One of my closest friends got married last Thursday. I’m not crazy for weddings in general but I was for her wedding–it’s her dream come true.

Incidentally, a week before the wedding I had a really bad breakout.  I wasn’t as diligent with my skin care routine as I should’ve been.  Whiteheads were all over my cheeks and I had a few pustules.  Wait, are seven pustules few?  I guess not.

Here’s how one of my cheeks looked (the other cheek is worse, with pus and sh*t):

I wasn’t able to photograph the whiteheads clearly. Good for you, ‘coz you wouldn’t want to see it. Just believe me when I say it looks worse in person than it does in this photo.

So here’s how I got it to 90% clear in time for my bestfriend’s wedding:

Morning Routine

First:  I bought a gentle soap and washed my face every morning and night for at least 30 seconds.  Any other non-comedogenic and non-drying soap will do.  You’ll know if it’s drying when your face becomes tight after washing it for more than 30 seconds.

Quasi-Second:  I skipped toner.  I figured I should skip my toner because this for-emergency-only routine can be drying.  Applying a toner might make my skin even more dry.

Second:  Every after I wash my face, I apply Olay Natural White Night Cream.  Olay has high amount of Niacinamide which can help prevent the dark marks that pimples leave after they heal.

Evening Routine

First:  Same with my morning routine, I wash my face for at least 30 seconds.

Second:  I pop the pus out of pustules.  I know many say you shouldn’t pop your pimples but I think you should.  I’ve always popped my pimples and I don’t have any pock mark or ice pick scar.  I’ll make a separate blog entry on how I pop my pimples.

Third:  Immediately after, I apply a thin film of 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel on the areas where I broke out. Which means I apply the gel almost all over my face.  Benzoyl Peroxide is supposed to be for spot treatment but the situation at hand required off-label use.  I repeat–I applied it on the entire break out area, not just on spots.

Benzoyl Peroxide kills the acne-causing bacteria.  It really helps if you pop out the pimples, benzoyl peroxide can get into the inflammation and kill the bacteria inside.

Fourth:  Sleep for at least 8 hours.

By the third day, here’s how my skin looked:
{02 Aug 2011 EDIT:  I made an error.  The photo below was taken on the morning of the fourth day i.e., after three days of progress.  This was not how it looked like on the third day.}

Not bad at all

By Wednesday, the day before the wedding, I was 90% clear.  Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo, I was more excited for the wedding.  I got the idea from Wayne Goss on youtube.  I just tweaked it a little.


– This is not advisable for dry-skinned people.
– Do not get over-excited and purchase the higher percentage benzoyl peroxide available.  The additional percentage does NOT give significant difference in result and can give you unnecessary dryness.
– Do not put too much, it will burn your skin and leave a dark mark. Some of my pimples did leave a dark mark.


– Apply benzoyl peroxide very thinly–as thin as you can.
– Be consistent.
– Do NOT use the benzoyl peroxide together with tretinoin. It could be very irritating.
– Moisturize really really well. This will help benzoyl peroxide from darkening the skin too much.

This might not work for hormonal acne.


Hi, I’m Rae and I am a scatterbrain. I am in my 30s and I write in this blog from the Philippines. I spend a tiny portion of my time de-stressing with makeup and skin care. Email: | Instagram: @scatterbraintures


  1. safe p din po b n gumamit ng maxi peel khi pregnant???

  2. hi. is it safe p rin po b sa baby ko n gumamit p din ako ng maxi peel???? 2months pregnant po kc ako as of now???

    • Rae Reply

      Stop using maxi peel. Excessive vitamin A, might cause birth defects in a growing baby. Tretinoin in maxi peel is a Vitamin A derivative. Tretinoin is pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

  3. skinnychiq Reply

    Found an article:

    • This is a little weird. Most cleansers with alcohol have stearyl or cetyl alcohol, fatty alcohols that are ok for the skin.

      But I agree with benzoyl peroxide. Although, I quit using benzoyl peroxide altogether because it leaves dark post-acne marks. I’m good with tea tree oil.

      As for popping zits, they can’t take that away from me, haha! I learned the prick with needle method from a dermdoc on youtube. So far, it’s working.

      My acne usually comes from stress, lack of sleep, and hormonal imbalance. I rarely get them now, though, since starting tretinoin about 3 years ago.

