How I am Getting Rid of my Acne and Hyperpigmentation (Dark Spots)


I was very delighted to be offered the opportunity to try out the Banish Acne Skincare range mainly because I am in the quest of finding the right products to restore my skin which has been through a little rough time over the past few months. I thought my days of active acne were over but I recently got acne towards the beginning of the year and the accompanying post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I had not heard about Banish prior to contacting me but I did some research and was impressed with what I saw. So, here I am sharing my thoughts with you on the brand and the products I tried. 


Brief Overview of Banish

Banish was founded in 2010 by the lovely Daisy who herself had suffered from acne and scarring She was inspired by videos on YouTube which prompted her to create her own channel and build a following as a result. She had tried almost every product for acne and she was at the verge of trying laser when she tried microneedling and vitamin C which really was a great moment for her. Her skin had visible differences which even her followers could see and this propelled her to develop her own brand Banish and as they say the rest is history. I am really inspired by her story and you can read more about it over here. One thing I like about the brand’s message is that they encourage embracing yourself as you are: with or without acne. Most people who have acne always think they will feel better when the acne is cleared but it usually has to start from loving and accepting yourself and your acne as you are. It’s not an easy thing to do but it is definitely doable. I am all for it and that’s one of the reasons I was inclined to give the brand a try.


Packaging

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know by now that I love good packaging. I always say that great packaging usually attracts me to try a skincare line but the efficacy and quality of the skincare products are what keeps me coming back. I have to say I am very impressed with the Banish skincare product packaging because they look so elegant in the black glass tubs and bottles complete with white inscriptions. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into the packaging as the glass bottles and tubs feel very sturdy and so well made. 


They even went the extra length to use sustainable outer packaging for the products. Instead of the regular plastic bubble wrap, the products were wrapped with kraft paper tape and corrugated paper wraps. They were shipped from America and they arrived all intact. All the products came well packaged and the Banisher 2.0 came in its own little pouch which is perfect for travelling and storing all the other products if you wish. The best part is that Banish have a recycling programme where you can send 5 empty Banish jars or bags which is equivalent to 2000 stars and can be redeemed for a $20 Banish Gift card. You can find more about the recycling programme here.

 

What products did I receive?

I was very kindly sent the following products: Banish All Clear Mint Cleanser*, Banisher 2.0* and the Banish Starter Kit*. Inside the Banish Starter kit, you get the following: Banish Pumpkin Enzyme Masque*, Banish Vitamin C Crème*, Banish Oil Vitamin C Serum*, Banish Fighter Gel* and of course, the Banisher 2.0*. I decided to use these products exclusively for over 4-5 weeks just so I can see the difference in my skin and document my journey.

 

My Skin Type

Before I get into the review of the products, I just wanted to touch base on my skin type. I have combination oily skin with enlarged pores especially around my cheeks and nose area. I also have acne prone skin and have significant post inflammatory hyper pigmentation. Let’s just say, I bruise easily. With regards to active acne, I stopped having active acne a few years ago but then they returned beginning of 2020 (possibly due to the mask cue in “maskne and all the craziness 2020 has brought along with it”) . 


I had to strip everything back and make some skincare and lifestyle changes. I am no dermatologist but I think it is always best to try and get to the root of your acne problem because it will help you manage and see sustainable results. I realised that my acne was mainly due to some food types, hormonal and hairstyles. Some of the changes I implemented are below:

- I reduced my dairy intake especially with milk (including powdered and liquid formulations), cheese, etc.

- I reduced my intake of oily nuts especially groundnuts/peanuts and cashew notes these were the most notorious for breaking my skin out.

- I can’t particularly control hormonal acne but when I implemented the first two changes, I found out that I was no longer breaking out as much even when my period came around.

- I made hairstyles where my hair was away from face and started wearing a hair net (hello, grandma) to bed.

- I washed my makeup brushes regularly (I aim for every week). 

Banish have a great blog post about How to get rid of Acne Scars which I find really useful. 


Banish All Clear Mint Cleanser* // Link // $39

This cleanser is described as a gentle foaming cleanser and that’s exactly what it is. I was a little sceptical about it because I prefer gel cleansers but it has won my heart. It contains aloe vera, ginger oil, grapefruit to mention a few of the ingredients. It also contains peppermint and spearmint which gives the minty feeling on the skin but it is not overbearing at all. I particularly like that it comes in a pump and a little goes a long way. I have used it with my FOREO Luna Mini and just with my hands and it works well. I just put a little amount on my damp face and work it up into a smooth lather. I was quite surprised that it did not feel drying on my skin during and after use which I am really glad about because foaming cleansers tend to leave my skin dry. The All Cear Mint Cleanser leaves my skin really clean even on days when I have worn makeup. I really enjoyed and still enjoy using it. For the price, I have to say it is really worth it because I still have a good amount left even though I thought the bottle was not going to last a good while. 

