Acne Hacks | Get Rid of Acne on a Budget


So, there isn’t going to be a “Things I’ve Tried In….” post this month (I know, Wow, I broke the streak already) simply because I didn’t really get a chance to do any shopping these past few weeks in light of exam season. Please forgib.

However, I thought I’d do something different and stray away from my usual blog format to instead share a little compilation of cosmetic & beauty related tips and tricks. Hey, maybe I’ll even make this a lil’ segment on the blog who knows.

That being said, I thought I’d share some cheap and budget-friendly ways to get rid of acne. Disclaimer: I am NOT a dermatologist (ya girl could barely get a passing grade in o-chem sis), so do be sure to understand that these are well-known tricks that have happened to work for me, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Everyone has different skin types and skin concerns, so do keep this in mind while reading my tips for getting rid of acne. I can attest to the effectiveness of all of these, as these are things that I’ve been doing that have truly helped control my acne and keep my skin smooth and healthy-looking. While my skin isn’t quite at a point where it is acne-free, I know for a fact that these tricks have ALWAYS helped calm my breakouts.

Also, seeing as I’ve dealt with acne for a big chunk of my life (since I was a pre-teen), I’ve done an extensive amount of research on all the causes and remedies for acne throughout the years. I’ve incorporated my vast knowledge (lmao) on the subject into a couple of the points below, so if you are wondering where I am getting all of this info from, don’t worry, I’m not pulling this all out of my ass, I’ve learned these things from countless videos, testimonials, stories, and personal experiences.

Hopefully, I can pass on my wisdom and teach you a thing or two and maybe even help you out by giving you a few pointers on things that have been proven to help with acne, and that have really helped me throughout this tumultuous skincare journey!



1) Drink Water
Price: Free

Yes, you are going to have to pee a lot but it’s worth it

listen to papa franku

Y’all have no excuse for this one. If you are reading this, you are more than likely from a developed country with running water so PLEASE take advantage of your situation and #stayhydrated.

Aside from the countless (and obvious) health benefits that drinking enough water provides, there is also a clear correlation between how much water you drink and how nice your skin looks. While staying hydrated isn’t a cure-all for acne or a guarantor for nice skin, drinking plenty of water can certainly keep your skin moisturized and reduce the frequency of the formation of acne for people with oily skin.

To speak in layman’s terms, my general understanding is that if you don’t drink enough water, toxins in your body will not be properly flushed out by your kidneys and liver. These toxins can get trapped within your skin without proper hydration and result in acne.

Furthermore, drinking lots of water moisturizes your skin and subsequently helps combat the production of oil. The less oil your skin produces, the lesser your chances of getting a clogged pore and therefore, a pimple.

So if you are a poor university student like me, or are on a tight budget and can’t afford to buy no 80 dollar Glamglow glitter mask like Ansel Elgort then I highly recommend this vegan, gluten-free, all-natural non-gmo alternative ;p

Looking good

If you are stubborn like me and can’t be bothered to crack down and regulate your water intake – make the process more exciting and efficient! Carry around a dope waterbottle that can act as an accessory and be brought with you anywhere so you can stay hydrated wherever you go. Make a refreshing cucumber-water or lemon/lime-water concoction and live your best life. Heck, buy the damn fiji water or “boxed water” and take a pic of it for the ‘gram and then DRINK IT if that’s what it takes.

When I started to pay more attention to my water intake and make greater efforts to make sure I carried my water bottle around, I noticed a DRAMATIC difference in the quality of my skin and the frequency of my acne.

I am reminded of this every year when the scorching hot heat typical of an Ottawa summer practically forces me to drink gallons of water just to cool off. Every summer when the temperature hits record highs my skin ALWAYS looks amazing just because of all of the water that I drink during this time. Now if only I could be that diligent all year long :’)


2) DON’T Touch Your Face
Price: Also Free

Don’t do it

While my skin is NO WHERE near clear, this is fortunately about as bad as it gets, which is SIGNIFICANTLY clearer than how it looked for most of my adolesence.

What was the nastiest thing you ever grabbed with your hands?

On second thought, don’t answer that.

Point being, our hands naturally come into contact with a lot of surfaces that aren’t always the cleanest. From oily phone screens to the doors of dank toilet stalls – it isn’t uncommon for us to touch a multitude of dirty objects and surfaces throughout the day.