      • skinnychiq Reply

        Kaya nga eh.. Ako kasi I’ve been working graveyard na almost 7 yrs na. At 2yrs ago lang ngstart tong pimples ko. So i set that factor aside. I think hormonal imbalance kasi after giving birth to my son, a few mos.passed that, it started my pimples dilemma. I don’t want to take pills kasi I’m afraid of the possible side effects. That is why eto trial and error ang drama ko. So it means you’re still using Maxi Peel ba?

        • Maxi Peel is not sustainable to use kasi, we can only use products with hydroquinone for 2 months, then we have to take a break for 2 months. Siguro it’s ok to use it the first few months, when you have a lot of dark spots to clear up.

          I use tretinoin cream (e.g. Retin A, Stieva-A, Retacnyl, etc.)

          Maxi-Peel is tretinoin + hydroquinone. So, I just looked for something that didn’t have hydroquinone.

          Currently, I’ve been sticking to Stieva-A. I’m using it as an anti-aging cream na rin.

          • skinnychiq

            Stieve-A is a product of Stiefel ung gumawa ng Acne Aid, I used that soap kaya lang naubos ko na…. It’s pricey kasi for 189 pesos. How much yung Stieve-A?

          • Pricey din. 500+ a tube pero lasts me 6 to 9 months.

          • skinnychiq

            ung soap nga nla inabot ako halos 1 yr bago maubos…effective ung acne aid pg tlgang oily muka mo… have u heard pla of Nu Derm’s AHA soap? gawa ng Dermclinic..80 pesos lng kasi yung isang bar..iniicp ko kasi itry…nkita ko kasi sa isang blog mdyu popular na makeup vlogger dito sa Pinas…As far as I know AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid…any idea?thanks pla sa pgrreply….i apprec8 it..

          • Haven’t heard about that yet. Di din ako hiyang sa glycolic acid (I’m guessing yun yung AHA ingredient na nasa soap). I get tiny bumps that look like clusters of whiteheads. :(

            Anyway, forgot to mention, try to avoid dairy pala. It seemed to have helped me. Some people become more sensitive to dairy (causes inflammation). Inavoid ko na din mga legumes and beans (inflammation causing din). Baka, you might be sensitive to those types of food too.

          • skinnychiq

            uo nga eh yan din nbsa ko sa net iwasan daw ung milk or dairy products…kaya eto tinigil ko muna ung milk ko…dame nmn bwal pla noh…kc ngaun ung gngmit ko face wash ung Acne Pro ni Belo…But im also using Kojic Soap pag nLiligo….

          • skinnychiq

            mam i badly need an advice im literally crying now,.i got really dark pimple marks on my face really disgusting…xmas is coming and im tired of hiding behind makeup…im desperate…do u think maxipeel can make my blemishes disappear…im depressed

          • Not fast enough ’til Christmas :( For now, only makeup and moisturizer can help.

  4. skinnychiq Reply

    How do you pop your pimples? Do you use a comedone extractor or blackhead remover? I bought one at Watsons for 50 bucks. Kasi yun gamit ng BF ko, cia nga minsan tgatanggal ko ng pimples ko kpg mei pus. Tpos we put sebo de macho. effective nman..

    • I only pop it kapag poppable na yung itsura, haha, did I make sense?

      I dip a needle in alcohol for around 30 seconds than I prick the tip of the ripe pussy center. Then I pull the skin apart (away from the pimple), then I squeeze it until blood comes out (sorry for the graphic description). After that, I put 100% tea tree oil on the area, and I refrain from touching it. The pimple usually subsides overnight.

      I prick it with a needle so that the pus will more likely go out of the follicle rather than bury itself further in. :)

      • skinnychiq Reply

        sarap mgprick ng pimples or even whiteheads eh. kasi once you take out that white part, rest assured okay na siya. just let it heal. anung brand tea tree oil un? thanks

        • Haha, true! I use zen zest. The one from the bodyshop is only 40% tea tree oil.

          • skinnychiq

            meron pla Zen Zest nun? How much ? San branch mo bnli?

          • Naku, di ko na maalala, super tagal na. Meron din sa watsons, spa essentials yung brand. More or less 100

  5. Wow, I can't believe I haven't seen this in your blog dati. There are times when I get breakouts too and as I've been trying to get my hands on different spot treatment products lately, I might as well try benzoyl peroxide. And I agree about pricking pimples. I think the cystic ones should be popped, but in a proper manner.

