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20+ brands of acne medication, 16 derm visits, 5 shipments of ProActiv and a mild depression later, I am clear.

I recently moved to Asia for business and have been shopping at the local beauty stores. Unlike in the US, where the main focus of most cosmetics lines is anti-aging, the products sold here are mainly targeted to provide deep moisture to facial skin. That means that one evening beauty routine alone consists of a moisturizing face wash, a treatment sheet moisturizing mask, a moisturizing 'dew' or 'essence,' and of course, a moisturizing cream.

Where is the Sal. Acid or the BP or the Tetracycline? You may wonder. The truth is, I have hundreds of tubes of Duac, Benzaclyn, Retin-A Micro and such meds sitting in my drawer right now. None of these have helped my stubborn acne problem that sprouted in my early 20s. My skin was dry and scaly, but at the same time it broke out to a point where I had not a clear spot on my face.

This seemingly counterintuitive beauty ritual has cleared me up almost 100%. Not only that, my face looks brighter, younger, softer, and . These little known brands from Switzerland or Japan have done more for my face than any anti-acne products I have ever tried. My face literally glows, especially when I am not wearing any foundation.

I live in a place where the air is bad, the streets are crowded, and work enviroments make for scarce sleep. What I've learned is that it is more important to keep your face moisturized at all times (using oil-free products if you are really oily) and to stay away from products purely made for acne control, as those tend to be drying and prone to stimulating your natural oil production.

That said, I do realize that some people with acne really do need derm care. But this has really helped me, to my surprise, and I know it will help some of you.

In case you're curious, the brands that I have used are Yumei, SwissPlus, and SKII.

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