I don’t think it’ll take much convincing on my part to tell you that you really don’t want all of the germs and oils that are on your fingers from touching said things to be transferred to your skin. That hardly ever ends well.

Moreover, try to make a conscious effort to not lean on your hand in class or pick at your skin with dirty, unwashed hands to minimize the frequency of anything coming in contact with your skin. To learn more and understand more of the science behind this, check out this informative but understandable Huffington post article on the matter.


3) Keep your hair out of your face
Price: The cost of a headband and a ponytail

ponytailThis tip fits well with the last one. You just generally don’t want ANYTHING touching your skin as the oil and dirt from said surfaces can really irritate your skin and clog your pores.

If you are like me and you require an arsenal of hair products to defrizz and style your hair, then keep in mind that all of that hair product really shouldn’t be anywhere near your skin if you can help it.

When you are out, try not to wear your hair in a way that presses against your skin. I know I always have to keep this in mind whenever I wear a scarf that my hair can get caught in, or a jacket with a collar that presses my hair into my skin (another tip: keep those things clean by washing them regularly).

When you feel like calling it a night and have taken all of your makeup off and/or are ready to hit the hay, do yourself a solid and keep your hair back and out of your face so that no residual oils and products transfer onto your skin while you sleep and your skin regenerates and replenishes itself. A cute headband from anthropology and my favourite scrunchie gets the job done.

Granted, I look pretty silly with my bangs pushed up and my hair slicked back and away from my face, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means my skin stays clear. Priorities ladies, priorities.


4) ALOE f**ing VERA
Price: Get it cheap at your local grocery store.
Don’t pay more than $20 dollars

The nectar of the gods

Aloe Vera is literally the cure for all of life’s ailments

If you can only afford to purchase one anti-acne product (besides face wash, of course, that is the MOST important thing), then I highly recommend that you grab a bottle of aloe vera. Depending on how much you want to use or have laying around at a time, you can certainly buy a bottle for less than 10 dollars at Walmart or wholefoods (I recommend the lily of the desert brand since it’s 100 percent pure aloe vera with no other additives).

I recommend slathering on a thick layer of aloe vera all over your face at least half an hour before you plan to sleep so that it has a chance to dry on your skin.

I prefer using aloe vera (and aloe-vera-based products) over all other products simply because of the effects that it has on skin in general. Aloe vera isn’t going to dry your skin up and get rid of a pimple overnight, but it WILL drastically reduce swelling and redness all the while providing ample moisture to your skin.

Sometimes, beating the shit out of your acne (and likewise, skin) isn’t always the answer. Attacking your acne with super-drying products may prove to be effective in the short run by making your acne crust off and disappear quickly (gross, I know, I’m sorry), but in the long run, you could be dealing with dry skin, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone issues with prolonged usage.

What’s the point of eradicating one skin problem if the process is going to provoke another? Aloe vera is a very safe way to tackle your acne problems while keeping your skin looking and feeling great! I can’t recommend it enough.

#notspons (wish it was thooo)


5) Stay away from greasy foods
Price: Your happiness and well-being


HeadQuarters Cafe Ottawa
If your skin is like mine in the sense that it tends to react to the kinds of foods that you eat, y’all best lay off that fried shit

The whole “does food have an impact on your skin” debate has been contemplated for ages, and from my understanding, the overwhelming conclusion is simply: we don’t really know.

While there is research that both supports and debunks this age-old myth, I personally have found that food DOES have an impact on my skin. In particular, I’ve found that whenever I consume a lot of dairy products or starchy and fried foods my acne always flares up.

I really took note of this when I spent a month in France and pretty much ONLY ate le fromage and le cheesy pasta the entire time I was there. My acne was the WORST it had ever been there – I had huge cysts and a horrific skin texture because of how severe my breakout was.

Likewise, whenever I make an effort to eat healthier and avoid dairy, my skin thanks me by behaving. But again, that’s just me – it could be a completely different story for yall.



That’s all for now. Maybe you learned something. Maybe you didn’t. But hey, if you are struggling with acne like me, maybe try one of these out and see if it works for you! But remember, even if nothing seems to work for you or if your struggle with acne has been particularly tough on you – that your skin is beautiful no matter what. On that note, I’ll leave you with a really dope sentiment that one of my fav youtubers posted today on her Instagram:

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