To be fair, I don’t have the worst skin—not by a long shot.

I’ve never dealt with cystic acne, incessant peeling or any kind of rosacea. I’ve tried probably every brand of skincare you can buy at a drug store (maybe that was my biggest fault in this ongoing battle), went prescription for a while and have dabbled in various routines and regimens. Ultimately, nothing has kept me from having to conceal at least one spot on my face every day since about 8th grade.

I’ve always noticed blackheads on my face, the occasional whitehead and usually a painful cyst or nodule every couple of weeks. It seemed like every time one spot resolved itself, another appeared. I admit that I am TOTALLY guilty of picking—I know it’s awful for me! I’m working on it.

It could be worse, but it’s still something that has always bothered me. Working in the beauty industry has only heightened my awareness of flaws, but luckily it’s also opened my eyes to solutions.

I started using Malibu C the first month I started working with MODERN SALON. At the time, I was using the Purifi cleanser, Original C serum and Perfection-Crème moisturizer.

My first trip to New York with MODERN was not long after I started my job. Even though I was still having some skin issues, they seemed smaller, if nothing else, and my skin wasn’t drying out like it used to. I distinctly remember receiving a lot of compliments on my skin, of all things, during that trip. Beauty industry people were telling me I had beautiful skin, which was shocking to me because I’d never thought of my skin as beautiful and because my in-your-face, thick, auburn hair usually grabs peoples’ attention more than anything else.

I took a better look at my skin at the hotel my first night in NYC. It did look “glowier”—was that just the mirror lighting? Lighting can’t be that great, can it? I wasn’t sure just yet.

A lot of my skin issues were dwindling after I started using Malibu C, but I was still having some acne flare ups—though less frequently. I talked to some kind folks at Malibu C to see if there would be a better system for me, and then I changed my regimen: Still the Purifi cleanser morning and night, but instead with Acné C Serum at night, Vital-Crème at night, Exfoliant a couple times a week and the Facial-Masque about once a week.

It’s important to note that I only use the serum and moisturizer at night; I think my skin would have cleared up even faster if I had done the recommend two times per day, but I have a daytime moisturizer with SPF that I didn’t want to layer with another moisturizer for risk of feeling like my skin was weighed down.

Even so, it took only three weeks for my skin issues to resolve—and I mean completely resolve. I’d argue that it was looking pretty good at two weeks, but the first day I was able to only have to use concealer under my eyes and feel completely confident was after three weeks. My skin looks brighter and, of course, clearer, and just feels a lot better.

The serum minimizes bacteria that can infect and affect acne-prone skin (hello, me), the Exfoliant has finely crushed almond meal to gently scrub away nastiness but also moisturize, the Vital-Crème reduces redness and helps retain moisture, and the algae masque pulls out sebum, toxins and impurities. It’s basically a skincare dream team, and it’s all 100 percent vegan and preservative-free.

This is HUGE for me, and definitely worth alerting all of you to, in my humble opinion. I’ve struggled with my skin for a decade and have finally, FINALLY found something that works. It might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you have persistent issues, and it’s a must-have for my bathroom cabinet.

And if inquiring minds want to know, my go-to concealer this summer has been Au Naturale Creme Concealer in beige. Applying with my ring-finger really melts it onto my skin for fast and easy fixes.

You can check out my gradual skin improvement below (all taken around 6 a.m. after washing my face, and I’m not a morning person, so I’m sorry if I look angry or still mostly asleep!) and what products I’ve been using.

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