As a teenager, I tried a handful of over the counter and prescription topical treatments to help clear my acne, and although I would occasionally see results after a few weeks, none really worked long term. My acne was so bad that I ended up resorting to Accutane, which did clear up my skin after about a year of intake, but again my breakouts came back not even six months after finishing my treatment round, although I will say they were not nearly as severe or as painful. Over the years, my skin has become drier, which I think has also contributed to my acne becoming milder. While I don't use acne-specific skincare every day, I do reach for products that contain salicylic acid when my skin could use a little extra help. I've been giving the Philosophy Clear Days Ahead* line a try for the last month or so, and thought I would share how this new regimen has been working for me!
The first step in my routine is the Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Cleanser* (US$22/C$30, 240 mL). I was immediately pleasantly surprised by the uplifting orange scent. I usually find gel cleansers to be drying, but this one doesn't strip my skin of moisture like other ones I have tried. It also doubles as a facial makeup remover and helps lift any remaining dirt that might be clogging pores. This product contains 1% salicylic acid as well as a coconut derived cleansing agent and jojoba to soothe the skin. My face has not become irritated with continued use, which is always a good sign!
At night right after cleansing, I reach for the Clear Days Ahead Overnight Repair Salicylic Acne Treatment Pads* (US$42/C$49, 60 count). Again, these have a really nice citrus scent, which definitely make them more enjoyable to use. I find these work similarly to a toner, making sure any remaining impurities are removed to leave your skin feeling clean as can be. If you deal with acne scarring like I do, these will help minimize their appearance and help prevent future breakouts. I can't remember the last time I used facial pads, and these definitely make me feel like I've been missing out! They are a little less strong than the cleanser, with 0.5% salicylic acid.
To moisturize, depending on how my skin is doing on a given day, I will reach for either the Clear Days Ahead Fast-Acting Salicylic Acid Acne Spot Treatment* (US$19/C$25, 15 mL) with 2% salicylic acid, or the Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment & Moisturizer* (US$39/C$46, 60 mL) with 1% salicylic acid. The Acne Spot Treatment is meant to be used on problem areas, but I find it works great as an all over moisturizer too. The Acne Treatment & Moisturizer is a lotion that leaves my skin feeling silky to the touch and absorbs within seconds. Just a word of advice: be gentle when squirting the product out, as the hole is quite large and a lot comes out at once!
This was my first time trying Philosophy and I have to say, I'm a fan! Have you tried anything from the brand?
Subscribe by email for exclusive updates!
*Disclaimer: Products were provided and reviewed in accordance with my Disclosure Policy. Affiliate links provided.