cleanser, I use this creamy formula to wash off the oil and clean my pores. I follow up with both Biologique Lotion P50 and Secret Key Treatment Essence again."
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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Facial
"I use this mask mixed with BRAGG Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar as a weekly treatment to control excess oil production and to calm breakouts. I skip using Lotion P50 on days when I use this mask."
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NuDerma Skin Therapy High Frequency Wand
"Twice weekly at night I use this high-frequency wand to help kill bacteria under my skin's surface. It helps to reduce inflammation and heal acne scars. I use it all over my face and as a spot-treatment boost when needed for particularly deep, cystic bumps."