 

Banish Vitamin C Beauty Elixir* // Link // $19

I was excited to give this a try because I don’t think I have tried a Vitamin C spray before now and I am totally loving it. It is designed to give the skin a fresh burst of hydration and helps reduce redness. It can also be used a makeup or setting spray but I prefer to get all the goodness directly sinking into my skin. This is why I tend to use it mainly at night as part of my night skincare routine or during the day on makeup free days. It has a nice nozzle that sprays the product evenly which is a tiny detail but it means a lot to me. I have tried some products in spray bottles which have ended up spraying in a haphazard way. Thankfully,  that’s not the case with this beauty elixir spray. It can also serve as a toner which means you can spray it just before you use a serum or you can use a cotton pad if you prefer. It contains Vitamin C (of course) as well as other ingredients including tea tree oil (which has antifungal and antibacterial properties), aloe leaf juice and a host of other skin loving ingredients. My skin always feels very refreshed whenever I use it even when I am just chilling at home. I think it will be suitable for all skin types.  

 

Banish Fighter Gel* // Link // $39

I love anything gel because the texture just makes me happy and I honestly don’t know why. I was really pleased to see that Banish developed a gel which is designed for tackling active acne,  spots and helps in reducing redness and inflammation. Banish describe it as a skin soothing water based gel that helps relieve irritation and dryness. I have tried some acne spot treatments which come in gel forms and some of them ended up drying my skin out but I have not experienced this with the Banish Fighter Gel which I am really pleased about. It works on other skin conditions apart from acne including eczema and flaky skin. I don’t have eczema or flaky skin but I have really enjoyed using it on the few acne breakouts I already had prior to commencing using the Banish skincare range. 


First of all, it’s a reasonably sized tub which means it can be used both on the face and the body if you wish. It feels really cooling and refreshing on the skin and initially, I thought it was not working because most acne gel treatments have a little sting to them (which usually makes us acne sufferers believe the product is working J). I was very wrong because I always woke up to my acne or breakouts more than 75% significantly reduced and by the next day there were gone.  It feels so refreshing that I sometimes just slather it on my face to enjoy its hydrating and refreshing feeling. It has some great ingredients including Arnica (which helps with healing) and Green Tea Extract (to reduce sebum production and redness) to name a few. 

 

Banish Pumpkin Enzyme Masque* // Link // $39

This has to be one of my favourite products because I have seen almost immediate results with using it. Banish describe the Pumpkin Enzyme Masque as a 15-minute exfoliating mask that inspired by nature to reveal your best skin. I have to say this is really the best description for this product because it does what it says on the tub and more. It is a cocktail mask filled with some of my favourite skincare loving ingredients including AHAs (Glycolic Acid), Vitamin C and Beta Carotene. These skincare ingredients all work together to help exfoliate, brighten, fight against pollutants and reveal healthy glowing skin. You can be sure that your skin is not getting any nasties alongside this mask because this mask is  made without paraben, sulfate, silicones, dyes, fragrances and animal derived ingredients. How fantastic! 


The first time I used this I was absolutely surprised at how tingly it felt because it was quite intense for my skin but thank goodness the tingly feeling lasted for less than 2 minutes. I use a nice flat brush to apply the mask because I needed it to be evenly distributed on my face (avoiding the eye area). I left it on for 15 minutes the first time and I washed it off and my skin looked visibly radiant. It was very noticeable and even the next morning, my skin felt really good. I use it once a week (usually middle of the week because I like to leave a good gap between using it and the Banisher 2.0). I have to say my skin has been better for it. The texture of my skin feels very smooth to touch and the little bumps that live underneath my skin are nowhere to be seen. I am so pleased that I got to try this product. I feel like if you have sensitive skin or skin that is prone to inflammation and redness, you may need to do a proper patch test before you use this product because it is quite intense but the results are worth it.

 

Banish Vitamin C Crème* // Link // $49

I have tried quite a few vitamin C creams and I know my skin loves Vitamin C in any form so I was delighted to try out the Banish Vitamin C Crème. Banish describe the Vitamin C Creme as a light plant based hydrating cream concentrated with 20% Vitamin C which helps to reverse dark spots and skin damage. I am absolutely in love with this cream and I have used it consistently since I received it. I love that it comes in a black tub which helps protect it becaause Vitamin C is photosensitive. The texture is very light yet rich on my skin and my skin feels moisturised and hydrated at the same time. It does not feel greasy at all and sinks in pretty quickly. It works well on my skin both on days when I wear makeup and makeup-free days. I have not experienced any stinging with it which makes me believe it will be suitable for all skin types (of course, do a patch test first). My hyper pigmentation has definitely improved with its use alongside other products in the range. It is also paraben-free, sulfate-free, dyes-free, fragrance-free, mineral oil and silicone-free as well as being vegan and cruelty-free

 

Banish Oil- Vitamin C Serum* // Link // $49

I was super excited to try the Banish Oil because I saw that it contains L-Ascorbic Acid which is one of the most potent form of Vitamin C. The great thing is that it comes in an oil which helps preserve its intergrity and I feel this makes it more gentle yet effective on the skin. Banish describe it as a natural Vitamin C serum formulated without silicones or dyes. It comes in a small bottle complete with a pipette which is great for application and minimises waste. Again, it comes in a black bottle which protects the product from light and oxidation which can minimise its effectiveness. I have used mine for over 4 weeks and it has been well protected and not changed its colour at all which is very impressive and makes me believe that it is made with great quality ingredients. I use the Banish Oil mainly on the days I use the Banish 2.0 Microneedling Tool and it helps sooothe and calm my skin down. I also use it on some nights alongside the Vitamin C Creme and the combination is so perfect. I have noticed a significant improvement in my dark spots including the older dark spots which I never thought would improve. The oil texture in itself does not feel greasy on the skin and sinks in well which I was pleased about because I have combination oily skin. However, I use it mainly at night because it gives my skin a great glow the next day. It is a tiny bottle because it contains 15ml of product but you only need 1-2 drops and it really has lasted a good while. 


