Courtney Leiva
December 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Those of us who struggle with acne all have a product or two we swear by (hello, Mario Badescu Drying Lotion) to keep our zits at bay.

And while we may have found that breakout-busting cleanser or cystic acne-friendly serum that works for us, some acne skin care products can be really controversial. One recent example: A makeup artist’s cystic acne routine has set Twitter ablaze.

According to Allure, Ontario-based makeup artist Malia Khan recently shared a Twitter post about her cystic acne routine, which doesn’t involve “drink water and cleanse your soul bullshit.” Instead, the routine consisted of using products like makeup remover towelettes and micellar water.

However, her actual secret weapon product is what’s caused a stir, as Khan swears by using the St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub, a product Allure notes faced a lawsuit last year due to irritating a few customers’ skin.

Skin care experts like cosmetic surgeon Dr. Stephen Greenberg recommends avoiding such products, as over-exfoliating acne-prone skin can create more sebum and irritation, making it more prone to acne-causing bacteria.

To keep your skin and pores clean and acne-free, Dr. Greenberg recommends gentle exfoliation over a couple of days to keep things under control.

He tells HelloGiggles,

“For acne prone skin I recommend skin care products that include ingredients such as salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and or benzoyl peroxide.”

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Again, it’s hard to deny that Khan’s results are nothing short of amazing — and if her routine works for her, that’s totally awesome. However, using physical exfoliants on acne isn’t always recommended, especially on acne-prone skin where redness and irritation are already problematic enough.

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