PRODUCTinProfile: The Reddit Routine

In the spring of this year, I stumbled across a Reddit group that takes skincare VERY seriously.

If you’re paranoid about pimples or concerned about closed comedones (whiteheads the the rest of us), Reddit’s Skincare Addiction subreddit is the place to address. The community boasts over 114,875 active users who pick apart product ingredient lists, actively protest synthetic microbeads, and have coined the term ‘slug life’. You can read all about it right here.

When people ask for recommendations of what cleanser, treatment and moisturiser are best, the same three drugstore staples are hawked. Cetaphil, Stridex, and Cerave – this is the Reddit routine.

1. Cleanse using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil is pharmaceutical giant Galderma’s trademark cleanser, and is formulated to be super gentle and kind to skin, an oil-shifter it isn’t. It adjusts the skin’s pH to be as efficient as possible at fighting off acne-inducing bacteria, and lightly removes any surface grime.


A gentle cleanser is key, as stripping your face of all its natural oil will just cause your face to produce more oil. Also, irritating ingredients can cause breakouts. Cetaphil keeps it simple.


This was the first time I ever used Ceptaphil, and I really liked it! It took a little while to get used to as your face doesn’t necessarily feel so clean after using it. I do feel that it’s a great cleanser if you are acne prone.

2. Treat with a Stridex Maximum Strength pad

Stridex pads are small cotton rounds soaked in an alcohol-free Salicylic Acid solution. Salicylic Acid (also referred to as BHA) is an acne fighting superstar, and is the active ingredient in a huge range of products, from Clearasil to Proactiv. It’s key purpose is to chemically exfoliate – unblocking pores, smoothing skin tone, and restoring radiance.


The alcohol free solution won’t dry out skin, and the pH of these pads is optimal for exfoliation. Many products that contain Salicylic Acid supposedly are not formulated at the correct pH, meaning the acid can’t exfoliate and your pores will not be cleared, nor will your skin be left glowy and smooth.


Unfortunately these didn’t agree with me, they were just so drying! I don’t feel like they smoothed skin or prevented acne either, instead they just made my forehead look a bit old man-ish and shiny. I think there might be better Salicylic Acid products on the market.

3. Moisturise with Cerave PM

Cerave is another dermatologist-recommended product that supposedly has the ingredient list of a $100 moisturiser, but only costs 15. It contains Niacinamide, which helps the skin protect its natural barriers and can also supposedly restore skin tone.


Good ingredient list? It’s very cheap?


This I liked and didn’t like at the same time. On the one hand, it has a nice light texture and absorbs immediately. It is also quite moisturising. What I didn’t like is that I’m pretty sure it gave me whiteheads. Members of the Reddit community have pointed out its ability to do this, and point the finger at the Cetearyl Alcohol it contains (different from alcohol denat, doesn’t dry the skin, used to thicken the formulation (?) – hope I got that one right Reddit!).


I think if your skin is not ultra blemish prone, and if the Stridex doesn’t dry you out – this is a great routine. It’s inexpensive, accessible, and these products are more or less available worldwide. If you’re a r/SkincareAddiction frequenter, let me know in the comments!

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