Being Asian and slightly skincare obsessed are not 100% responsible for my clear skin. Pharma helps, and thank goodness for that.
Pre-40s, my skin was a classic T zone. I would get annoying breakouts but managed them without much trouble. But when I turned 42 I started getting epic, painful breakouts. I had just moved to Colorado so I thought the culprit was the change in climate and that I needed to find the right product combo for my new situation. So I bought a ton of expensive products and got weekly facials. Money not well spent, it turned out - nothing helped.
I finally talked to my physician assistant and she thought it might be “hormonal acne” (commonly identified by breakouts around the chin, btw). She prescribed an oral medication, which cleared my skin up within a week! Now, I take my meds, use a Retinoid cream, simple Cetaphil facial cleaner and Cetaphil body lotion (as a face moisturizer). That's my non-secret, skin care "secret" for today. Our skin travels with us through our entire life, and just like other parts of our bodies and our general health it can change, especially with hormone changes. Just like with our hearts and brains and everything else, sometimes medication is the right answer. It was and is for me.