Banisher 2.0* // Link // $69

This is the star of the show and I was both intrigued and a little scared to try out this product but I am so glad I did because it has been amazing. Microneedling has been around for a while but I have only seen the microneedling rollers and I actually purchased one but chickened out using it. With the Banisher 2.0, it totally takes microneedling to the next level and removes the anxiety that comes with thinking of piercing your skin with sharp bristles. Microneedling helps the skin generate new collagen and skin tissue for a fimer skin and this is achieved by using small needles to prick the skin to kickstart the process. 


The Banisher 2.0 is patented and designed for soft pressure on the skin rather than rolling which is common with other microneedling tools. It comes in a pouch complete with instructions on how to use the product safey to achieve the best results. It has a nice handle and a lid to protect the bristles. The bristles are no ordinary bristles as they are 24K gold plated which is antibacterial. The bristles are many and very fine such that they don't cause unnecesary injury to the skin. 


To use it, you just pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol (I use 70%) into the Banisher 2.0 cap/lid (there's a fill line) and I click the Banisher on it and let it sit for about 5 minutes and then let it dry. Once it is dry, I use it with gentle pressure on my cheeks and around my face avoiding the eye area. The first time I used it, I thought it was going to hurt me but it was not painful at all. It is recommended to go around the face in small sections and rotate the Banisher 2.0 to a 90-degree a few times around each section. I find that the Banisher 2.0 is easier to use around my cheeks which are fuller than when I got around my forehead which has less skin. The pricks I felt were very minimal and I ensured that I rotated and went round my face in an even manner. 


The very first time I used it, I had some redness around my face which is not uncommon as blood flows more to areas where it may experience any kind of discomfort. After subsequent uses, the routine defintely felt more comfortable to me and I quite looked forward to using it. It is recommended to give your face a rest (at least 8 hours) after using it. I do it usually on a weekend evening and just let my face rest the next day. After each use, it is also recommended to use the rubbing alcohol again before storing it away for next time. The first thing I noticed was some indentations I had on my cheeks from previous acne appeared improved and smoother and that really warmed my heart. I have used it about 4 times now and I absolutely love the way my skin has improved. 

 

Results

I was monitoring my skin over the 4-5 weeks of using the Banish Skincare range because I wanted to see if there was any significant difference. Granted, it usually takes about 4-12 weeks to see lasting improvements in the skin from using skincare products and it varies depending on skin types and skincare products. I could see a difference within two days of using the Banish Fighter Gel on breakouts I already had prior to testing out the products and I was impressed with it. After about 2 weeks of using the Pumpkin Enzyme Masque and Vitamin C Creme, I could see a marked improvement in the texture of my skin and the hyper pigmentation on my face especially on my cheeks and forehead. With the Banisher 2.0, I definitely saw an improvement from the first day of using it and this improvement has been sustained throughout my journey. I am still using the entire range and I hope I can share more improvements over time on here. My hyperpigmentation marks have definitely improved and the great thing is I am no longer breaking out as severely as before. I believe this is a combination of lifestyle changes alongside using the Banish Acne skincare range. I feel really grateful that I had the opportunity to try these products. My skin is by no means where I want it to be but I know that with consistency, using the right skincare produucts and continuing my lifestyle changes, I will get there. In the meantime, I am just embracing and loving my skin; it truly has been through a lot. 


Where can you purchase Banish products?

Banish products can be purchased from the Banish website and they ship worldwide which is amazing. The great thing is that the products are well wrapped and packaged and there were no damages when I received mine. I was a little concerned as they all come in glass bottles but they arrived in great condition and in good time. Banish offer free shipping in the US on orders of $75 and above and free international shipping for orders of $190 and above. 



Overall Thoughts

I am sure you can already tell which prodcts are my favourites even though I love all the products I was very kindly sent. If I had to pick my absolute favourites then it would have to be the following- Pumpkin Enzyme Masque, Vitamin C Creme, Banish Oil Vitamin C Serum and the Banisher 2.0. The great thing is these products are sold in two different kits to save money- The Banish Starter Kit and the Banish Scarring and Active Acne Kit. I do think you save more money with the Banish Starter Kit as you get all the products except the Banish Mint Cleanser. I love that you can use After Pay on the website which allows you split payments into 4-interest free instalments for orders between $95-$1000. I feel very lucky that I was sent these products and I will repurchase some of my favourites when I run out.

*This post was sponsored by Banish but all opinions remain mine. See my full disclaimer here.

 

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