  6. BelatedBloomer Reply

    Wow, good for you girl! :D


  7. Wow! Big difference! I like reading posts like this. It makes me feel normal for having breakout-prone skin. :)

  8. Hi, my dermatologist told me about it. I also read it here and here

    They can't be used simultaneously because it can irritate the skin too much. Another theory is that they work at different ph levels and it can inactivate each other, but I don't know about that, I'm not educated on chemistry. :)

    Maybe you can use the benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the retinoid at night.

  9. What do you mean that benzoyl peroxide and retinoids cancel each other out? I'm new to retinoids and have been reading to learn more, but I've never heard of benzoyl peroxide and retinoids together? 

  10. Scatterbraintures Reply

    It is. But I don't do this on a regular and pro-longed basis.  I just do this when my breakout is really really really bad. Talagang REALLY :P

    Tapos mga span of one to three weeks lang.

    From what I read, benzoyl peroxide causes free radical formation kasi. So hindi din advisable.  Although, some people at with really bad acne swear by this and they do this on a regular basis.

  11. Beautybynature21 Reply

    this is worth a try!…for how long did you do this?

  12. Pink MagaLine Reply

    This is good. Thanks for sharing these tips. Hubby sometimes suffer from acne lalo kung stressed sa work. I might as him to try this.

  13. Scatterbraintures Reply

    I'm oily and acne-prone. Ok naman sya. I don't think it prevents pimples from forming but it doesn't cause new pimples for me.  What I notice is, since I started using it, I don't get the dark marks that pimples leave.

    I get the dark marks when I stop using it dun sa heavy breakout days. Kapag ganun, nag-h-hydroquinone na ako.

  14. crazy beautiful Reply

    true. that's why i alter tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide as spot treatment on pimples. anyway, would you know if the Jason Ester C line is good for acne prone skin? i got interested with its Vit. C derivative.

  15. Wow! The result was remarkable. I remember another blogger here in SG used BP to cure her sudden terrible outbreak. I'm wondering if it'll work for my current random pimples–although fortunately, they're already clearing up. My new challenge now is to get rid of the darkened scars. :X But yeah, BP shouldn't be used for long term treatment, really more of an emergency skin-saver spell.

  16. saccharine0158 Reply

    thanks for this post dear! i have been having breakouts lately.. :(( i think i should use benzoyl peroxide too.

  17. ScatterbrainAdventures Reply

    Hi. I buy Jason Ester C Lotion from Healthy Options.  I used Natural White instead because Jason Ester C might sting.  Benzoyl Peroxide can make the skin really sensitive so I looked for something else that will replace Jason Ester C temporarily.

    I didn't use the toner because I also use the toner from the Jason Ester C line.  It might make my skin more sensitive.

    Note: This is not my usual everyday skin care routine. This is a “for emergencies only” skin care routine.  I don't think benzoyl peroxide should be used everyday all over the face for a long period of time kasi it causes free radical formation.  Also, magiging immune nga ang bacteria. Parang antibiotic, over time acne-causing bacteria gets used to it.

  18. crazy beautiful Reply

    where do you get the Jason Ester-C lotion? is Olay Natural White more effective?  you don' t use toner in the morning and in the evening?

    benzoyl peroxide is indeed effective (on me too), but my face sometimes gets immune with it.  2.5% is not working on me.  i have the 10% but i do spot application only.  it does leave marks so i need something that will lighten it.

  19. ScatterbrainAdventures Reply

    Thanks! Go get Cyleina. If you break out, at least you have benzoyl peroxide to treat the pimples. *evil laugh*

  20. ScatterbrainAdventures Reply

    Yeah. Unfortunately, it's a non-sustainable for-extreme-cases-only routine.

  21. ScatterbrainAdventures Reply

    I'm flattered–glad to be of probable help.

  22. herroyalbleakness Reply

    Thanks for the detailed account :) Bookmarking the post for future breakouts, errrrm, reference ;D

  23. Glad you found a routine that works for your skin. Saw the huge difference it made. :)

  24. Nice first entry sis!

    Oooh I agree with what you wrote about benzoyl peroxide. It is very effective but very drying if you put too much. That is actually my bestfriend during college when I have breakouts ALL THE TIME. I still have to try the cyleina soap, I've been meaning to buy one for a long time. 

  25. nice! I'm using Cyleine Black Pearl as a body soap but before, I used it as a facial soap. It kinda feels tingly if you leave it for a few seconds. Good thing it worked for you. :P 

    Btw, I wanna invite you to join my first giveaway! :) Hope you support it!


  26. MarianneMatic Reply

    Oh good, glad that this worked out for you! – Mar<

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